At the outset of each new TV season there are those faces which pop up on screen and elicit a familiar reaction: Who is this young, attractive person and why have I never seen him/her before? (Chances are you have seen said thesp, be it on a Burger King commercial or in bit parts elsewhere.) As the fall season approaches, we’re bringing you our round-up of fresh faces packing the holy Hollywood trinity: looks, talent, and staying power.
Meet Lucas Neff, the 24-year-old star of Fox’s Greg Garcia (‘My Name is Earl’) helmed comedy ‘Raising Hope‘ (Tuesday, 9:30 ET). The gist of the show is this: In the midst of a quarter-life crisis, slacker Jimmy impregnates a stranger during a one night stand. The baby’s mama is subsequently arrested, gives birth in prison, and is electrocuted in a rather grim moment (with the baby in her lap, no less). Jimmy concludes he’ll raise the infant, Hope, himself, despite a lack of support from his family of screw-ups, including mom Virginia (Martha Plimpton); dad Burt (Garret Dillahunt); and grandmom Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman).
Get to know Neff a little better:
What He Was Working On Before ‘Raising Hope’: I was just doing theater in Chicago. I was scraping together a living as a struggling actor.
What He Did To Celebrate Landing The Role: My girlfriend [Chicago stage actress Kelly O'Sullivan] was reading The New York Times online and I was eating a burrito. I think we high-fived and hugged and threw an impromptu dance party.
Who He Called First With The News: Well my mom was downstairs. I’m from Chicago and we lived five minutes from my parents, so we’d usually walk over and hang out a lot.
On Moving From Chicago To Los Angeles: It’s been different. There’s a lot of driving. Good seafood. New library cards.
How He’s Preparing For Fame: I think the main thing is that I’m pretty careful with the barrier between my public and private life. As long as the attention is on the show, then I’m OK. But I just like reading, hanging out with my girlfriend, and going for hikes.
The Biggest Challenge Working With A Baby: They don’t ever break character.
His Approach To Playing A Dad: I try to help the baby not cry. It’s just like anything else – I try to be truthful, I try to commit, and I try not to kill the baby.