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Interview: Kit Young Talks ‘Shadow and Bone’ Reactions, Milo The Goat, FAN EXPO Canada & More

FAN EXPO Canada: Limited Edition is underway tomorrow and what better way to get into the geeky fan spirit than a chat with Shadow and Bone star, Kit Young?!

I had the fortune of being able to chat with the actor about the fan reaction to the popular Netflix series, Shadow and Bone (based on Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling novels), Milo the pygmy goat, his upcoming projects including The School for Good and Evil, and much more.

Check out the interview with Kit Young below:

Kit Young - Interview
Kit Young as Jesper in Shadow and Bone.

Hey Kit, how are you?

Kit Young
: I’m doing very well, Britany! How about you?

I’m doing pretty good, thank you for asking! So, to start things off, are you excited for Fan Expo Canada and have you ever been to Toronto before?

Kit Young:
I am really excited for two reasons! One, I have never done one of these in-person conventions before and I’ve never been to Fan Expo, and I’ve never been to Canada! So I’m really excited to come. I’m just really glad that now the world is in a place where we’re starting to be able to travel. I’ve done a couple of these conventions online and they’re great because you can connect with to people all over the world at once, but it will be nice to meet some people face-to-face. It will be a new experience for me! 

Also, I’m a fan of so much stuff, so I get to kind of have both experiences and geek out with everyone else.

It’s been several months since Shadow & Bone was released on Netflix. How did it feel to get that reaction from fans who super loved Jesper and the show? What was all of that like for you?

Kit Young:
Yeah, it’s been crazy! Like, when it came out I was quarantining in a hotel in Belfast shooting another film and everything was happening through my phone. As soon as I put my phone down, it didn’t exist but as soon as I picked up my phone the world – or my world, I should say – was completely shifting. And so it was crazy to see, ‘Oh, your face is in Times Square!’ and to have such a positive response from the show was more than we could imagine. I was just hoping people would watch it, let alone like it. And to get that response, especially towards my character, was way above and beyond what I could have expected!

I think I realized that we were tapping into something different when I saw all of these Milo the goat memes and just all of the love the show was getting for various different elements, and to be singled out on any level was just so overwhelming. So yeah, it’s been pretty crazy. [laughs]

Okay, so speaking of Milo, because you know I have to ask a Milo question, do you think there could be more Jesper and Milo at some point?

Kit Young: Fingers crossed! I mean, Milo is a pygmy goat, so he’s full-grown – that’s as big as Milo’s ever gonna get. But I love the idea of maybe seeing Milo the size of that stag. Like huge, mega Milo! I don’t know what season that would happen, there’s clearly no precedent in the books. So, I feel like I have to be the driving force to try to make that happen and whether Netflix will listen to me is an entirely different question. But I think if we’re not gonna see Milo soon, he’s at least going to be referenced because I will just keep improving that until it ends up in the show. [laughs]

Kit Young as Jesper with Milo the goat in Shadow and Bone. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Of course, speaking of the second season, which I’m sure you can’t say too much about it, I was just wondering if there were any hopes particularly for your character  that you were hoping to explore more?

Kit Young: Ya, there’s lots. You know, we haven’t got to the books that Jesper’s in yet. So every single bit of those books, basically. Also, leading up to that, there’s a little bit of a time vacuum between where Six of Crows starts and where we’ve ended the show. So there’s some filler time and time for us to explore those back stories. So, I really wanna see Jesper and the Crows get into some deep trouble in Ketterdam, and for Jesper to kind of get into the rabbit hole with the gambling and get into trouble. 

I think there’s a great rogues gallery that Ketterdam has, so let’s build up some of those adversaries for the Crows and I want Jesper to kind of meet some new and fun people that I think some of the fans are excited to see and I want to meet them too. And I want to work with some really kind of cool and new actors and reunite with the old gang. 

I know you’re in the upcoming movie, The School for Good and Evil, so I was wondering if you could tell me a little about that in terms of your character and your experience on set?

