YEM Interview: Lucas Barker shares how he learned to ride a horse for his role in The Tragedy of Macbeth

Lucas Barker is an actor. Lucas is in the film The Tragedy of Macbeth. The Tragedy of Macbeth follows A Scottish lord who becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next King of Scotland. His ambitious wife supports him in his plans of seizing power. The movie is streaming on AppleTV+. He portrays the role of Fleance in the film. YEM able to speak with Lucas about balancing school and work. In addition, he speaks about he audition process for The Tragedy of Macbeth. Lucas also shares what is next for him.

Young Entertainment Mag: Having started your acting career at such a young age, have you always known you wanted to be in that field?

Lucas Barker: I hadn’t really thought of acting before I started when I was 5, but as soon as I started I didn’t want to stop. As a young kid and still today, being on set is the best day and no matter the material it is always fun! I definitely want to continue in this field for a long time. 

YEM: What’s it like balancing school and work?

Lucas: It’s really something that I have to keep on top of: I need to make sure to focus on school (college is coming up soon!), and be able to balance acting. Auditions sometimes are on tight time frames; like getting home from school learning new lines and filming or meeting with directors to school work. When on set, it is a bit easier since I have required school time with a studio teacher but it definitely takes some extra effort and I have to stay on top of everything.

YEM: Along with having roles in several comedy shows, you also have a stand-up act. How has comedy allowed you to thrive in more dramatic roles?

Lucas: It’s always good to learn about many different types of roles and performances. As a young actor, I have done a lot of training in all areas of drama and comedy. These types of classes help you make good character choices every time you have a chance to perform. In many comedy roles, you need to be good at improvisation which that training helps you be quick on your feet and react to any scenario. Every role is a new learning experience which I love! While dramatic roles like this are very different from comedy, I’m still able to apply some techniques learned in the past.

YEM: What was the audition process like for your new movie, The Tragedy of Macbeth?

Lucas: I started with the initial audition, and it took a bit of time to learn and understand the script I was given since it was so different from what I’ve done in the past. After that, it took a while until I got the callback. As always, I made sure to prepare as much as possible and read everything I could find about the character Fleance. After that, I went to a directors session. I was pretty nervous since I was walking into a room with Joel Coen. I did my best, and I got the role!

YEM: In your new movie, you’ve been given the opportunity to work with Joel Cohen. What have you learned from working with such a well-respected writer/director?

Lucas: It was a really great experience to work with Joel Coen, who is an amazing director. One of the biggest takeaways was how I can work on my characters’ thoughts with other characters I interact with. Other than that, Joel Coen is a very hands-on director, in one part he was laying in the dirt with me so I could understand his vision for that part! He is really good at accomplishing his vision of the film. He runs a very organized and quiet, calm set allowing all of us to focus and maintain character.

YEM: Was getting to work alongside powerhouse performers like Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand intimidating?

Lucas: When I first met all the cast at a pre-read, it was pretty nerve-racking to walk into a room with so many famous and talented people. However, everyone just treated me like I belonged there and was very friendly and welcoming. Denzel Washington is an amazing man open to speaking with everyone and then shows his incredible work ethic once filming starts staying focused and being in character. so once we got to filming I was a lot more prepared and less nervous. Frances McDormand is so friendly and was always checking on everyone to make sure they are doing ok.


YEM: What did you do to study for your role? Have you read the original play by Shakesphere, what were your thoughts?

Lucas: To prepare for the role, I read the original play to better understand the context. It takes a while to fully understand Shakespeare, and every time I see the movie I pick up on something new. Additionally, we had a dialect coach on set to help perfect the accent. I also needed to learn how to ride a horse for the role prior to filming, I took lessons after school.

YEM: Your character, Fleance, has been portrayed by several actors before. How did you make it yours?

Lucas: Fleance is an interesting character because he gets mixed up in the tragedy of the story. When preparing for the role, I thought a lot about how I would personally react to something like this (which is a pretty intense situation). One of my favorite details about the character is his fear of Macbeth, even the first time they meet. It was a direction from Joel Coen, and it gave me a new idea to work with.

YEM: What genres would you like to explore in the future?

Lucas: I’d like to do more comedy in the future, as I enjoyed doing stand-up and comedic roles in the past. However, I love trying new genres and characters, so I’m excited for whatever the future may hold.

YEM: What advice would you give young actors hoping to break into the scene?

Lucas: Don’t be discouraged by the amount of time and practice it takes to land roles. Acting is a long process, and you are always learning. I always say to “audition and forget about it”, meaning not to worry and think too much about auditions after you do them. My job is to put my all into every audition which I do!

YEM: What’s next for you?

Lucas: Currently, I am auditioning for new roles and you never know where you will see me next! Since I have college on the horizon, I am focused on school and making sure my grades are good as well!

Check out Lucas Barker in The Tragedy of Macbeth!