Interview With Actor Lucas Bryant, “Summer Love”

By Ruth on August 20, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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In the blissful sea of Hallmark leading men, there is nothing like having some new faces and personalities to change things up a bit. And it just so happens that when Tulips in Spring aired earlier this year on the Hallmark Channel, that is exactly what happened. With the addition of Lucas Bryant to the pool of handsome, charming men who could act with depth, grace, and even sophistication, Lucas was a sagacious addition on the part of the network. And evidently, Hallmark struck gold, so to speak, because they cast Lucas yet again in their upcoming film for this weekend, Summer Love. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Lucas about his role in the film as well as a wide variety of topics in the entertainment industry regarding his career, his interests, and his future aspirations.

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{Disclaimer: Please understand the Lucas has a delightful and somewhat quirky sense of humor at times, and as I have attempted to insert his humor into the body of the interview, make certain that you recognize those moments and don’t take everything that Lucas says one hundred percent seriously.}

RH: Why did you decide to become an actor?

LB: Holy Moley! Well, it’s the only thing I could see myself doing. Actually, it was the only thing I was good at. It was the only thing I was incredible at. {laughs} No, I loved it, and I really want to do–or try to do–something that I loved. Everyone has that story about that one teacher that changed their lives, and mine was a guy named Mr. Davis.  He was my high school drama teacher, and he was just incredible. We did all sorts of really cool theater productions, high school productions, and even the Sears Ontario Drama Festival.  And that was just like my favorite thing to do during high school at that time, and I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was and how special he was. I thought everybody had these great drama programs. But that is not the case. And these days, there are even less of those kinds of programs. He was just hugely influential and inspirational and supportive and really turned me on to all sorts of wild possibilities. It was something I had always loved and had always hoped to do. Then I went to theater school after high school. I had a theater company in Toronto for a little while. I just always loved acting. And then film and TV started happening a little more regularly, and when it looked like I could actually do that and be that and have a life of that, I did.

So yours is the more traditional route. Some actors take the nontraditional routes.

Right. No, I wasn’t like a professional rower who was one day standing at a restaurant in Cleveland and was scouted by somebody that they wanted to put me in a movie. That didn’t happen. Although if I am standing at a restaurant and you see me standing there and you think you want to put me in your movie, you should come up and talk to me. Maybe we could work something out.

So as I was looking through your credits, I noticed the show you are most known for is The Haven. Is that right?

Yes, that’s right. But there’s no “the” there. It’s just HavenThe Haven is something else. Ours is just the word Haven.

Well, that’s good to know because I’m not sure if IMDB has it right. {Actually they do. I was wrong.} It’s a good reference, but they don’t always get everything right.

That’s very true. That’s why I get all these random birthday wishes on various days of the year. I was always wondering why people were wishing me happy birthday in December–not one person, but a bunch of people. Ha ha, and I traced it back to IMDB. Can’t trust it.

So with Haven–now I’ll be honest, I’m not familiar with the show.

No problem. I’m just gonna hang up right now. {laughs}

Right, right. Well, once we get to the Hallmark stuff, I’m familiar with that. So don’t hang up yet. 

Okay.

emilyroseericbalfourlucasbryantpresentmlbju1fxoorl.jpg.jpgHow did you get involved with Haven?

Well, just the old traditional route. I auditioned. I needed the job. I wanted the job. I liked this job. And Emily Rose, who played the lead, had already been cast, and she and I had worked together maybe four months previous. And so I heard that she was cast, and I thought maybe there was an in for me. And I went into the final audition–it was down to me and a couple of other guys. And I brought a Victoria’s Secret bag of gifts for Emily Rose into the audition, which everyone thought was a little bit strange. Now, it was a Victoria’s Secret bag, but in the bag were not actually Victoria’s Secret undergarments. Inside were Canadian chocolate bars called Coffee Crisps, which is my form of bribery. So I gave everyone these candy bars, and I think that they loved them, but they also didn’t know what to do with me. Like what the heck my problem was. So they sent me back out into the waiting room, and I sat there for awhile. Then someone came out and they said, “Lucas, can you come back in and do your audition again but maybe just cut the sh–?” You know, the four-letter word that goes in there? And I was like, “What do you mean?” And this person said, “Just do it like a normal person. Don’t bring in the Victoria’s Secret bag. Don’t be all weird. Don’t make jokes. Be like Captain Boring.” Well, I can be Captain Boring. So I went in and did it straight up like a police procedural kind of show. And I must have been incredible ’cause I got the job.

Definitely. Of course you were incredible. There’s no doubt about that.

Yeah, I think they saw my range there. They saw that I could be this insane person and a totally normal person. Hopefully I could do everything in between as well.

from Tulips in Spring

from Tulips in Spring

Now, correct me if I’m wrong. Tulips in Spring–was that your first Hallmark movie?

