Members get unlimited access to all our most
valuable content long before the masses. Exclusive access to newly released gear and tech and entrepreneur secrets delivered to your inbox monthly. All free. No BS.

Luke James Talks Horror, Truth & THEM: THE SCARE

Sailun Tires

If you haven’t heard of Luke James, chances are that’s about to change.

From being a Grammy-nominated artist to leading actor in the latest season of Prime Video’s THEM: THE SCARE, Luke James continues to lock in his status as a rising star.

Photo by: Cibelle Levi Celebrity Brand Photographer

Centering around an LAPD Homicide Detective [Deborah Ayorinde] who gets assigned to a new case, THEM: THE SCARE explores the solving of gruesome murders taking place in 1990s Los Angeles. Written and created by Little Marvin, this second installment of the THEM franchise will be available to stream on April 25th and boasts an exceptional cast, including Deborah Ayorinde, Pam Grier, and, of course, Luke James.

SWAGGER caught up with James for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look inside the preparation of his incredible performance as Edmund Gaines in THEM: THE SCARE.

Watch the Interview:

Reflecting on his journey to THEM: THE SCARE, James recalls the moment his manager presented him with the script. “My manager called me and said, ‘There’s a part floating around, and I know you can do it. It’s you. It screams you,’” he shared. “I was moved by the level of work, the honesty, and the depth of the first season of THEM. As a struggling actor, this project was a dream come true.”

Beyond his acting skills, James is recognized as a Grammy-nominated musician. Reflecting on the connections between music and acting, he highlights a shared theme: the quest for the truth. “As a singer, I tell my truth,” he explains. “As an actor, I give life to someone else’s truth. It’s a different challenge, but they both feed each other.”

At the core of James’ portrayal of Edmund Gaines is the character’s profound sense of inner turmoil—a deep, haunting void that echoes through every frame. When asked about tapping into this level of emotional complexity, James revealed how he drew upon his own experiences and vulnerabilities to understand the character’s truth.

“I just had to take a really good look at Edmund and what he’s gone through. He’s a man who feels discarded and is looking for a sense of purpose. I resonated with the fact that he’s a struggling actor dealing with constant rejection. The idea of him living in this world and never hearing someone say, ‘I love you’ really shattered my heart. I wanted to tell his truth while also having the best time doing a horror series.” 

As a self-proclaimed horror fan, James used his childhood memories of the ‘90s to transport himself when filming. From the nostalgia-inducing sets to the haircuts from the era, every detail served as a portal to another time. “It was everything,” he reminisces. “The clothing, the music, the atmosphere—it was like stepping back into my childhood, but as an adult.” James admits being genuinely frightened during filming, a testament to the immersive nature of the production. “Every day on set, we gave one hundred percent,” he confesses. “I scared myself a lot in this role, but I was in a safe space. Little Marvin created an environment where we could dive deep and find the truth in a safe environment.”

(L-R) Little Marvin, Pam Grier, Joshua J. Williams, Deborah Ayorinde, and Luke James (Photo by Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Prime Video)

In the horror universe, where the line between reality and fiction is often blurred, THEM: THE SCARE serves as a potent reminder of the real-life societal issues that continue to haunt us to this day. James acknowledges the series’ exploration with a sense of gratitude, recognizing the power of storytelling to provoke thought and incite change. “It’s grounded in reality,” he affirms. “I’m grateful to be a vessel for stories that resonate deeply, sparking conversations about society, empathy, and the human experience. Projects like this, which blend realism with fantasy, challenge us to think deeper and inspire change. I’m excited to see where it goes and who it inspires.”

After having the opportunity to preview the first five episodes of the series ahead of the launch, James left us with a tease of what we can expect for the final three episodes. “It gets creepier and crazier,” he teases with a smile. “But you’ll have to watch to find out.”

THEM: THE SCARE is now available to stream exclusively on Prime Video.

Copy Editor: Nadia Pereira


Get the latest Swagger Scoop right in your inbox.

By checking this box, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our terms of use regarding the storage of the data submitted through this form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *