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Exclusive: Derek Luke Talks About Spirituality, Jack Johnson and His New Role On "Hawthorne"

by Cynthia Reid
June 14, 2011 11:26 AM
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If you haven't noticed by now, based on the media blitz, Hawthorne (starring Jada Pinkett-Smith as Christina Hawthorne) returns tonight on TNT and this season will bring some real sizzle to the show.

Actor Derek Luke is being added to the cast and he'll be playing Dr. Miles Bourdet, a Chicago doctor going through a divorce who's the new love interest of Christina Hawthorne's young but legal daughter, Camille.

In addition to the show, Luke also co-stars in Captain America: The First Avenger and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World co-starring Keira Knightley along with Steve Carell. Both films are completed and he has more film appearances to announce soon.

What can you say, the man is busy! So I felt lucky to be granted a few minutes of his time to talk about his new role on the show. He's just as I imagined...gracious and with tons of humility.

In terms of your acting and the choices you make, how does spirituality work for you?
It allows me to have peace no matter what kind of storm is happening. A few years ago you couldn’t go from tv to film. It was like a "no no" but I believe when you find a plan and purpose that God has for your life, there’s not anything man can do to you. Especially when your faith is not really standing in the wisdom of man, you’re really standing in the wisdom of God.

The story about Miles addresses a family man, a husband, a father and a professional. And for so long, I know for me as a young man of color, many times I’ve never seen those things coming together and being complete. My character Miles on Hawthorne is about being a complete man and making tough decisions. He’s going through one of the toughest things you can go through in a relationship and that’s divorce. As a matter of fact, in doing research, they said it’s more destructive for a child to lose a parent through a divorce than through a death.

On the show, Miles moves from Chicago to Richmond, Virginia working at the James Hospital. It’s a right career move but he’s finding out if it’s correct for his family. He's presented with some escape routes and he has to decide whether or not those escape routes are appropriate to whom he is as a person.

That’s what I love about having spirit first. When your heart is first, you can be absent of heart but when you put spirit first, you have a reason for why you do heart.

Wow. I wasn't expecting that.
(Laughing) Me neither.

How did you become apart of the show?
I heard about Hawthorne and always wanted to see it. I went and tivo-ed it, by the time I went to watch it, it was within three days I get a call that the producers of Hawthorne want to see you and they want to make an offer. I looked at my wife and said ‘Man isn’t that interesting?’

Is there any particular project that you’d love to do in the future?

Yeah, there’s a few. One project that I have my heart set on, Jack Jackson...the first African American heavyweight. Jackie Robinson was a project that was in talks awhile ago with me and Robert Redford.

I’m hearing all about the new Jackie Robinson project now. They’re starting that up again and your name is coming up everywhere.
Aww man, that is totally a blessing. Just to be mentioned.

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  • Rona Wright | July 26, 2011 1:22 AMReply

    I love Derek Luke, and I am so happy to see him on Hawthorne. I think he's great, the total package.

  • brooklynpark | July 19, 2011 10:55 AMReply

    Check out this exclusive interview with Derek Luke as he talks 'Captain America' and 'Hawthorne' here!!

  • wayne martin | June 17, 2011 3:09 AMReply

    Check out Derek Luke talk about his role in The Upcoming Captain America Movie

  • Nadell | June 16, 2011 5:11 AMReply

    I just wanna say I loved his prayer he prayed for Christina's was soo touching and comforting!
    Derek Luke is a great actor!

  • JasonJee | June 15, 2011 12:17 PMReply

    I didn't know there was a Black male actor on Hawthorne maybe he can make it less boring.

  • middlemyatt | June 15, 2011 11:51 AMReply

    “That’s what I love about having spirit first. When your heart is first, you can be absent of heart but when you put spirit first, you have a reason for why you do heart… “Especially when your faith is not really standing in the wisdom of man, you’re really standing in the wisdom of God...” -- really?! Wow! It’s amazing what passes for spirituality these days!

  • James Madison | June 14, 2011 12:30 PMReply

    Good interview Cynthia.

    I'm anxious to see what happens tonight.

  • Lynn | June 14, 2011 12:27 PMReply

    Can't wait. The actress who plays Jada Pinkett's daughter is a little young for the role as love interest but it should be interesting to watch.

  • Vanessa | June 14, 2011 11:42 AMReply

    I like him. I think he's a good actor. I hope he gets some good projects :-)

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