Kevin Alejandro Interview: Directing ‘Lucifer,’ the #SaveLucifer Campaign, and Hopes for Season 4

Kevin Alejandro Lucifer Interview
Kevin Alejandro and Lauren German in the “A Devil of My Word” episode of ‘Lucifer’ (Photo by Jordan Althaus / FOX)

The response to Fox’s cancellation of Lucifer, one of primetime’s most entertaining shows, was fast and furious on social media. Lucifans immediately took to Twitter to try and find a way to save the series, launching the #PickUpLucifer and #SaveLucifer campaigns. The hashtags have been used millions of times since Fox officially announced Lucifer wouldn’t be returning for a fourth season, and no one has given up hope that the show won’t find a home somewhere suitable.

The Lucifer cast is actively involved in the campaign and has always been great at communicating with fans throughout the show’s three seasons. In my phone interview with Kevin Alejandro (‘Detective Dan Espinoza’) in support of his directorial debut on the series, he talked about the passion of the fans and the impact of the #SaveLucifer campaign. Alejandro also discussed stepping behind the camera to direct a season four episode which Fox has now scheduled to air as part of a two-hour bonus episodes block on Monday, May 28, 2018.

Exclusive Interview with Lucifer’s Kevin Alejandro:

How are you?

Kevin Alejandro: “I’m excellent, how are you?”

I’d be better if we could #Save Lucifer.

Kevin Alejandro: “Oh my goodness, you and me both. All of us. I was just talking to Tom Ellis this morning at the gym and both of us are just overwhelmed by the response that people have given us. And not only that, but that it’s an actual possibility that people might see us as a good fit. There’s a possibility that we could be saved. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Were you expecting that kind of a fan response at all? Had you anticipated anything even close to what it’s been?

Kevin Alejandro: “Not even close. I knew that the fans… We communicate with our fans daily. We are all very open with our fans because we like to hear about what they want to see. So, we communicate with them and their feedback actually feeds our creativity. We’re very adamant about keeping in touch with them, so we knew that people would miss it. But, we had no idea the power and strength in their voices that came with those words: ‘Lucifer has been cancelled.’ They have stepped up to the plate and we’ve been speechless this whole time. Like, what the…?”

And it hasn’t died down. The campaign continues and that’s just unheard of.

Kevin Alejandro: “We don’t know how to react. We’re so humbled by it, you know? It’s just such a beautiful thing. It makes us want to try even harder because we don’t want to disappoint them. And then, I’ve got to tell you, the people that are still doing it, I urge them to continue to do it all the way – we will all be tweeting on the two additional episodes that are airing on Monday night – because their voices are being heard. I know Peter Roth and the Jerry Bruckheimer team, they love Lucifer as much as we do. They won’t leave any door unlocked. If there’s a door to knock on, they will. They are presently trying to find that world in hopes that there’s a reality of our survival. And it’s because of those guys, it’s because of our fans that they let people know it’s something that they’re interested in and love being a part of.”

How heartbreaking would it have been for you if your episode didn’t get to air?

Kevin Alejandro: “Extremely! (Laughing) My directorial debut never sees the light of day… It was such a beautiful experience that I had with those guys in doing it. Mad props and appreciation to Warner Bros and Fox and Jerry Bruckheimer and everybody who approved of me being able to direct an episode because it was just the most humbling, beautiful experience I’ve ever had. So, that in itself was an accolade. That was something that I had already won. The fact that it’s actually getting to air is the icing on the cake. I’m very fortunate to have the cake and eat it too.”

Was there a director on Lucifer who really influenced your style of directing?

Kevin Alejandro: “Yeah. I really respected Nathan Hope and Eagle Egilsson. Both of those guys’ style I really enjoy the way they do things. Louis Milito, he came in and sort of mentored me a bit. If I would get into a bind, he would help me figure out how to get out of it.

To me, filmmaking in general is a collaborative process. I’m a fan of a director coming in and having a vision and saying, ‘This is what I see.’ But I’m an even bigger fan of the collaborative force of it which I think Eagle and Nathan Hope are really great at doing. Listening to people, having their own idea but not being afraid, not shying away from somebody else if they have a great idea or of giving them the credit. For me, that’s what I took into this process was listening.

Me and Tom Camarda, my director of photography, we became inseparable. It was just like, ‘You have an idea, throw it at me and let’s see if it can work.’ And, I used his ideas a lot, just trusting that team that’s been doing this show and really knows it. All I had to do was listen and move forward with it.”

Does your interest in directing help you as an actor?

Kevin Alejandro: “It absolutely does. It’s taught me to break down a script in a different way. As an actor I get super emotionally attached to it and visualize this world from that single character’s perspective. But as a director, I’m not only responsible for my character, I’m responsible for everybody’s character. I have to see it through everybody’s eyes. It’s just more of a deeper sort of way to dive into a script. I really appreciate it because it made me stronger. It’s allowed me to make stronger choices as an actor.”

