'Lucifer' provides hell of a role for Tom Ellis

TORONTO -- Some roles are just too hot to pass up.

Such was the case for Tom Ellis, who said he had a hell of a time playing the devil in the new Fox/CTV series "Lucifer.

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"I was very judicious about any of the jobs, any of the scripts that I read over pilot season," said Ellis during a whirlwind press stop in Toronto last June.

"And for me, this was just the most fun character. And it's lovely as an actor if you can relish the job you're doing.... I love working in comedy and I love working in drama and this seemed like a great hybrid."

The dramedy follows a bored and unhappy Lucifer Morningstar, who gives up his throne in Hell to retire in Los Angeles and run a piano bar.

The playboy lifestyle suits him well, until the murder of a beautiful pop star he once knew hits him surprisingly hard, said Ellis.

"For me, this show is not about the devil being evil. For me, this is a show about the devil coming to Earth and becoming human," said the Welsh actor, a veteran of BBC productions.

"It's about humanization, and it's also about humans looking within themselves."

The character is based on a Neil Gaiman book -- "not on the Big Book" -- added Ellis, whose father and uncle are Baptist ministers.

While the show features some supernatural elements, Ellis said it's a more offbeat take on the prince of darkness.

"What I love about the show is it's not relying in any way, shape or form on special effects, supernatural effects. The appeal to me, of the show, is that, as much as that sounds like dark subject matter, it's delivered in a very tongue-in-cheek way. He is a funny character."

"Lucifer" debuts Monday on CTV and Fox.


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