Jessie Mei Li took any new cast members out to dinner just so they’d have someone to talk to on set. :’)
Shadow and Bone is actually Jessie Mei Li’s first big project. Before the series, they appeared in the 2019 stage production of All About Eve and the Shortflix film Together, They Smoke.
Jessie Mei Li uses she/they pronouns and identifies as gender noncomforming.
Before being cast in the series, Ben Barnes met with showrunner Eric Heisserer and actually showed him a Tumblr fan edit with Ben as The Darkling.
Jessie and Ben are close friends in real life, and outside of work they can be found “just winding each other up and having debates about literally anything.”
After watching the first cut of Season 1, Archie Renaux didn’t actually know if Mal was supposed to be a good guy or not.
Jessie was actually the one who thought of showing the moment in Episode 7 where Alina sees her antlers in the mirror for the first time.
Freddy Carter consulted Shadow and Bone writer Leigh Bardugo, whose experience with osteonecrosis inspired Kaz’s condition and use of a cane.
Amita Suman never actually got any professional knife training. At the beginning of the shoot, she was given 14 knives and would practice flinging and spinning them whenever she could.
Kit Young had a similar experience with his guns. Over the course of Season 1, Jesper’s gun tricks get more intricate because Kit was practicing all the time.
The series was shot in Budapest, so Jessie learned how to speak Hungarian so they could bond with the show’s crew during filming.
Shadow and Bone author Leigh Bardugo stopped watching audition tapes for Alina after seeing Jessie’s for the first time.
Before he was even cast in the series, fans speculated Archie was somehow involved with Shadow and Bone because he’d followed Jessie on Instagram.
Jessie made sure to take new cast members out to dinner so whenever they were on set, they’d at least have someone to talk to.
Archie had actually worked in an apprenticeship as an air condition engineer before acting full-time because he was afraid of “how unpredictable the business can be.”
Freddy, who was already a huge fan of the book series, said walking on set for the first time felt surreal and like his imagination was “brought to life.”
Ben first fell in love with fantasy in college, where he studied literature. Now, all of his most iconic roles are from that same genre.
Amita can speak three languages. Her first language is Bhojpuri and she learned to speak English when she moved to the UK in 2004.
Kit originally auditioned to play Mal but said it went terribly and was the “worst audition” of his life.
Freddy had a Kaz Brekker playlist that helped him get into the zone during filming.
Archie hadn’t even thought about auditioning for Shadow and Bone when the first casting call came around, he was mainly focused on his movie at the time, Voyagers. Then, by the end of the Voyagers shoot, they still hadn’t cast Mal yet, and he decided to audition.
Ben is also a talented musician and singer, and he’s been featured on several of his films’ soundtracks.
Jessie was officially diagnosed with ADHD after realizing they couldn’t sit still during filming.
Finally, if they each could have any Grisha specialty, Jessie, Archie, and Amita would be Fabricators, Ben and Kit would be Heartrenders, and Freddy would be an Inferni.