Were your co-stars nice to you as a director or did they give you a hard time?

Kevin Alejandro: “No, everyone was super nice…except Lauren German. (Laughing) She hates me, but that has nothing to do with my directing! I would give her a note and she would turn to her co-stars and say, ‘What did he say? Was he talking to me because I don’t take notes?’

I’m kidding. No, everyone was on my side. Like I said, we’re such a tight knit group and they knew that I had some nerves. This is my first time and luckily everyone wanted me to succeed. There was not a single issue. Everyone came to work ready to play with ideas.

We were joking around that it’s a ‘what if?’ episode. It’s a what if universe so there were none of those Lucifer rules that I had to follow because it’s a world that doesn’t exist. Everyone was super excited about that and really wanted to play with the subtle differences that we could make within this slightly new little Lucifer world that we’re creating.”

It seems that would allow the actors to have a fresh take on it, to get into a whole new character.

Kevin Alejandro: “It absolutely did. And you can tell, too. I’m so happy that mine gets to be the last episode of the night because you see that. To me, it is very evident that everyone’s playing a slightly different character. They loved it. As an actor you want to do different things. This was an opportunity for Lauren to find different parts of her humor that she always wants to explore, and her edginess. This is an opportunity for Lucifer to be a little bit darker than he would normally be. It’s that, but still being able to maintain those characters that everyone loves. It’s a subtle, subtle difference and what a great challenge to try to take on. We realize we have people who love us for who we are, so it’s cool to put them in different circumstances.”

When during season four was this episode supposed to air? How was it supposed to fit in?

Kevin Alejandro: “I don’t think that they had a certain definite dialed-in time for it to air. I know that it was going to be peppered in – they were both going to be peppered in to season four somehow. We did the same thing last season. We shot two or three stand-alone episodes during season two and they peppered them in during season three. They would say, ‘We’re competing against Monday Night Football so let’s put in one of the stand-alone episodes that doesn’t disrupt the arc of the story.’ There was no like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be episode six or episode seven or whatever,’ it was just going to be where does it fit within the schedule of the way it was going to air.”

Was it ever supposed to be part of season three?

Kevin Alejandro: “No. It was always intended to be part of season four.”

When you’re directing yourself did you ever spot something and need to correct yourself? How did you juggle the two jobs?

Kevin Alejandro: “It’s very difficult for me to watch any playback of myself. I come from the theatre and one of the things that I love about the theatre is that I never have to watch me do it. It’s just all about how it feels, and it always feels great when I lay it out there. And sometimes it feels great and then I’ll watch it and it doesn’t look as great as it felt. So when I’m directing myself, you know like I said I had Louis in there and I would have him take over when I was on a scene. I would say, ‘Would you just watch my performance? This is what needs to happen with the scene and this is where the arc needs to go. Can you make sure that I get there?’

Louis would take over the directing Kevin Alejandro parts. Not only because I didn’t want to sit there and judge myself the whole time – because I will – but it just takes time to go there, watch a playback, and then go back in and then watch another playback to make sure I got it. It was good to have a well-experienced director there to have his eyes on me to make sure I was giving a performance that was necessary for the scene.”

What was your first reaction when you found out Neil Gaiman was actually saying yes to being the voice of God?

Kevin Alejandro: “No way! You’re f**king kidding me! That was my exact response. It was awesome. How cool is that? My first freaking directorial experience at this level to have the creator of the freaking character playing God. It’s like, ‘Wow, okay, I’ll take it!’”

It’s a total stamp of approval.

Kevin Alejandro: “Exactly. Exactly.”

If there isn’t a season four, which I hate to even put out into the universe, and Chloe knows about Lucifer being the Devil, do you think Dan in eventuality would have been really upset he was the last original member of the team to find out?

Kevin Alejandro: “Probably, but I think he would get it because Dan’s always the last one to know. ‘Yeah, great, yet another thing I didn’t know about. You guys are awesome.’ (Laughing) And you wonder why I’m a douche.”

Kevin Alejandro interview Lucifer Season 4 episode
Tom Ellis and Kevin Alejandro in ‘Lucifer’ (Photo Credit: Fox)

You know what? He’s totally outlived that title because over the seasons he’s become such a decent guy that you didn’t expect him to be from the first couple of episodes. He’s had an incredible arc. How much fun has that been to play?

