Los Angeles is a city that attracts all sorts… dreamers, wanderers, the devil. Though you can probably find someone dressed like the devil on the tourist-laden corner of Hollywood and Highland, that’s not who I’m talking about. I’m talking about Lucifer. The Lord of Hell has grown bored with his job and retired to L.A. in Fox’s Lucifer. He runs a piano bar and indulges in the finer things–his definition of “finer things” is broad. Lucifer has been enjoying his glitzy L.A. lifestyle, but when a pop star is murdered outside his club Lux, something changes. He finds himself interested in the world in a way he hasn’t been for a long time–10 billion years, to be precise.
The show is loosely inspired by characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint. Keep the emphasis on the word loosely. Threads and connections are there, but don’t go in expecting Lucifer to be a straightforward adaptation of the stories from the comic books. You’ll meet familiar faces like the demon Mazikeen/Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), the angel Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), and Lucifer (Tom Ellis), obviously. An LAPD homicide detective named Chloe, who becomes fascinated by Lucifer, and a therapist named Linda (Rachael Harris), who helps the devil work through his problems, round out the cast.
Nerdist joined a small group of journalists on a visit to the Lucifer set in the fall and talked with the cast about character dynamics, Lucifer’s identity crisis, and what to expect in season one.
Lucifer handles his crisis in a very human way by going to see a therapist. Tom Ellis said, “He’s genuinely perplexed about life and about the things that I think have, by osmosis, crept into him without him realizing and certainly the presence of Chloe, Detective Decker, really throws him because it is the first time he has met a woman who doesn’t respond in the way that they are meant to. He believes all women have this feral response to him, and he has every right to think that because that is what has always happened. But all of a sudden he is encountered by this person who completely perplexes him. The disarming of Lucifer in that situation means he’s now open to feeling things he has never felt before and that is his existential crisis because it was very simple for him before that.”
Rachael Harris echoed Ellis’ comments. She said Lucifer is struggling with his identity and genuinely wants help. Harris said, “It’s one of the few times you ever see Lucifer in the show where he’s completely honest. I think what’s great, and we always say this, is you really don’t go to therapy until you’re willing to go, until you want the help. It’s like you can only do that if you really want it. I think that’s what makes his character interesting.”
Lucifer and Dr. Martin develop a relationship that goes beyond professional boundaries in the pilot, but Dr. Martin continues to treat Lucifer. Harris said Linda is puzzled by him, “For me, it’s an intriguing case where Linda believes he’s delusional. He says he’s the devil. He’s completely honest with her, but again, she’s like, ‘Wow, he’s really speaking in archetypes.’ Linda thinks he has serious father-son issues, and when in fact, he does. It’s like the epitome of father-son issues. It’s really great to see this person, or this character or archetype, that we always feel like nobody can relate to, and I think it’s really relatable.”
Lucifer’s friend Maze is by his side while he’s figuring things out. She’s a demon and works at Lux, and though they’ve been friends for a long time, she’s starting to grow impatient. Ellis said, “I think as far as Maze is concerned this was a vacation that has probably grown into a sabbatical that is continually deferred by Lucifer because he is more and more intrigued by this thing, and you find out more and more [that he’s] resentful about the role he was given in life. That, as you can imagine, causes some stress points between them, and she is caught a dilemma of having to serve her master who she loves and wondering what is best for him.”
Brandt said Maze accompanied Lucifer to L.A. because of loyalty. “She loves Lucifer, and she has made a vow, and she is committed to him through thick and thin. If it means being in hell for her, which is not the hell she wants to be in, then she’ll be here and she’ll stick by him, and that’s a bond that I’m really happy the writers have really honored with these two. Even though, like with relationships, they clash, they come together,” she said.
Ultimately, Maze wants Lucifer back in Hell. That desire may align her with unusual forces over the season. D.B. Woodside said Maze and Amenadiel have a similar goal: “There’s a whole–there’s a very interesting subplot that Amenadiel and Maze have throughout this season. It’s a lot of fun. I can’t talk a lot about it, but what I will say is they both want the same thing for different reasons. Amenadiel wants Lucifer to go back to hell, Maze wants Lucifer to go back to hell. So , there might be this unlikely alliance between the two of them even though they don’t particularly like each other at all, you know? But they want the same thing.”
Lucifer will premiere on January 25 at 9p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
The trip to the Lucifer set was provided by Warner Bros.