Cassandra Clare gives her input on SHADOWHUNTERS Casting of Simon Lewis and Isabelle Lightwood
Just recently, ABC announced the casting of two more characters for the upcoming TV series, Shadowhunters. The actors were announced for the casting of Simon Lewis and Isabelle Lightwood. In the books, Simon Lewis is the best friend of Clary Fray, the main female protagonist. Simon also happens to be Jewish. Isabelle Lightwood is a close friend of Jace Wayland (although in all sense of the term, Jace is an adopted family member of the Lightwoods,) a fellow Shadowhunter, and sister to Jace’s best friend and parabatai, Alec. Isabelle was born in New York, and along with her brothers, was taught and trained in the New York Institute. For the TV series, New York Hispanic actor Alberto Rosende was announced to play Simon, and Hispanic actress Emeraude (pronounced EM-er-aud) Toubia was announced to play Isabelle.
Soon after the announcement, it was apparent that some fans questioned the casting of two Hispanic actors for these roles. While many fans have expressed excitement about the casting news so far, some have been less enthusiastic, especially with that of the much beloved Jewish character, Simon Lewis. And one fan decided to get author Cassandra Clare‘s opinion on the matter. This is what she wrote:
I’m definitely not opposed to “colorblind” casting myself, and I believe there are characters that could be played by someone out of the normal “fair-skinned” group, I have to admit I had wondered how they were going to play it out.
And after looking through a few more tweets to Cassie, I’m actually a little disappointed in some of the negative reactions regarding their race in this whole thing. Cassie had made some great points in her tweets about how many people loved Robert Sheehan as Simon even though Robert is Irish, not Jewish. One even tried to justify the reasoning that Rosende would not look good as a pale vampire because the make-up wouldn’t look right on his skin. Unfortunately, despite the valid reasoning for the slight change, there are some people that just can’t accept another person’s interpretation or vision of the books. If you’re one of them, I understand you have a right to your own opinion.
But beside all that, what’s important is that the actors would be able to make the viewers believe in them as the characters they play. After viewing their videos thanking the fans for their support, I’m very hopeful they will do their roles justice, despite what the minority of fans think.