Exclusive interview with Luke Speakman, American Actor

By Jean-Paul Eliard
December 22 2023


Hi Luke, I'm glad to do this interview

Can you introduce yourself to the visitors of cinema-movietheater.com?

Of course!  I am Luke Speakman, and I was born in the small town of Athens, GA.  I currently live a bi-coastal life between Atlanta and Los Angeles and have spent most of my childhood so far making movies and television shows with some commercials sprinkled in when I have the time! 

At 5 years old I booked my very first job where I had the opportunity to share the screen with Victoria Pandretti in Steven Spielburg's Amazing Stories on Apple TV +.  You can find me on networks such as Peacock, NBC, HULU, Disney+, QCODE Media, and INSP.   

Recently I appeared in a Short Film with Blair Redford that was featured at the 2023 Mammoth Film Festival and the 2023 Sitges Film Festival in Spain.

Also seen at Sitges in the The Invisible Raptor with an unbelievably talented cast with Caitlin McHugh Stamos, Sean Astin, Mike Capes, David Shackelford and J. J. Nolan to name a few!  You can catch me as the lead alongside the amazing pup, Delilah Jane Sassafras Nativo, in Howl at the Dead, which premiered at the 2023 Screamfest LA Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood! 

The past 6 years have been filled with unbeleivable experiences working with notable directors such as Keith Powell and Mark Mylord, and talent from all over the world on multiple feature films, television series, and voiceovers. (Check out my IMDb of more!) 

Two of my favorite projects are available right now to stream:  Lost Man Found (Hirowareta Otoko), where I plays series regular Sean, was filmed in Tokyo, Japan and can be found on HULU International Originals, Disney+, and Disney Hotstar and How the Gringo Stole Christmas where I appear as Leif Jr!   

I am forever grateful for all the adventures I have experienced and the fantastic people I have met while traveling the world and working on set. 

Even though my childhood has literally been one for the movies, I am still a regular energetic ten year old who loves spending my days playing baseball, riding my bike around the neighborhood, composing my own songs on the piano, challenging anyone and everyone to a good game of chess, and of course the never ending game of fetch with my golden retriever, Sir Golden Waffles! 


What could you tell us about your character Leif Jr.? 
Leif Jr. is an interesting character.  He is definitely a typical 9 or 10 year old who is not afraid to ask questions when a situation seems odd. 

I think Leif Jr. and I are very similar. 

Just like me, he is curious and inquisitive.  No spoilers here! 

But Leif Jr. questioning may be just want his family needs!  Go watch the film to find out! 

How did you prepare for your role? 
Since Leif Jr. and I are are pretty similar in personality, it was easy to find a way to portray him on the screen. 

Like I do with every character challenge I am given, I always start by trying to find something about the character that I can relate with and build from there.  Leif Jr. is not a character that expresses himself in big ways, but shows his thoughts and feeling subtly with maybe a little eye brow twitch or widening of his eyes. 

This was something I had to keep in mind while filming so that Leif Jr. shined through the screen.

I study acting with a private acting coach,  Alicia Kelley, and we work a lot on finding ways to show emotions by thinking about it in our mind and talking with our eyes; so I felt pretty confident when the time came to film. 

I also did not want to prepare too much before it was time to film. I like to come to set open and ready for direction. 

I always remember that my job is to help the director tell a story and being ready to listen and adjust is important so that my little piece of this giant puzzle helps make the vision come to life in some way. 

Another thing that was pretty epic for a 10 year old was having to color my hair blonde!  I had never been blonde before, so it was a bit of a shock when

I looked into the mirror for the first time after leaving hair and makeup! 

I am not sure that blonde hair will ever be an “everyday style choice” for me. However, having the opportunity step out of my own shoes and fully jump into the mind and in this case, head of hair, of another character is why I love being an actor! 

 I can definitely say that some lifelong memories were made while working on the How the Gringo Stole Christmas set! 


How is the shooting with Emily Tosta, George Lopez, Mariana Treviño .......... and the director Gracia? 
I honestly still can not believe that my name appears alongside the names listed in this cast! George Lopez is a legend! 

Working with such talent and having the chance to observe and learn is a child actor’s dream! 

A tricky part of being a kid actor is that many times you show up to set, meet your on screen mom, and 10 minutes later, when the camera is rolling, you are tasked to show a believable lifelong son and mom connection! 

Not always an easy thing!  However, with Emily Tosta, I didn’t even have to try!  I remember meeting her for the first time, and to my surprise she popped down on the floor with me and we invented a coin spinning game! 

We even challenged some of the crew as they went by! 

It was like I had an instant big sister!   

I was also very spoiled by Mariana Treviño.  I remember she would  sneak me a little piece of candy between takes and tell me that I was doing a great job! 

During our breaks we would gather in the green room and Emily, Mariana and Jack Kilmer would really chat with me. 

