An Interview With Luke

Luke Perry
The guy who puts the zip in Beverly Hills

Luke Perry is GORGEOUS. Very few people would argue with this statement. But he's more than that. He's also driven. After years of struggle, and assorted jobs that included everything from laying pavement to waiting tables, stardom has hit him like a ton of bricks. But success wan't always easy for this sexy star. In fact, it took him over 200 auditions 217, in fact to land his first acting job.

Luke started his acting career on a soap opera called "Loving." But even that didn't pave the way to Hollywood. Jobs were few and far between. So in between gigs, Luke sold shoes and chauffered people around in their limosines.

Finally his big break came when he auditioned for a new show called "Beverly Hills, 90210." But Luke auditioned for the part of rich kid Steve Sanders. The producers didn't think he was right for the part and instead gave it to Ian Ziering, another veteran from the soaps.

Then, a few months later, the producers added a new role to "90210." They remembered Luke and asked him to come back and audition for the part of Dylan. He seemed perfect for the role and soon a sideburn craze was sweeping onto the scene.

But Luke isn't one to rest on his laurels. In addition to playing Dylan, Luke appeared last summer in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He hopes to appear in more movies in the future. In the meantime, he's happy to go bungee jumping with his friends and hang out with his pet pigs.

Amy: Is it true that you weren't in the first episode of "90201?"
Luke: Yes. In the first episode, there was no Dylan. If you rent the movie, which is really the first episode of the show, I'm not there. But it's still kind of a trip to watch the first shows and see how much we have changed since then.

Amy: Is Luke Perry your real name?
Luke: In a way. Luke Perry is short for Coy Luther Perry III.

Amy: What were you like in high school?
Luke: My high school was nothing like West Beverly High, let me tell you. I grew up in Fredericktown, Ohio. It was a small town [population 2,300]. I didn't do that well in school, although I was voted "The Biggest Flirt." I played sports I was on the tennis team and also the baseball team. But the coolest thing I did was that I dressed up as our school mascot, Freddie Bird, for all of the football games. My step-father had a helicopter and I got the helicopter to drop me onto the football field. It was cool.

I was something of a prankster. One time I put a ski mask on my head and used a fake gun on the school secretary so that I could get some of my friends out of detention.

Amy: Did you want to be an actor back then?
Luke: I guess so. I always felt like something of an outsider. But I identified with people up on the screen. That made me feel like I wanted to be up on the screen too. I felt like eventually I would get there.

Amy: Do you like being famous?
Luke: It's hard and sometimes it's scary. It still amazes my mother. I went home for Christmas one year and there were fans all over the front lawn, hoping to see me.

Amy: What would you do if you weren't an actor?
Luke: I've had tons of odd jobs, but I think that I would probably be a fireman because you get to see the results of your job. You get there and there is a house on fire. You leave and there's not a fire anymore.

Amy: Do you really have a pig? I have two. Pigs are great. Pigs are very sweet, and they are intelligent too. You can see it in their eyes. One of my pigs is names Violet. She is the girl. The other pig is Jerry Lee, named after Jerry Lee Lewis, the famous rocker. Playing with the pigs is cool. When Jerry Lee gets hungry, I put an apple in my mouth and he comes over and takes a bite.

Amy: What else do you do besides play with the pigs?
Luke: I go bungee-jumping with Jason (Priestley.) Go camping. I go four- wheeling in my truck. I also like to fish, cook, do stuff around my house. I even studied fencing for awhile.

Amy: People still want to know. What happened to your eyebrow?
Luke: When I was a kid, I was at a bowling alley and I ran into a soda machine. I still have the scar on my right eyebrow obviously.

Amy: Do you have a girlfriend?
Luke: I have a girlfriend, but I don't really want to talk about her. I won't name her. She isn't in show business, has nothing to do with it. So I'd rather just keep her out of it.

Amy: Do you think that "90210" deals with issues that are realistic to high schoolers?
Luke: Sometimes they do. Like the drunk driving episode, or drug abuse, AIDS, racial tensions, high school sex, all those episodes. All of them are important episodes. Without them, the show would be very unimportant. I think that sometimes kids use the show as a jumping off point for talking about things with their parents.

Amy: What are your plans for the future?
Luke: I want to do more movies. I did Buffy...

Amy: Let's talk about that.
Luke: It was a fun film. I had a great time doing it. I was looking for a role just like that for my first movie role. I didn't want to have a starring role, because I wanted a chance to learn. I didn't want the whole thing riding on me.

Amy: And now?
Luke: I open to anything....just about anything.

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