Photographer Joshua Shultz
Location Sunset Marquis
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.
Luken got his foot in the door with several guest star roles on high profile series, including: “Three Rivers,” “Greek,” “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” “NCIS” and“The Mentalist.” 2012 was a banner year for him, landing the role of ‘Jimmy Tolan’ on the critically acclaimed FX series “Justified,” a character he still plays today. He also secured recurring roles on FOX’s smash hit show “Glee,” and the short lived ABC series “Last Resort” which he worked on through 2012-13.
In 2013, Luken made his feature film debut in Warner Bros. biopic “42,” which chronicled the life of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The film was a breakout hit, scoring $27.3 million at the box office its opening weekend stateside. Luken shone as ‘Eddie Stanky’ in the film, the Dodgers’ outspoken second baseman who was the first member of the team to stick up for Jackie Robinson through the persecution he received by being the first African American man in Major League Baseball.
Aside from his work in film and television, Luken has a love for theater, and notes that one of his greatest passions is Shakespeare. He is fluent in Spanish, French, and Italian, and has traveled all over the world, spending time in over a dozen countries. He also enjoys returning to his roots in biology, and loves to be outdoors camping, mountain biking, or working in his garden. He currently lives in the Los Angeles area with his two dogs, Pete and Adie
Bellus Magazine has the opportunity to sit down with actor Jesse Luken for an interview…
Check out the rest of the photos here…