The Real Life Partners Of The Cast Of Shadow And Bone

Netflix's "Shadow and Bone" series, based off the book of the same name written by Leigh Bardugo, has premiered to impressive scores for a young adult/fantasy series. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the show has received an 85% from critics and a whopping 95% from fans — not bad for a series with a rather controversial main character (per Esquire).

Known collectively as the Grishaverse (pronounced grEE-shuh), Bardugo's series centers on the Grisha — or magic-wielders — and their non-magical human counterparts. This relationship is seen on a small scale between series stars Jessie Mei Li (who plays Alina Starkov), Ben Barnes (The Darkling), and Archie Renaux (Mal Oretsev). Their characters' love triangle is at the center of the story of "Shadow and Bone," but it's only one part of a truly rich tale and environment Bardugo and show creator and executive producer Eric Heisserer have woven together.

But like any young adult story, love does play a significant part in Alina's tale. However, while romance and relationships help drive "Shadow and Bone" forward, many of its main cast members are seemingly without their own partners away from the set. While it may just be that the actors are incredibly private about their love lives, series stars Mei Li, Amita Suman, and Kit Young are reportedly single, as of this writing. However, some series stars seem to have found their own Mal (or Darkling!) when off-set.

Ben Barnes may be dating DWTS alum Julianne Hough

Ben Barnes was cast as one of the three main characters in "Shadow and Bone." He plays The Darkling, aka General Kirigan, the direct foil to Jessie Mei Li's protagonist, Alina Starkov. Barnes is no stranger to the young adult genre, having starred as Prince Caspian in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series, though he's also had practice playing a darker character in "Westworld."

Throughout his time in the spotlight, Barnes has been attached to a few different starlets, though he's been notoriously private about his life off-screen. Per Distractify, he's been attached to actor Tamsin Egerton from 2009-2010, though she's been with Josh Harnett since 2013. He then reportedly dated actor Meganne Young, as seen in posts on her Instagram page, though it seems the two of them have broken up. Young may be recognized for her work on "Black Sails," "Supernatural," and Netflix's "The Kissing Booth 2." 

Barnes has since stepped out with former "Dancing with the Stars" pro dancer and judge Julianne Hough. The two were spotted grabbing ice cream together, reported People, though a source told the publication they "have been friends for eight years" and aren't dating. Barnes has been seen with Hough before, as well. They were photographed taking a walk together in April 2020 and attended HBO's Emmys party together in 2016. The dancer has recently divorced her husband, so Barnes may just be supporting his friend as she's going through a tough time.

Archie Renaux and his girlfriend have a daughter

Archie Renaux is playing Mal Oretsev in "Shadow and Bone," a role that has proven to be somewhat controversial and life-changing for him (per Esquire). It's his first truly mainstream gig, and it has already catapulted him into a superstardom that he wasn't really prepared for. "Once the cast actually got announced," he told Esquire, "it got a bit wild, and I got like 10,000 odd followers overnight." That fame affected his family, and since then he has been extremely careful about what he's posted online, going so far as to delete old posts of his family, per Distractify. "People were paying attention to him in a way they hadn't before," Esquire wrote.

Because of this, it's extremely difficult to find out any information about his girlfriend, who Distractify says is named Annie. He has shared very little about her, and it seems that Annie doesn't have a public social media presence of her own. However, he did share that he welcomed a daughter in October 2020, sharing his new family status in a now-deleted Twitter post, which was caught and reposted by a fan site, per Distractify. "If I put a photo of my friends or my baby, for instance?" he said to Esquire. "Me being an actor, coming with that, is like being in the public eye. So that's fine, but everyone else that I'm around didn't ask for it. So I'm not going to put them out there."

Freddy Carter's in a long-term relationship

Freddy Carter is making a name for himself as Kaz Brekker, one of the new additions to the "Shadow and Bone" universe. Those familiar with the source material know Kaz and his Crows show up in a later series, but they have been introduced earlier in the show to help drive the storyline. While "Shadow and Bone" might be Carter's breakout role, it's not the first gig he's gotten. Per Distractify, he used to be a stage actor for "several years" in his home country of England, before being cast as a soldier in "Wonder Woman" and as Peter "Pin" Hawthorne, "a stable-boy-turned-duke" on Netflix's "Free Rein." It was that role, in fact, that led him to meet his current girlfriend, Caroline Ford.

