Matthew Daddario: 22 Binge-Worthy Facts About Shadowhunters Actor

Matthew Daddario

Matthew Daddario is an American actor most notable for playing the role of Alec Lightwood in the 2016 Freeform show Shadowhunters, a TV show based on The Mortal Instruments book series. 

His TV character, Alec Lightwood, is the only openly gay Shadowhunter who also kills his first demon in the first book of the series, City of Bones. The actor will always have a place in our hearts especially for those who got tickets to the Heroes of the Shadow World convention! No one else would’ve done the role of Alec justice..so if you’re a fan of Matthew Daddario, here are 22 interesting facts about the actor! 

22 Interesting Facts About Matthew Daddario

1. The very definition of tall, dark, and handsome, Matthew Daddario is one star that fans can’t get enough of: 

PC: Shadowhunters

Alec was introduced to Shadowhunters as a brooding sidekick to Jace (Dominic Sherwood), but by the end of season 1, we were asking “Jace who?”.  

As one of the most compelling characters on Shadowhunters, Alec Lightwood’s growth over the first three seasons created a deep and complicated demon hunter that fans fell in love with. Serious and cautious, Alex is the ultimate rule-follower. His loyalty to the Clave and his friends is one of the driving forces of his character, the few times he’s willing to break a rule is out of his need to protect those around him.  

2. He first auditioned to play Jace: 

Originally, Matthew auditioned for the part of Jace Wayland in the Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (2016) TV series. When the author of the book, Cassandra Clare, saw Matthew’s audition video, she immediately said he “Would be perfect Alec” for the TV show. Later, he auditioned and eventually got the role of Alec Lightwood right away! 

3. Matthew Daddario went to Oz Comic-Con and said this about the pros and cons of conventions: 

“ I see it as a way to repay fans for their support. They put all this time in, they put all this effort into supporting your career and watching your show and it’d be a disservice to not come out and see them and give them a face to the person they’re watching.

It’s really nice to come and see how happy people are when they meet the people they’ve watched on screen and have had an effect on their lives in one way or another. I think that’s the thing that I like the most.

On the other hand, actors find it a bit exhausting to do conventions and Matthew Daddario said: “ It’s emotionally draining because you’re meeting a lot of people and that’s always exhausting. The emotional energy of meeting a thousand people and speaking to them individually and making sure that you don’t just sit there and be like ‘yeah, hi, bye’. To me that’s really upsetting, I don’t want to get to that point, so really the emotional output to make sure you’re connecting with everybody you meet and doing the service for them that they do for you on a daily basis”. 

4. His favourite costume ever seen at a convention is: 


“When you see people doing the show you’re on is an honour, so that’s my favourite”.

5. No other show portrays a positive representation of the LGBTQ+ community the way Shadowhunters does:

PC: Shadowhunters

Shadowhunters as a show isn’t just a great show but is important for its massive representation. From POCs to LGBTQA+ characters, it covers a wide range and does it so well. 

While his inner conflict between who he is and who he feels he has to lead him to come off as harsh and blunt, his relationship with Magnus shows his softer and caring side.  

In the TV show, Alec’s growth requires him to come to grips with his true self. When he admits his love for Magnus despite the fact that’s frowned upon in the Shadowhunter world, there was that fear of being disowned by his family, very similar to real life. 

But then Alec’s struggle for acceptance is so perfectly believable we forget we’re watching a show. Daddario’s portrayal of Alec’s struggle to come out became a huge part of Shadowhunters S1 and was beautifully raw without being melodramatic. While Alec’s parents have a hard time with Malec initially, the challenge is deeper than their queer son. We were relieved when Alec’s parents saw the drastic difference in his happiness, eventually leading to their acceptance of Alec and his relationship. While there is still a struggle for his father to completely accept Alec’s life as a whole, his mother forms the bridge between the two, invites Malec in completely. Alec’s acceptance of all aspects of himself transform him into a happier, confident man. Magnus and Alec have their ups and downs but their love brings them back together.

6. Matthew Daddario received heartwarming letters from LGBTQIA fans:

PC: Shadowhunters

The show has received a fair bit of praise for having an LGBTQIA character as a main role and Matthew Daddario the actor playing this role said: 

“ It’s an incredible responsibility and I look back at the last three years and it was a huge part of my life because of the impact it was having on fans…….I didn’t realise it was going to become as meaningful as it did and I didn’t realise it would become so important to people and we were really honoured by that so we spent an enormous amount of time to make sure that what we were doing was right and honoured that community”.

He also spoke of touching letters that he received. “You get these letters and they talk about how they were struggling with various aspects of coming out whether it was related to their family or related to themselves and just telling themself ‘this is who I am and I’m happy with it’ or at least being on the path to being happy with it. Or with family or friends or just society in general”.

“Occasionally others discuss their struggles and at the end, they write ‘I came out’ or ‘I haven’t come out yet but I’m happy with who I am and I’m going to [come out] soon’ and they say Alec helped them and that’s incredible. I don’t feel like I deserve that kind of letter, it’s just so meaningful and amazing. What an incredible honour and it drove us to work harder and harder at it. 

The fan responses have been tremendously important to us” he said. 

7. Here’s how he found out Shadowhunters was coming to an end:

“I sort of had a feeling for a few weeks based on some clues that the show was gonna come to an end and I was primarily concerned about how we’re gonna wrap it up because we leave the end of season 3 kind of open, almost absurdly open, and there’s a lot that needed to be done. But then I was pleasantly surprised to find out about the two extra episodes at the end so we managed to wrap up all these loose ends.

“In the end, it’s a sad thing but it’s gonna be bittersweet and there’s definitely a legacy left behind and we were lucky to get these two extra episodes to make it whole because a lot of shows get cancelled and that’s it, they’re left there hanging”. 

