Check out our exclusive interview with ‘Lucifer’ actor Kevin Alejandro
The mind behind the beloved Lucifer character Detective Douche is Kevin Alejandro. He’s known for so much more than his notable roles as an actor in Arrow, True Blood, and more. Family-owned production company Alejandro Films has been rising in popularity with new indie releases such as Adult Night.
Find out more about Kevin Alejandro and watch our exclusive interview with the actor & director.
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Who is Kevin Alejandro?
Kevin Alejandro works alongside his wife Leslie and his sister-in-law Dani De Jesus in their production company Alejandro Films. Before his production company kicked off, Kevin was known for his work as an actor in HBO’s True Blood and most recently the hit show Lucifer. We got to see Alejandro’s directing style in action across a few episodes featured in the Netflix show.
Lucifer is reaching its conclusion and Kevin Alejandro will have to wave goodbye to the beloved Dan Espinoza (otherwise known as Detective Douche). Fans want to know, what’s next for Alejandro and co.?
Adult Night has proven to be a big success for Alejandro Films with some familiar faces taking the lead roles. The short film follows a couple as they attempt to “live colorfully.” The strength of the relationship is tested by a situation where it might be more important to get out rather than get off. Good friends and Lucifer costars Lesley-Ann Brandt & Kevin Alejandro star alongside each other in this hilarious short film.
With a great dynamic on and offscreen, watching Adult Night is a great way to avoid those lockdown blues and enjoy some comic relief. In our exclusive interview, Kevin Alejandro dives into the weird and wonderful world of indie filmmaking. Make sure you check out our interview transcript below.
You’ve stayed a consistent TV star over the years. Could you ever see yourself expanding to film, or do you prefer being a star of the small screen?
I go where the work is and where the context is. Yeah, I’ve been very fortunate to have the career that I have now, you know, and you know I’m enjoying wherever the journey takes me honestly. You know, I would love to do some films. But like I said, I absolutely love where I’m at today, you know, and so wherever the work is that’s where, and then wherever someone will trust me to actually be part of whatever projects, that’s where I will go.
Directing or acting?
Well, you know what I love every aspect of this business. The longer I’m in it, the more it puts its hooks into me. You know, and the directing and producing came from my desire to want to learn every aspect of filmmaking. You know, I started a little YouTube channel to challenge myself as a director and whether or not I could actually tell a story from a different from a different lens so to speak. But acting will always be my first true love.
And, you know, now that Lucifer is coming to an end in the next several months. My mind is is starting to shift its focus on to what my next acting move will be, you know, so that’s always first and foremost in the decisions that I make for my future. But that being said yes.
During this hiatus and during my inevitable evolution of my career, directing and producing has become a very prominent part of myself, you know, we do have Alejandro Films and we are in various stages of development first and what we believe are some great intellectual entertaining projects that not only you know challenge a conversation but it also heightens and elevates the conversation.
That’s what other films is all about with one we want to bring up issues that are in an entertaining way that that we don’t usually think about you know we want to give my Latino culture a place and a platform to tell the stories that we have and when we want to elevate the Filipino culture as well you know my business partners are Filipino.
And they’re also my family’s my wife and my sister in law. You know we just we’re just we love what we do we love this business and we want to have a presence in it for as long as they will allow us to.
What made you want to found your own production company?
That’s the main part you know, that’s the bulk of it, you know, my, my wife and my sister in law used to, she’s you know Superwoman. She was in the industry, working for a production company for years and years decided, you know I want to affect the world in a different way so she, she moved off to Hawaii and became like one of the most successful high school teachers in the history of this school.
You know, yeah and you know and then finally, the love for telling stories crept back in and she’s like I think it’s time for me to come back I think I’ll have, I have something I have an, I’ll have an influence I have someplace to speak from, you know, and so with her collaboration with along with myself, my wife that’s all the sides pointed to yes, and you know it is with everything that’s going on in our world right now. The entire changing of what 2020 is, you know, and the upcoming election and just what we’re going through is just really inspired us to really want to move forward to tell important issues.
Why do you think it’s important for people (such as yourself) to use their fame & power to help tell more diverse stories?
I think it’s relevant with any culture where you know anyone who has a platform to, to sort of pay it back, pay it forward, you know, the world is ever changing, and so the old school set of rules don’t work anymore, even though we try and try and try and try to make them work, you know.
