Actress Eileen Li has just joined the cast of Freeform’s hit series Shadowhunters in the role of fan favorite Aline Penhallow. Besides, we will be seeing her this fall on Amazon’s new show Jack Ryan starring John Krasinski. Recently, Eileen has also worked on other series like Orphan Black, Nikita or Degrassi : Next Class. In a new exclusive interview for our site, we’ve had the pleasure to talk with her about her experiences and future roles.

– Hi Eileen, what can you tell us about your experience as part of Shadowhunters?

The experience on Shadowhunters was amazing. The cast and crew were all very welcoming. The fans have been overwhelmingly supportive. It’s actually crazy to me since I’ve only been in the one episode so far. The producers gave me a heads up about how loyal and awesome the Shadowhunters fans are, and they definitely were not wrong!

– On the show you’re playing Aline Penhallow. Can you tell us about her?

It was a great experience to step into the role of Aline. She’s a very cool and confident character so it was really fun to play her. In the show, she arrives at the institute because she is looking for her cousin Sebastian, who she hasn’t heard from in six months. We later learn that she’s been keeping a secret for quite some time. She is attracted to women and not men and only her cousin Sebastian knows. So for the fans of the book it is very much in line with The Mortal Instruments series in that sense.

– Aline is quite a beloved character for Shadowhunters fans. How does it feel to play somebody so important? 

I feel a huge responsibility in playing this role. Not only because of the fact that it’s a popular character from a popular series, but mostly because I want to represent the LGBTQ community in the right way. A lot of people who have struggled with coming out have looked up to this character as inspiration and so I feel a huge responsibility to represent that experience truthfully. Aline is a representation of another spectrum of the Shadowhunter world. She is a strong gay woman of colour and I feel like a lot of fans that will identify with her will feel like they have a place in that world as well. I really can’t wait to see people cosplay her!

– Shadowhunters is finishing it’s second season in a few weeks. Can you tell us anything about what we will be seeing?

I can tell you that we will definitely continue to see the Sebastian storyline unfold. And as always the producers love to surprise the fans so get ready for more surprises!

– This fall we will also be seeing you on Amazon’s new series Jack Ryan. What can we expect from this one? Who are you playing and what will her role be on the show?

Jack Ryan is based off Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series. It’s about an extremely intelligent CIA agent, played by John Krasinski, and his journey from being an analyst to a field operator. This show is action packed and really keeps you at the edge of your seats. I play Noreen Yang who is one of Jack’s colleagues. She’s the youngest of the team and basically helps Jack with his missions throughout the season.

– I’ve seen that in the past you also worked on Nikita, one of my personal favorite shows. What do you remember from that experience? 

Yes! The one thing that I remember most was how nice I thought Shane West was. We were shooting really late at night and he was always very professional and really friendly. I was gushing by the end because of that.

– Does Eileen Li watch TV? Do you have any favorites?

Recently I binged GLOW on Netflix. I also really love HBO’s Westworld so I’m excited for season 2 to come out. Better Call Saul is really great too! I’m a big Breaking Bad fan.

– Before we finish, let us know. Any other projects that you’re working on?

Currently I’m promoting a new show called 21 Thunder that will be premiering on the CBC at the end of the month.

An interview by Chris Patterson for Lovingseries. 

Photo credit : John Bregar Photography.


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