The Tomorrow People Interview: Luke Mitchell Talks John, His Biggest Challenge, Aussies in Hollywood and More

Death's Door

The character of John Young in The CW’s The Tomorrow People started off as quite the enigma, but layers are slowly being pulled down as we find out more about him and his past.

But all has not yet been revealed and Luke Mitchell, who portrays John in the series, recently took some time to answer a few questions during a press event about what we can expect for the rest of the season, his biggest challenge so far, Aussies in Hollywood and more.

On what he can tease for the rest of the season

Mitchell explained, “It depends on what road you want to travel down, because there’s, obviously, the main story arc of Stephen and his father and Ultra. And then there’s splintered story arcs that come out from there.” He continued, “let’s just say that there are some interesting relationships coming up that I wasn’t expecting that were a lot of fun to play out, working with some different people that I hadn’t got to work with that I think audiences will like. Obviously, John and Cara are going to continue down the complicated path and probably reach the highs or the lows of that, depending on your perspective on it.”

On his biggest challenge so far with the show

“Initially it was finding my character, to be perfectly honest,” Mitchell shared. “He’s a very complicated character. And I think after shooting the pilot, I probably still hadn’t fully grasped my character, you know. I’d done a bunch of scenes, and then I saw the pilot, and then I was like, “Oh, okay. It’s starting to come together now,” which is kind of an odd process for an actor to approach a character. But it all kind of happened so fast. And before I knew it, it was like, “Okay. This is the story.” And I think I used that to then springboard me going forward into the other episodes. But each episode is kind of compounded on itself in terms of the challenges. I mean, just the physical challenges alone have been immense. I’ve never done anywhere near this amount of fighting, fight choreography in my life. I mean, the biggest I’ve done is probably, like, a one‑punch in “Home and Away,” you know, like, you take one hit and that’s it. And we’re choreographing sequences that last 60 seconds or something of real time, and then they edit that down or whatever.”

Speaking of fighting, Mitchell remarked, “I tell you 60 seconds of real‑time fake fighting is exhausting, especially when they’re like, “Okay. That’s good. Let’s go again. Let’s go again.” It’s like running a hundred‑meter sprint and then having to do it again but know that you’re on camera and have to look good and have your wits about you and all that sort of stuff. The challenges with the fighting aspects has been huge, but I’ve relished it.”

Kill or Be Killed

On coming to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career

When asked whether he had ever imagined he’d eventually be in a CW show when he was in Australia starring in “Home and Away,” Mitchell reflected “I’ve always been very ambitious and always envisaged myself coming to L.A. and this side of the world and pursuing acting and hopefully, working in film and television. But exactly in what aspect, I never knew. But I’m very much enjoying it. This year has been a tremendous year for me. I moved over here in January [2013], and I’ve already ‑‑ not only did I shoot a pilot, but then it got picked up and went to series and then got ordered to a back nine. And in between shooting the pilot and going to series, I was able to shoot a feature film, and I was the lead role in that. So this year is kind of the perfect introduction to L.A. for me.”

On Australian actors taking over Hollywood

“I know it certainly appears like there’s more and more Aussies. I don’t necessarily think that we’re better than Americans or any other nationality,” Mitchell explained. “I just think, in terms of Australian actors over here, it’s the really ambitious ones that kind of journey halfway across the world, you know. So therefore, by default, it’s kind of the ones that want it the most and maybe work the hardest. But I think it’s also just a little bit of a perspective thing, an interpretation thing in terms of reading scripts. I think walking into an audition room and just having a different approach to a scene that Americans might not be used to hearing or seeing or whatever.”

He observed, “I think Americans are very used to seeing Americans audition. I just think they’re less used to seeing Australians, and so if an Australian has got the right look and they have an interesting interpretation, I think that’s more what it’s about.”

The Tomorrow People returns with new episodes on Wednesday, January 15th at 9pm on The CW.