Watching Kingdom, my favorite television show, you’re immersed in a world filled with actors of distinctly different talents. Jonathan Tucker seems to be the type of actor who completely transforms himself for his character. Jay Kulina is quite literally crazy and Tucker pulls the traits off smoothly and it all comes down to the eyes. However Jonathan himself seems collected and quite eloquent. I put together a list of questions for him a few weeks ago and the answers I received really surprised me. We talked about Kingdom of course, his background as a dancer, his new show American Gods and more. Read forward to find out what I wanted to know, his answers will surprise you:
Jonathan Tucker – Passion Meets Project
Q. Do you find your background in dance helps you with the fancy footwork necessary to take down your opponents on Kingdom?
A. It is impossible to separate the lessons I learned in my early years training as a dancer from what I’m hoping to achieve today as an actor: our body is our instrument & discipline our master.
Q. I’m a huge fan of your work and have seen just about everything readily available you’ve done (and some things I’ve really gone looking for). In my opinion: Jay Kulina has a huge heart but is a ball of insecurity putting on a front of cocky energy with a dash of desperate hope for acceptance (sorry, mouthful, can’t imagine what you go through during shooting). He has so many layers and will act differently with each character on the show. What drew you to this character? Walk me through a shooting day.
A. The very dynamism and duality you so beautifully ascribe to Jay is what drew me to the character. His scale is grand. We trust him when he’s silent and we revel in his moments of showmanship. My day is fully prepared, weeks beforehand, so that I’m entirely open to the vibrations and the unexpected elements of the set, props, production design, and actors. You have to be prepared to be free.
Q. Regarding what I said above, those character traits that stand out so much with Jay are put on the back burner with his mother Christina. He just loves her and is willing to lay his life down on the line to get her back and healthy. Jay has a huge heart. At the end of the previous season she almost died and now she’s talking about finding more independence. How is their relationship going to change this season?
A. My relationship with my mother changes this season in meaningful ways. While I’m always her loyal son and protector, I begin to look after my own needs and desires this season. It is a period that will cause extraordinary friction and ultimately provide the clarity I need as a man.
Q. Even when Alvey refused to work with Jay due to his erratic behavior, Lisa always stood behind him. However she left at the end of the season nearly 9 months pregnant. Things were already strained among the family but upcoming events are going to make things even more emotional. How will Jay’s relationship with Lisa look this season?
A. Lisa holds a unique place in Jay’s world. She is both my father’s lover and my greatest advocate. She is not my mother and is not unaware of Alvey’s flaws. As an older sister or an aunt, there is no more transparent relationship than that of Jay and Lisa, but that does not mean that we’ll see eye to eye this season.
Q. Nate has a secret he’s been hiding from his family. Rumors have it his big secret will be unveiled this season. How is the relationship with Jay going to change? Will we find Nate’s closeted fears were warranted or is a coming out party in order?
A. If jay is anything at any time under any circumstance, he is loyal to those he loves. Jay lived to be his brother’s best friend and there ain’t nothing that can change that.
Q. Tell me your thoughts on the merge with AT&T Uverse and what that means for Kingdom and possibly Jonathan Tucker(and the nominees are)?
A. We are working to honor a subculture that is unknown to many and misunderstood by others. Any chance to share our work with a larger audience excites us.
Outside Kingdom – More To The World
Q. Reboots are the in thing right now in Hollywood. What famous Hollywood role would you love to get your hands on?
A. It’s too long a journey to think about that. I am only focused on working to be comfortable in the uncomfortable and telling stories that resonate.
Q. Are you able to tell us anything about your new show American Gods, which has a cast that makes the wait seem impossible!
A. It’s a privilege to work with Bryan Fuller again. I often find a way into characters through animals. For example, there is Mick Jagger and there is Mick Badger, and both are inspirations for this story.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to share with us to be mentioned in this article or anything upcoming. I enjoy giving actors a chance to share things with my readers we may not know about otherwise. 🙂
A. Acting is a craft in a world that is quickly losing craftsmen. There is no better way to satisfy a craftsman than to give him work, but the work isn’t what audiences see — it’s all the classes, the monologues, the accents, the auditions, the preparation. With hope, the work allows craftsmanship to become art. How we do anything is how we do everything.
You can see Jonathan Tucker on Kingdom on Wednesday nights on Audience Network. American Gods airs next year on Starz. Thank you to Jonathan for taking the time to answer my questions, its always such a treat to see his work and I eagerly await more!