Luke James Had a Lot of Doubt About His Performance in ‘Them: The Scare’: ‘I Felt Like I Was Messing This Up’

Luke James, who has been applauded for his role as Edmund Gaines in Season 2 of Little Marvin’s horror anthology series “Them,” said he was uneasy “every day” about how well he was performing during filming.

“I was probably at the seat of my pants. Every day I felt stupid. Every day we shot I felt like I was messing this up,” James told TheWrap. “It was a lot of that because I was doing something so outside of myself that I felt crazy. I felt like, ‘This is not good.'”

The actor stars as the docile Edmund Gaines in the creepy second season of the Prime Video series, a pizza shop worker who has dreams of becoming an actor. After facing back-to-back rejection, Edmund gives his body up to a murderous evil spirit when he dies by suicide. James credited his acting coach and the writers for crafting the nuanced character, as well as fellow actor Richard Lawson for helping him develop the role even further. He even said playing Edmund has been his most liberating role so far in his career, as he relates to Edmund’s own acting goals and being a “loner.”

“This is the first project I was able to really pour a lot of myself into,” James said. “When I look at the complexities of a character … yes, it’s a horror, there’s a serial killer, but I look at the human. Just take [Edmund] from face value. He is a person who is lonely, who is seeking validation and has not found a space where he’s protected and valued. And he’s been that way his entire life … Here’s this 30-year-old in L.A. trying to figure his life out, and he’s at his bitter end. I received that, took it in and walked around with that and all the different colors that made him lovable.”

While the freedom allowed James to flex his own creativity with the character, branching out from what was put down on the script pages presented its own set of challenges for him.

“It was just a very impromptu-type vibration, but this edginess that I’m like, not in control. I’m so out of control. The chaos is maintained and contained, and I’m uncertain,” James explained. “I’m just shooting in the dark in a sense. There was a lot of doubt. I would go home on weekends as well. I would text [Little Marvin] and say, ‘Listen, man, you can take pay for this episode. I would love to reshoot that scene. I don’t know if I messed it up. I don’t know, I don’t know.’ He’d just be so calm, he’d text me back, ‘Man, it’s all good. Let me look at the takes, I guarantee you we got it.'”

Luke James as Edmund in "Them: The Scare" (Prime Video)
Luke James as Edmund in “Them: The Scare” (Prime Video)

So good, in fact, James said there’s already been talks about him returning to the “Them” universe.

“There was chatter about me coming back before we finished,” he revealed. “Anything Little Marvin calls for me, anything, I don’t care, I don’t care how big, how small, I want to be in his universe, which has so many brilliant people … I will definitely be in Season 3 whether they like it or not.”

From media writeups, online applause, full-blown Reddit discussions and even a shoutout from talk show host Tamron Hall, viewers can’t get enough of James’ performance. As far as how he’s handling all the praise, the actor said this is one of the few times he’s allowed himself to receive such grand acclaim.

“This is the first time in a minute that I’ve allowed myself to receive such flowers, good or bad,” James shared. “This is a special project that is predominately Black, and we need all hands on deck as far as engagement and getting people to know this exists. It’s on a platform that has a lot of brilliant art. It’s a lot of content, so you want to engage people and let them know that this exists. I’ve been doing that lately. And in doing that, I’ve been able to receive flowers in both realms.”

Luke James (Cibelle Levi)
Luke James (Cibelle Levi)

He continued: “Either you like it or you love it. I haven’t heard anything less than that. I’m still in awe that it’s me that did that. I’m hearing the things that people are saying. I watch film, and I hold particular actors and performances to a particular standard. So when someone puts me in that bracket with those people I’m thinking of, I’m a little taken aback. And I’ve been in this business and people say a lot of things, so it’s a bit of me letting go of whatever the trauma is and receiving it and just being present and grateful that we did something that people receive so well.”

Even though “Them: The Scare” has ended its second season, fans can still catch the multiple Grammy-nominated singer-actor in Showtime’s drama series “The Chi,” which is currently in production for its seventh season.

The post Luke James Had a Lot of Doubt About His Performance in ‘Them: The Scare’: ‘I Felt Like I Was Messing This Up’ appeared first on TheWrap.