Interview: Lauren German on Lucifer, #SaveLucifer, TV network business and Oz Comic Con Melbourne

For some actors, a role comes along that becomes particularly special, and special for a number of reasons. For the last three years Lauren German has been working on Lucifer, as the lead co-star Chloe Decker. The show centres on the character of Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the devil, who decides to take a holiday from Hell to go to Los Angeles and run a nightclub. There he meets police detective Chloe Decker and soon joins forces with her to punish those committing wicked deeds. We covered an initial 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Lucifer shortly after the show began airing in 2016. The show managed to complete three excellent seasons before Fox abruptly cancelled it. Currently visiting Melbourne, Australia for the first time for Oz Comic Con, we had a chat with her about the show, it’s shock cancellation and the social media campaign to save the show.

For fans of the show (including myself) it came as an abrupt and crushing surprise for Lucifer to not be renewed for a season 4, particularly after it’s insane season 3 cliffhanger. This then of course was the starting point for the #SaveLucifer (and also #PickUpLucifer) campaign that began on social media to try and find a new home for the show. However German is also adamant to point out that it’s not a simple case of a snap cancellation. Business decisions at a studio level were clearly influential in the decision. This is something that fans (and often actors) are not privy to, and so it may have been more of a political stoush than we know.

“I was completely surprised. I think other people on the show that I have spoken with afterwards sort of thought maybe we weren’t gonna get a season 4 but as far as Tom and I were concerned, we just were kind of like “see you in 2 months”, which is what we’ve been doing since we started Lucifer. We’ll shoot for 10 months straight and then we get 2 months off so we call it our hiatus. There wasn’t a really thought on our mind. We’ve been used to Fox waiting to the last very minute to tell us about our next season so that too wasn’t a surprise. But when we heard and then were educated a bit more on the business side of things, honestly, aside from the fans and us being upset that it’s not coming in, it totally makes sense.
Because what’s going on is Warner Brothers own the show.”

“Warner Brothers puts up the money to make the show and Warner Brothers makes the money on the show. Fox just airs it and so I think what ended up going down was Fox said “Hey, we’ll like a little bit bigger piece of the pie” and I’m not saying Warner Brothers said no to that but whatever went down with the negotiation, I don’t think Fox was happy and so they just said “Hey we wanna own the shows that we air” more or less – this is what I’ve heard and so I mean, from a business standpoint, I completely understand why Lucifer was cancelled as far as Fox is concerned.”

“Now, I have heard, not to get anyone’s hopes up or anything because I’m certainly am proceeding as if I’m looking for a new job but, I’ve heard that there is a chance a streaming channel could pick us up and we will hear about it by the 16th June. So, if it happens, amazing, and if not, you know, onward. Yeah, I was completely surprised that we didn’t get a season 4. It just seemed like it was gonna happen and we’ve so much of a story left to tell and I do know that our set in L.A. have not been taken down yet so, you know, that’s a good sign.”

Now with every good show dynamic comes a good ship, and the ship that won the hearts of Lucifer fans was DeckerStar and the pairing between Lucifer and Chloe. Obviously so much of this comes down to the chemistry between the two actors, and German elaborates on how both she and her co-star Tom Ellis have a similar working style and ethic, which helped to bond the two of them in the beginning resulting in such a genuine and positive connection throughout the show’s run.

“You know, honestly, with this particular question I always want to ask the fans. I feel like they would know more because I don’t watch and I just try and do my best job on set. My guess would be maybe the chemistry that Tom and I share, we’re both sort of absolutely dedicated to the work and we both apply ourselves so much at the same time. We have a similar sense of humor and a similar take on how life should be on set. You spend more time with a crew than your own family. Tom and I work every day, all day, we are on set about 16 hours a day. When we first met and before we went to our first table-read, we sort of just got to know each other and we’re like obviously there is a hard scene or a hard day, buckle down and focus and do your thing. But, other than that a set should be fun, it should be playful, the crew is like your family and it’s very important not to take yourself too seriously.”

“So I just think when you set the tone like that on a set it becomes comfortable and the more comfortable a set is, the more open the work can be, and the more open the work can be then the scenes can just be easy.”

“Tom and I have gotten in such a rhythm that it’s such a shame that- like in New Zealand I had a bunch of people come up and say that that last episode, not the two standalones, the Season’s finale, that the chemistry with Tom and I was for them at an all-time kind of high or an all-time peak and we’ve hit the screws, Tom and I. You know, you do the work and it becomes effortless in a way? Not effortless, but it becomes easy and I think people respond to that and all I know is people seem to like he and I together.”

Chloe with Lucifer (Tom Ellis)

The show was also lauded for its diversity, both with gender and racial casting. And it was refreshing to see the show being driven by a number of strong female characters. For German getting to a portray a character who is “real” is particularly rewarding.

