Glass interviews actor Luke Grimes


Glass talks to actor Luke Grimes on learning, living and a curating a career with integrity

“TWO roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that made all the difference.” The words of Robert Frost eloquently sum up the life and work of Luke Grimes. In a world of followers, the Ohio-born actor is taking life at his own pace and following his own path. At just 35, Grimes has curated a vast and varied career that has seen him starring alongside some of modern Hollywood’s greats, while keeping a level head and sense of self intact. Born in Dayton, Grimes grew up with a Pentecostal pastor as a father – something that perhaps can explain his rather unblemished career, a path forged by his own hand with integrity and focus. Grimes has remained very much his own man, steady and sure against the tide of falsity.

Grimes has appeared on both the small and silver screens, credited in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, War Eagle, Arkansas and Assassination of a High School President to name a few. A cameo in blockbuster sequel Taken 2 was followed by the role of United States Navy Seal Marc Lee in the sensational film American Sniper. Grimes has also starred as Elliot Grey, the brooding brother of Christian Grey in the highly acclaimed Fifty Shades of Grey series since 2015. Most recently, Grimes has portrayed the rancher Kayce Dutton in Paramount’s Yellowstone, whose second season is premiering this June. With such a varied series of projects in his repertoire, it should be no surprise that each is carefully considered by the actor, ensuring his career follows a path of his own choice and creation. Glass finds out what Grimes has learnt from his peers over the years, what his career means to him and what gives him purpose.

Luke Grimes. Photography: Robert Ascroft


Where in the world are you at the moment?
My house in LA.

You’ve travelled a lot with filming – Canada, Morocco and plenty of your native America – what’s been your favourite location so far?
My favourite shooting location was probably Austin. Mostly because it was my first film and I was 21 and that city is a very good time.

As well as travelling the globe, you’ve starred alongside some acting legends: Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis to name a few. What did you learn from working with them?
How to be. How not to be. How I’d like people in my position around them to feel if I ever get in their position. I’ll go on the record and say that Bradley Cooper was a guy who you can learn a lot of good habits from personally and professionally just by watching him.

Luke Grimes. Photography: Robert Ascroft


Just to namedrop a little more – what was it like being directed by Clint Eastwood?
It obviously feels like a big accomplishment of sorts, being on the same call sheet as someone that legendary. As far as being directed by him, you’d better be prepared. There is no coddling.

How would you describe your own work ethic?
If it’s something I care about, there is no end to how much I will work at it. If I don’t care about it, good luck getting me to do anything. I wish this were different, I’d probably be richer or something, but I guess I don’t really care about that.

Luke Grimes. Photography: Robert Ascroft


What do you feel is most important to you when considering projects?
The character and whether or not I feel I have something of value to bring to it, and then the director and whether or not they care to make something good.

Luke Grimes. Photography: Robert Ascroft


Now in its second season, Paramount’s Yellowstone follows the complicated lives of a family of ranchers. Do you feel the longer duration of television series help to develop your characters further than with film?
It’s definitely an interesting exercise to go back every six months and put on last year’s clothes and pick up with what feels like another life. The main difference for me is TV evolves in front of you and you become part of the audience. With a film you know it all the way through going in. They both have their advantages from a character development perspective.

When working, you seem to favour the thriller genre. What would we find in your DVD library at home – or perhaps your Recently Watched list?
Documentaries. Stand Up specials. Portlandia. I go through phases, and sometimes I consume a lot of films but sometimes I want to see what real people are doing, or numb out and laugh.

What do you think of online steaming platforms and what they’re doing for the film and TV industries? Would you ever consider appearing on one?
I’ve worked with Netflix and it was a great experience. We are obviously in a huge transition with how people view stories. The movie theatre will always be the love of my life, but I am excited to see the ways in which storytelling evolves.

Luke Grimes. Photography: Robert Ascroft


It seems you favour performing on screen. Is there any chance we’ll see you on stage anytime soon?
I will absolutely do theatre in my career. I just don’t know at what point.

The theme of this issue of Glass is Purpose. What do you feel gives you purpose at this point in your life?
At the risk of sounding hippy dippy, being present. Seeing the big and small ways that being present and really seeing the world around me allows me to function in ways that help myself and others share a better experience.


by Lucy May McCracken

From the Glass Archive – Glass Magazine, Decade, Issue 38, Summer 2019

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Photographer: ROBERT ASCROFT
Photography assistant: BRADEN MORAN
Styling assistant: LEONARD MURRAY

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Coat, trousers: TRIPLE RRR
Shoes: KENZO

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Bracelet: ARMATURE

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Jacket: KENZO

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