The actor discusses driving the cars, what it's like to drift, and why this is his favorite movie
Lucas Black has accomplished a lot in his 23 years. He's starred opposite Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade, worked with Thornton again (and Matt Damon) in All the Pretty Horses, and he's appeared in the war films Cold Mountain and Jarhead. Which is what makes his recent turn as Sean Boswell in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift so interesting.
Abandoning his dramatic films for the more action oriented world of Tokyo Drift, Black recently sat down with us to discuss his role, making the film, and what it's like to drift.
For the people who may not know, can you please tell them who Sean Boswell is?
Lucas Black: Sean is a guy that really loves his car. He's moved around a lot and basically when he got in his car... he let everything go. He didn't think about nothing but driving his car. It's kind of his getaway spot, I guess, from his life or the world and things like that. He got in a lot of trouble and had to move around a lot, but that really didn't seem to bother him. Then he ends up moving to Tokyo and kind of gets caught up in that car scene world. Then he finds this girl and ends up falling for her, and then he kind of wants to do the right thing, I guess you could say. For her... he wants to solve some of the problems he's created for everyone, just to make it a better life for her and himself.
What attracted you to this role and were you a fan of the other Fast and the Furious films?
Lucas Black: You know, I was. If I sit down to watch a movie it's usually an action film or a comedy. I always wanted to do an action film, then when I heard I was gonna do this film and be able to drive the cars... that's any 23 year old, male's dream. To be able to do a movie like this and learn how to drift, and drive all those cars. That's what excited me the most, that it wasn't going to be such a serious movie. Even though there's serious moments. When you're acting you get down to business, but you can have a lot of fun off the camera and on camera also; driving the cars.
How familiar were you with the types of cars in the film and that style of driving?
Lucas Black: You know I wasn't really familiar with drifting. After they explained the concept and what the car was doing in a drift, I knew what they were talking about, but I didn't really know it was called drifting. I didn't know there was a style of racing like that. It was fun to learn... and be able to see how the cars perform in that situation.
How did you prepare for that?
Lucas Black: They had me take lessons. They actually taught me how to drift. At Irwindale Speedway, my teacher and my stunt driver was Reese Millen. He's been drifting forever. He won the 2005 Drift Championship at Irwindale Speedway. He walked me through it, step by step, and showed me what I was doing wrong, told me what I was doing right. It made it pretty easy on me. They said I picked up on it pretty fast. After you got the hang of it and got to doing it, after you learned the car, it was kind of like riding a bike after that.
Now, coming from movies like Sling Blade, All the Pretty Horses, and Jarhead, how is your preparation as an actor different when you're doing a movie like Tokyo Drift?
Lucas Black: It's not different, really. I have a pretty simple method that I follow. It pretty much works for me. You kind of got to find what works with you, but I pretty much do the same on all of them as I do any of them. So, it really wasn't any different as far as preparation for the role.
Do you have a favorite film out of all the ones you've done?
Lucas Black: Well, I usually look at it as which one I had the most fun on. I definitely had the most fun on this one, The Fast and the Furious, just because it was awesome to be able to drive those cars. I loved it, you know? I've played a lot of sports, and I still do, and it compares to the same thrills as you get accomplishing something in your sporting activity. It's kind of that same thrill when you get in that car and you drive fast, or do a drift move; it's that same thrill. I love that aspect of it.
Have you taken any of what you learned on the film into your personal life?
Lucas Black: No, I drive a truck. I have a GMC Truck... with an off-road package. You can't do any drifting in it or anything like that. That's gotta be kept off the street, anyway. I wish there was a place I could go where I could do it, but I was lucky because I was doing it with somebody elses car, somebody elses gas, and somebody elses tires. It didn't cost me anything. I could burn as much rubber as I wanted to and not have to worry about dollar bills.
What do you have coming up next?
Lucas Black: You know, I don't really have anything lined up now. I'm kinda taking a break. The Fast and the Furious was kind of a long picture for me. I like to stay home during the fall. My schedule for the past two years, I really haven't been home during the fall. So I'm gonna try to change it around to where maybe if I take off this fall, maybe I can kind of change my schedule to where I'll start being home in the fall more and working other times.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift cruises onto DVD and HD-DVD September 26 from Universal Home Entertainment.
Dont't forget to also check out: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was released June 16th, 2006 and stars Lucas Black, Damien Marzette, Trula M. Marcus, Zachery Ty Bryan, Brandon Brendel, Daniel Booko, David V. Thomas, Amber Stevens. The film is directed by Justin Lin.