Australian actor Luke Mitchell teleports on to The CW tonight in the series premiere of “The Tomorrow People” alongside Robbie Amell and Peyton List.
Playing John Young, the leader of The Tomorrow People, a group of genetically advanced humans, he quickly sets himself up as one to watch.
Executive Producer Greg Berlanti told Access Hollywood that the actor, an alumnus of the Australian soap “Home and Away,” caught the attention of producers quickly.
“He came in and… he was the only one we ultimately brought to the network,” Greg told Access following a Television Critics Association Summer Tour panel. “He came in and just had a swagger, but still a kindness and that, I think, is kind of the key to John’s character. … He’s a leader, but you don’t want him to be just a kind of… [an] atypical leader who’s just a little dry or whatever. He has a real heart that comes through in the softness. … He’s just like a warm sort of hero.”
While producers liked him early on, Luke actually wasn’t sure it was all going to turn out.
“I came to LA at the beginning of the year with my wife and she already had a job to go to — a pilot,” Luke said of his missus, Rebecca Breeds of CBS’ “We Are Men.” “And I had to pull up my socks and start auditioning and funnily enough, the worst audition I’d done in the two weeks that I was there, I ended up getting a call back for, and that was for ‘The Tomorrow People,’ which is hilarious.”
Luke explained that he just threw caution to the wind and went for it.
“I went in for the callback and did a whole bunch better in the callback and I think from that moment on… it was this kind of weird, trippy thing that happened because… it was literally 2-3 weeks into me being in LA and then going in to do the screen tests,” Luke continued during our visit to the set, courtesy of Warner Bros., late last week. “I was the only one there for John Young, so I was trying not to think about that. …. Greg kind of said something to me on that screen test, he’s like, ‘You know, you’re the only here, so you know…’ And then yeah, found out pretty much that night… [I] got the call. It’s all very exciting.”
Describing his character to reporters, Luke said John is “a flawed leader” and a “reluctant” one.
“He’s trying to do the best he can, but he’s definitely not the best person for the job,” he explained.
John also has a blind spot in his leadership — the beautiful Cara, played by “Mad Men’s” Peyton. And Cara has a connection to Robbie’s character, Stephen, that creates a conflict.
“John’s trying to be a leader to his people, but he also has very strong feelings for Cara and obviously… I’m sure you guys know what it’s like to have clouded judgement when you have feelings for someone,” Luke said. “So yeah, there’s definitely that, that comes into it and the fact that Stephen and Cara have that connection, that telepathic connection that John and Cara don’t — it just frustrates John a lot.”
“The Tomorrow People” premieres tonight at 9/8c on The CW after “Arrow.”
-- Jolie Lash