Be sure to check out Jesse as he play’s an up-and-coming MMA fighter on USA Network’s new original show Rush this Thursday at 9/8c!
Make sure you check out the official episode synopsis, and photos of Jesse from the episode below!
Rush is called in to help an up-and-coming MMA fighter who has a past untreated medical condition that could jeopardize a fight — if not his life. Meanwhile, Alex attempts to save his job at the hospital. Later, Manny and Eve discuss their roles and boundaries in Rush’s life.
Jesse Luken is an accomplished actor who is serious about his work, but doesn’t forget the fun part either. Known for his outstanding work in the film 42 as well as the show Justified, the actor sat down with us to discuss his current and upcoming projects, and cussing in front of children.
YOUNG ADULT: What is the most interesting part of being part of new series, Star-Crossed?
Jesse Luken: It’s really awesome to be part of a show from the ground up. You truly get a sense of how the world is evolving as time goes on; it’s a wonderful and exciting experience. Star-Crossed is a fantastic show, drawing from incredibly varied themes. It’s got a tremendous love story but also deals with social issues like prejudice and integration, all while being set in this futuristic Sci-Fi backdrop. It’s very dope.
YA: Talk to us about being involved in the popular show Justified. What have been the standout experiences?
JL: Justified is simply outstanding. The rich characters, snappy dialogue and first-class acting made it just a tremendous experience. I felt very lucky to be a part of such an acclaimed show for three years. Plus some of the most underrated comedy on television.
YA: Describe your favorite character you’ve played thus far. Who is he? What about him most resembles you?
JL: It might be Eddie Stanky, the Dodgers 2nd baseman in the film 42. It was so fascinating to play a non-fictional person; the research that went into it was just very, very fun. I talked to his kids and a couple of ex-teammates. He seemed like the type of guy I aspire to be. Fiercely loyal, hard-nosed and passionate. His son said “he led the league in getting kicked out of games for fighting, but he never cussed in front of his kids and opened the car door for my mother every day until the day he died.” I thought that was very sweet. (Although I’ll probably cuss in front of my kids…little bastards.)
YA: What was it like working with the cast and crew of The Guest? Any other film projects on the horizon for you?
JL: The Guest was really terrific. Those guys really know their craft, and they’re just running and gunning in the deserts of New Mexico. They all trust each other completely, and it pays off as their movies all play at huge film festivals. I was honored they let me come join in on the fun for a little bit.
The casualties at CW today include freshmen The Tomorrow People, which struggled to connect with the CW core 18-34 demo; alien romance Star-Crossed, which failed to get much traction paired with Tomorrow People on Monday; and sophomore The Carrie Diaries, a 1980s-set prequel to Sex And The City, which has been long forgotten, having finished its 13-episode second and final season more than three months ago.
BellusMagazine.com — From an outspoken Brooklyn Dodgers player, to a loyal, right hand man for a career criminal, to an enraged student watching a species he detests infiltrate his school, Jesse Luken has brought to life characters in film and television that have put him on the map as “one to watch” in 2014. Luken can currently be seen on two series, FX’s hit show “Justified,” and the CW’s brand new series “Star-Crossed.” On “Justified,” [currently airing season 5] Luken plays ‘Jimmy Tolan,’ the fiercely loyal, southern, right hand man to Harlan crime boss and anti-hero Boyd Crowder [played by Walter Goggins]. In February 2014, Luken can also be seen recurring as ‘Eric,’ a human high school student who is vehemently against the integration of aliens in his town and school, on “Star-Crossed” for the CW. On the film front, Luken was recently seen as ‘Drew’ in the high octane thriller THE GUEST [directed by Adam Wingard], which competed at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Born in Denver and raised in Colorado Springs, Luken grew up in the world of sports, playing baseball, football, basketball, and running track. He had an equal passion for education, attending Louisiana State University and graduating from Colorado State University with two degrees; a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and International Relations. While in college Luken also discovered a love for the arts and ended up on a theater scholarship. When he wasn’t in the lab, he was perfecting his craft on stage. After graduation, despite his lifelong love of biology he decided to pursue acting full time and made the bold move to relocate to Los Angeles, without knowing a single soul in the city. Luken worked as a waiter, caterer, and landscaper as he chased his dream.
Zap2It.com — Although a hurricane tore apart two of “Star-Crossed’s” beloved couples, it brought a new pairing closer together. Things are heating up between Eric (Jesse Luken) and Julia (Malese Jow) — especially after that sweet post-storm kiss.
Luken tells Zap2it that Eric is a work in progress, but Julia will help him grow. “The amount that he cares for her sort of forces him to open his mind,” he says. “With any ignorance or intolerance, it’s usually just based on a lack of understanding, a lack of knowledge of the other. When he sort of forces his mind open based on this girl, I think that is what causes the evolution in his thought process.”
It’s no coincidence that a show with a title like “Star-Crossed” contains more than one allusion to Shakespeare — have you read the episode titles? They’re all “Romeo & Juliet” quotes — and Luken says Eric’s anger is appropriate for the story.
“When I first read the script and with the title referring to ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ I thought it was really apropos and fun that Eric seems very much like Tybalt, which is just like rage personified. It’s sort of a singular one track mind in the beginning with him. He thinks he’s right and he thinks everyone should see the world the way he sees it, and he’s very angry and frustrated when people do not.”
Of course, Eric needed a good redemption arc, and he seems to be getting one. “There’s only so much punching lockers and wrapping up attempted murders you can do before you’re just irredeemable,” Luken cracks.
“Star-Crossed” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.