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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Deeper Dish with Jeremy Lucas

Last week I blogged about I Love Dick!, a gay web series spoof of I Love Lucy that features an amusing performance by Jeremy Lucas as Mickey Lombardo (i.e. Ricky Ricardo). Having already admired Jeremy's work in another web series, I was curious to learn a little more about this talented young actor.

The 29-year-old magna cum laude graduate of Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts has worn many professional hats so far in his life: actor, dancer, choreographer, director and producer. He has appeared on TV's Nip/Tuck, Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, and Port Charles as well as in such films as 2006's Long-Term Relationship and Everybody Is Having Sex...But Ryan, a new short romantic comedy written and directed by Brian Pelletier. Jeremy also produces shows with his theatre company, JAXX THEATRICALS, including Chicago, which earned him an LA Ovation Award nomination for Best Choreography, and the critically acclaimed Los Angeles premiere of Cy Coleman's The Life (one of my personal favorites). And last spring he was contracted by the U.S. State Department as a Cultural Envoy for the USA to produce and direct musical theatre projects for U.S. Embassies around the world (his first show was Broadway In Baku in Baku, Azerbaijan). Jeremy is obviously a very busy guy, but I'm thrilled that he was able to take some time to be here on the Dish to discuss his career and answer a few pop culture questions.

Let's start with your new film, Everybody Is Having Sex...But Ryan. What's it about?
I play Ryan. He's an all-around nice guy who has run into a string of bad luck in love. The movie follows his trials and tribulations with dating and/or hooking up.

How did you get cast in the movie?
When I first moved to LA, I was up for a film called, Confessions of a Teenage Go-Go Boy, in which Brian Pelletier was directing. I believe the original pop idol, Will Young, ended up winning the role, but then the movie was never made. A few years later Brian asked me to work on another project with him, and we had such a good time and worked together so well, he then offered Ryan to me.

You're going to be playing the son of Bruce Vilanch and Judy Tenuta on the upcoming here! TV series, Cartera. Can you tell us anything else about it? When should we expect to see it?
I don't have my shooting schedule yet. We're supposed to start up again this month. We shot the the pilot episode a while back, and I know they've been casting a lot of the other roles, and that's just about all I know at this point.

What has been your favorite acting role?
On camera, I really enjoyed playing Bridger Sweeney in a fun little project that spoofs Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd. The director allowed me a great deal of freedom to improvise and pretty much act like a big jackass--which, of course, can be really fun for someone who is generally pretty cheeky. However, the damaging things the character says and does through dark, twisted humor are not ideas or ideals that I believe in. It's important I say this because this film has offended a lot of people. I have an offbeat sense of humor and as an actor love playing the bad guy. I'm also a big fan of improvising when and where appropriate, so I have a great time with directors that are open to giving their actors that playtime when they're inspired. On stage, for similar characteristic reasons, I love playing Action in West Side Story and had the pleasure of re-creating him in the 50th Anniversary Cast at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and have gone on to play him a couple times since then. It's a lot of fun playing a role that requires you to act through song and dance in addition to your scene work.

What show have you enjoyed directing the most?
This summer I directed Into the Woods with JAXX THEATRICALS. Hands down--my fave!

What show would you most like to direct that you haven't already?
I have to direct West Side Story!

How did you become a Cultural Envoy for the U.S.?
Funny enough, it relates back to West Side Story. A U.S. Diplomat was Google-searching West Side Story and young directors because he wanted someone he felt could relate to university students. While I have never directed the show, I have worked on it in five different productions, so my name came up in the search. They found that I also have a theatre company and directing experience. It turns out we didn't end up doing West Side Story with the U.S. Embassy, but a revue instead that featured selections from it. I anxiously await my next assignment. It truly was a highlight of my life.

You grew up in Palatine, Illinois, and the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago and now you live in Los Angeles. In three words, how would you describe each city?
Palatine - Suburbia, Typical, Small

Chicago - Family, Food, Real

Los Angeles - Sushi, Sunshine, Self-Indulgent

You've been scuba diving, sky diving, bungee jumping and glacier hiking. Which one was the best experience?
You do an excellent job with your research! I'd have to say bungee jumping. I believe bungee was the introduction to my love of extreme/adventure sports.

In high school I was:
Full of teen angst and a drama geek who thought he was too-cool-for-school.

If I had to gain 30 pounds for a role, I would eat:
CHEESE, mexican food, pizza, french fries, rocky road ice cream. I would LOVE to gain 30 pounds for a role!!! I'm a foodie.

The last good book I read was:
I recently read the play, The Little Dog Laughed, and really enjoyed it.

When I was growing up, I never missed a television episode of:
Party of Five

Today I never miss a television episode of:

The very first album, tape or CD that I purchased with my own money was:
The very first album I owned was Olivia Newton-John's Physical, the first tape was Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, and the first CD was Mr. Lee's Get Busy. But, unfortunately, I don't remember what the first one was where I paid.

The very first concert that I ever attended was:

If I was stranded on a desert island for a year, I would want to listen to:
This is what I would pack right now: Lady Gaga's The Fame, Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad, a Kanye West Mix CD, Michael Jackson's Number Ones, and Journey's Greatest Hits.

Five movies that I think everyone should be required to watch are:
American Beauty, Heathers, It's a Wonderful Life, Chicago, Back to the Future

If I could give an Oscar for any neglected film performance of the past, I would give one to:
Actor: Russell Crowe - A Beautiful Mind
Actress: Kate Winslet - Titanic

If I could star on Broadway in any role in any musical or play, I would be:
From what's currently playing: Franz in Rock of Ages, Action in West Side Story, or Woof in Hair.

If I could choose People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive of 2009, it would be:
My cheeky answer: ME! I hear that comes with some great publicity and perks!

If I could have anyone in the world--living or dead--be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
Jesus Christ, Siddhārtha Gautama and Mahatma Gandhi.

What's next for Jeremy Lucas?
Shooting Cartera, hopefully making it to some Ryan film festival screenings, and an all-male Sweeney Todd. Thanks so much, Marc! This has been a lot of fun for a guy who likes to make lists!

And thank you, Jeremy, for getting Deeper with us here on the Dish. To learn more about Jeremy Lucas, check out his website at or become a Facebook fan by clicking here. His theatre company, JAXX THEATRICALS, also has its own website and Facebook page.

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