Why Lucifer star Tom Ellis loves season 5's many Deckerstar twists
Warning: This article contains spoilers from all eight episodes of Lucifer season 5, which dropped Friday.
We're only halfway through Lucifer season 5, but it's already turned out to be a significant one for Deckerstar.
In the first eight episodes of the season, Lucifer's conniving angelic brother Michael (both played by Tom Ellis) visits Earth and drops a major bombshell on Chloe (Lauren German) after she busts him for impersonating the Devil: She's a gift from God specifically created for Lucifer. As to be expected, this sent the detective spiraling and made her reconsider her entire relationship with Lucifer, who eventually returned from Hell to handle this brother. Were her feelings for Lucifer real?
Thankfully, Amenadiel (DB Woodside) helps Chloe work through this dilemma by explaining that being a miracle has made her the only person who is immune to Lucifer's charms and thus can see him for who he really is. Not only that, but Amenadiel also shares his theory that Lucifer is vulnerable around Chloe because he subconsciously wants to be and angels self-actualize.
With all of that cleared up, Lucifer and Chloe finally spend the night together, a moment that's been a long time coming (Note: Hell didn't freeze over as Chloe predicted). But then they hit another bump in the road afterward: Chloe gained the ability to mojo Lucifer, a disconcerting development for the fallen angel since he could no longer do it to people. He eventually not only regained his mojo, but stopped being vulnerable around her, which definitely speaks to a deeper, psychological, and emotional problem at hand.
After watching the season, EW chatted with star Tom Ellis about all of these Deckerstar developments and pulling double duty as Lucifer and his American-accented twin brother Michael.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In the past, you’ve been on the fence about Lucifer and Chloe getting together because you liked their “will-they won’t-they” dynamic. How did you feel about them actually hooking up this season?
TOM ELLIS: Obviously when we were shooting season 5, for 95 percent of the time, we believed that was gonna be the final season. So, I think it was inevitable that we were going to get to that moment. I guess I was quite surprised it [happened] in this half of the season, but then I obviously now know why we did that and [that] it gives us somewhere to go afterward. But you know what? If we got Chloe and Lucifer together in the first season of the show, then we wouldn’t have had six seasons. Unfortunately for our fans, you can’t have your cake and then eat it. You want these people to be together, but we need that tension in our show to make it work and it has done up to this point. And I do believe it does when we got there as well, but we’ve sort of earned that moment now.
Having played this character for so long, what was the experience of actually shooting the moment where they take this big step?
Lauren and I are really great mates and we’ve spent five years on set laughing together, and doing those scenes was no different. You’ve got to have a sense of humor when you’re doing that, especially with someone who is such a great friend. But you know what? The other thing was we were really committed to it because we’ve lived with these characters for five years and we’ve been part of this journey as well. We felt this was an earned moment in the show and probably was going to be an iconic moment in the show. So we felt we had to do it justice, as well. But, we did a lot of giggling.
You mentioned how the show needs that tension, and I feel like the mojo-swap definitely helps maintain that.
[Usually,] Lucifer feels like, “Oh, this is how I solve everything,” and then once he has solved everything, he realizes there’s something else. His life, it’s a whack-a-mole of new issues and problems. Basically, I loved the fact that after he and Chloe go there that he is racked by the same doubts that most people are in real life: Am I worthy of this person? Ultimately, it comes back to self-reflection and how does he feel about himself. Of course with being an angel and the fact he can self-realize, it doesn’t really help that situation. So things like mojo-swapping and sort of stuff is out of his control. I really love it because Chloe and Lucifer are their most vulnerable when they’re with each other, and I think this season we see them at their most vulnerable and it’s great.
The season finally revealed why Chloe makes Lucifer vulnerable: It’s because he subconsciously wants to be when he’s around her. At what point did you find out that was the answer?
I’ve been quite involved with the writers during the writing stages before the scripts have been delivered to the actors, so I’ve sort of been aware of these notions as they’ve come up. But I really love that. I really love this self-actualization storyline we’ve gone down, because it mines into stuff that is actually very human. I think that’s where our show really works — when people can identify something human about Lucifer. He doesn’t realize it’s a human trait when he’s going through it but it is. He’s experiencing humanity first-hand, and that’s his hardest thing to understand.
So it sounds like you had a sense of this for a while?
Yeah, absolutely. It wasn’t like some magical [revelation]. Obviously, we knew this story about Chloe being put on Earth for Lucifer’s purpose and Lucifer’s journey, but even that in itself doesn’t tell the whole story. Every conceit on our show about the Devil comes back to self-reflecting oneself.
After playing Lucifer for five seasons, how did you figure out Michael and get to the point where you were fully invested in both of their perspectives?
It was really weird at first. Obviously, I’ve spent five years working with these people and turning up and doing Lucifer on a daily basis. That’s sort of a comfortable skin for me to slip into now. But to come up and play a completely new character was really sort of testing for my own confidence. Every actor racked with doubt, no matter what they’ll tell you, about what they’re doing. Because I was doing this whole new character in front of people I knew, there was a part of me that was like, “Oh my god, you’re such a fraud.”
But I got over that pretty quickly because we work pretty quickly as well, so I had to get over that. In the end, I really enjoyed that. It was just crazy the days we had to do Lucifer and Michael in the same scene. Like I said, we don’t have a lot of time on the show to shoot, so I was like doing costume changes on the side of the stage and then running back on, and changing my hair really quickly and having to sort of get back into that headspace. It was a challenge, but I had a real laugh doing it, especially when there were stunt doubles and acting doubles onset. It was like six of me at one point.
When we spoke on set in December, you mentioned how Michael’s terrible fashion sense helped you get into character. Was there anything you did to get into Michael when you were jumping back and forth?
I guess I need a trigger when I need to jump into a character. My trigger for Michael was probably his physicality and the way that he walked, because he’s so different to Lucifer. Just to walk around like that for a bit and then start talking in his voice. I would try to keep in the Michael voice whilst I was doing it because it’s easier. It was freaking the crew out a lot. It was really fun because I know the crew really well and a lot of them would come up to me after a scene and go, [slips into an American accent] “You know, Tom, I really don’t like Michael.” I’m like, “Great, job done! Brilliant!”
Yes, Rachael Harris was telling me how much she hated Michael when I was on set.
Well, Rachael dislikes Michael because it’s Tom Ellis talking in an American accent. Whenever I talk in an American accent, she absolutely hates it [laughs]. She’s like, [in an American accent] “That’s so wrong. Stop doing it, please.”
The first eight episodes of Lucifer season 5 are available on Netflix now.