Luke Mitchell is an actor whose versatility sparks a different impression for each type of viewer. His fellow Aussies may recognize him from playing heartthrobs on the teen series “H20: Just Add Water” and the long-running “Home and Away” soap. Others may have caught him in regular roles on sci-fi or superhero series like “The Tomorrow People” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” and as a murderous villain in NBCâs “Blindspot.” But Mitchellâs most prominent role to date is the lead in CBS â new procedural, ” The Code ,” as Captain John “Abe” Abraham. The drama, which premiered April 9 and is now airing on Mondays, follows six lawyers in the Marine Corps in and out of the courtroom. Mitchell sat down with Variety to talk about doing an American accent, his body of work, and his Australian roots.
What for you is at the core of ” The Code “? The human stories are the heart and soul of the show. And itâs not all sunshine and roses — thereâs been a lot of sadness, either currently in these charactersâ lives or going to be coming up in these characters lives. Weâre really going to take a deep dive into each of these characters and see how complicated they are, and how flawed these characters are, despite being virtually superhuman, because these guys are the best of the best at what they do. [Abe] is a third generation Marine. He is charming, heâs got this bravado and he enjoys the banter, he enjoys pushing the buttons of his coworkers, and he knows his stuff so he can bend the rules a little bit. But heâs a complex guy, and heâs been through a lot. So I hope people enjoy the journey that he goes on through the season.
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Whatâs been the biggest challenge, working on the show? Iâm Australian playing an American, and Marine at that so, I really need to make sure that I bring my A-game in terms of my accent. Itâs one thing learning the line, but itâs another thing rattling it off, like you know what youâre talking about. Just feeling the pressure to do justice to these characters, because itâs such an honor to be able to portray a character who is a Marine. And we have advisers on set for inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom. But there are little things that we have to tweak for story purposes or for dramatic effect. But for the most part, we want to get it right.
Whatâs been the most rewarding? I pinch myself at the quality of the actors that I work with and obviously the main casts are all phenomenal, but getting to work with Dana Delany is an achievement in itself. Sheâs such an incredible actress, but sheâs a phenomenal person too, and getting to work with her day in and day out and learn things from her. And then we have Broadway stars coming into guest starring roles every episode.
Is there a storyline youâre excited for viewers to see this season? Phillipa Sooâs character, Lieutenant Lee, sheâs got a fairly hectic storyline coming up that is really interesting. And Iâm very curious to see how people react and follow her journey. Itâs got to do with her lack of experience, and very soon, sheâs going to get a lot of very real experience. Maybe more than she would have hoped for.
Whatâs been your favorite thing that youâve worked on? Thatâs tough — everything that Iâve been a part of, I give my heart and soul to, and they each hold a special place in my heart for different reasons. “The Tomorrow People” was my first gig in the States, and I wish and a lot of other people wish that it got more of a chance than it did. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” getting to play a superhero and going to comic conventions, and that sort of stuff is pretty rad. Then “Blindspot” came out of nowhere, and gave me this opportunity and this platform to play this really warped, twisted character who was really broken. Then “The Code,” something completely different and challenging in its own right, and working with such talented people.
How did your career in Australia prepare you to work in the States? “Home and Away” in particular, gave me that time on set, and sometimes itâs well written, and sometimes itâs not, and there are lessons in both of those scenarios. It prepared me as a professional and prepared me to work hard and to do my work, and so that when it came time to transition into the States, a lot of people were surprised by my level of professionalism. Iâve heard multiple stories of actors here and there who donât know their lines or turn up late, and it baffles me because I take my work seriously and I love what I do. When youâre selfish, youâre not just letting yourself down and your image, but youâre letting down your other castmates and your crew. Thatâs a big thing I learned: itâs a team environment, itâs not just about you. So you got to check your ego at the door, which is hard to do sometimes.
Who are your favorite Aussie actors? Thereâs a really fantastic actor called Jason Clarke, who is one of those guys who, everything heâs in, is rock solid. And heâs probably not one of the guys that you would know by name but if you saw him, youâd be like, “Oh yeah that guy.” Iâve got so much respect for him and the quality that he brings, and also his career, because he has this level of success and heâs an actorâs actor, but he can still live a normal life. Joel Edgerton is obviously incredible. And I really admire him and his career. And then obviously, Hugh Jackman and Heath Ledger.
LINK ORIGINAL: Variety