Luke Eisner is on the move. Beginning his career as a high-fashion model to playing in his band, VOILÀ, to acting in Netflix’s Tall Girl and now Tall Girl 2, he’s a man of many trades. We got the chance to talk with him about all things Tall Girl 2 and his up-and-coming acting career.
You’re starring as Stig Mohlin, the heartthrob exchange student, in the sequel Tall Girl 2. How has Stig’s character evolved from the making of the first movie to this sequel?
In the first film everyone wants to win the friendship of Stig. After the events in the first movie the tables turn. Stig now has to win the friendship of everyone! His evolution includes a redemption arc, which is a gift to any actor from a writer. He also gets to interact with more characters in this one, so you get to see more of the goofy, loveable and singing side of Stig.
Stig is the only one who sees Jodi for who she is on the inside. What have you enjoyed most about playing this role?
Stig and Jodi definitely have a great bond over their love of musicals. Funnily enough, Ava Michelle, the actress who plays Jodi, and I bond over music as well! We have released a few songs together and one of them, “Stand Tall,” appears in the first film’s soundtrack. As far as playing Stig, he is a joy! He is the human equivalent of a golden retriever. He’s so energetic, goofy and enamored to be around people! Stepping into Stig’s shoes, or more accurately, one of his many sweaters, always puts me in a fun-loving mood.
What do you think the fans will love most about the sequel, in comparison to the first film?
The movie follows multiple characters' storylines, not just Jodi’s! It’s a great way to show a bunch of different characters realizing they aren’t so different from each other after all. There’s a lot more singing and dancing in this one too, which was so fun to film. Don’t let anyone tell you they didn’t picture themselves in highschool musical at some point in their childhood haha!
When actors take on a role it’s a lot of work to absorb every aspect of this character’s life. Did you have a specific process when it came to figuring out how you wanted to portray Stig?
Stig was originally written as a little more smooth and suave. When I went into the audition I saw a lot of guys in the waiting room who had much bigger resumes than I did. I figured the only way I’d stand out amongst them was to be different, so I made a last second decision to make him dorkier and more comedic than most “heartthrob” characters. For this movie I had more time to prep! Stig was originally written as muscular and I was scrawny in the first movie. So for this film I worked with Jason Momoa’s personal trainer, Mada, to put on 20 pounds. I also worked with a new accent coach on this one and took improv comedy lessons since Griffin Gluck and I tend to improvise a lot of lines in the scenes we do together.
The making of this movie launched you into your acting career. What are your favorite parts about acting on-screen?
First of all, I still feel like I’m in a dream! I feel so lucky to have experienced something like this. The professional answer is that both our directors, Nzingha Stewart and Emily Ting, encouraged us to improvise during scenes. When we’d film we would come up with five or so different variations of the scene. So, when we get to see the movie for the first time, you get that whole “Christmas morning effect” of wondering what parts made it into the film and what parts hit the cutting room floor.
However, the honest answer is seeing my mom, family, girlfriend and friends be proud of me and getting to have a few laughs seeing me on screen! My cast mates from this also became some of my closest friends because working on a project like this really brings people together.
You’re a man of many talents as a singer, songwriter, producer, model and now an actor. Do you have any exciting work in the makings you’d like to share with us?
I did a competition reality show with Jess and Jojo Siwa where we put together the next big pop group! I’m very proud of it. It’s called Siwa's Dancepop Revolution and it’s on Peacock or E! if using cable. I appear in another upcoming project called The Uglies on Netflix, which is produced by the same folks that did Tall Girl.
My band, VOILÀ, has a song called “Figure You Out” in Tall Girl 2 and we have songs coming out every five weeks!
For modeling I have an upcoming campaign with Ralph Lauren that I am honored to be a part of. My girlfriend, Kirby Johnson, and I also have a YouTube channel where we post weekly updates of what is happening in our lives.
Photography by: Courtesy Persona PR