Matthew Daddario Gives RAW Interview, Talks Sister Alexandra & Shadowhunters


RAW: What was it like growing up in New York's Upper East Side?
MATTHEW: I loved it but I did miss out on a bunch of stuff to be honest. You don’t get the full experience. I didn’t know cheerleaders were real, you know what I mean? In movies, there’s these cheerleaders. There’s a whole bunch of them doing all their cheerleading stuff. I didn’t know that actually existed, I thought that it was just movies.

RAW: How did New York City shape you as a person?
MATTHEW: A sense of autonomy at a young age, which sort of I’ve never wanted to have taken away from me. Does that make sense?

RAW: Your parents were lawyers and you studied business. Then you and your sister Alex got into the arts. Were your parents apprehensive about this?
MATTHEW: No, Alex got into acting at a young age-- she’s always wanted to do it. She's been good at a young age, so she got in. Our parents just told us, “Don’t be lawyers,” so I did something that I was supposed to enjoy…

RAW: Was there a first movie or TV show that made you think, “Oh, I want to be an actor,”?
MATTHEW: Yeah there is. I don’t want to say what it is because I don’t want to give him a big head. (laughs)

RAW: How proud are you of your sister Alex and her success?
MATTHEW: Incredibly. She succeeded in a business that’s more prone of failure than any other we can really think of. She’s done a tremendous job. It’s been a constant upward trend for her and it’s just incredible.

RAW: How do you define success?
MATTHEW: (laughs) Success is… you could look at it in a variety of ways. Some people look at it as how much praise they’re gonna get from an outside source or maybe if they achieve a certain goal. That’s nice if you can get that sense of success from that goal and then just set yourself a new one. It’s whatever keeps you happiest the longest because the end goal should always be happiness. So if success leads to happiness, then you’re successful. And if your success doesn’t make you happy then you’re not really succeeding.

Cover: Zara jacket
Alternative Apparel t-shirt
H&M jacket
RAW: Your character Alec struggles a lot with his sexuality. What advice would you give for someone on their journey to discovering who they are as a person?
MATTHEW: Honestly, I can’t give specific advice except that, maybe, in your scenario, you’re not comfortable, maybe you feel like there’s some outside threat, but actually who you are is acceptable. As long as you’re not harming other people directly. And not the perception of harm. Not the “Oh you’ve harmed me by who you are.” No. As long as you’re not actively harming other people, who you are is who you should be. So have no shame in that.

RAW: Malec has just been the relationship that fans have been rooting for since the beginning. Why do you think it resonates with them so much?
MATTHEW: I honestly think there’s a lot of parts to it, but the wide appeal of it is not just that they're a couple that they’re relating to because they’re not seeing that kind of couple anywhere else. There’s a lot of elements of it that are interesting from populations of people that are kind of more a minority type of relationship.This also seems to appeal wider because people see themselves in the characters. They see themselves in this young man who is struggling with who he is and has also put up walls to prevent people from coming in. He’s reserved. He hides from himself as well as he hides who he is from others. And then this other young man who has experienced a number of things that have really broken him and he puts up walls, he hides so that he doesn’t have to discuss those things. And I think that we see parts of ourselves in this. Now, this can be me just pontificating this like a complete asshole, but that’s what I think is driving this, and I think that we’re trying to do as much as possible to work out those negative qualities that many of us share and show that through this affection and love through this conversation, the dialogue there is a happiness and there is a light, and that is a wonderful thing.

RAW: Can we expect Malec’s relationship to become stronger in future episodes? What are you hoping for Malec in the future?
MATTHEW: Malec’s trajectory is always upward. The growth and relationship that we’re going to see is progress always for the positive. If there’s conflict going away that’s good because it’s going to grow their relationship further and make it deeper and stronger. I hope to see more of that in the future, more little conflicts with more discussion. More honesty. More reality to it. But you’re not going to see them break up. There’s no way. I’d like to see them working together as a kind of relationship that we root for like the two of them operating together. Not just the drama of it, like instead the sweetness of it. Outside the home, maybe in the workplace. That'd be cool to see.  

RAW: What’s one power from the show that you have that you wish you could bring to your everyday life?
MATTHEW: Oh! They don’t eat. So like that- no no no I like eating. What am I talking about!? They look good all the time. They don’t seem to work out. (pauses) Ehhh, they look good all the time, I don’t really want something like that… I don’t know what power I want that they have. I’m a content human being! I don’t think I’d be ready to be a shadowhunter. I like my mortality and all the broken parts. It’s good. Maybe if I could heal all the time. That would be nice.

RAW: You’ve written a bunch of scripts so far. Which one is your favorite?
MATTHEW: (laughs) There’s one about a guy from L.A. who’s a little lost in his purpose and he gets caught up in a little bit of a crime drama. Funny. Amusing. A little bit unusual… I don’t like to talk about my scripts.

RAW: You’ve been in the industry for roughly five years now. What are some important lessons that you didn’t know when you first started out?
MATTHEW: Six years! For all I know now that I didn’t know when I started. It’s a business, but also you’re rewarded for hard work just as in every other business.

RAW: You and your girlfriend Esther have been together for years now. How did you guys first meet?
MATTHEW: (laughs) Good f--king luck. I’ll tell you guys after. (laughs)

RAW: Where’d you go on your first date?
MATTHEW: (laughs) There was a nice tequila place. 

RAW: Has the topic of marriage ever come up?
MATTHEW: Next question.

RAW: Does having children ever cross your mind?
MATTHEW: Yeah, of course. I want to have kids. You crazy? I want three.

RAW: Boys? girls?
MATTHEW: Boys and girls.

Rustic Dime jacket
TopMan jeans
RAW: Let’s get RAW here. Was there ever a time where you were in a dark place in your own life? A time where the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t so bright?
MATTHEW: Of course. Everybody does, except for a few people who don’t quite get it, but I don’t really have an answer for you. I think you just keep going on, and you’re always told things at the time which is the funniest thing. Like, “Oh yeah, go work out more. Go do this.” That’s not really what it is. You’ve got to find out the source of the problem and work from there.

RAW: If you’re going to be remembered for one thing in this life what would you want that one thing to be?
MATTHEW: You know you always see that quote? Like a man dies twice. Once when he dies and then again when someone says his name for the last time. When I was younger, I’m young so I don’t really know. And again, everything I say is (clicks tongue) who cares. But you always want to be remembered. And so that’s a very important thing because you read about the people that you’ve seen in the past. They’ve done these wonderful things, but really, they were just people and we don’t see all the parts of them that are awful or all the parts of them that are weird or different. And really, there is no perfect person.

I’d like to be remembered as being good. And not harming people. At the same time I want to be remembered for doing something important that affected people for positive change. You learn about Neil Armstrong, coolest thing ever-- all of them, all the people before us in this place. But what did Neil Armstrong do? He stepped on the moon first, but he was selected. You know, I think they made it a joke. A monkey went on the moon first. You don’t talk about the monkey. (laughs)ᴿᴬᵂ