So really it’s our responsibility is to move with the times and to let people know that they’re not alone with this evolution and that we will move with them we will move together, you know, so that’s really what’s important to us is moving forward, and you know you’re not preaching, or you know I’m not a fan of that at all but just letting people know that there are issues that there are people out there who want to tell stories. And if we’re the right fit and then let’s do it together.
What is it like working with your wife on Alejandro Film productions?
That’s the root of it all. One of the things that we realized as we get further and further into discovering each other, and how we all work together, is that, you know, from the beginning of time from the, from the moment that we leave home, our nest, our family, we, subconsciously start to create another family, and that’s with our friends and the people that we surround ourselves with.
So, that is the root of where we stem from you know so you know it’s not just our immediate family here, it’s the family that we’re creating outside. You know when we, when we want, and we want the people who get involved with us to understand that’s where we come from and that’s what’s important to us, and that when we invite you in. And when you invite us in, then there is no choice but to become family.
If you can’t deal with that then maybe we’re not the right ones for each other, you know, so it’s important for us to come from that angle because then we care right you don’t want to do anything you don’t care about. So that’s why it’s important to us and that dynamic is very relevant. With the things that we try to do together.
What was your first filmmaking experience like?
Yeah, great question. I think I loosely sort of touched on it earlier where I started to really just want to learn all the aspects of filmmaking so I did I started a little YouTube channel and I had an old camcorder that my wife got me ready for we had our baby so I could film stuff, you know, And I would shoot little short films on it.
And then, a friend of mine, my childhood best friend who moved out to California with me. Steven Moran Monroe Taylor, who’s also an actor. He had come up with a concept for a web series that inevitably Charlie Sheen ended up executive producing for us because he was on his show at the time and they really enjoyed each other’s company and Charlie had faith in the project.
So, you know, Charlie funded it, and that was he, my friend Steven Preston was like I think you, you make a director for it. And so that’s that was the first thing at that level that that I got to you know get my toes wet and that, and you know, it all goes back to family right I keep going back to family, but that’s what it was. Even that experience my first time was with my best friend, you know, and everyone that surrounded us for people that we knew and love.
So that’s, you know, you know, maybe, maybe, maybe it’s a safety net I don’t know but I don’t mind it because I only want to make pictures and make movies with people that I enjoy being around, because what we do is supposed to be extremely fun, right and so the ones who don’t make it fun. Maybe we shouldn’t be doing it.
And so that’s very good you know so it was that, that it was that little pilot that we pilot presentation that we took and shopped around inevitably. We got some interest but it wasn’t something that people were looking for at the time and you know it was a very, very specific kind of project but it was that project that I submitted to the Warner Brothers directors programme as my version of directing television.
And somebody over there saw some potential, I believe, and said, well yeah I think you can do it. So that’s what got me into the Warner Brothers directors programme, and within, within that programme I was surrounded by top level. You know like Bethany Rooney, Mary Lou.
People who ran the programme, and I’m learning from the best of the best. So it’s surrounded by other filmmakers that had already done done done things are about at a higher level. So I was very lucky and fortunate to be part of that back then, and it was that programme that actually launched my ability to direct at a higher level directing Lucifer episodes. So now I’ve directed three of those, including the season premiere of season six that I just finished last week.
What was your experience like directing on Lucifer? Is it weird to direct yourself and your co-workers?
It was, it was overwhelming, but amazing because I was with people that I trusted. It was different though because people up until that point have always only ever known me as the jokey actor, you know, on this some very low light on set, I’m cracking jokes all the time trying to pull pranks you know I’m, I’m that guy I’m a clown in the class clown basically. So to take on the hat of director, um, I had to really learn how to balance that out so that people would a take me seriously and be I can get my point across without, you know, taking my foot out my mouth kind of kind of having my foot in my mouth.
So you know it was different, but it was a very eye opening learning experience you know I had a bunch of people who had my back and that was, that was one of the first things that I learned is like okay this is these people who’ve been here since the beginning at this level, they know they know what the show is, and I just relied on when I had questions I had no hesitations to ask them, and to learn with them and they all understood that too you know and i think that first episode gave me much more confidence my second but you can think of my second episode last season.