“Yeah, definitely, especially after meeting so many people who said just exactly what you said that they loved everybody’s strength – Maze (Lesley Ann Brandt), Dr Linda (Rachael Harris), Charlotte (Tricia Helfer), all the women on that show have been unique and strong and I know that I love playing a woman who is a single mom and it’s so common, my parents got divorced when I was young and my character Chloe got divorced from Dan. It’s nice to represent something that you might not pick for yourself but ends up happening and you do your best and you fight through it and that’s one of the things that I love about Chloe. She just tries to do the best she can and be a good mom and be a good friend and be a good detective and then you have Maze who’s physically so strong and in her own eyes fighting for what she believes. It’s great. I really love that our writer’s room kept that going and the women just kept getting more interesting and more deep.”

Chloe, Ella, Charlotte, Dr Linda, Maze

So the shock end of season 3 left us with the reveal that Chloe finally knows that Lucifer is ~the devil~ and the most obvious thing is how will she react? The cliffhanger leaves audiences pondering the possibilities so German decides to throw her two cents in as to how she’s like season 4 to play out.

“Yeah, people ask me how do you think Chloe is going to react? My gut tells me that she’s going to be at the end of the day after probably a little shock and all, absolutely accepting of Lucifer and she might be scared at first, she might be nervous but I think she would accept anything. You know, take away the devil element, I think she loves Lucifer on a level that someone loves family. And we have our family, our born family, and we have our chosen family who are the people you feel closest to in life and I feel like she loves Lucifer in that way. So it’s almost like how you would love a brother or sister, a child, it’s unconditional love. That’s my take on it. I actually haven’t discussed that with the writers and especially now that we are not going forward as of now, I haven’t spoken with them about that but I would like to see the rest of the cast members. I would like to see more into them.”

“I know that Maze always wants to go back to hell, right? And she’s the torturer of hell, like the protector of hell. Well, I would like to see an episode where she goes back. You know, what does that look like? What does it mean torturing someone in hell or revisiting hell, like saying hi to all her friends. I think that will be so cool. I would like to see more of the other characters. I wonder about that, you know, what goes on with Amenadiel, who else is Dr Linda dating, you know, Maze going back down to hell, I’d like to see more Trixie. And I think the fans would too. So I think if we were to get picked up by someone like Netflix or whoever, we could get deeper into the other characters which I think is something the fans might really respond to especially fans of the original story of the graphic novel.”

Trixie, Chloe Decker, Maze

And of course there’s that pesky hangover from season 1 that never seemed to be resolved. Chloe was invulnerable to Lucifer’s wily ability to get people to reveal their deepest desires. And there was the fact that when he was in her presence he became vulnerable and prone to bleeding from wounds. We had a brief explanation from Amenadiel that he had been involved in Chloe’s conception but then nothing more. For some of us, having one more season of the show to wrap up some of these loose threads would at least help to provide closure.

“Honestly, I think and I’m not speaking for any of our writers or our executive producers and you know, the fans can feel free to ask them but I think we were going in the direction that Chloe might not be human so you know, there’s a reason why Lucifer is vulnerable around Chloe. We don’t know that reason yet. Chloe is the only person who isn’t susceptible to his charm, his what we call mojo, where it’s like a truth serum where people don’t have a chance. So I think I am most likely from another world I don’t know what to call it cos I don’t really have the terminology but I know that Chloe most likely is not human so I mean, eventually we would get to that but I think, I don’t even know if in season 4 maybe the very end they will start to hint to that but I know all along that was discussed with some of the writers and you know even the fans were speculating, if the show went like 6 – 7 seasons, I think Chloe would end up being something else than a human.”

“Yeah. I encourage the fans on social media, like reach out to Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich and ask because if we find out by June 16th that we are not getting picked up, you know, why not give the fans a little answer all those questions.”

Whilst we await with fingers crossed the announcement of good news for Lucifer though, we talk to Lauren about her visit to Melbourne, Australia for her first Australian pop culture convention with Oz Comic Con and what she’s most looking forward to.

“It’s my first time to Australia, it’s my first time doing a convention here. I got a lovely welcome bag when I got here from the hotel in Melbourne and there were caramel chewy Tim Tam, which were amazing, and then Vegemite which most people I’ve spoken to, at least, do not like it but I really did. I liked it. I like kind of the savoury salty stuff so it was good.
I’m looking forward to meeting fans because you always get a different little nugget from each person, and it’s always fun to see what people respond to and I love their questions, we always get great questions so I just like interacting with people who like the show and people who like past shows that I’ve been on. Other than that I would love to sight-see a bit. I walked around quite a bit of the city but today seems a little wet and gloomy out there.”

Lauren German will be appearing at Oz Comic Con Melbourne which will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June.
For more information and to purchase tickets go to the official Oz Comic Con website, and follow their social media channels.