Exclusive: WORKING CLASS’ Lachlan Buchanan Interview

Lachlan Buchanan

Australian actor Lachlan Buchanan hasn’t been in the United States long, but he’s already making a mark. Soon after playing the lead role of Jesse in the 2008 Australian surfing movie ‘Newcastle’ (and doing a lot of his own surfing in the movie), Lachlan began appearing on American television with recurring roles in Hung and No Ordinary Family. He now stars in CMT’s new comedy series WORKING CLASS, playing the irresponsible (but funny) Scott Mitchell, the teen son of Melissa Peterman’s Carli, who is a single mom working in a grocery store as she tries to give her three kids the best life possible.

Daemon’s TV recently talked to Lachlan about Working Class, why he decided to come to the US, and what he thinks about ‘Hunger Games’ fans saying he would be a good Peeta.

Congratulations on ‘Working Class.’ It’s nice to see an American family portrayed truthfully–but still funnily–in these economic times.

Lachlan Buchanan: Yeah, I think so, too. It’s a lot of fun and it’s some good, clean humor.

How long have you been acting?

Lachlan Buchanan: I guess ever since I can remember. All through primary school and high school I was always doing school plays or plays outside of school, but then when I finished high school is sort of when I started to get into the television and film side of things. It’s been my life.

Was ‘Newcastle’ your big break?

Lachlan Buchanan: Yeah. I’d definitely say that because before ‘Newcastle’ it had only been sort of smaller TV guest spots, little things here or there and then ‘Newcastle’ happened and that opened a lot more doors in Australia and also over here in the states. It sort of paved the way to start living and working here.

What made you want to come to the states since you were building such a good career in Australia?

Lachlan Buchanan: It was something I really didn’t expect and I didn’t plan for. I always knew that one day I wanted to be here. It’s Mecca for actors, but actually for ‘Newcastle’, we went over to New York for the Tribeca Film Festival because it was entered into that. In New York I got picked up by an agency and a manager and it just sort of became a reality, a possibility that I could actually do things here. I was very lucky and I got to step into the industry here a foot above a lot of people I knew and a lot of people in general, the majority of people. I just took that as a sign. I said, ‘This is a good opportunity and a good chance to just go for it.’

That’s a great Hollywood story.

Lachlan Buchanan: It’s not bad, yeah.

How has the transition been for you then?

Lachlan Buchanan: Not that bad. I really was expecting it to be quite sort of shocking to the mind, but it really wasn’t. The year before I moved here I was back and forth, just for various things and so that kind of got me used to it a little bit more and I learned my way around a bit and I made some friends. Then by the time that I actually moved here it wasn’t completely unknown to me and I knew people. So from there it was just working out my own routines and getting to know more people in the industry and outside the industry. It’s just been really smooth and really great. I’m surprised myself that it worked out so well and that I really enjoy it.

On ‘Working Class’ you play the oldest son to Melissa Peterman’s character and you don’t exactly make her life easier, do you?

Lachlan Buchanan: No. (Laughs) What sixteen year old does?

What’s the most fun part of playing Scott?

Lachlan Buchanan: For me, well, I kind of always grew up fascinated with the American high school way of life because it’s quite different than how Australian schools are and we’ve seen so many movies and TV shows and it just looks like this set way of doing things with all the clicks and all the football teams, that this is how everything works. That was really fascinating to me and then this is kind of like getting to live a dream in a, getting to play an American high school jock. It’s fun. Then with Scott Mitchell, as well, it’s also fun getting to play someone who’s not very intelligent, sort of simple minded and stupid, gets into trouble a lot and breaks things. Everyone likes to be silly.

A couple episodes ago, Scott started working at Pocket Foods and caused all kinds of trouble.

Lachlan Buchanan: Yeah, that was good fun actually. That’s pretty much Scott in a nutshell. He’ll sort of cause this chaos without really thinking about it. It’ll make sense to him and then he’ll have to deal with the consequences of it. The good thing about that he’s not a total lost cause. He always makes good in the end. His heart is in the right place. He just puts himself in the wrong situation.

Can you tease what’s coming up for him?

Lachlan Buchanan: There’s a fun thing coming up this week with a big school dance and he causes a bit of trouble at that with all his buddies, as expect, and then again, on the way we get to see him get more used to the place that he lives in. There’s a flashback to when they first moved here and how he has to deal with it all in his way which is very sort of selfish and non-comprehending. He kind of just does things that shock Carli. It’s fun and a bit more of a craziness for me.

It’s got to be great working with Ed Asner on ‘Working Class’, too –

Lachlan Buchanan: Yeah. We’re so lucky. Ed. He’s been around forever. I’m sure that he’d not like me to say that, but he’s a legend and it’s great to watch him work and have fun with him. He’s at that point where he’s doing it because he loves what he does and loves to have fun. so it’s a real joy to work with him.

Are you done shooting the first season?

Lachlan Buchanan: Yeah. We actually finished at Christmas time. It was a super quick shoot, but it was fantastic and one of the best sets that I’d ever worked on. Everyone just got the job done and was constantly happy and in a positive state of mind about everything. Now we’re just waiting for some good news on season two.

Do you have any new projects that you can talk about?

Lachlan Buchanan: A few things on the horizon, but nothing solid just yet. At the moment it’s a bit of sitting and watching pilot season go by.

I read that you’re a fan favorite to play Peeta in ‘The Hunger Games’.

Lachlan Buchanan: I heard that. I love the books. I’ve read them all twice. I’m a huge fan of those books, and I’m just excited that they’re going to make the movie for it and I just hope that they cast the right people, that everyone does a job that’s true to the story and true to the fans.

Is that a role that you would audition for?

Lachlan Buchanan: Of course. Who wouldn’t? But we’ll just wait and see what happens with that. It’s a fun project.

Are there any TV shows on right now that you’d love to guest star on?

Lachlan Buchanan: Oh, yeah, so many. Don’t judge me, but I’m a big fan of ‘Vampire Diaries’. I just think it’s really cool.

I wouldn’t never judge you for that–‘Vampire Diaries’ is addictive!

Lachlan Buchanan: It’s so good. It’s the hottest cast on TV. It’s ridiculous. It’s so cool and it looks like so much fun. I’d love to do something on that. So that’s something that I’m always keeping my eye open for.

I love ‘Modern Family’ as well. I think that show is genius. I love that one. ‘Nurse Jackie’. I think that’s really great, too. There’s a lot on TV, too many almost.

Be sure to watch Lachlan in Working Class, airing on CMT Fridays at 8pm eastern/7 central.

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(Photos: Collin Erie)