Luke Guldan is a talented actor who can be seen in the indie film “The Broken Ones”. The film follows two troubled strangers who meet one night and help each other overcome personal fears and tragedies. Luke plays Trent the brother of Andy (Cece King) and has taken on the role of holding the family together after the loss of their father on 9/11.
Luke has many television credits to his name including NBC’s “The Good Place” where he can be seen playing Chris, Eleanor’s (Kristen Bell) new soul mate. Luke will be reprising his role in the second season of the series airing this Fall!
We got the chance to chat with Luke about “The Broken Ones”, “The Good Place”, and more.
Check it out!
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about how you got your start in acting?
Luke Guldan: When I was very young I moved around growing up. I was born in Wisconsin then went to Chicago, lived in upstate New York and then moved into Brooklyn, went to school in Florida and back to New York. And have been jumping around ever since.
upfrontNY: Wow! You really have moved around a lot!
Luke Guldan: I was just talking to my mom about this recently and about meeting people who are so content with staying and living in one place which is amazing, but kind of distant to me. I think it is because I moved around so much when I was younger I have that exploration type spirit. Keep on moving, exploring, and moving around.
When I was young, a school that I went to had a theatre program, but they only did one play and it was The Nutcracker. I did that, but then they never did it again and I moved around and none of the other schools I went to had that. It was fun and I experienced it and enjoyed it. Being at the whim of your parents and everything else as a kid, I moved onto something else like wrestling and sports.
upfrontNY: With moving around a lot, do you feel like film and television was the one consistent thing for you?
Luke Guldan: When I was younger my parents separated. Not having a father figure around for a bit I found myself gravitating toward these male dominant type figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone. All of these types of actors I just loved. I looked up to them. That was the initial thing that got me really into it.
When I started making the decision that I wanted to pursue this even though I didn’t know how was when I was in high school and my high school had a bodybuilding show. It was the only one in the entire city that had an annual high school bodybuilding competition. I did that to hopefully use my physique like these other actors that I admired and grew up with to break into the acting world.
upfrontNY: You had the film “The Broken Ones” premiere at the SoHo International Film Festival. Can you tell me about that film and your role as Trent?
Luke Guldan: The main lead is played by Cece King a person who is going through struggles and meets another person who is conflicted as well. They are on a journey which is specifically leading up to the 10 year anniversary of the world trade center attack. It is based on true events and shows her not going back into the city since those events and her struggle with overcoming that. I play her brother Trent. The film shows the family coming together again to reminisce about these events and shows where their lives are now. It is an amazing project and how impactful it is and was for her family specifically.
upfrontNY: What was it like for you reading the script knowing that so many people had gone through this and it hit so close to home?
Luke Guldan: When I was reading through it and when I went in for the audition there was an immediate understanding of the heaviness of wanting to do it justice and be there to help tell not just the story of what happened in the world, but specifically Cece’s story. I think that was important. “The Broken Ones” is a narration or point of view of someone who was involved directly and their story about it, how it affected them, and how they keep on keeping on.
upfrontNY: What was it like to be at the premiere in New York City?
Luke Guldan: It was great. I have been living in New York for the last 10 years. The last couple of months have been the longest that I have been out of the city because I have been out in California. It was my first time coming back to the city.
We had shot 2 – 3 years ago. When watching a film it is interesting to see a slice of life of where you were at that time. It is always special to see everyone and what they have been up to and how they have evolved as themselves and as artists. It was cool to see everyone, the finished product, and to see it well received. It was great to meet with the family and see how much they were moved. All around it was a really great experience.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your experience on “The Good Place”?
Luke Guldan: Everything kind of happened so fast. I found out about it and then within a day or so I was on a plane out here. I didn’t have a script because it was so confidential because it was the cliff hanger of season 1. I didn’t know what the character was up to until the point I was walking onto set. It all happened fast, keeping you on your toes.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us what is next and what others can expect?
Luke Guldan: I think they can expect what was going on with the first season. From what I read I can tell it is going to be amazing. I don’t know that much and am waiting for the premiere to happen so I can find out everything I’ve been waiting for. Eleanor (Kristen Bell) Michael (Ted Danson) and everyone on the show will be continuing on the journey of where they left off.
upfrontNY: What was it like working on this show with so many great actors?
Luke Guldan: Everyone is fantastic. I worked on the first season and now working on the second season. Everyone is so friendly, professional, and creative. Everyone from craft services all the way up to the writers, producers, and directors. Everyone is excited to be there because the show is so great and all of the people involved are really fantastic. It is a blessing to be involved in the show.
upfrontNY: You have many other television credits to your name. Do you have any stand out moments?
Luke Guldan: A majority of the stuff I have done has been New York City based episodic work. I’ll ride the subway everywhere. Getting up the morning of and riding in the subway to set is like a dream coming true. You are up early and around all of these other people who are doing things, going to different jobs, living their lives, but you are going to do what you have been striving to do. Each project has great moments and is exciting, but getting there is a special thing for me.
upfrontNY: I love that! Aside from acting you are really into fitness and have been on magazine covers and featured in several magazines. How did you get your start in this?
Luke Guldan: I did wrestling when I was 5/6 years old and I won a state championship division. Then I moved away and they didn’t do wrestling in the city and I got into other athletics. I felt like I had an initial talent for athletics. My high school was on the larger side. I had a graduating class of 1,200 students. It was a big school. Coming in as a freshman, everyone was doing their own thing when they were younger. I played sports. I was on the basketball team, the track team, and the volleyball team in school, but when I heard about and saw my friends older brothers compete, I knew I wanted to do that and win. I got into it and did well and won my junior year and senior year. I competed in the NABBA Mr. Team Empire State which was like Mr. Teen New York and I ended up winning that. That put me on the path to continue to build my physique because I felt like I was good at it.
upfrontNY: You have had success in film and television, and fitness. Is there any adventure you have not done yet that you want to try?
Luke Guldan: I have never been to Europe and I have been wanting to go so badly. It is challenging to leave the states especially when you are really on call at any time. When I finally agreed to go on a small trip last Fourth of July I was heading out-of-town at the end of a day on Friday and I got a call that I had to come and screen test or come in for a chemistry read that Monday. I got to my destination and was already taking a bus back. It is intense. You know people usually say when you want to book a job, book a trip. I would like to go to Europe and explore. That is something I am passionate about spending time doing.
upfrontNY: Is there anything you want others to know about you or your work?
Luke Guldan: Usually at the end of an acting class when you do a scene they have you sit down and the teacher will ask you to talk about what you did and what you’re going for. I was in this one acting class where you would sit down and most people would be accustomed to talking about what they did or did not do, but when you sat down the teacher said ‘you had your time to show us or tell us what you wanted with the work now you don’t have that chance. We get to tell you want we liked or did not like.’
I would like the work to speak for itself. I want whatever work I do to speak for what it is I was hoping or trying to tell or fulfill in someone else’s story. I hope people get their own thing out of it. I want people to have their own opinion.