D.B. Woodside was first introduced in Lucifer as Lucifer’s stoic and mysterious angelic brother, but over the years he’s turned into a fan favorite. Amenadiel, one of God’s most loyal angels, has become an integral part of the group as he’s gone on his own journey of self-discovery over the seasons.
The following interview contains spoilers for the final season of Lucifer.
In this final season of Lucifer, we see Amenadiel joining the LAPD as a beat cop, as he promised to do in the finale of Season 5, experience the corruption of the force and try to combat it, and ultimately rising to the highest position in our universe. Along the way, D.B. Woodside, himself, has directed an episode in the final season, and I spoke with him about directing, about being in the industry, about Amenadiel’s final arc, and about the changes he’s seen along the way.
Therese Lacson: I really loved Amenadiel’s arc in this final season. I really liked his storyline with Officer Harris, and ultimately trying to undo some of the corruption that has been happening within their police department, what was your reaction to learning that this would be your arc for Amenadiel this season.
D.B. Woodside: I was a little nervous about that, given the climate, given my own personal history with the police. So I was a little nervous, I wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to gloss over it. As much as I loved the episode that we did in the fourth season that was dealing with the police, I kind of felt like what happened in that episode, you know, I’ll be honest, for me as a black man in this country, it was a little disappointing.
I love the episode, love the writing because Jason Ning is one of my favorite writers and obviously I love Claudia [Yarmy], but I wish we would have tackled the police brutality a little bit more. Now that being said, that’s what I was a little worried about with this one. I think [that] people were definitely receptive to my input. And I can’t wait to see it. I haven’t seen the episode yet but I’ve heard some really great things. This episode was written by Ildy [Modrovich] who’s also another great writer and again, directed by my favorite, Claudia. So, I’m really going to be interested to see how people feel about this, particularly black and brown folks.
Therese: I’m definitely interested to see the discourse around it. I really liked that it didn’t just take place within that one episode and that it continued on throughout the season and it caused a change within the department.
So, another big aspect of Amenadiel’s character growth has been about being amongst the people, helping them, and understanding them. Where do you think this love for humanity comes from, especially since it seems so rare in comparison to some of his other siblings, who just kind of accept that humanity exists?
D.B.: I think he had a real problem. I mean, going all the way back to the beginning of the show, he really saw humans as pets, as just something not even to be taken seriously. Maybe part of that was because of his, shall we call it, one of his superpowers, is to stop time. So, he’s never had to interact with humans and his own power kept him apart from humanity. I think once he loses his powers and he’s forced to live among them, he starts to embrace his own humanity. I think by living as a human, by having relationships with humans, friendships with humans, it’s actually forced him to grow. And I think it’s a result of that, that he’s decided to kind of come back and run the family business as I like to say.
Therese: So speaking of the family business, dipping into spoilers territory, at the end of the season, we learned that Amenadiel has taken the place as God. How do you think his time with humanity has prepared him for this position? And how did you react when you read that that was going to be how the story ends.
D.B.: I was happy. I knew that was going to be how the story ended last season. This was something that we had talked about. I’m glad it ended that way I’m going to be honest, I would have been upset if it had not ended that way. I think that Amenadiel has been set up the entire show, as the right angel to take over for his father. I think Lucifer is phenomenal. I think he’s fantastic. I still don’t think, even with all of his growth, that that’s the career path for him, shall we say. And that’s just me saying that with love.
Therese: I mean, he does spend the whole final season figuring out how to love the rest of humanity, so I don’t blame you for that.
D.B.: Yes, I think we all have our special gifts, right? And I don’t think being God is Lucifer’s. But I think Amenadiel has been groomed for this position since he was created. He is the most loyal. I always joke about that whole ‘he’s the favorite’ but I think I like to really see it as, he’s just the one that has really focused in on what it takes to be a better angel. A better celestial. And I think this is something that his father had been working on for all of Amenadiel’s existence. I think once he realized that he didn’t have to run the family business the way his father ran it and that he could run it the way that he saw fit, the way that he thinks humanity needs to progress. I think he realized, ‘Okay this is the job that I was created for, I just need to make it my own.’
Therese: I really enjoyed the way that it ended with Lucifer and Amenadiel and how they altered the way that things are supposed to be done. It doesn’t always have to be done the same way and rehabilitation is possible. I also liked the scene when Amenadiel approaches God’s throne and it flashes and he is among his siblings instead of sitting above them.
D.B.: I really loved that too. It has such a Knights of the Round Table feel, that, yes, Arthur is king. But when he comes to the roundtable, he is just as equal as every single one of the knights, and they all have a part in this kingdom. So, I think Amenadiel sees that as all of his siblings have a part in how we move humanity forward. I just think that’s powerful. It’s beautiful. And dare I say, it’s a little bit of what we need in this country right now.
Therese: Definitely. I also wanted to ask you about what it was like directing one of the episodes of the season, “Save the Devil, Save the World.” After working so long in front of the camera, what was it like to step into the shoes of the director?
D.B.: I absolutely loved it. I mean, I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, it was the most challenging job that I’ve ever had but it was also the most rewarding. Yeah, I don’t know if we’re allowed to say this, I’m gonna try and say it as respectfully and with as much humility as possible: It’s something that I’m very good at. I want to do a lot more of it and I think it’s taken a long time for me to be able to show people that this is something that I want to do, that I’m good at, and I want to be taken seriously.
I’ll even go so far as to say this, I think that the way Hollywood is changing, I don’t think I would, would have been given this opportunity two years ago, and there’s something about that that’s a.) maddening, and b.) sad. I don’t think what a lot of people know or understand is, I’ve been directing for over 20 years. I just haven’t done it on a big splashy television show because it’s been hellish trying to get people to see me differently.
So, I’m very, very grateful to this show. There were people that were working over time to give me the opportunity to prove myself, and it’s a fight, it’s just a constant fight. I feel like now that I’ve gotten that one under my belt, I thought that’s all it would take, but now I have to continue fighting for the next job. So, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s really rewarding. And I definitely want to do so much more of it. So, fingers crossed.
Therese: Yes, I would definitely love to see whatever other projects you have in the future. And I hope that you get more of those opportunities, because it was a great episode. and I you know I can only say good things about it. Unfortunately, as a person of color myself who reports on this industry, I’ve heard that a lot. It’s tough, and there’s not a lot of doors open. And even when there are doors open, other doors are closing at the same time.
D.B.: There’s this thing going around now, where you have so many of these agents that are telling their clients that the reason why they’re not working right now is because all of these diversity hires. And yet, if you were to talk to us, that’s not happening. So, I personally wish that these that these agents would stop lying to their clients, and just say the truth. It’s still hard for us out here. I’m someone that’s been in the business for 25 years, and I just finished directing my first show. I think that is absolutely ridiculous that it’s taken that much and this long to finally be able to direct one episode of a television show. And the fact that it continues to be this fight and this uphill struggle is maddening. It’s absolutely mad for all of us, not just me, for all of us.
Therese: I definitely agree, but I’m glad to see that you have gotten this opportunity. Honestly, I was surprised to see you in the director’s chair because I didn’t know you also directed, so, maybe the bright side of this will be as a way for people to discover this side of your career.