Shadow and Bone Stars Give the Scoop on the Second

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Shadow and Bone’s second season is fast approaching on Netflix.

The show’s stars from all parts of the Grishaverse sat down with us and gave us the scoop on the new season!

The cast got separated into three different groups, and the first group featured three of the newest cast members: Lewis Tan, Anna Leong Brophy & Patrick Gibson.

Mal and Alina on the Ship - Shadow and Bone

The three play Tolya Yul-Bataar, Tamar Kir-Bataar, and Nikolai Lantsov, respectively. The three actors gave us the lowdown on their characters throughout the second season!

These interviews have been edited for clarity.

Tolya Yul-Bataar - Shadow and Bone

TV Fanatic: For all three, but mainly Anna and Lewis: How do you think your [characters’] relationship with Alina aligned with the book/each other being Shu like she is?

Anna: I think we have an immediate understanding of when we meet of her predicament. She’s also someone caught between two worlds. I think that’s a theme often explored in the Grishaverse, in the Shadwo and bone world. We met her with a lot of empathy straight from the get-go, which solidified our bond with her quite quickly.

Lewis: Just exploring that feeling of being mixed race, and all of us, all three of us [Lewis Tan, Anna Leong Brophy, and Jessie Mei Lee] are mixed race, so sharing those similarities and bonds. And having faith in Tolya and Tamar: they’re very strong in their faith, beliefs, and loyalty, and we trust her.

I think that’s a beautiful thing, and I think it’s one of their biggest strengths.

Patrick: I think for me, Alina and Nikolai see eye to eye in their vision of a united Ravka. I think they connect on that nuclear level in wanting the good to prevail and eliminate evil.

Tamar Kir-Bataar - Shadow and Bone

TV Fanatic: Did you feel any pressure coming into a show in a second season with already established characters who meet your characters in the middle of their journeys?

Patrick: The pressure never ends! But everyone was so welcoming. It felt like we’d all known each other already.

Anna: Erik and the showrunner were like: this is a family. You’re coming into a family and being accepted. It felt very open and not, “okay, we’ve got our thing.”

Lewis: Yeah! There’s also the confidence you have in seeing the first season, knowing its good quality, and knowing that the people you’re working with are talented, and you hope and pray they’re nice to be around. We’re very fortunate with this cast.

Patrick Gibson as Nikolai - Shadow and Bone

TV Fanatic also got to sit down with members of the cast that make up the Six of Crows’ storyline.

The Six of Crows duology follows the Shadow and Bone books chronologically, but the Netflix series has seamlessly incorporated their story into Alina’s.

TV Fanatic: How involved would you say you are personally with the writers and the Author Leigh Bardugo herself in developing your characters and honing in on the unique eccentricities?

Danielle Galligan (Nina): What I will say for Leigh and Erik, and all the showrunners, is they have time and time again made themselves very available to us and very open, so they were all getting emails from me.

I can’t speak for everything, but [I was] asking questions; I even gave them a fill-in-the-blank thing like “Nina’s ark was about x.”

Danielle Galligan as Nina - Shadow and Bone

I think it’s important to sing from the same sheet when making your choices in the heat of the moment, and they’ve always been so good. You always get such details.

You get emails about their backstories, where the choices come from, and everything. They’re helpful and supportive of us and always available for offers and ideas. It does feel that you’re being guided safely, and they’re open for collaboration.

Jack Wolfe (Wylan): I had a kind moment with one of the producers who asked me what I would have liked to have seen on screen when I was a young queer kid in fantasy.

In terms of the Wesper [Jasper and Wylan] things like holding hands and walking together, they asked: what would that have meant to you? Or would that have meant more if it was less? OR more? In hindsight, that was a wild amount of things they wanted to hear; it was touching.

Wyland and Jesper - Shadow and Bone

Finally, TV Fanatic got to sit down with our favorite Sun Summoner, the Darkling, and the newest series regular: Jessie Mei Li (Alina), Ben Barnes (Kirigan), and Daisy Head (Genya).

TV Fanatic: How did you work with Leigh and the showrunners to continue your character’s relation to how they are in the books while making them their own thing that expands on the book’s characteristics?

Ben Barnes: Mine was very straightforward. In the book, he’s very representative, especially in the second book, of something demonic and haunting. The fact that he was going to be made mortal and humanized, but also the toxic quality and abusiveness got highlighted in the show, which I thought was interesting.

With Leigh, I had this list of about ten lines he said in the book, which I found more poetic and iconic lines that I had highlighted when I read them that I just wanted to sandwich into the scenes somewhere. So I was going through a little checklist.

General Kirigan Season 2 - Shadow and Bone

Daisy Head: I think it was the dialogue between us regarding how our characters relate to each other and strengthening how we relate to one another in the subtext between the lines on the screen.

That was hugely important and impactful for portraying my character [Genya] against both of you.

Jessie Mei Li: I think Alina’s character is quite different on the screen vs. the books. So much of that comes from our writers, and so much of my work is already done for me! She’s different from the books.

She’s trying to find the truth of the scene and why she’s doing these things and saying these things. And there she was on the page, and I got to play with it.

Alina with Magic - Shadow and Bone

Are you excited for the new season, Grishaverse Fanatics?

What are you most looking forward to seeing in Shadow and Bone season 2? Are you as excited as the cast of the show?

Let us know in the comments below! The second season of Shadow and Bone premieres on March 16, 2023.

Michael Stack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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