Josh Lucas’ film career began by accident in 1979 when a small Canadian film production was filmed on the tiny coastal South Carolina Island, The Isle of Palms, where Lucas and his family lived. Unbeknownst to the filmmakers, 8-year-old Lucas was hiding in the sand dunes watching filming during the climactic scene where teenage lovers engage in a love sick fight. It was during this experience that Lucas decided to pursue a career in film.
Born to young, radical, politically active parents in Arkansas in 1971, Lucas spent his early childhood nomadically moving around the southern United States. The family finally settled in Gig Harbor, Washington, where Lucas attended high school. The school had an award-winning drama/debate program and Lucas won the State Championship in Dramatic Interpretation and competed at the National Championship in 1989. Brief stints in professional theater in Seattle followed, before Lucas moved to Los Angeles. After receiving breaks playing a young George Armstrong Custer in the Steven Spielberg production “Class of ’61” and in the Frank Marshall film “Alive,” Lucas’ career toiled in minor television appearances. Frustrated, he decided to start over and relocate to New York City.
In NYC, Lucas studied acting for years under Suzanne Shepherd and performed in smaller theater productions, like Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, before receiving another break in 1997 when he was cast as Judas in Terrence McNally’s controversial off-Broadway production of Corpus Christi. The play led to his being cast in the films “You Can Count on Me” and “American Psycho.” These films were followed by performances in the Oscar®-winning “A Beautiful Mind” and the box office hit “Sweet Home Alabama.” After which, Lucas gave memorable performances in various films, such as Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” David Gordon Green’s “Undertow,” “Secondhand Lions,” “Wonderland,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “An Unfinished Life” and Wolfgang Petersen’s “Poseidon.” In 2005, Lucas gained nearly 40 pounds to play legendary basketball coach Don Haskins in the Jerry Bruckheimer production “Glory Road.” Lucas followed this performance by making his Broadway debut in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. Lucas’ other theater credits include the award-winning off-Broadway production of Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell. Lucas’s first producing project, the intensely personal Boaz Yakin film “Death in Love,” was released in 2009 in which he also starred. Lucas also produced and starred in the IFC film “Stolen” opposite Jon Hamm, which was released in select theatres.
Lucas wrapped production on “Wish You Well,” directed by Darnell Martin. He also starred on NBC’s drama, “The Firm” based on the book by John Grisham and was seen in “Hide Away,” which followed the story of a successful businessman (Lucas) attempting to resurrect his life and the inevitability of change. Lucas was previously seen in the Warner Brothers film “J. Edgar” as the character role of Charles Lindbergh. “J. Edgar,” was directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Dustin Lance Black. Lucas also wrapped production on two films: Millennium Films “Medallion” alongside Nicolas Cage and the independent film “Big Sur” alongside Kate Bosworth, which premiered at Sundance in 2013. Lucas can also be seen in the Australian independent film “Red Dog” opposite Rachael Taylor. Adapted from the beloved and bestselling novel Red Dog by Louis De Bernieres, the film captures the story of a loyal dog searching the Australian Outback for its owner (Lucas). Roadshow Films released the film in Australia on August 4th, 2011 to rave reviews. “Red Dog” has quickly become one of Australia’s highest-grossing Australian films.
In May 2011, Lucas starred in Anchor Bay’s dark comedy “Daydream Nation,” opposite Kat Dennings. “Daydream Nation” premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Lucas also starred in the Lionsgate film “The Lincoln Lawyer,” opposite Matthew McConaughey; “Life as We Know It,” opposite Katherine Heigl and the independent film, “Hideaway,” opposite Ayelet Zurer and James Cromwell, which premiered at the 2011 SXSW film festival.
Lucas has always remained fascinated by documentaries, and over the past few years has worked repeatedly with film legend Ken Burns on the documentaries “The War,” “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” and “Prohibition,” in which he narrated. He was involved in the Oscar®-nominated “Operation Homecoming” and appeared in the National Board of Review’s award winner “Trumbo.” Lucas also appeared in the Los Angeles Film Festival’s award-winning film “Resolved,” as well as Barry Levinson’s documentary “Poliwood.”
Lucas resides in New York City.