Luke Baines: The Humble Soul
By Alexandra Bonnet
Luke Baines has faced different paths in his life but all roads have led him to the same destination: in front of the camera. Playing the lead role in A DARK PLACE, Baines spoke to us about his experience and how he got to where he is today. No matter the detours, the dapper actor finds himself connected to what he loves most: acting and giving back. Baines has written scripts and works closely with OXFAM,a coalition of 20 charitable organizations. Luke Baines is truly a beautiful soul who brings a rare energy to the table. Let’s see where he goes next!
Your new movie is called ‘A DARK PLACE’. Can you talk a bit more about it and the role you play?
I play a guy called Alex, who’s struggling to put his life back together after he was arrested and lost his job. It’s a suspense thriller, but for me, it’s really about relationships and what binds people together. It’s unlike anything I’ve done before because it’s very much grounded in reality, as opposed to the
sci-fi / horror films that I’ve done, so it was a nice opportunity to explore that side of myself.
How does it feel playing the lead role?
It’s great because there’s more material to play with and you have more of a chance to etch out your character’s arc. That said, it’s also scary as hell because there’s so much more riding on you. I actually almost turned the film down at one point because I didn’t think I could pull it off. Still not sure I did… but I’m almost certain strangers on Twitter will let me know either way.
Do you have any rituals before getting in front of the camera?
It depends on the character and the scene, but music is always crucial for me to get into character. During the research phase, I’ll usually make a playlist that either feels like something the character would listen to, or songs that trigger me. For A Dark Place, White Trash Heroes by Archers of Loaf was on repeat. And hilariously, Hello by Adele because it reminded me of an ex.
When did you know you wanted to become an actor? Was it someone or something that inspired you?
You know, I’ve asked myself that question a lot – especially earlier in my career when work wasn’t going well and I wanted to abandon ship. What I always come back to is the feeling I had when I was a kid and would perform for people. I loved making them smile, or laugh (mostly at me), and that feeling grew into wanting to tell stories later on in life. I love the fact that through the projects I do, I have the chance to distract someone from their life, or change their mind about something. That’s a feeling that’s hard to replace.
You work closely with the charitable organization called Oxfam. What is it and what prompted you to work with them?
I’ve always been interested in the humanitarian space. When I was 10, I’d protest for animal rights in my local mall and when I was 15, I’d write letters on behalf of Amnesty International. When my acting career started to get going, I wanted to find a charity that I could work with in a long term capacity so I did a load of research and found Oxfam. What I love about the organization is that it’s large in scale so it has the ability to affect change globally, but because it utilizes partner organizations on the ground, it can target the root cause of an issue. For me it was also financially impressive, with a large portion of donations going directly into programs, and it’s non-denominational, which I think is important because I don’t believe help should ever be given conditionally.
If you could play in any movie, what would it be?
Origin story. Young Grindelwald. I’d give the limb of J.K. Rowling’s choosing to play that.
Have you ever thought about writing yourself?
Yes. I’ve written a few scripts, one of which was optioned a couple of times but the financing kept falling out. I’m working on two more at the moment that I hope to finish shortly. I love it because it allows me to use everything I’ve learnt as an actor, while also telling the stories that I feel like need to be told.
Say you could be anything in this world: what would it be?
What is something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I took a detour from acting after I graduated performing arts college and did a business degree. I ended up working in crisis management and corporate communications in London for a major international organization, before falling back into acting. It was a bit of a shock when I told my bosses I was moving to LA to become an actor. They thought I was completely nuts. Understandably.
At BELLO, we got to see you in full action as you brought an amazing energy. How did you get so comfortable in front of the camera?
It’s all a ruse. I’m really not comfortable at all, but I figure the quicker I get the job done, the quicker I can leave. I have to just kinda zone out and focus on what I have to do because if I actually thought about what was happening and all the people looking at me, I’d completely wig out.
How do you see your life going in the next 10 years?
Hopefully forward? I feel so lucky to have the life and career I have now, so more of that would be absolutely lovely. If y’all will have me…
Talent: Luke Baines @lukebaines
Photographer: TAMAR LEVINE @tamarlevine
Styling: SOAREE @soaree
Grooming: NICOLE WALMLSEY @nicolewalmsley
Creative Direction: ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC @alekandsteph
Production: @BELLOmediaGroup x @MaisonPriveePR_LA