jonathan tucker red carpet.jpg

Jonathan Tucker: Personal Best

Some passions are all-consuming. Some can be just passing fancies. For dynamic, hot shot actor Jonathan Tucker, being the best at whatever he does is a personal challenge to himself. You’ve seen him on the critically-acclaimed NBS series, The Black Donnellys, likened as the Irish Sopranos. You caught him starring with Jessica Biel in the remake hit, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This spring he comes direct to your neighborhood cinema in The Ruins, a sci-fi thriller produced by Hollywood heavy hitters Steven Spielberg and Ben Stiller. Not bad for only being 25 years old. Here, he gets real with me about his career, giving back to the world and the inside scoop on his own passions.

Lance Avery Morgan: Jonathan, you’ve worked in both TV and film. It’s like apples and oranges. Which do you prefer?

Jonathan Tucker: Working on The Black Donnellys was like working on a really good film. Before that, I’d done T.V. guest spots, which is like being on a 115 mile per hour train and you need to make headway at 120 miles per hour. That’s like working on a machine, whereas Donnellys was a more cinematic experience.

LAM: Did you have fun working on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre here in Texas?

JT: What wonderful people and restaurants, as well as Lake Travis and Barton Springs are there. One of the most truth truthful places in the world is Taylor, Texas where we filmed. But that heat during the day was a bit much.

jonathan tucker olivia wilde black donnellys.jpg

LAM: That’s right. I visited that set and it seemed like a scary experience to shoot that. Speaking of terrifying scenes, you’ve got The Ruins, a thriller, coming out on April 4th, so our readers need to plan on being there opening weekend. Was it a fun time?

JT: You know, it’s a haunting, hyper-realistic film. It’s about a group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins. It was a great experience shooting in Australia, but it got a little lonely.

LAM: How did you offset the loneliness on film locations?

JT: I like do transcendental meditation because it’s effective and is a short, simple thing that affects daily life. I also like learning about wine because I think there is a spiritual component to it. The relationship between wine and agriculture is something I appreciate – the dirt, the land and energy it produces that eventually becomes wine.

LAM: Thinking of wine and other French things, I understand your father is a renowned expert on Claude Monet and French Impressionism.

JT: My dad is indeed an art history professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and he specializes in Impressionism. The art world is a myriad of things; a business, a profession, an artistic outlet, and I’ve gotten to see all of that. Mr. Monet was this other man who has always been a part of our family.

LAM: Right, you grew up in Boston. That had to help with your roles, especially on Black Donnelly’s.

JT: I grew up in a dynamic neighborhood. There is a real work ethic and I have an appreciation of that. And, I’ve learned there is an immutable sense of truth that working class folks have that can’t be bought or taken away.

LAM: It’s obvious through your work that acting is a strong passion of yours. What other things are you passionate about?

JT: I’m passionate about my family and friends. I like to think I have an intellectual curiosity for exploration.

LAM: Part of that curiosity applies to how you give back to the world with your passion and no-profit organization, The Pegasus Fund, doesn’t it?

JT: I am very passionate about that. When I turned 25 and was lying in bed and really thought ‘I am at seminal stage,’ maybe it was a quarter-life crisis. Had I not been so actively involved in The Pegasus. Fund, I might have had a real internal crisis. The Fund promotes the idea of responsibility that comes with privilege of education. We send kids from the Thatcher School in Ojai, my alma mater, to camps in Poughkeepsie, New York. It supplements their scholarship journey to help bridge a social gap of coming from underprivileged background and being thrown into private schools. We’ve been able to affect kids’ lives because knowledge is power.