It wasn’t the normal chatting that adults do  (where they pretend to listen and say “wow, that’s cool”),  but they actually had conversations where they listened to what I said and added to it! 

They will never know how much that still means to me!  I remember, during my time on set,  the director, Angel Gracia, had a way about him that made everyone feel at ease.   

He always took a second to make sure I understood what was happening before starting the scene. 

I really appreciated this because when scenes are being filmed, there is a lot going on, and sometimes the child actor has to observe and figure out what to do or sometimes the adjustment or direction might get lost in the busyness! 

He also was very patient with me when I asked questions.  I am someone that likes to understand the big picture because it helps me to fully jump into my character.   

Working with  adults, like Emily Costa, Mariana Treviño, Jack Kilmer and Angel Garcia who are so friendly, patient, and take a little extra time to make you feel welcomed is the best part of being on set and makes me love acting even more!   

Credit photo : Aiva Genys

Where is the movie shot and when? 
The movie was filmed in Jackson, Mississippi in June of 2023. 

I remember being excited that it was summer time, because that meant I did not have to do school hours on set!

The weather was also very nice in Jackson during that time.

Being from Georgia, I know how hot it can get in the summer!

Luckily it was filmed at the beginning of summer before the major heat waves and southern thunderstorms hit!   
What do you like at Christmas? 
I love everything about Christmas but mostly celebrating the holiday with my family and our traditions.   

My family always goes big for the holidays. 

Our yard is filled with lights!  We have giant nutcrackers lined up around our house and the yard is filled with light up snowmen, dears and trees. 

We have two Christmas trees: one that is “fancy” and one that is for the kids! 

I love the kid tree because every year we get to choose one ornament that symbolizes something about that year to add to the kid tree. 

This tree has all the ornaments we have chosen from the previous years.   Another fun tradition is how we fill our stockings. 

There are four of us kids and each year we get to draw a sibling’s name.   

Then we are responsible to fill up that sibling’s stocking! 

We open them on Christmas Eve!  Another great part about the holidays is the time that we have to cook yummy treats! 

Most do not know that I love to bake!  I bake the best cookies in our family! 

I try to bake as much as I can and experiment with new recipes while I have the time during the holiday break.   

I guess if I had to choose one thing I like about Christmas, it would be that during this time everyone is home together and there is no school, work, or other things distracting us from spending time together!  
What do you like in the acting profession? 
If I could answer with the word “EVERYTHING” I would!  Honestly, acting is more than just something I like, it is a part of who I am. 

Acting is a safe place for me to express my emotions and be understood by others.   

I am a kid that feels very deeply and sometimes that can be misunderstood.  Acting has given me a place where that is valued and needed.  It also is a place where I can be challenged, too. 

As a kid with a great deal of energy, I need to be challenged. 

Working as an actor has helped me channel these big feelings and my big energy into something positive and hopefully will one day inspire another little boy with lots of energy and big feelings who is a little misunderstood by their peers!   
You won 2 Additional awards in 2020 American Youth Film Festival Best Young Actor and 2021 American Youth Film Festival 
2021 Star of the Year Winner.
What memories do you have of his awards?
I still cannot believe I won these awards! 

These were my first acting awards and both sit on my shelf in my room!  The wild thing is that both awards were won during the Covid shutdown. 

Sadly, I was not able to accept either of them in person but I did accept virtually!  
I remember being so shocked when I won the Best Young Actor award because there were so many talented nominees in this category! 

The following year when I won Star of the Year,  I was so excited that I could barely speak! 

Although I didn’t get the actual trophy right away, it was fun to receive it in the mail a couple weeks later! 

We taped the moment I opened the boxes so that I could show others my reaction on social media!  It was like winning the same award twice! 


what is your next challenge / project?

Well, in the entertainment industry your future is always unpredictable!  You never know what new adventure might pop up at any moment! 

That is the best part!  Anything is possible! 

The best thing to do is prepare and train so that you are ready to jump when the right opportunity comes along.   
I love challenging myself to dig deeper in my acting skills so that I am ready to give my best when the time comes!   

I am very excited for a few of my recently released projects: 

The Exorcists where I share the screen with the legendary Doug Bradley, and Christmas with Jerks - both streaming now on Amazon Prime!  
Although I can not give too many details, I do have a couple feature films releasing soon! 

Coal River, a psychological thriller, is full of action and suspense and I even had the chance to perform some of my own stunt work!   

Keep a look out for The Invisible Raptor where I play Elliot Kintner, a lonely boy who suffers an interesting fate in this hilarious feature! 

Keep an eye on my IMDb for updates on all my current and new projects!  

Credit photo : Aiva Genys

Do you wish to add something ?

(All photos submitted are by photographer Aiva Genys)


Thank you very much for your interview  Luke  I wish you all the best.


More information about Luke on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter and on IMDb



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