Well, I did a little part in one before that with that same person, Emily Rose down here in Los Angeles called Secret Summer. But Tulips in Spring was my first lead role in a Hallmark film.

Tulips in Spring I did see, and I did enjoy. But the big drawing card for me in that one was one of the minor characters–your character’s rival. Giles Panton and I have known each other for awhile.

Nice. I see, so Giles was the pull. Giles and I never met because we were competition, and they had to keep us separate because they knew it wouldn’t go well. {laughs} No, I heard very wonderful things about him, but just the way the schedule was, we were never there at the same time.

What do you like about working for the Hallmark network?

I think that the older I get–and especially with a kid now–the more I appreciate entertainment that’s pure entertainment. That’s not something that you have to shield your kids from. They have a good heartwarming message generally. It’s good clean fun.

Right. I appreciate that too ’cause I have a daughter. It’s nice to be able to have family-friendly entertainment. 

Totally. And I know this is something that I can tell my whole family to watch. I don’t have to worry about it offending anyone. Everyone is gonna enjoy it. From the kids to my grandmother.

David Winning was the director of Tulips in Spring. Was that your first time to work with him?

That was my first time working with him, yep. I had heard good things from other people who had worked with him. And he was totally that. He was easy. He was open. He always wanted to play around, and he encouraged me to do my thing. And he was able to create a good vibe on set. He really brings everyone together. He makes it a totally easy and positive experience for everyone. I don’t think anyone has anything bad to say about the guy.

And that is what I’ve heard, but it’s good to know that everyone sees it the same way.

Yes, it’s all true.

Lucas Bryant Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Lucas Bryant Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

So now you are in another Hallmark film called Summer Love. And I am assuming this is another lead role for you.

Yes, it is.

So it would seem that Hallmark must like you to have you as a lead in a second film this year. 

Right, they must like me. Unless somehow I slipped under the radar and they forgot that I was that guy they hated. {laughs} No, I think that I’ve done well for them and they’ve done well for me. It’s a beautiful relationship so far.

What can you tell us about Summer Love and your character without spoiling the storyline?

My character is Colin, and he is the CFO of a tech company. He a sort of button-down half of the pair of these guys who run this company. Will {Travis’ role} is the CEO, and he is more of a wild card. And Maya, who’s played by Rachael Leigh Cook, has secured an internship there for the summer, and she is completely not techy herself. Kind of a fish-out-of-water scenario. But because she has great instinct and a great joi de vivre, she can make quite a muck on both Colin–my character–and Will.

Lucas Bryant, Rachael Leigh Cook, Travis Milne, Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Lucas Bryant, Rachael Leigh Cook, Travis Milne, Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

What was the atmosphere like on set when you were filming?

It was just pure animosity from the get go. We hated each other. {laughs} No, seriously. Rachael and Travis {Milne} who plays Will, are both lovely people. I had never worked with either of them before. We got along like a house on fire, though I really don’t understand that saying. But yeah, we got along incredibly well. It was a real pleasure to have met and worked with both of them. And Lynne Stopkewich, the director, I had worked with before. She directed an episode of Haven. So I knew Lynne and I liked her ’cause she’s got a bit of a weird sensibility, and I totally appreciate that. And so I knew that she would try to inject as much of her strange sense of humor into this project as possible, and she did. And I think everyone really enjoyed the comedic aspect of the script, and we had a blast running with it.

Lucas Bryant, Travis Milne Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Lucas Bryant, Travis Milne Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Well, that’s great. Sounds like a great film to watch this weekend.

I hope so. I’ve only seen about ten or fifteen minutes of it when I went in to do ADR. But what I saw, I really enjoyed. I thought it was quite hilarious.

I always appreciate Hallmark films that are usually very light and funny because so much of what’s on TV today is very heavy and intense. With Hallmark, you don’t have to sit there and try to figure out what’s going on. You can just sit back and enjoy it.

Yes, absolutely. That’s what Summer Love is. The script was always really quite funny, and I think everyone just really wanted to elevate that. And Rachael is hilarious. And Travis is a complete comedic wild man. Now that’s not to say that this is like a “Three Stooges” movie.

I understand you have done a little bit of directing yourself.

Yeah, I directed an episode of Haven in its last season. And that was something I had always been working toward even before I worked on Haven. I’ve shadowed directors as much as I could and as long as I could in the hopes of one day getting to direct myself. And that actually came to pass, and the experience was beyond my wildest dreams. It was just incredible. I loved it. I was terrified and just completely overwhelmed the whole time with a combination of sheer terror and pure joy. It was amazing.

Then I assume that’s something you’d like to do more of in the future. 

Definitely. Definitely.

So in addition to directing, are you thinking one day you may do some writing?

