Class Heroes Casting News: Meet James Blake, aka Actor Luther Lucas
It is my very great pleasure to announce the casting of the character of James Blake for the Class Heroes book trailers. Suffolk actor Luther Lucas steps into — nay, fills, James’s shoes.
I met Luther on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Ipswich, and I instantly liked him. He’s an engaging guy. He’s 19, and has a surprising ability to sometimes seems older than his years, due in part to his stature and his maturity; and also younger, because of his humour and his energy. In short, he’s perfect casting for James.
I talked through James’s character with Luther, and the tone of the Class Heroes books. I explained that the vibe I am going for in the trailers is realism. I want James to seem like a real teenage boy. The more natural the acting performance, the more it feels like James is someone you know, one of your friends, the better it will be.
I was delighted to discover that Luther and I share a liking for the same type of superheroes, too. Like me, Luther is a big fan of the Channel 4 UK TV show Misfits. I love the humour in Misfits and that’s something I want to bring out in the trailers. I think some brother/sister agro between James and Sam will bring out the fun side of these characters.
Luther did an excellent screentest for the role in Christchurch Park. He did it in a public place, and he acted with a small patch of vegetation that stood in for his sister, Sam, and a rucksack that stood in for his teacher. No easy feat but he made it work!
He’s performed with Sam actress Jessica Rowbotham before (last time they were husband and wife, this time brother and sister — funny, the acting world, isn’t it?). I think they’re going to work brilliantly together. My head is buzzing with ideas for the filming day now. Unfortunately it means I keep waking up at 5am — much to the annoyance of my pregnant wife who is treasuring her remaining good nights’ sleep.
Luther’s acting experience
Luther studied performing arts at college for three years, where he played a host of different characters from various shows.
He’s played Dionysus from The Bacchae, Richie in 13 The Musical, Ferdinand in The Tempest and Knuckles in Bugsy Malone. From there, Luther went on to work with The Red Rose Chain for a year, where he played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Luther toured a play around schools in Suffolk, about domestic abuse in teenage relationships.
Luther was also involved with the 4Seasons Theatre Group, where he played a variety of characters from Annie, and Captain Hook in Peter Pan Musical.