'Star-Crossed': Jesse Luken promises a softer side to jerky jock Eric
"I think it's when I, as the actor, felt the most sympathy for him," Luken tells Zap2it. "I think you start to get a little sense of where he's coming from, which I think is important. We all know a**holes in the world, but it's interesting sometimes to see why these people act the way that they do."
Besides -- if you look at it from Eric's point of view, his crappy life is 100 percent due to the aliens who invaded his town, then his school, and now his swim team. "Eric comes from a really rough background and he blames that primarily on the arrival of the Atrians. His father owned a successful business, his family life was good, and then the Atrians landed right next to the business, which drove business away, his father [became] an alcoholic, and caused Eric's whole life to fall apart. If there is a reason for having a prejudice, then he has it."
Add in the fact that Sophia's (Brina Palencia) attempt to join the swim team is threatening to take away his ticket out of town, and Eric is not a very happy guy. "He wouldn't be able to afford college, but he's on the swim team and has a potential swim scholarship that would enable him to give himself a better life," Luken says.
"Episode 4 centers around whether Atrians are going to be allowed on the swim team, which would thereby limit the number of swim scholarships going out. So I think that in a way you can make the case that the Atrians made him poor, and now the Atrians are -- albeit unintentionally -- keeping him poor."
But that chip on his shoulder won't stay there forever -- or, at least it'll get a little smaller. "You'll see an evolution in his attitude throughout the course of the season. I don't think it's revealing too much to say that he develops a love story. He falls in love toward the second half of the season and the person he falls in love with maybe causes him to look at the world a little differently."
Any guesses as to the person on the receiving end of his affection?
"Star-Crossed" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.