WARNING: Shadowhunters spoilers
There’s not a lot of information out there about tonight’s episode of Freeform’s Shadowhunters, which probably means it’s going to be epic. But what we can tell you is that a much-loved character from The Mortal Instruments series of books is finally introduced into the action: Aline Penhallow.
â€” Shadowhunters (@ShadowhuntersTV) July 10, 2017
Toronto actress Eileen Li is the actress tapped to play Aline. Li hasn’t even aired yet but she’s already appreciative of the opportunity to join the ShadowhuntersÂ universe. “Everyone has been super lovely and welcoming and I’m really by touched by it,” she tells TV Goodness. “They’ve got a great fan base so it’s great to be part of it.”
In college, acting eventually won out over her more practical pursuits. Li originally studied kinesiology, a move that could have led to med school. “I had those kind of parental pressures of pursuing an academic road and I enjoyed sports so it kind of led that way,” she says.
A massage therapist at her internship helped her see the light in regards to her future. “She told me her friend had a similar experience in law school and then he went the law route and just kind of feels stuck now as a lawyer.”
“I had a bit of a wake-up call and I called the registrar’s office that day actually and I was like I think I’m gonna switch programs. I’ll finish this internship and then next term I’ll be in the whatever theater program you have and that’s kind of where it started out.”
Her early TV appearances include guest star spots on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Alphas and Orphan Black. In fact, she was in the pilot for the BBC America series. It’s where she says she developed an admiration for Tatiana Maslany’s level of commitment to her character.
“I had a scene with her and she never broke her accent the entire time to the point where she introduced herself like she was talking like her character, Sarah,” she explains. “That accent? I was thinking, has she lived in London for a while? Like I’m pretty sure she’s Canadian. Realizing she had that level of commitment the whole time was pretty great an experience looking back at it. She was in it a hundred percent all the time.”
And now Li brings everything she’s learned to her Shadowhunters role. She can’t say much about what her character is up to in “A Problem of Memory” because everything regarding Aline has been pretty secretive from the very beginning.
“When I auditioned they were using code names,” reflects Li. “It wasn’t until it was confirmed maybe like two days or three days before I actually shot, that the producers called me and said, ‘Hey this is an actual role from the book that people really love and are waiting for.’ My agent was like, ‘didn’t you audition for this Amy character?’ Yeah. ‘Why are we getting a contract for Aline Penhallow?’ (laughs) I don’t know what that means. So no, I had no idea.”
Li was able to drop a little knowledge about her character, however. “She’s, I feel a little older than in The Mortal Instruments series,” she teases. “She’s kind of there looking for her cousin Sebastian and you see a bit of her backstory. Part of it is similar to who she is in the books so yeah, she’s [a] frickin’ fierce gay woman of color in a series that a lot of people I think are really excited to see. It’s really great to see that kind of desire for that kind of representation.”
According to Li, Aline’s wardrobe was essential into helping her get into character. “They made her so badass with the clothing and everything so it was a fun time for sure,” she says. “The wardrobe, everything, makeup and hair. I’m not a dark makeup kind of girl, but it completely worked with everything….long trench coat and, yeah, it definitely helps. The wardrobe team and the hair and makeup team is top notch. Amazing.”
She’s already getting used to connecting and interacting with the Shadowhunters fans via social media. “I still have to keep quiet right now but it’s very sweet. The fans are lovely. Someone drew Aline and drew abs. I was like, oh my gosh, they drew me with abs. I was so touched. They thought I had abs! That’s so great. You guys are lovely.”
Shadowhunters isn’t the only project keeping Li busy. She also stars alongside John Krasinski in the upcoming Amazon thriller, Jack Ryan. “The series follows Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan from his beginnings as a CIA analyst to his eventual becoming of a field operator. So you see Jack as a really smart analyst for the CIA and he works with a group of other analysts. I’m one of the members of that team. So I’m kind of there helping him with his home base stuff while he’s off in Morocco and Paris.”
At the end of this month, she’s in a Canadian series called 21 Thunder. “The show is about a under-21 league soccer academy in Montreal, Canada. It focuses on star players of the team, the coaches, the people involved with the team. So I play Lara, the medical intern for the team. She’s in Montreal doing med school at McGill University. She finds herself in a complicated situation near the beginning of the season and then falls into this underbelly world of amateur sports. She gets caught up in some shady, shady dealings.”
Before 21 Thunder hits air, you can catch Li on Shadowhunters tonight at 8/7c on Freeform.
Edited for space and content.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
George R. Olson, Tim Rozon, and Sarah Levy Talk the SurrealEstate S2 Finale
[Spoilers for the SurrealEstate Season 2 finale.] How’s everyone doing after the finale? As we close out the second season of SurrealEstate, some of our merry band of misfits are scattering to the winds–Zooey to law school, Phil to the Vatican, and Augie back to his think tank with Rochelle,…
Previewing SurrealEstate Season 2 Finale + Revisiting the Season with George R. Olson
[Warning; General spoilers ahead.] Strap in, SurrealEstate fam, because we’ve arrived at the Season 2 finale, and it’s a doozy. As we saw in the closing moments of last week’s episode, Susan is back. But because we have one more episode left, it’s not as simple as all that, as…
Tyler Hynes Talks Through His Eight-Film Hallmark Holiday Library
Things you realize when you have to re-record your shows on a new DVR – just how many Hallmark movies your people have done. Fan favorite – and one of ours – Tyler Hynes has done eight Christmas movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries since 2018. Alongside…
Spencer Creaghan Talks About Creating SurrealEstate’s Signature Sound
SurrealEstate is winding down its second season, with two episodes left, and just as in Season 1, Spencer Creaghan’s music continues to be a character unto itself. And every week, he shares tidbits with the fans via his s social media channels, something he started to help give them an…
Andrew Walker Talks Christmas Island and the Magical Hallmark Community
[Warning: Spoilers for Christmas Island.] Now that the Screen Actors Guild strike has been resolved, we’re able to resume regularly scheduled programming and interview our favorites and yours. Up first, earlier today, I spoke with Andrew Walker about Christmas Island, which premiered last weekend and encores tonight and through the…
George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
[Warning: Spoilers for the episode.] Tonight’s fun new SurrealEstate found Luke caught up in an especially bewitching woman, Kay, played by Tara Yelland, Susan trapped in her house, and Zooey learning the ropes. In the next part of my conversation with showrunner George R. Olson and producing director Danishka Esterhazy,…
Danishka Esterhazy Talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
[Warning: General spoilers for the episode]. Tonight’s new SurrealEstate, “The Butler Didn’t,” follows the team as they investigate the years-earlier mysterious death of a woman whose ghost now reenacts her hanging by dropping over the banister from the second floor to terrify anyone on the landing or at the bottom…
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk the From Season 2 finale
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.] How’s everyone doing after that finale? While we wait and wonder and hope for a third season announcement, soon, here’s what Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders had to say about their parts of the finale, and where they hope they get to go next….
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk From Season 2 + A Season Finale Preview
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] It all comes down this, #FROMily. As Sunday’s episode wraps up Season 2, we begin with the aftermath of the terrifying onset of seemingly simultaneous attacks on Julie, Marielle, and Randall, which accelerate the “We gotta get out of this place” of it all. Sara comes…
Alison Sweeney Talks About What’s Next for Hannah and Mike After Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery
[Warning: Spoilers for Carrot Cake Murder.] Everybody OK after that Hannah Swensen Mystery twist? Thankfully, our favorite crime-solving couple is still on speaking term, even if they’re on a break (hopefully not that kind of break). Most importantly, we already know this isn’t the last film in the series. No…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…