Yeah, I’ve been doing some writing for a little while now. And yeah, I would love to be able to have some of my own creations on film or TV. I enjoy the whole creative process. Not that I’m saying I understand what it is to be a writer or to be a director, but from the little bit I’ve been able to do, it has been hugely rewarding.

Lucas Bryant, Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Lucas Bryant, Rachael Leigh Cook Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

While I don’t know exactly what style your writing is, I’m thinking you could inject your own sense of humor into your writing–which could be interesting.

Yeah, but so far I have been working on dramatic stuff, but yes, there’s always room for some humor, and I try to get that in as much as possible.  As actors, sometimes you can feel like a bit of a meat puppet being told to stand there and say this. Not to say there isn’t creative input that comes from acting by any means. But to be part of the confection process is a whole other bag of tricks that you get to draw on, and I found that really satisfying and inspiring. When directing and/or writing, I found that I was firing on all my creative cylinders rather than just two or three of them.

 

 

In addition to Summer Love, do you have any other upcoming works you can mention?

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Sure. There’s a series called Shoot the Messenger which is going to be premiering on CBC in Canada in October. So that’s something wildly different than the things we’ve been talking about. It’s a dramatic eight-part series about an investigative journalist who stumbles on a case that quickly pulls her into this rabbit hole of political intrigue and murder and sex and drugs and all sorts of dangerous and wild stuff. So it’s something very different. But I play an investigative journalist–her partner–and so the two of us are trying to figure it all out as the show starts out with a murder. And it gets more and more confusing and more and more dangerous. It’s going to be a pretty wild show.

It sounds interesting, but of course, since it’s in Canada, we will have to wait to see it. Sometimes it upsets me because there are these great shows up in Canada that we can’t watch–

Totally.

but of course, it happens that’s there’s shows here that you guys aren’t able to watch. 

Right. For now, Shoot the Messenger is premiering on CBC. But hopefully it will be available internationally, too.

Well, at least that will be something for us to watch out for later on. (pause) One last question. What would be your dream role–if you could choose any role–what would it be?

I’m always terrible at answering this question. There’s really no dream role for me. But I guess the dream role would be a bit of everything ’cause I’d love to do a Clint Eastwood Western. And I’d love to do a wacky physical comedy. And I would love to do a dry period piece. {laughs} And I’d love to do a heavy, dark drama. So all of it and any of it, I guess in some ways–in Haven because of the sci-fi genre, it included time travel, and so I got to do some period stuff. And there were also body switching episodes, so I got to be a totally different character. That’s when I lost my memory, and I was another version of myself in an alternate universe. So in many ways, I’ve already done my dream role. I got to do a lot of different styles, and that was really rewarding. So I want to just continue doing varied roles.

And honestly, that’s not a terrible answer. I hear similar answers to that, and I think that’s a great answer ’cause that just shows that you’re versatile. There are those that only want to do one kind of acting. And then there are those like you who are very versatile. So that’s not a bad answer. That’s a good answer.

Well, good. {laughs}

I think that answer works very well with who you are. 

Well, I hope so. That’s what attracted me to acting in the first place is getting to do weird and wild things that are away from who I am.

Lucas Bryant Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Lucas Bryant Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

Now, I for one, appreciate someone who doesn’t take himself seriously and enjoys being a bit of a character at times. And in Lucas, that is exactly what I got. In fact, more often than not, it was a difficult feat to even transcribe the interview at times as his humor peeked out at the most seemingly inopportune times. However, Lucas is fully aware of the fact that there is a time for sobriety, and there is a time for humor. He deflects compliments through his ingenious use of humor, but there is no doubt that the support of his fans is paramount. As he now has a child of his own, it is evident that his appreciation for family-friendly entertainment as provided on the Hallmark network means an incalculable amount to him. Furthermore, he is not an actor who desires to be typecast–on the contrary, he wants to do it all. And there is no doubt that directing and writing are something that ignites an inextinguishable flame within him. Please be sure that you tune into Summer Love on Saturday, August 20, on the Hallmark Channel, as it’s certain to be something buoyant, amusing, uplifting and heartfelt. And don’t forget to follow this adroit, candid, and sometime nonsensical actor via the links below as there is no doubt in my mind that his career is on the invariable ascent, and you don’t want to miss a moment of it!

FOLLOW LUCAS

Twitter

IMDB

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Heidi Payton-Holstein August 20, 2016 Reply

    I dont know much about this actor or the movie but Im willing to give it a shot.
    My bff is all goo goo of lucas, ill wait and see.
    the movie does look interesting.
    Heres to making good original movie and not remakes

    • Author
      Ruth August 20, 2016 Reply

      Heidi, I hope you do give it a try!! I’ve just seen it and it’s awesome!

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