8. Asked during an interview to write the end-of-the-show scene for Alec, he said: 

“Alec is sitting at the harbor in South Carolina. He has a boat, it’s a small boat with a motor. He’s wearing linen, the sun is setting. He’s happy and you can tell he’s happy because he’s working. He’s setting the boat up and everything like that and he’s going out. You can tell he’s going out to go get some fish. Magnus, Jace and all his friends are there. They’re all alongside the beach and they’re all doing different things. Some of them are getting food ready but it’s clear from what we’re seeing that all the concerns of the Clave and all these things, they’re all gone. Now they can all pursue a human life, not a life devoted to some kind of service that they don’t really believe in or a purpose that’s just there because it’s serving somebody else’s purpose. So, a life that they choose. A life that Alec chooses. It’s warm”. 

Sounds great for a demon, right? 

9. When the fans campaigned to keep the show going he was touched: 

“We’ve been completely overwhelmed by it. We’re so impressed by their devotion to it and I mention it every single time, I mention The Trevor Project and everything they raised, it’s really amazing but I saw that our show was nominated for the People’s Choice Awards and these were done as write-in votes. The fans are so active and aggressive about their enthusiasm that they managed to get us multiple award nominations on their own. We can’t thank them enough”.

10. Good news! Matthew seems to be willing to do another sci-fi/fantasy type series like Shadowhunters again: 

“Sci-fi, for sure. I’m very interested in sci-fi involving near future space things. It allows for a lot of comedic elements and it’s the same stories but just in a different place”.

11. Shirtless Alec Lightwood:

Lucky us, there have been quite a few opportunities to see this fine specimen of a man without his shirt. 

12. Is Matthew Daddario gay? 

As soon as he appeared in Shadohunter as a gay character, rumours about him being gay spread like wildfire. However, he did not give a chance to influence his personal life through this rumor. On the contrary, this rumor made his bond with his girlfriend stronger though.

13. Dating history and marriage: 

In 2017, Matthew Daddario wedded travel blogger Esther Kim. Their first date was at a Mexican restaurant in NYC near union square. The couple recalled that they shared margaritas and “didn’t talk about our exes”.  

The couple went public with their romance and posted photos on social media in 2013. Ever since then, Esther has accompanied her boyfriend (now husband and baby daddy) to many appearances and events. She hiked at Waimea Canyon State Park in Hawaii with Matthew and attended a wedding at Lake Lure: Rumbling Bald Resort in beautiful North Carolina. As a true travel enthusiast, she has traveled all over the world for her travel blog, from Singapore to Roma to Sicily. 

She then married actor Matthew Daddario on NYE, December 31, 2017. In celebration of their special day, Esther posted this cute message to her official Instagram page.“Happy anniversary? gonna be hard to top last year’s celebrations! 

She included the photo below to show off her love for her husband, photographed on their wedding day. 

PC: Esther Kim

14. Fatherhood:

Matthew Daddario and Esther welcomed a daughter in September 2020. 

15. Ancestry: 

Matthew Daddario comes from an Irish, Italian, Hungarian, English, and Slovak lineage.

16. Favourite sports team: 

Matthew Daddario is a colossal enthusiast of the New York sports team.

17. Hobbies: 

He adores animal creatures and nature photography.

18. He is the younger brother of actress Alexandra Daddario:

He comes from a famous family as the younger brother of actress Alexandra Daddario, known for her roles in the Percy Jackson film series, San Andres and Baywatch. He has another sister named Catharine.  

Along with his sisters, Matthew Daddario was brought up and spent his early childhood days in New York City.  He is the son of Richard Daddario, who is a prosecution examiner and previous NYPD Counter-terrorism head while his mother Christina is a legal advisor. 

From 1959 to 1971, Matthew Daddario and Alexandra Daddario’s paternal granddad Emilio Q. Daddario was a Democratic agent of the House of Representatives for the territory of Connecticut, United States. 

19. Birthday:

American Television and Film actor Matthew Daddario was born on 1st October 1987. 

20. Early acting career:

In 2010, Matthew Daddario completed his education in Business Administration from Indiana University located in the Bloomington territory. After that, he contemplated theatre and drama studies from Collegiate School of Arts. 

Matthew Daddario made his very first movie debut by performing in the sentimental dramatic movie Breath In, in a lead role in the romantic drama starring Felicity Jones. The same year, Matthew played a supporting character role in the comic satire movie Delivery Man, as Channing. This film was made by Vince Vaughn and Ken Scott.

Later, Matthew Daddario depicted a prominent role of Danny Ladouceur starring alongside other famous celebrities such as Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, and Laura Dern in the gaming movie When the Game Stands Tall, in 2014. This movie was based on the life story of football mentor Bob Ladouceur and his overall accomplishments and beautifully demonstrates the De La Salle Spartans amusing record of 151 series of wins.

Further, Matthew Daddario co-featured in the high schooler satire Television series arrangement Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List in the extravagant role of Gabriel in 2015. 

In 2016, Matthew Daddario depicted the driving character role of Alec Lightwood in the Freeform Illusionary drama arrangement Shadowhunters, based on Cassandra Clare’s novel The Mortal Instruments. The actor also got featured in the redo of Eli Roth’s frightening horror movie Cabin Fever by Travis Z in 2016.

21. Awards and achievements

Matthew Daddario won Teen Choice Awards in the category Choice TV: Breakout Star (2016) for his work in Shadowhunters. 

Matthew Daddario  was nominated for MTV Fandom Awards In the same year.

Matthew Daddario  won Teen Choice Awards in the category Choice TV: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Actor for Shadowhunters in 2018.

22. Body measurement

The actor has a height of 6 feet and 3 inches and weighs about 89kg. Matthew Daddario has dark brown hair and hazel eyes.

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