Luke Benward, the 18-year-old actor who plays Dillon in ABC’s “Ravenwood” and stars in the soon-to-be-released Disney Channel movie “Cloud 9,” describes himself as “chill, artistic and nerdy,” a self-proclaimed Pokémon and Star Wars fan. Luke opens up to CM about balancing life in the spotlight and all-things Hollywood.
Luke’s career has hit a high note in recent months, but this young star is no stranger to the spotlight. Starting in 2002, Luke has acted in a steady stream of films ever since. While some celebs seem to let fame go to their heads, Luke says his parents have helped to keep him grounded over the years.
“It was always really important to my parents who have guided and mentored me that acting was looked at as a hobby growing up,” Luke said. “So, that definitely helped me to keep it in perspective and to keep a normal life.
Although maintaining a regular life was no challenge for Luke, it would seem wrong to call him a regular kid. But after chatting up the ultra-talented teen star, Luke seems to be just like any other 18-year-old teen.
“I grew up in Franklin Tennessee, which is a suburb of Nashville,” Luke said. “It’s not hard for me to be grounded because I have an amazing team, I have amazing family and I am blessed from God above.”
As for his role in ABC’s Ravenswood, Luke says he loves the show, and not just because he is in it. “I think it’s very suspenseful and a kind of dark, twisty, turny show,” he said. “And you can always introduce new characters because there are so many ghosts.
Between takes, Luke says the entire Ravenswood cast gets along really well. But when off set, he keeps in touch most with Britne Oldford who plays Remy Beaumont and Brett Dier who plays Luke Matheson.
“We hit it off right away and it was always kind of us just chilling on set and talking,” Luke said. “Britne and I are both kind of deep, philosophical people. So, we always have a lot of philosophical questions and conversations. So, that was always fun.”
In the upcoming Disney Channel original movie “Cloud 9,” Luke got to play Will, a former snowboarding champion who struggles in the aftermath of his career-ending snowboarding accident. But by the end of the film, Luke says the storyline turns into an uplifting tale for the whole family. Packed with sports, romance and humor, Luke says he has seen the film twice already and both times he was moved by it
“I’m really proud of this movie,” Luke said. “I think the whole family will love it — including people my age. I really think this movie will cater to all audiences.”
Throughout the making of “Cloud 9,” Luke says the staff bonded really well because of all the challenges they faced while filming in Park City. Luke said it was freezing cold and they filmed in the dead of winter, which made everything increasingly difficult for the cast and crew.
“When you put over 100 people in the snow and ice all day and all night, you are bound to have slips and falls and people getting frustrated because they can’t stand where they need to stand, or put the camera where they need to put the camera, or put the light where they needed to put the light,” Luke said. “But looking back, it makes the movie that much sweeter.”
Speaking of sweet, Luke also gushed about working with Ashley Tisdale who produced “Cloud 9.” After years of watching High School Musical, Luke says he was extremely excited when he learned that he would be working with Tisdale, and enjoyed talking with her about her upcoming wedding.
“She was incredibly sweet, and you know she is engaged,” Luke said. “I just love the idea of marriage…and, I just love the idea of love. So, to talk to her about her engagement and her future was just a blast.
Luke Benward is one celeb to keep an eye out for in the next few years. We can only guess what will come for this über-talented actor who says he hopes to one day emulate the careers of some of the best leading men in Hollywood, such as Leonardo DiCaprio.
“I’ve always grown up as a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan, but who isn’t?” Luke said. “I have always tried to model my style, my personal life, acting choices and stuff like that after him. I think that would be a dream come true if I could ever obtain that kind of prowess. And so, I definitely admire him.”