Lucas Till first caught our eyes as the country cutie that stole Hannah Montana/Miley’s heart in Hannah Montana: The Movie and now he’s taken on a much deeper and emotional role in the drama Bravetown.
In Bravetown, Lucas stars as Josh Harvest, a hardened New York City teen from a broken home – and quietly one of the country’s top dance club DJs and remixers – who is sentenced to counseling for a minor drug infraction, along with an extended stay with his estranged father, who lives in a small town in North Dakota. He is slow to warm to his new environment, a town best-known for sending its young off to war, many of whom never return. But when Josh is asked to help out the last-place dance team as they vie for the state competition title, his rough exterior begins to soften. As his relationships emerge with both the team’s captain, Mary, and his therapist, each of whom have lost someone special to war, it forces all three to begin to face and heal their pasts.
The movie has an amazing cast that also includes Josh Duhamel, Laura Dern, Maria Bello & Kherington Payne. It is available now on VOD and in select theaters.
We had the chance to chat with Lucas about taking on the role of a DJ, why the role is personal to him and also what it’s been like returning to the X-Men franchise for X-Men: Apocalypse.
SO-M: What was it that really drew you to this project?
Lucas Till: Half of my family are veterans so that was one thing. I talked to the director and we were like well, this could go one way or the other so lets try and make it this movie and not this movie and he was finishing my sentences in Spanish. I love Daniel Duran and right off the bat. And the cast wasn’t finalized but I thought man, if they’re getting these names or even talking to them, this could turn out really well. Then all those people ended up in the movie. Also, you always want to learn something new and you get to do that in movies so sometimes I’ll take roles just for that reason alone. DJing was interesting to me so I was like, okay, lets knock this off the list.
SO-M: And you do play a DJ in this movie and you make it look like you know what you’re doing. What did you have to do to prepare?
LT: I thought it was just pressing a button but I was wrong. I remember my DJ coach and I went over to his house for a party once and he let me get on and I did it for about 20 minutes and looked like a real DJ. It’s kind of exhausting. It’s a lot of thinking, at least for me, and I was always what song goes with this, then there’s the whole technical aspect of it. It’s a lot harder than you think.
SO-M: What was the most challenging part for you playing Josh?
LT:I’m a pretty happy dude. I like to smile and laugh a lot and with Josh, he doesn’t really laugh a whole lot. My first reaction to certain things was to be like “Oh yeah, yeah” [in a happier tone] then I’d be like oh, I can’t do that. It seems silly, but that was the hardest because it’s an instinct and mannerism trying not to act too over the top about anything. Just internalizing everything and being broody. Broody is for guys and moody is for girls right?
SO-M: The movie has quite the cast like Josh Duhamel, Laura Dern who was nominated for an Oscar last year. What was it like working with them?
LT:It was amazing. Laura Dern, I remember by the end of the day we were talking about family things and she was so sweet and so talented, especially playing that role. Maria Bello can go from 0 to 60 in no time and come back and act like nothing happened. She was super sweet. Josh is a hard worker. He wants so much to do a good job which is refreshing. He really cares about what he’s doing. Tom Everett Scott is amazing and Kherington Payne really held up. I think this was her second movie. She did a really great job and held her own.
SO-M: You and Josh Duhamel have a very emotional scene in the movie where you confront his character at his house. How do you prepare for something like that?
LT:I remember that one was difficult. Sometimes you’re just ready to go and you think about the right thing and put yourself in the situation and it’s great. And then there’s just times when you cannot get there and it’s just so hard and it’s like you can’t even help it. I guess for that I just put myself in a place and made sure I knew my lines and sometimes we stayed in character and improvised. We would get so hyped and I remember that one scene Josh wanted to stay in character and yell at me at and first I sort of misunderstood. I was trying to stay in character but still wasn’t sure if we were done or not but a lot of that stuff was improvised and made it in there.
SO-M: Josh is heavily influenced by the movie ‘Platoon.’ Is there a movie or something you watched when you were young that really made you want to be an actor?
LT:As silly as it sounds, ‘A Knight’s Tale’ with Heath Ledger. I loved that when I was younger and when Heath played the Joker, that was really cool. Also, I love watching people that do things that I will never be able to do and play certain characters that are just “wow.”
SO-M: What is the message you hope people take away from ‘Bravetown’?
LT:I hope there’s a little awareness raised about military families and really, I don’t know if that’s even for me to answer. You can make something, and even though you make it all one way, people inevitably watch it and it becomes their own thing and they’ll get out of it what they feel. I’ve seen people get crazy things out of movies that I’ve never even thought of. But it is pretty entertaining, you can see me DJ, and you get to see some amazing dancing and some great acting.
SO-M: Switching gears, what was it like when you found out you’d be reprising your role as Havok in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’?
LT:Awesome! Not just because I’m irritating to the other people in the movie because it’s kinda cool that I’m in it because I grew up watching the cartoons and the comics now. I just love the world and I think it’s awesome because it’s like pre Avengers, the super hero movies were pretty solitary. You’d have your bad guy from whatever show/comic and you have the good but then Avengers brought them all together, but X-Men has been doing ensemble superheroes forever. It’s cool. Everyone in the movie is just great people all around. It’s like, man it will never be that good again.
SO-M: What’s it like being on set with the new cast members?
LT:I’ve only really worked with Ty Sheridan who plays my brother in the movie so far. My little brother is almost his age so it’s similar and an easy fit.
SO-M: You have a lot of projects coming up. Is there one you’re most excited for people to see?
LT:Yeah, and I really hope it gets out there. It’s called ‘Sins of Our Youth.’ It’s about four kids who have an accident and they come up with this elaborate plan to get out of it and it involves guns and Vegas. They steal guns from their parents and they do something bad and try to cover it up and they come up with a battle royale situation to try and get over it. It all twists out of control. It’s this great cast of Mitchel Musso, Bridger Zadina, Ally Sheedy. I’m really proud of it. I’m rarely that proud of things I do but everyone did such a great job. It’s a small movie but it’s funny and also dark and pulls out the actor chops.
Also, ‘Monster Trucks’ is gonna be pretty sweet. I’m a ’Fast & Furious’ fan and they did our stunts and they let me on the truck which was moving around 35mph but it feels like 80. I was on top of moving vehicles swerving in and out and jumping down the side, crawling, etc. I’m pretty proud of that one as well.
Also, since music plays a big part in ‘Bravetown,’ we asked Lucas to share some of his favorite songs.
Song to Pump You Up: “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth
Song You Get Ready To: Something by Alice in Chains
Song that gets you on the dance floor: Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio
What song would be on the soundtrack to your life: The Devil is a Lie by Rick Ross & Jay Z
Bravetown is in select theaters and available on VOD now! You can get it on iTunes HERE.
Be sure to follow Lucas on Twitter: @lucastill. He confirmed with us that he only has Twitter and does not have an Instagram.