Kit Young:
We had a great time shooting this film. So, I mean, it was slightly bizarre because we were kind of locked up in quarantine together. So in a way, it kind of felt like we’re all in school together. But the film is really exciting. It’s kind of set in this world where fairytales are real and all of the characters that we know are students or alumni of either the school for good or evil. We’ve got an amazing cast. I mean, it’s Kerry Washington, and Charlize Theron, and Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Yeoh, and some amazing young leads that are kind of spearheading the story. And me, I’m in there too. 

And I get to be the bad guy. I’m the villain, I’m the Voldemort of this world. I’m the Joker, I’m Lucifer, I’m Loki. Like I get to have fun being the most depraved person in this world and the most evil and get to just, you know, have tremendous fun. And it’s Paul Feig directing so it’s got loads of jokes and we just had the best time creating this brand new world. And I just feel really lucky to now be in two kind of fantasy worlds that are based on books. Like I didn’t think that would ever happen. So, so yeah, I’m having the best time.

So speaking of playing a villain, obviously Jesper, yes, he gets into trouble, but he’s not a villain of sorts, really. So, did you have a preference between playing the villain or any other characters?

Kit Young: I mean, I’ve always loved playing anti-heroes and people who are like morally ambiguous. So that’s why I really loved Jesper and all of the Crows, I think, have it brilliantly. You know, you’ve got Alina and Mal who are kind of archetypal heroes in that they, you know have quests and are good-natured. And then the Crows are a bit weirder and I think that’s great. I’ve always loved that, but I was really excited to play an out-and-out bad guy because I didn’t think I’d get a chance to do that as a young actor.

If you look at a lot of these movies on this kind of grand scale, especially that have like a genre element to them, normally the villain is a bit older. Normally the villain is like, you know, like Vader is a father figure, is someone kind of in their forties and up. So in my mid-twenties or late twenties, I didn’t think I’d get that opportunity for a while. So I’m really glad that I can do that now. So I was really excited to do that, but you know, my heart’s always going to be in the middle with those guys that could go one way or the other.

Kit Young as Jesper, Amita Suman as Inej and Freddy Carter as Kaz in Shadow and Bone. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Are there any upcoming projects that maybe we don’t know about yet, but we can talk about so that people can get excited about them?

Kit Young: Yeah! So earlier before School for Good and Evil, I have a film coming out, hopefully, early next year called The Origin. It’s a horror movie, it’s a prehistoric horror movie, and the whole thing is in a completely fictional made-up language. You can see, but listeners won’t see, there’s a spear behind me that’s from that film. It’s about the first people to ever land in Britain in 43,000 BC. And things happen to them. They think they found a new paradise, but actually, they come into contact with things and, you know, horror movies – people die. So that’s really exciting, very emotional, very dark story.

And then I’ve just wrapped on a movie called The Beautiful Game, very, very different. It’s about football or soccer, and it’s about this thing called the Homeless World Cup, which is about this real-life event where they get homeless people from all over the world and bring them to a major city annually, and they compete in an international football tournament. So this film is about the England team going to Rome to try and win this football tournament. It’ll be like a summer uplifting, feel-good film.

Those sound good! So, my last question for you would just be obviously in quarantine, a lot of people picked up different things or started binging different shows. Is there anything during quarantine that, you know, you maybe started doing some or watching or listening to that you would highly recommend?

Oh gosh, gosh. Yeah, that’s hard. I mean, I play, I’ve always played music, but I really got into physical playing my music. I’ve got my keyboard over there. So I’ve been playing a lot of music. I try to listen to a new song that I’ve not heard every day. So I just scour Spotify and Apple Music and SoundCloud, all of them really. So I’m always kind of listening to stuff.

But I was late to the party, I admit, on some of these shows and binged Ozark in a crazy short period of time. I’ve binged Succession; I’m so glad the new season’s out. Same with You. Season three has just come out and really excited about that. So I’m going to probably start watching that today. Um, yeah, there’s so much good stuff. There’s so much stuff that I can’t keep up. I feel like no one can, like, for those of you who’ve watched Shadow and Bone more than once, great. But there’s so much other good stuff as well. And then you watch it so we can geek out together about it!

Awesome! Thank you so much for your time.

Kit Young: No, thank you. It’s been great!

Be sure to see Kit Young at FAN EXPO Canada: LIMITED EDITION taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre October 22-24! 

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