LUCIFER: Tom Ellis Teases Lucifer’s “Daddy Issues” and His Vacation From Hell


The star of LUCIFER is, of course, the devil himself. Put all of those ideas of an ugly and twisted-looking demon out of your mind — in this show the devil is handsome, witty, accented and slightly petulant. After taking a sabbatical from running Hell, he’s bought a club and a swanky penthouse in Los Angeles and is enjoying interacting with humans directly.

But when a young woman that he helped turn into a star gets murdered outside of his club, Lucifer teams up with an unwilling detective — Chloe Decker — to help solve the woman’s murder. And then he realizes that he too enjoys playing detective.

During a visit to the LUCIFER set in Vancouver, the dashing Tom Ellis spoke to journalists about Lucifer’s daddy issues, his reluctance to return to Hell and how the devil interacts with humanity.

Lucifer’s Reasons for Therapy. After meeting with a therapist in an attempt to solve the case, Lucifer decides to keep returning to Dr. Linda for some psychological help. What’s driving the devil to seek therapy? A lot of things. “He’s genuinely perplexed about life and about the things that I think have — sort of 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 sort of disarming of Lucifer in that situation means he’s now open to the feeling things he has never felt before and that is his existential crisis because it was very simple for him before that.” Rachael Harris (Dr. Linda) also said that “he’s having an existential crisis, essentially. He’s wondering, ‘Here I am, I’ve been given this job. I didn’t really choose this job. Am I that person, and if I am, how did that come to be and do I believe it?’ 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 Maze. While Maze is clearly loyal to Lucifer and has been for a very long time, there’s a bit of tension between these two. “At the heart of their story is the fact that, 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 [new life] and you find out [he’s] more and more resentful about the role he was given in life. And so 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.” In other words, Lucifer’s continued insistence that he’s not ready to return to the fire and brimstone of Hell is clearly worrisome and annoying for Maze.

Lucifer and Amenadiel. Right in the pilot we see the angel Amenadiel visit Lucifer and tell him he needs to return to Hell. “It’s one of our sort of big, serialized elements to the show, the relationship between Lucifer and Amenadiel and Amenadiel’s mission to get Lucifer back to Hell. One of the reasons being he has to run it himself at the moment, which is a job that he loathes. We allude to the fact that the heavenly order is all out of sync because I’ve decided to play the ultimate selfish card.”

Daddy Issues. When asked if Lucifer’s fall wasn’t actually his choice, Ellis hinted that “I think the safest way to answer this question is to say Lucifer has daddy issues.” It’s also clear that being forced to take the job of ruling Hell and the fact that the angels are trying to push him back into the role is a big part of his character.

Related: The cast introduces the demons/angels and the human characters

What Are Lucifer’s Powers? Obviously immortality is his biggest “power”. Ellis also explained that “he has this ability to direct people’s desires [and to get them to reveal hidden truths] and that’s about as far as it goes. He’s obviously much stronger than the average man, but he doesn’t really use that to his advantage much. He’s having more fun finding out what it’s like to be human, and not live with all that.” Of course, he’s very perplexed by the fact that his “mojo” doesn’t seem to work on Chloe.

Lucifer and the Humans in His Life. Lucifer is happy to have a romp with Dr. Linda, but it’s Chloe that fascinates him the most, particularly since she doesn’t respond to his powers. And what’s his reaction to Dan (Chloe’s estranged husband who is also a cop)? “I think Lucifer just doesn’t get Dan at all. He refers to him as ‘Detective Douche,’ and he kind of looks down his nose at him and thinks he’s a lesser being. But when he realizes that there’s a connection between Dan and Chloe that he doesn’t understand, it makes him feel something that he doesn’t understand. And the childish antics of him sort of dealing with that increase.”

Lucifer’s Sexuality. While it’s clear that Lucifer has an ability to attract women, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s pin-straight. As Ellis explained it, “one of the things that I talked about with the writers is that I loved the idea of this being a timeless guy. He has been around and been through all these civilizations and witnessed them all and there was something that resonated about the Greek and the Roman civilization and about how their attitude toward sex and revelry that was something that he really loved.” Lauren German also hinted that in an upcoming episode we’ll see Lucifer have “a sexy threesome with a guy and a girl.”

Not Into Hiding. While Lucifer is often dubbed the Prince of Lies, he’s anything but a liar in this show. In fact, he’s completely upfront with telling people he’s immortal and is the devil himself. “He doesn’t hide it, he’s an open book. What I love about him is like he is he doesn’t shy away from telling people he’s the Devil. It’s that people don’t believe him; they think he’s mental. But, you know, the one thing about Lucifer is that he doesn’t lie. He doesn’t tell lies, he tells it how it is.” He also has “a real appreciation of talent and music”.

Doesn’t Like Kids. Lucifer may like a lot of things about “being human”, but the one thing he doesn’t like is children. Which is interesting, because Chloe’s daughter seems to take an instant liking to him. “He hates children. Uh, hates a very strong word, but he just despises them. He can’t get his head around these things because [of their] purity, I think that’s what it is. You know, they’re innocent and that’s something that he doesn’t respond to, because he’s only used to responding to the lack of innocence in people.”

A Redemption Story. While it’s clear that LUCIFER is only following the comic books to a degree, it’s also kind of disregarding the Bible itself. Is that a fine line to walk? “There’s a bigger story at play in the whole series, which is this is a redemption story for the most irredeemable character that you know from the literary world or [that] the [religious] world knows. It is a fine line, but we’re not pretending that we are coming at it from any angle other than the fact that holding a mirror up to the world might be the best way of doing it.”

Don’t miss the series premiere of LUCIFER on Monday, January 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. You can watch clips from the pilot here.

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