Carter and Ford met on the set of "Free Rein" and began dating. Although neither has confirmed an official start of their relationship, Distractify reported that they went social media official in 2017. Carter, an actor herself, starred in "Free Rein" as a horse trainer, though she got her start by guest-starring on TV shows like "Once Upon a Time" and "Sleepy Hollow." Following her stint on "Free Rein," she landed the part of Sophie Longerbane on Amazon Prime's "Carnival Row."

As of this writing, Carter and Ford seem to still be going strong, with the couple spending some time in quarantine together and celebrating their birthdays with one another.

Zoë Wanamaker has been married for almost 30 years

Zoë Wanamaker has joined the cast of "Shadow and Bone" as Baghra, the Grisha trainer who helps Jessie Mei Li's Alina Starkov tap into her magical power. A prolific actor, Wanamaker is perhaps best known for her work in the theater, winning two Best Actress Olivier awards and appearing in numerous stage shows for the past 50 years, per her official website. She has also had roles in many television shows, most notably a part in "Killing Eve" prior to her gig on "Shadow and Bone." She had a turn in film as well, appearing as Madame Hooch in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and as Paula Strasberg in "My Week with Marilyn." 

It was her time on the big screen that led her to meet her husband, actor and writer Gawn Grainger. The two worked on "The Raggedy Rawney" together, where they both had fairly prominent roles, in 1988 and married in November 1994. While Wanamaker doesn't have any children of her own, she is the "wicked stepmother" to Grainger's two children. Grainger is a prolific actor as well, having worked in the industry since the 1950s. According to his IMDb, however, he hasn't worked on a project since 2014.

Luke Pasqualino recently got out of a relationship

Luke Pasqualino is a fairly well-known British actor, recognizable for his roles in "Skins," "The Borgias," "Snatch," and "Our Girl." He was cast in "Shadow and Bone" as David Kostyk, a Grisha who is known for making things. One of the more well-known actors on the show, Pasqualino has been attached to a few different women throughout his time in the spotlight. According to The Sun, he dated pop star Perrie Edwards from Little Mix. The two dated for a few months in 2016, with the Daily Mail reporting that they broke up in October 2016. 

Following that relationship, Pasqualino was spotted out with Maddison Jaizani, a British actor who has made a name for herself with roles in "Versailles" and "Into the Badlands." She then landed a starring role in "Nancy Drew" as Nancy's best friend, Bess Marvin. It was actually this role that caused her and Pasqualino to break up, according to Entertainment Daily. They reportedly dated for two years and "were pretty serious," but the distance between the two ("Nancy Drew" films in Canada, and Pasqualino lives and works in the United Kingdom) and "other factors" caused them to break up.

They have since reportedly unfollowed each other on social media. Entertainment Daily reports that Pasqualino is currently single.

Jasmine Blackborow is engaged

Being cast in "Shadow and Bone" seems to be the first big break for Jasmine Blackborow. The London native (per her IMDb) co-stars as Marie, one of the Grisha who controls the elements and who becomes friends with Jessie Mei Li's Alina Starkov in "Shadow and Bone." While Marie has yet to find love in the series, the opposite is true for Blackborow. She has been in a long-term relationship with a man named Luke McCoy, though not much is known about him and his social media accounts are private.

Blackborow posted on Instagram in February that she and McCoy were celebrating nine years together. She also posted that they were supposed to get married on April 10, 2021, but have postponed their wedding to 2022, presumably because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, on that date, Blackborow posted a photo of her and McCoy renovating their new home together. According to her Instagram stories about the renovation, it seems McCoy is focusing on fixing up their place while Blackborow is working, as she posted a photo of her "bringing home the bacon." Whatever McCoy does, it seems the two of them are well on their way to starting a happy life together.