DROP DEAD DIVA: Carter MacIntyre on Playing the ‘Devilish’ New Guardian Angel, Luke
June 10, 2012 by Sarah Curtis
Hey, DROP DEAD DIVA fans! Did you watch the season 4 premiere? If so, you may have been as surprised as I was that resident guardian angel Fred has been replaced.
Yes, there’s a new guardian angel in Jane’s life, and his name is Luke Daniels. Played by Carter MacIntyre, Luke’s persona is more devilish than angelic, and that’s just one thing that MacIntyre likes about the character. Carter participated in a conference call with reporters recently and answered a few questions about this season and how he sees Luke’s character affecting Jane and the rest of the team.
Now that the season has started, how would you describe Luke as compared to Fred?
Carter MacIntyre: I would say in a very kind of general way they’re almost polar opposites. I think Fred was naïve and kind of overwhelmed at times by the ways of earth and what it takes to kind of be a human, whereas Luke jumps ahead full force and goes after what he wants, isn’t afraid to speak his mind, has a lot of confidence, and just really enjoys everything that life has to offer. He’s kind of hedonistic in a weird way, which is pretty much the opposite, I think, of Fred (Ben Feldman), who was kind of more like a lost boy. I think Luke is just a man who’s trying to milk life for everything that it’s worth.
How will Luke’s point-of-view make for conflict with Jane with season?
CM: Well I think Luke and Jane (Brooke Elliott) are both surprised with each other’s resolve. I think Jane obviously… she [thinks] she has herself together by this point, she’s kind of gone through the ups and downs of, well while she’s still figuring it out, she kind of has a boyfriend now and she’s kind of trying to move forward with her life. And I think Luke comes in there making sure she’s keeping with the plan and keeping to move forward with Jane and becoming Jane and being Jane, and Jane, as the character Jane, wants to kind of make sure she’s staying true to who she feels like she is. So each have really strong points-of-view and they’re both, I think, surprised where Jane can’t push Luke over and kind of impose her will and Luke’s shocked and surprised at not getting his way as he’s so used to easily kind of getting his way and getting people to do what he wants. So they’re both kind of at a standstill and trying to figure out how to handle each other moving forward, which is fun. It’s fun to have these bantering conversations back and forth and the give and take. And then Brooke is so amazing and so good with surprising you as an actor and throwing you things you don’t expect and finding new depths in the character. So it’s been fun to, as an actor, play with her and find out who these characters are in their relationship, really discover the nuances of their relationship.
What was it about this particular role that interested you to be a part of the show?
CM: Just off the bat of talking to [series creator] Josh [Berman] and reading the material and talking with him. It’s the idea that you’re playing a guardian angel who’s like a devilish guardian angel, and so you know you don’t get many chances to play a character with those kinds of polar opposites at play, a hedonistic angel.
And it seems to be fertile ground for endless possibilities as a character, because there’s that magical side to being an angel where anything is possible and it seems limitless, boundless opportunity to take it in different directions and in a way the confines of being a human keeping you from doing countless different things and taking the story in different directions. So that was to me really attractive.
As well as the cool thing about the show is this dramedy tone of it, which is so hard to pull off, I think, in TV nowadays to have those comedic elements balanced with a nice dramatic storyline, and the way that this show is able to do that so well really attracted me to the role and that I would be able to play both those type of moments in the scenes. So both of those things were really attractive.
What do you think it is about DROP DEAD DIVA that really connects with the fans then?
CM: You know I think it’s that one of the other cool things, you had asked me what attracted me to the show, is just the show has such a great message for people. It’s all about acceptance in the end and about being who you are and that you can kind of have all these different things in your life and to have confidence and pride with who you are. That’s something that I think is really important, and I think that’s a message that resonates with the audience of the show as well, where especially in these times where we kind of can be somewhat image obsessed and putting the stress on the wrong things in our lives that this show celebrates that individualism and what really matters is more who you are as a person. And I think that’s really one of the main reasons it resonates with an audience is those personal stories that people feel like they can really connect with these characters, particularly Brooke’s character, and see maybe a glimpse of themselves in those characters, and it’s inspiring to see a character that could be an underdog succeed in such a compelling and interesting and sometimes funny way.
I think Luke considers himself basically the boss when he comes in. [The] complete opposite from Fred, Luke’s coming in there assuming that he’s in charge and he’s the boss. I think it creates a little friction with Parker and Kim at times, because obviously Parker considers himself the boss. So there’s a little tension there, and it creates some funny moments.
For Jane I think it’s… I’m always there. She’s having trouble getting away from me, even though she might want to, because we’ll find in going forward that we have slightly different agendas and there’s a little conflict between — I don’t want to reveal too much — but there’s going to be some conflict there between Jane and Luke with how they want her to kind of proceed going forward with her life. And there’s some tension there with Jane because Luke is always there and he’s very capable, he’s a very capable guardian angel, so he’s always going to figure out a way, unless she can outsmart him, to be there watching over her and pushing his own agenda with her.
It’s fun also to be finding these different relationships with the other characters in the office as he tries to navigate all these characters, which I think he probably underestimated the will and the strength of all these other characters he’s going to have to deal with, so that’s been fun as well.
Which other actor or character would you like to see in a scene with Luke?
CM: One cool thing about the energy of the show is it being dramatic and comedic at the same time as everyone has these distinct personality traits and these distinct energies. You do a scene with Teri (Margaret Cho), and we’re finding they’re going to become like this dynamic duo towards the end of the season, and that’s a lot of fun; then you have scenes with Parker (Josh Stamberg) and it’s always they’re sizing each other up, kind of both alpha males, and that’s fun to play off of; and then with Grayson (Jackson Hurst) they’re kind of trying to be his friend, and there are all these different things.
I’ve had scenes with everybody. I really enjoy all of them; I enjoy all the different dynamics with the different characters. And Kim (Kate Levering), now we’re doing some stuff with Kim, and that’s going to be fun, and Stacy (April Bowlby) is hilarious when we’re doing those scenes. But you know what I would like? I would like Fred and Luke to have a scene. It would be interesting for them to compare notes.
A few more fun facts:
- While he’s not on Twitter yet, he hasn’t completely closed the door to that. He may get an account someday because he knows it’s a great way to connect with fans
- He loves wiffle ball
- He was one class away from a psychology minor in college and still enjoys pursuing that subject
Be sure to tune in to Lifetime on Sundays at 9 PM for DROP DEAD DIVA!