Archie Renaux as Malyen "Mal" Oretsev in Shadow and Bone.

Here's Why You Probably Recognize Mal From 'Shadow And Bone'

David Appleby/Netflix

Netflix's Shadow and Bone introduces fans to a thrilling new fantasy world full of characters you're bound to fall in love with. While the cast is full of exciting rising stars, you may find yourself wondering: Who plays Mal in Shadow and Bone? Here's what to know about Archie Renaux and his character.

Based on a series of best-selling novels by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone takes place in a world split into two by a monstrous entity known as the Fold. People called Grisha have magical abilities, but only a never-before-seen "Sun Summoner" has the power to destroy the Fold. When ordinary mapmaker Alina Starkov suddenly demonstrates that ability for the first time while attempting to save her best friend Mal, she's forced to reckon with her newfound power and others who want to exploit it for their own gains.

Throughout all of the fantastical drama, Alina and Mal's tight-knit relationship is the beating heart of Shadow and Bone. As orphans who were bullied growing up, the pair stood up for each other when no one else did and formed an unbreakable bond. When Alina is swept away to Ravka's royal palace for Grisha training, it's her and Mal's connection that keeps them both grounded throughout unimaginable circumstances.


Shadow and Bone is Renaux's first big project, which is extra impressive given that he's been acting for fewer than five years. Previously, you may have seen him as Leo in the TV drama Gold Digger (on which he coincidentally starred alongside his Shadow and Bone costar, Ben Barnes), or as Jamie in the 2020 film Body of Water.

And if you loved the actor in Shadow and Bone, get ready to see him all over your screens in the coming months. Renaux appears in the new sci-fi movie Voyagers, which is in theaters now. He'll also share a screen with Jared Leto in the 2022 superhero movie Morbius.

Fans will have to wait and see where Mal's journey goes next, and whether his friendship with Alina grows into something more. But one thing is for sure: This epic series is just the beginning of Renaux's budding Hollywood stardom.

Shadow and Bone Season 1 is on Netflix now.