Home TVInterviews Interview: Katy Keene’s Luke Cook

Interview: Katy Keene’s Luke Cook

by Charles Trapunski

While we are always happy to collaborate, sometimes we like to call our own shots, which is why we sought out and spoke with hilarious Katy Keene and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina scene stealer Luke Cook. This interview could not have been more fun, as Cook actually phoned from Sydney, Australia, from where he is quarantining, and spoke eloquently about both shows, on which he plays Guy DeMontagne, a fashion designer, and Lucifer Morningstar, the Dark Lord Satan, respectively.

This article contains spoilers about the season finale of Katy Keene, so watch that and then come back and read about why that series needs to continue from the mouth of the really dynamic set MVP Luke Cook.

The following is a condensed and edited version of our phone conversation with the life force that is Luke Cook of Katy Keene.

Brief Take: How you did you get to work on both Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Katy Keene?

Luke Cook: So Sabrina I shot November and December 2018, then it was picked up for another few seasons, obviously, so I went back and shot it in Vancouver in July 2019. Then was working on that for a little while and, even though I’m a looming figure in that show, I’m not there very often, I’m surprisingly not there very much at all. So then when Katy Keene came along in September or October, it didn’t come along at the same time, it came along after Sabrina. I was so grateful to all of a sudden have two shows on which to be working. So I went from being not too busy to being quite busy and I was very happy about that. It does separate in that Katy Keene is not as much of a fantasy as is Sabrina. There’s no fantastical element, however there are musicals, which is pretty fantastical. But I don’t think that my character is in any way linked to Satan, other than, like, he’s a bit of an asshole.

BT: Absolutely. Between the two characters, it’s debatable as to who of Lucifer Morningstar or Guy LeMontagne is more trustworthy. 

LC: [laughs] Absolutely. I feel the same way. At least with Lucifer, you know what you’re getting. With Guy, there’s a bit of a sheen, but it makes him a little bit more manipulative. With Lucifer, it’s obvious that he is the most evil person in the universe and you treat him as such. And then with Guy, it’s like he’s nice sometimes and horrible other times. He’s clearly into Katy…he’s a hard one to follow, I think, emotionally.

BT: There is a bit of a difference in height between you and Lucy Hale, is this something that you lean into?

LC: I’m happy to lean into it. I think it’s really fun and funny. A lot of the time when we are shooting, they put Lucy on an apple box so that she can stand up at somewhat my level, so that it’s not so ridiculous, with her head shooting up in the sky and my head shooting right down. [laughs] But I think that it definitely has to be intentional, that she’s like 5’2″ and I’m 6’5″, so… [laughs]

BT: What was your favourite episode of Katy Keene to shoot?

LC: It would definitely be the episode in which…I could tell you the name, I would like that, but that’s okay. It’s the episode in which Katy starts working for me and I’m clearly putting her through the ringer, testing her out, and getting her to meet my level of expertise. She’s not quite there at the beginning, and she slowly is learning, learning, learning, but she has to humble herself before someone who has done this job for longer than her, and that’s my favourite episode because I get to have an emotional arc of teaching her, being a little rough on her, but then also in the end, loving and appreciating her and giving her a good, wise lesson.

BT: Lucifer also teaches lessons, like that wrestling match involves a little bit of give and take.

LC: [laughs] Well, I don’t think Lucifer is ever teaching lessons. I think he’s more just testing people all the time, a constant test with him, whereas Guy is at least trying to teach Katy a few things.

BT: Each time that we interview a cast member about CAoS, we always hear about Kiernan Shipka and how hard she works on the show. As her on screen father, how do you feel about her?

LC: The thing with Kiernan is she’s the number one on the call sheet, she’s the centrepiece of every scene, of every episode, obviously, because she’s the titular role – it’s her vibrance and interest in the people around her that’s so incredible. You know, if I was having to do what she had to do every day, I don’t think that I would have the energy to keep up conversation, to be interested in everybody around me, to be asking questions to the co-stars, to the guest stars, and she somehow does it. It’s the loving, interested energy and it’s really her that keeps this show so vibrant, alive and it’s really her that’s the reason that we’re all such close and good friends. And in between the cast and the crew, like we all really like each other. And I’m not just saying that, it’s true, you come on to that set and you feel the difference, it’s a joy to be there.

BT: The ensemble on the show are really incredible. Had you met anyone prior and what is so special about them?

