MyFanbase Exclusive interview with Jesse Luken

Don’t miss Jesse’s entire interview over at MyFanbase.de!

Jimmy is a great example of how good “Justified” is with using the complete ensemble and developing background characters. He started out as one of Boyd’s henchman and in the end it seemed like a father-son-relationship. How did you experience this development over the three years?
Thank you for saying so, and I think you hit the nail on the head. One of Justified’s greatest strengths in my opinion is it’s trust of the ensemble, and everyone on set does a great job in waiting their turn and stepping up when their number is called. In regard to Jimmy, he trusted Boyd completely, all the way to his death, and I think really started looking to Boyd as a father figure, or at the very least an infallible mentor. Jimmy did well to keep his head down for so long and not get the hubris some of Boyd’s other henchmen over the years have developed. He almost made it out of Harlan alive. Almost.

Jimmy’s death was brutal, emotionally and physically. Does playing a scene like that have an impact on you?
I never want to pretend that we as actors have an especially difficult job (the way I hear others sometimes exaggerate it.) I’ve hung drywall for a summer, that’s a hard job. Having said that, scenes like this, when done right, are emotionally exhausting (which becomes physically exhausting) for the actor. If you’ve ever cried really hard and then noticed afterword you’re really tired, the feeling is similar. Except imagine doing it for six hours tied to a chair. I slept good that night.

When we talked to Walton Goggins about “Justified” a while back he said “It’s a world that really interests me, a tonality that I like to play in and a complexity that is a rarity in television.” Did you feel similarly about working on this show?
Yep. The world Justified creates is truly one of a kind, and no character ever seems out of place (unless that’s the point.) The dialogue is second to none, and the collaboration the writers have with the actors and vice versa really causes the show to excel. You see a great deal of complexity within the show, themes and characters that would normally seem in opposition to one another flow seamlessly on Justified. Look no further than Boyd Crowder as an example; the man is a brilliant Hillbilly.

You’re aware that fans are shipping Julia and Eric? You probably can’t say much but given Eric’s hostility towards the Atrians do you think knowing what cured Julia would make him reconsider his views or drive him to exploit the knowledge?
I didn’t even know what shipping meant before all of this! I think Julia is making him reconsider a lot of what he used to value in his life, and what he might value going forward. It’s all very new to him; the lessoning of his prejudices, seeing the true colors of the Red Hawks, and especially falling in love. Sometimes he still needs to get out of his own way, but it’s been really exciting to be given the opportunity to play out these changes.

“Star-Crossed” has the magical teen romance but it addresses social issues, too. It challenges its viewers to try to call the racial tension into question. What’s your take on that aspect?
I agree completely, and that aforementioned position which Eric holds is what I loved most about the project. The bigotry highlighted through the first few episodes could have easily be taken directly out of the integration movement of the 1950s and 60s. The fears and animosities toward the other, especially taken completely from a lack of knowledge, are prevalent throughout the course of human history. Whether the ‘other’ is African-Americans, homosexuals or in this case extra-terrestrials, the majority of human reactions have, sadly, remained the same.

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