Photographer: Barrington Orr
Jade Hassouné is best known for his role as the Seelie knight, Meliorn on Freeform’s hit show Shadowhunters. LaPalme Magazine recently had the chance of talking to Jade about Shadowhunters and his debut EP: Love Letter To A Fandom.
LM: How does it feel to be a Lebanese actor and represent that group?
JH: It feels great, I love the culture and the food, and I am proud to be from there, but I also left the country when I was very young (1 year old) and was in Switzerland for three years before going to Canada. So I’ve never really fully identified as Lebanese or anything else for that matter. I identify more as a man of the world, a child of the universe. Because I’ve always felt I didn’t entirely belong to where I came from or where I was, sort of in-between worlds. So I understood at a young age that the Earth is one centralized place, not a multitude of small places that divide us. There are no borders when you look at the Earth from above. So I’m a human first, and the way I look comes second.
LM: Do you feel a responsibility as an actor – with roles and your outspoken nature – to help add to the conversation of ‘representation?’
JH: Yes of course! That comes naturally. I tend to represent various groups of all kinds, and I’m lucky in a sense that you can’t pinpoint exactly where I come from (physically), and so I get to represent many different cultures and sexualities.
LM: Do you believe in magic or the supernatural?
JH: Absolutely. I see it as natural, however. We are “magical” beings. We have way more abilities than we think. And with some practice, meaning with paying attention to what happens in your life and relating it to your emotional state of being, you start to make connections. We affect reality in a powerful way. This has been known by ancient cultures for a long, long time, and science is now catching up which is very exciting. But as children, we all know this to be true.
LM: What is the biggest challenge you face portraying Meliorn?
JH: Inconsistency in his decisions and behavior and memory but as an actor, it’s my job to make sense of it.
LM: How would you describe Meliorn and Isabelle’s relationship?
JH: An unexplored potential, a connection that will last forever no matter what.
LM: What would you like to see more of with your character?
JH: I’d love to have some backstory or a day in the life of Meliorn.
LM: What do you hope fans will take away from your character Meliorn?
JH: That even if you think you are stuck without escape or a choice, you can still do what you believe is right.
LM: What is “success” to you?
JH: Joy. Manifesting joy by allowing your dreams to become a reality.
LM: What can you tell us about your debut EP: Love Letter To A Fandom?
JH: I’m SO EXCITED!!! It will be released starting in June with my first single “Insta Story”! I will be involving the fans in making the art and fashion for the songs and the videos and the merchandise. It will be a collaborative and interactive experience that will continue forever. It is a representation of our connection made eternal. It is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Music is a whole other level of art that is very personal for the listener and the creator. It is a way to thank the fandom for how they have changed my life and a way to give back to them. They can follow the process by signing up to the free newsletter at jadehassoune.com! I’ll be revealing all the contests and information very very soon!
LM: What advice do you have for upcoming actors and actresses?
JH: Take every opportunity to practice your craft. Continue to do what you love and trust that it will grow. Nothing is too small at first. Remember: everything grows, and so, you doing a small show in your community IS how you begin your career, going to school for theatre or film IS how you begin your career. Keep going in the direction of your dream and next thing you know; you will be living in the fully grown garden of your desires made real.
Watch Shadowhunters at https://freeform.go.com/shows/shadowhunters