LC: No, I had no connection to any of the actors before. I didn’t know any of their names, other than Richard Coyle, Michelle Gomez, Lucy Davis, Miranda Otto, I knew who they were, I didn’t work with them though. What is it about them? I think that it’s a general gratitude to be there, like a general gratefulness to be there, that when that is not there, like if you’re not grateful, then you’re kind of entitled and that’s the deal with attitudes on sets. And everybody in this cast, generally speaking, we might all have our moments of being a little bit pissy with this or that, but generally speaking: gratitude to have work, gratitude to be there, and if everybody’s like that, it’s just a joy. And it is like that most of the time, like 95 per cent of the time, it’s just a joy to be there, with fellow actors who are talented and grateful to be there.

BT: Was there a moment in which it was like: “How are we going to film this?”

LC: [laughs] I mean, there’s obviously that first episode of the third part is me inside of Gavin (Leatherwood) and we’re shooting inside of him, inside of his [laughs], we’re wrestling in Hell and it’s like: “Well, what is this and what exactly is going on?”. I mean I definitely think that the writers were playing into the humour of it all a little bit, like us wrestling inside of him. Or they’re not playing into humour at all, they’re playing into like what is actually going on, it’s a sexual thing. And it plays out throughout the season that it’s sexual and people mock Nick for being in love with Lucifer and [chuckles] it’s funny.

BT: What do you like most about working with Madam Satan, Michelle Gomez?

LC: Well Michelle has an infectious, playful energy, like she’s always wanting to have fun, always wanting to crack jokes. Plus, she’s inspired by the work. Like, after this many years of being on Sabrina, well, they’ve all been away from their families for like two years, whenever they’re on set, they’re away from their families. And Michelle has a thirst and a hunger to make the work good and to have fun at the same time, like her energy is evenly split between really trying to make the work good and have a laugh on set, so she’s always trying to make me laugh, she’s always doing accents, she’s always doing silly songs that she’s making up from scratch. And at the end of a 12 hour day, at the end of a 14, 15, 16 hour day, it’s people like Michelle, who, with their jokes and humour, keep people happy and glad to be there and she does the same thing with me.

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I sit upon her upon the throne of Hell.

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BT: What do you enjoy about your chances to get to work with Father Blackwood, Richard Coyle?

LC: Yeah, in the few times that I have worked with Richard, it’s been so much fun because he’s such a…well, he’s very much an actor who I would like to be like, so for me it’s like working with a mentor. But he’s endlessly humorous and he loves to have silly fun just like me. And we kind of get along in that way, in which [chuckles] we had a few scenes in Part 2 and in Part 3, which has just gone, in which we would get to the end of a scene in which we are both conspiring against Nick Scratch and we let out this stupid evil laugh that went on for ten seconds. We were like: [proceeds to do the laugh] and both of us did it, and we were cracking up with each other, he’s so funny.

BT: How do you craft your portrayal of Guy LaMontagne?

LC: The way that I personally approach it is that I don’t know what they are going to write in the next script. By the time this interview comes out, the finale of Katy Keene will have happened, and my character is kind of found to be a thief, like he’s stealing designs from his assistants and using them himself. And even though Katy was fully in love with him and invested in this guy, that seems to be [pauses] out the window, all I can do is do what the script asks me to do. But also, Guy is in love with Katy, he fully wants her, he fully is invested in her, he wants to be with her so badly, but I think underneath it all he’s a very insecure man. The reason that he’s so manipulative and that he’s so rude and he’s such an asshole is because of his insecurity within himself. So that’s what we’re dealing with – we’re dealing with a guy who’s intensely insecure, does the wrong thing, but is at his heart, like a lover and is in love with Katy.

BT: We ended the previous episode on a number of cliffhangers. Is the last one going to be packed?   

LC: It’s a huge episode. The last episode is a huge episode. I remember reading it and thinking: “Wow. There is so much going on here”. I’m not involved too heavily in it, it’s just like it’s a few goodbye scenes and almost [chuckles] it’s like a real ‘fuck you’ in the end to Guy. So we’ll see whether or not I come back in the next season, if there is a next season at all is yet to be seen. It could be the end of Guy as we know it.

BT: There needs to be another season of Katy Keene! I’m hooked.

LC: I agree and it’s original. It’s absolutely original and there has to be a second season because of its originality, but also people need a chance to see this, it needs to get onto whatever streaming network to which it’s going to go, I think HBO Max, and people need to watch the show. I think that the deal with Riverdale was that early on in its CW days before it made it to Netflix, nobody was watching it. Then once it hit Netflix, that was when it went ape and obviously we’ve seen with Sabrina how much people eat this stuff up, and so put Katy Keene on a streaming network and let’s see how many people love it then. Already there’s a bit of hype surrounding this show, so let’s see what it can do: give it a second season.

