'Shadowhunters' star Matthew Daddario's evolution into 'Malec', being a vocal LGBTQ supporter, and his other secret talents
It takes a special kind of talent to win an award for a show even after its cancellation, and Matthew Daddario is packed with several different kinds of those talents.
To a lot of people Matthew Daddario might be the younger brother of one of the sexiest women on the planet, but to fans of the 'Shadow' world, he is the sexiest man on the planet. And that's saying something because these fans of the Freeform fantasy show, 'Shadowunters' have a wide range of ridiculously hot men to pick a favorite from. Yet somehow, with his infectious smile and piercing hazel eyes, there's just something magical about the way Daddario plays the role of the demon-slaying Alec Lightwood to perfection.
Bonus perks? When not making his fans swoon over him as the ever so iconic Alec, Daddario - a seemingly ardent animal lover - adores documenting nature, wildlife and his gorgeous girlfriend of five years, Esther Kim, on his social media. Packed with talents, it's quite easy to mistake that this 31-year-old could be a professional photographer. But that's not the only thing he is a pro at!
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To say that Daddario grew up with an impressive pedigree would be an understatement. Born and raised in New York City, the middle child of a lawyer, and a prosecutor and former head of NYPD Counterterrorism, Daddario hails from a family of several other dignified personalities. But while most of them went on to do remarkable work in the field of politics, Daddario - much like his elder sister Alexandria - went on to find his calling in the entertainment industry.
In the year 2010, his big debut happened as Aaron in the romantic drama film 'Breathe In', which was soon followed a supporting role in the Vince Vaughn-led comedy film 'Delivery Man'. Fast forward to 2014 and his fans - pretty much already obsessed by the young newcomer - saw him in the role of Danny Ladouceur, in the sports drama film 'When the Game Stands Tall'. The film, paying a tribute to football coach Bob Ladouceur and the De La Salle Spartans, offered Daddario the chance to act alongside some pretty big names in the industry, such as the likes of Laura Dern, Alexander Ludwig, and Jim Caviezel.
But all the big news arrives in the following year, as Daddario co-starred as Gabriel in the teen comedy-drama 'Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List' - something that only strengthened his credibility as a teen drama actor. But soon it was also announced that he would play the role of Alec on 'Shadowhunters' - which is based on The Mortal Instruments series of young adult novels by Cassandra Clare. Thus soared Daddario's popularity, as he embraced the role of one of the pivotal LGBTQ characters on the show and pretty much played it to perfection right from the start. In 2016, he also went on to star in Eli Roth's horror film 'Cabin Fever' but somehow Alec's fame clung on to him far more significantly and for good reason too.
You see, one of the best things about Daddario - something that really sat well with fans of 'Shadowhunters' - was his passionate take on the idea of LGBTQ representation in the industry. He was just an in-theory face for the community; he went on to discuss the issues faced by them and his own well-reasoned opinions on playing a member of the community on screen garnered him all the admiration and support on the planet.
Speaking about the colossal amounts of love and encouragement he has received from fans worldwide, Daddario has shared how overwhelmingly positive the privilege of playing Alec and starring opposite Harry Shum Jr. Magnus Bane on the show has been. "As long as we're making some impact on improving the lives of young people, we're going to continue to do our best effort and work as best as we can to present this in an honest and fair way," Daddario told TV Line about the ever so gushed over Magnus/Alec aka Malec storyline.
Addressing a more real-world perspective of the LGBTQ community and the issue of acceptance most of them are fronted with, he also added: "I think that we've hit some really good moments this past season and this season especially. I think [Episode 3] really showed this as well, that there can be a reality in all this fantasy that can really show people, especially young people, that their families will accept them. Obviously, in the show, it's a warlock and a shadowhunter, but their families will accept them no matter what."
And it is with such a bright and inspiring storyline that the plot of Malec became a worldwide phenomenon over the last three years that 'Shadowhunters' has run, and along with the stories they told, Daddario's fame accelerated too. And by the looks of it, he doesn't let himself forget the ample role that his fans have had to play in establishing his prominence, even for a spare second.
"When I see that (fans' support) online and I see that in person, it's really touching. It makes me feel like I'm doing something very worthwhile. Something good. Something more than just TV and more than just a show, more than just entertainment," Daddario says. "It's been wonderful meeting people and getting letters from people all over the world. I mean, that's been actually the most meaningful part of this job the past few years, just seeing that... without a doubt."
And as fans of Shadowhunters will have you believe, watching him evolve - both as Alec, and as an actor with expertise - has been the most meaningful part of their journey too. Which showed especially in this year's People's Choice Awards, where - despite after getting canceled after three strong seasons - 'Shadowhunters' ended up winning four prominent awards in rather strong categories! And watching was our very own Daddario with that twinkle in his captivating eyes, a smile too charming to ignore, and a burning passion for giving his fans the best they deserve.