Kevin Alejandro: “It’s amazing. We have such a good team of people that trust us. They love writing for us and it’s cool to be trusted to take on those arcs because sometimes we as actors have levels that we can’t reach or levels that we don’t tap into for one reason or another. And our group of writers know us so well and they let us take risks because they know that we can do it. We love the challenge of doing it. So, I have appreciated the arc that they’ve given me. And, dammit, I hope that we get a season four because you know where Dan goes next is great. He’s dealing with Charlotte’s death and he blames Lucifer. You get to see whether or not he can literally live through this one. He’s been through a lot of stuff and gotten through it and come out in the end as a little bit stronger of a person. But, I’m not sure that it would have been the same with this relationship in the next season.”

What do you think the writers tapped into with you that made its way into Dan more so than they even expected?

Kevin Alejandro: “I think having a six-pack! (Laughing) ‘He has a six-pack. He’s super deep. He has depth.’ No, you know what I think? I think one of the things that helped us together as an actor, writer, and producer team was that they saw how much I really loved the guy. It was easy for me to relate to him and make him a human being and not a caricature of a bad guy or a dumb guy. They saw that as I cared for him as an actor for a character, they were able to pull that out and allow him to be a real human being, allow him to care for things and allow him to react to things in a humanistic way. That’s one of the things. They saw how much I care about him and they let that ring true within Dan.”

You were terrific and heartbreaking in the final scenes with Charlotte and then alone in the apartment, looking at the waffle maker while Dan’s realizing what he lost. How difficult was it to find that place emotionally?

Kevin Alejandro: “It is difficult but because of my experience in life and because of how much I love… If anyone would ask me what’s my best quality, I would say my best quality is my ability to love. I just care for people. I care for family, my wife, my friends – they are everything to me. So, in that aspect that’s where I go. So, it’s not that difficult for me to go to that place, what’s hard is for me to stay there because it’s draining and it hurts so bad. But, I have to stay in it. Once I’m in it I have to stay.

But the beauty of it is that because we’ve been together so long as a team of filmmakers, we know each other and there’s so much respect on that set. They know when Tom has to do this, go down this avenue, there’s a certain respect and stillness that he requires that is unsaid. You just give it to him. He doesn’t ask for it, you just give it. The same can be said for me and everyone else who has to go to that level. It’s handled with so much care that it’s almost like being nurtured by your mom. Everyone has open arms and they’re guiding you to be what you need to be.

Most of the time we have an amazing, great, silly, jokey, ‘I’m dumb, you’re dumb’ kind of fun. But when it comes to those moments there’s nothing but respect and you’re cradled through that process. They all know that it’s important.”

I was checking out Twitter and fans were really excited to see your latest Instagram post of you working out. They think it’s a really good sign and that you know something that we don’t know about Lucifer being renewed. Have they dropped more hints to you that you’re not allowed to talk about?

Kevin Alejandro: “All I’m going to say is that our voices are being heard and people are talking. The right people are having conversations. And if everything works out, there is a possibility that things could happen the way we want it to happen. But nothing is set in stone. And, like I said, we were all certain that we would come back for season four and the rug got pulled out from under us. I stay in shape and I’m trying to keep a positive outlook. Seeing the way executives are responding to the way people are loving and missing our show brings hope, and I think we should all be hopeful.”

How does that affect you when you’re offered different projects but there’s a possibility of a Lucifer season four? How do you respond to the potential conflict?

Kevin Alejandro: “Well, the first thing I do is I make sure everyone knows that Lucifer’s my priority. So, the first that happens is, ‘If I’m interested in this project, will you be willing to work around whatever Lucifer says or needs of me because that’s my priority?’ Everything is planned around what Lucifer may or may not say.

I don’t have a ‘No.’ In my head I’m still Dan Espinoza and right now I’m just on hiatus. So if it fits right now and it goes on, ‘Just be prepared that if I go into season four that we need to be done by then or you’ll have to have conversations with our producers and showrunners as to how we can make both things work because I’m going back to Lucifer.’

That’s how that works because in my head we’re just on hiatus. No one has given me a definite no yet.”

More on Lucifer Season 3:

Lucifer Season 3 Episode 1 “They’re Back, Aren’t They” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 2 “The One with the Baby Carrot” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 3 “Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 4 “What Would Lucifer Do?” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 5 “Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 6 “Vegas With Some Radish” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 7 “Off the Record” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 8 “Chloe Does Lucifer” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 9 “The Sinnerman” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 10 “The Sin Bin” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 11 “City of Angels?” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 12 “All About Her” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 13 “Til Death Do Us Part” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 14 “My Brother’s Keeper” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 15 “High School Poppycock” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 16 “Infernal Guinea Pig” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 17 “Let Pinhead Sing!” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 18 “The Last Heartbreak” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 19 “Orange is the New Maze” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 20 “Angel of San Bernardino” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 21 “Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Episode 23 “Quintessential Deckerstar” Recap
Lucifer Season 3 Finale “A Devil of My Word” Recap