BT: Coming into this, did you know about Archie Comics and how much did you know about the world of fashion?

LC: Great questions. Okay, full disclosure I knew nothing about Archie Comics, I think that’s more of an American thing. And as for fashion, I was a model when I was 18, 19, 20, so I knew a little bit, and then my fiancée is a fashion stylist, so I know a little bit about fashion. I know very little about making clothes, but I do know a little bit about fashion.

BT: Do you resemble Alexander McQueen who was mentioned in your first episode?

LC: Definitely, but it’s more in the vein of Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread.

BT: A difficult man.

LC: Yeah, very difficult.

BT: Reynolds Woodcock is a piece of work!

LC: So you have to know that Michael Grassi, that the whole time that was his reference for Guy and the idea for the atelier was that and was Phantom Thread.

BT: Many transformative roles by Daniel Day-Lewis and the one on which he goes out is a dick.

LC: I know. Well, personally, I love playing a dick. I pray that Daniel Day-Lewis comes back and does something else and I pray that he acts until the end of his life. He’s just so good, it’s such a shame to see him leave. I’d love to see him go back to There Will Be Blood or My Left Foot.

BT: On that note, who are your acting heroes or are you looking to forge your own path?

LC: I do want to forge my own path, mostly. With what I’m sort of going for, I don’t think that there are many people who…maybe Jim Carrey is somebody who has done the things that I want to do, the character roles, big silly characters. Ricky Gervais, Bradley Cooper, guys that can play stern, dramatic characters but also be hilarious as well. Ben Stiller, like somebody who doesn’t just act in their stuff but also directs and writes, those guys are inspirational. So Ricky Gervais, definitely. Ben Stiller, definitely. Jim Carrey, definitely, I’d say they’re my top three.

It’s always great to watch comedians do nothing. I recently rewatched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Kristen Wiig in that doesn’t play anybody particularly funny and it’s so nice to watch, just her being relaxed and easy, you just fall in love with her not being funny and I love when comedians choose to do that sort of thing.

BT: What are some of your quarantreams?

LC: I’m watching After Life season two, that’s Ricky Gervais’ new one. There’s a BBC Scotland show called Guilt that is excellent. There was also one about a Hasidic Jewish woman that leaves the cult, that leaves the…

BT: Unorthodox.

LC: Ahhhh! Mate, that was sooooo great. I was so impressed by that. I watched The Invisible Man as far as movies, I loved The Invisible Man. I watched 1917 twice. And that blew me away. And yeah, I’ll watch 90’s rom-coms over and over again, Bridget Jones’ Diary I recently watched. Such good writing, so, so funny and great. Four Weddings and a Funeral, anything with Hugh Grant, mate, I’m in it.

BT: Do you have a memorable fan encounter?

LC: In New York, in particular, L.A. is not much of a city in which you approach famous people who you know from tv or anything like that, you kind of leave people alone in L.A., but in Vancouver or New York, people are more than happy to stop you on the street. I think on my first day in New York, I got stopped about ten times because people just loved the show. And I love that people love the show and the fans are, generally speaking, lovely and particularly to me. I think that if you’re a love interest in Sabrina, Gavin (Leatherwood) and Ross (Lynch), people are rabid about them, the fans are angry if they’re like dating somebody else, so it’s a funny little world.

BT: What do you think is the one true pairing for Lucifer?

LC: Oh, that’s a great question. His relationship with Lilith is so complicated, but that’s what makes it sexy.

BT: Who are some directors with whom you would like to work?

LC: I would love to work with Christopher Nolan, just to see what goes on in a set like that, I mean just for my own fascination. It was such a dream to work with James Gunn, who does a lot of the Marvel movies. I worked with him on Guardians of the Galaxy 2, so I really want to work with him again because he’s so funny and has his own flavour. I would love to work with Taika Waititi, a New Zealander. I’m marrying a New Zealander so hopefully I get to meet him one day and work with him because we do have a similar sensibility.

BT: When will it be time to present your own written and directed work to the world?

LC: It will be time soon. I’ve written a movie that’s got a lot of interest. I’ve written a few things so far with my writing partner that haven’t had any interest. I mean it’s very hard to get any interest in your scripts, especially if you’re a first-time writer or not very well-known. But right now, I have a movie that’s a horror-comedy called Killer Koalas, it’s more comedy than it is horror and it’s currently doing the rounds and it’s getting passed around right now. And I think that it’s just a matter of time until somebody jumps on it and says: “Yes. Let’s go!” and yeah, I will say that will be my next thing. I’m ready to unleash that upon the world for sure.

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