Luke Cook is a versatile, enigmatic, charming and hard working Aussie actor who is based in LA; he is currently playing the devilishly coveted role of Lucifer in the Netflix series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, alongside Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), Lucy Davis (UK The Office) and Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings). From comedy to drama, stage to screen, Luke has appeared in plays with none other than Al Pacino, as well as blockbuster movies like Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Best known for his work in TV, he has starred in the worldwide hit Modern Family, MTV’s Faking It, Major Crimes, How To Get Away With Murder and The Librarians. With his latest role of the devil exposing Luke (in more ways than one) to a new global audience, we decided to chat to the self-proclaimed “actor and idiot” to discover why comedy is his sweet spot, what’s so fun about being bad, and why acting with Jim Carrey would be his dream role.
What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an actor?
I auditioned for my Year 6 play by impersonating Frank Sinatra; I sang ‘My Way’ and everyone stood up and clapped at the end, and that felt really bloody good. So I thought, “Well, how do I make this happen more often?”
What spurred your big move from Sydney to LA?
I was in the middle of full-time acting school in Sydney when I met a manager who was in town from Los Angeles. He told me I should come check out LA and see if it was for me, and once I did, I knew it was.
How old were you when you moved to LA and did you make the move on your own? I was 22 and yes, it was just lil’ ol’ me.
What was your mind set when arriving in Hollywood – lofty dreams of being an overnight sensation or did you expect years of hard slogging?
I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out that I booked two pilots within the first few months of arriving. However, I couldn’t do them because I didn’t have a visa… So that sucked, but I knew I hadn’t worked hard enough yet. It was strange, after I’d booked the roles I thought, “Hey, you haven’t struggled for this at all.” Then wooshka, all I kept getting told was, “You don’t have a visa, you can’t do the roles – go work your ass off and be endlessly rejected for a few years, and then come back to us.”
What was the very first acting gig you scored in LA?
A sitcom called ‘Mystery Girls’, starring Tori Spelling and Jenny Garth. I was RuPaul’s evil assistant – it was amazing.
Your versatility as an actor is impressive; appearing in popular TV shows and movies across the genres of drama, action and comedy with A-list actors and directors. What types of roles do you enjoy the most?
Thank you! I love comedy, I think it’s where I’m at my most comfortable. But I also love being an evil prick.
What has been your most favourite show or movie to work on?
100% playing the devil in Sabrina is a joy. I could do it forever.
Speaking of of that role, you scored the coveted ‘Lucifer Morningstar’ on Netflix’s cult series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. What’s the best part about playing the devil?
You get to go to work and have fun. The devil has fun, that’s what he does. And he’s smarmy and charming. I mean, some actors go to work and have to be the boy-next-door and be cute all day. So I’m very grateful, it’s fulfilling AF.
The reaction to your role has been overwhelming, with an entire fan base falling in love with you overnight. Has the reality of your popularity sunk in or do you just take it in your stride?
I don’t think I’m all that popular yet. I’m on a very popular Netflix show, which is so fun. But it’s not as if people are lining up in the streets to meet me. Every so often you get someone, and that’s lovely, and life has changed and will continue to change, as I’m in the next season of the show. I suppose it’s all part of the journey that I’ve set myself up for.
Aussies are pros at being larrikins and a bit self-deprecating – do you think that is a useful mechanism for withstanding the surrealism of Hollywood?
Absolutely. Having a laugh and not taking all the hubbub too seriously is our thing. I almost think when Aussie actors lose that they cease to be Australian.
Sticking on the topic of being a larrikin, you are adept at creating hilarious characters that you share via your social channels: from duck-mouthed model manager, Steve Kay, to overly helpful Aussie mum with zero filter, Louise. Not to mention your reprised role as a mime flute player… What influences the creation of your characters and which is by far the funnest to play?
Boredom. When the agents aren’t calling, when NO ONE is calling… these characters are a result of that. I love Steve. But Louise is the easiest – it’s just my Mum.
What has been your most surreal moment in Hollywood – on or off the screen?
Mark Hamill came and saw a play I was in with Al Pacino [God Looked Away]… So, I’m acting with Al Pacino, which is surreal enough, but seeing Luke Skywalker in the audience was crazy. I think I thought he might actually exist on some other planet. But no.
Have you met any of your childhood acting heroes yet?
Yet to meet Jim Carrey.
Which actor and director would you love to work with?
Jim Carrey and… don’t hate me… but Woody Allen’s work has been a huge inspiration to me since I was a kid. I acknowledge that he might be a bad man, but his work for me is nothing short of inspiring.
What would you consider your dream acting job?
Jim Carrey’s son.
Are you most passionate about screen acting or would you like to further pursue stage acting?
I’ve done both and am passionate about both.
What’s next for Luke Cook – the actor and self proclaimed idiot?
I’m in the middle of shooting the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 3 in Vancouver, and loving it!
Finally (and most importantly), how has your rescued Chihuahua pup, Cindy, made life that much sweeter for you in LA?
Cindy is just pure joy. She is the most awkward and terrified thing there is and I love her to bits. She really makes me feel like I’ve got my life together, because she’s so shaky and scared of everything. But she’s grown so much and we’re very much in love.
QUICK RANDOM ONES
The most romantic thing you’ve ever done? I nearly cried over a chicken sandwich because I loved my girlfriend so much… I didn’t though, cos you can’t cry while eating a chicken sandwich, that would be pathetic.
First celebrity crush? Robin Wright.
Current celebrity crush? Maura from UK Love Island.
Best film scene of all time? I love the opening scene of Manhattan. Gershwin Rhapsody In Blue with huge shots of NYC.
Song you could listen to on rotation? Mad Rush by Phillip Glass.
Best travel spot in the world? Melbourne.
Which superhero did you want to be as a kid? Superman.
If you could steal anyone’s job for the day, who would it be and why? Cindy. She doesn’t have one.
If you could get around in just one outfit, what would you choose? Bathrobe.
Your everyday mantra? “Are you sure you’re still funny?”