You can really start to see me developing my own style. And even, it’s more evidence in the third one that you guys will see this. So, you know, each step began. Next, and give me more confidence to deal with that first one I was it was it was amazing and I was like a kid in the candy store but you know there were also some nerves and and unsureness.
Can you tell us what your experience was like shooting your most recent short film, Adult Night?
Yeah, that was a great experience you know that was another one of those Alejandro Films family. Family adventures. So Leslie, my wife and I, we directed it together. So when we do things together we go under, under the name loss, it handles because that’s where we are, we are there are hundreds. So, you know, and that was a really interesting experience because up until this point both of us were both directors, but up until that point, we’d always been responsible to answer to have answers to all the questions individually. So now this was an opportunity for us to do it together and start to understand what our strengths and what our weaknesses were.
And once we started to figure that out we’re like okay well that’s really not something that, that I’m particularly great at so then you won’t handle and we just did sort of fell into place like she knew what she was like what her strength was I knew what my strength was, and which was communicating with actors and, you know, and getting performance, and my wife is very visual she’s photographer by trade you know so she, she you know was good with the lighting and communicating with the DP like what the tone of the setting was and, you know, together we frame the shots together.
So we made an excellent team, But what even made it even better was the fact that I got to do with Lizzy and branch, because she and I discovered on Lucifer pretty quickly that we had some pretty good chemistry, and then we wanted to act and do things together beyond what our audiences. Notice as presently right and so this was just an opportunity was written by a close friend of mine, directed by my wife and me and produced by Leslie and as well as ourselves, and I think co star with somebody that I trust, and we did it like an old school play.
We mapped out this, the set in Lesley’s garage area, and we rehearsed it like a play over and over and over and over again so by the time we got to the space we knew exactly where we’re going, what we’re doing, you know, so it was a wonderful experience. I hope that we get the opportunity to do more.
What I love about independent filmmaking is that even with any production, but you run into issues you run into problems. Specifically with independent filmmaking those, you don’t have the budget to get yourself out of this hole sometimes, so you have to really think on your feet, and be super as creative as you can in a moment to get yourself out of any kind of situation. for example, we were, we were on the day of shooting, we realised that it was no door in this set. So we’re like okay, there’s no door, we’ll just simply buy a door, we got the wrong measurements, the door was too big.
And this is the morning that we’re setting up the door so that we can shoot we have one day in the location right. All right, oh man oh man, what do we do, like we couldn’t figure out this door, it wouldn’t go on, it’s important that these people have a door so that they’re locked into their situation that there’s no way out right. And we, we didn’t have any saws we didn’t know we didn’t have anything, but to my friends like I was like, will you take my truck, go to Home Depot, see if they’ll cut the door for us.
Okay good plan, while they go off Home Depot we shoot some other stuff. They get back, and they’re like, Home Depot won’t cut doors, it’s against their policy, but one of my friends has an English accent and was asking the guy I was like “hey you know maybe can you? Would you mind?” And he was like, “Oh shoot, I recognize that accent I like that accent, for you, I’ll do it.”
So he broke the rules for us, and they got there like minutes before we had to start shooting that that that scene, you know, but it’s independent filmmaking whereas if we had a budget like I just, you know, grab yourselves for the episode and so Bob will face, but we had to think outside the box and had to get it done. And it’s like theatre magic of theatre somehow the show goes on. And it does it, you know, so that’s what I love about independent filmmaking.
Do you think you’ll ever expand into feature film directing?
100% I’m currently looking for what that project might be for me. Yeah, I am I have a couple that I’m working on that we’re developing ourselves as Alondra films but I’m also reading scripts as well. But, you know, just to see what that next one would be.
What’s next on the docket for you?
Other than we’re looking. There’s some irons in the fire I guess is how they call it. And, you know, I’m a big . . . I think it’s probably my Latin side. My Latin superstitious side I don’t like to jinx anything or talk too much about the things that could potentially happen so but just know that we’re looking at, we’re trying to move forward.
Do you believe Detective Dan is a douche, or is he just misunderstood by everyone?
He’s 100% misunderstood. Because you can see how much love there is in the guy and how much he just once right things he just makes the wrong douchey decisions. The wrong choices, you know but I think I think he’s a little bit misunderstood.