We spent time with actor Jonathan Tucker ahead of the series finale of Kingdom and his new project American Gods.
Before we talk about American Gods, we want to just hear about your breadth of work. You have done a lot, and you are easy on the eyes, AND very talented of course. Tell us a little bit about your journey as an actor? It began in the rehearsal studios at the Boston Ballet and with a sizable dose of dedication, grit, luck, and work on my craft, I have been working as an actor for the past twenty three years.
Most memorable moment in career? Understanding that misplaced expectations will kill you.
Most Challenging? When good work didn’t produce employment…For an extended period of time.
What roles get your attention, when pitched opportunities? Everybody is interesting to watch when they’re truly being themselves.
Good transition to Low Key Lyesmith; tell us what you thought when you were approached by Starz for this role, we have only seen a trailer, and have read a bit about the show and of course that SXSW panel, thank you Youtube. What can you tell us? Vanity Fair just released a story titled: “Is American Gods Suddenly Our Most Politically Relevant Show?” so we are counting down to April 30th…Bryan Fuller and I have worked together a number of times. We collaborate. I’m always interested in stepping into his world; made even more dynamic with the addition of American Gods’ co-showrunner Michael Green.
Can we talk about, Jay Kulina? Dropping weight, complete life change, for this role? We know you didn’t get to eat anything, must have been torture, to quote you; “an un-pleasant physical experience.” Every role is physical. From how many yards away in the middle of the night can you recognize your father’s walk, your daughter’s run, your best friend’s stride? Kingdom honors the world of MMA. Jay Kulina needs to look like a fighter and that demand requires perfect diet, heavy weights, and dedicated mental conditioning. 5x mental toughness = one part physical rigor.
Ok, as a normal human being & actor; what do you do for a workout when you aren’t playing a fighting machine? We assume you have cheat days and eat burgers and fries? I perform at my peak when there’s a challenge to overcome, whether I’m employed or not. It’s simply a matter of cycling the demands or the level of stress. Yoga, weight training, and MMA. I love pizza. I love pizza so so so very much.
What part of working out do you love? As I said, I thrive in resistance — in tackling the mountain — in asking more of myself then my body says it’s willing to give.
What part do you hate? The resistance — the mountain — asking more of myself then my body says it’s willing to give.
Favorite cheat meal? DeSano Capricciosa Pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce, mushrooms, artichokes, no prosciutto, garlic, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala, pecorino romano for $14.50.
Any adventures planned for this Summer in-between work? My wife and I attend the Sun Valley Writers Conference. It’s a week to spend time with some of the year’s most recognized authors and journalists. Aside from that wonderful retreat, I hope I can do a play this summer.
Growing up what is your fondest memory during the Summer? Climbing all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Camp Chingachgookon Lake George, NY.
We think it is important to give back and know you are the founder of the Pegasus Fund, a non-for-profit charity camp for disadvantaged students in the Los Angeles. What can you tell our readers about this organization, and is there anything coming up we can share? To whom much is given much is required. We take top-performing students from underserved communities and send them for three consecutive summers to a summer camp. It’s one of the most important things I’ve done in my life and it allows me to sleep when nights are loud.
Outside of acting, do you have a hobby or passion people might know about? I love country music, trucks, colt revolvers, whisky for my men and beer for my horses. I honeymooned in Tennessee.
We know your Dad, is an expert of Art, Monet specifically; we couldn’t pass up asking are you an art lover? Favorite artist(s) or other fine artist? So much of my childhood was spent in museums and galleries. A love of paintings, drawings, sculptures, earthworks, and other contemporary mediums rubbed off. I just purchased a beautiful Ed Moses painting that sits in our dining room. I’m grateful for his canvas each morning I sit for breakfast.
We know you are from Boston; when was the last time you did a very LA thing, what was it? “LA things” now include yoga and boxing, afternoon hikes and cold-pressed juices, transcendental meditation and craft breweries, farmers markets and sushi, Palm Springs and motorcycles, Oaxacan mole and Armenian pastries…I miss Boston with all my heart, but LA isn’t letting me down.