Lukas Gage has appeared in a variety of television series throughout his career so far. You may recognise Lukas from Euphoria, Tagged, Love, Victor, American Vandal, Wireless and more.
In this Exclusive Interview, Lukas talks about finding his creative passions as a child, his acting career to date and seeing Euphoria grow into the hit that it is, having been involved in the pilot episode.
Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to do this.
Lukas Gage (LG): Of course, thank you for having me, I’m excited.
How have you been finding life in the pandemic?
LG: I have my on-and-off days. I think this is the most life-altering event I’ve experienced. It’s heart-breaking, it’s scary, especially when you have people in charge who don’t have any leadership skills. Byt yeah, I’ve been doing stuff to try to keep my mental health in check. Masks are inconvenient and uncomfortable but we have to wear them. Looking back in history, we’ve dealt with much crazier things. So, this is just going to be the new normal. I think we’re going to find a way to adapt. Some days are harder than others.
What made you want to be an actor?
LG: I think it started a young age with me just wanting to tell stories. Wanting attention, probably. I would do skits for my class and had teachers that were really supportive. I went to a camp – a film camp and did that for a bit. I think the thing that really made me want to work in this industry was my mom had purchased a camera when I was probably in 5th grade. I’d make movies, home videos, with all the neighbourhood kids. Act, direct and edit them.
I didn’t know if I wanted to be an actor. I actually thought I wanted to be a writer-director at first. I still want to do that but the course kind of pushed me more into acting right now.
According to IMDB, you’re from San Diego. How much did already being in California help when you decided to act professionally?
LG: Sure. Well, it felt very doable. There are other kids in my school who are also acting. I went to this summer camp where a lot of people are now working actors that I’m still friends with. It just didn’t feel out of the realm. I felt very lucky and blessed that I was able to be so close and not have to move across the country. My mom hated driving me for 2 hours to go to auditions so that stopped quickly. I would be able to drive myself. It was definitely a perk, being so close to LA.
Would you say you have an acting, writing or directing inspiration?
LG: I just sold two screenplays and I’m shocked that people agreed to my pitch. So, I feel like I checked that box and the next box I think is to eventually direct. That scares the s**t out of me a little bit more. I need to shadow somebody and really… it’s just such a hard job, you’re having a thousand people ask you a hundred questions. I don’t think I’m quite ready for that but that’s the goal long-term.
You recently had a recurring role on Euphoria. As someone who was in the Pilot episode, how have you found watching that show achieve the success it has?
LG: It’s incredible. I always thought it would be super successful. I read it and I begged everybody to let me audition for every single role. I auditioned for every single male role until I finally got the one I got. I just said: “I need to be a part of it. It’s going to be pretty incredible.” I knew Zendaya was going to be fantastic, she’s so talented. Sam Levinson, the director and writer, he’s a genius, can do no wrong. Yeah, it’s very cool to see it blow up as big as it did and have everyone relate and connect to it.
You were also in Love, Victor for Hulu. How did your involvement with that show come about?
LG: My involvement with that was a similar thing. I loved Love, Simon and I reached out to my team and I said: “I need to audition for it.” So, I also auditioned for other parts – the common theme in my career is auditioning for the big parts, getting denied and being told I can play a smaller one. I also felt like I needed to be part of the story. It was such an important queer story that needed to be told. Something I wish was available when I was a teenager.
You were playing someone in a relationship on Love, Victor that predates the storyline. Did you put in any work with George Sear on what it could have been like before Victor arrived?
LG: Yeah, especially with that one, I love George so much. We immediately hit it off. He was so open to improv and talking about their history, make it real for each other. I feel lucky that I was given such a great scene partner who wanted to create a history. A lot of times, you’re not given someone who is willing to go there and wanting to talk about it. So, I felt super lucky, especially with George.
From acting perspective, what choices do you make first when starting to play a new character?
LG: It’s a really good question. I think what I start with is what we have in common, so I can find a place to connect with. Then, I start to look at the places that this character is different to myself, so I can turn down that knob in my innate personality and adjust to whoever this person is. From there, I will create some history for it. That’s what I love about acting, to be unburdened by my own luggage and self-identity is something that I strive for. That is what I’m so connected to, putting on these different hats and feeling disoriented, not like myself.
You appear in Wireless, a new thriller series for Quibi. How would you describe the series and your character, for anyone who’s unfamiliar?
LG: That show is a very interesting, turn-style technology, innovative way to tell a story. It’s a voyeuristic, modern way that uses a phone to tell these stories. You can feel like you’re really interacting inside of the story as an audience. So, you move with the phone to tell the story. I play the best friend that Tye Sheridan, the lead actor in it, he’s always calling on FaceTime to get to the location he needs to get to. I’m kind of the gatekeeper.
Throughout your career, you have recurred or guest starred on many shows – Supergirl, American Vandal and Tagged are some examples. Do any of these experiences stand out in your mind?
LG: That’s a great question. I think… Tagged, actually, might stand out in my mind. It was the first big leading character that I ever had. I learned so much, I was learning new things. I just felt like such a beginner. I still do feel like a beginner but I was so curious and so green. I didn’t even know where a camera went. You know, besides doing my own home films, I never really got to be on set and see what a wide, medium and close-up meant. What a gaffer does, all these different things that was like my film school, that set.
Actors obviously want to play characters who are different from their real-life personalities. In your opinion, do you think any of the characters you’ve played have been similar to you?
LG: Yes, I do think so. I think Tagged also, going back to that, Season 2 or Season 3, there was such insane s**t that they put me through, like being part of an online cult. That part I didn’t connect to. Some of his family backgrounds and the way that he uses humour, kind of being nasty sometimes as a defence mechanism. There was just a lot of similarities and I think that’s a testament to the director, Hannah MacPherson, got to know me personally. So Season 2 and Season 3, it was a lot of who I was as a person. She wrote for us and for every character on that show. I think we all really connected with who we were playing. Every season, we evolved and connected with other stuff. She did it for everyone in the cast.
We’re in living in tough times with the pandemic. If you could offer advice or a sentiment to fans of you or your work, what would it be?
LG: My advice would be to take care of yourself, to really use this opportunity as a time of reflection and revaluation. That’s what I’ve been doing, at least. This is really s****y, a horrible situation and I’m not minimising that all. Use this as an opportunity to really realise what is important to you and take out all the other stuff you don’t need. This has been a time where I’ve cut out friends, I’ve cut out family, people that don’t want the best for me and only cause me pain or toxic relationships.
It’s really made me reevaluate what is important and what’s not. A lot of that is work. There’s been a lot of time I’ve spent worrying about why I didn’t get a job, why didn’t this work out for me, and at the of the day, it doesn’t really matter. You’ve just gotta be with the people you love, try to be happy, do your best and it is what it is, you know? I don’t know, maybe that’s horrible advice but that’s the advice I would give.
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