Former Encinitas resident, Lukas Gage, credits his past as a local surfer with helping him land a leading role in the upcoming Netflix series, American Vandal. The eight-episode show uploads to the online network on September 15.
The cowriters and directors Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault were both plucked from the YouTube series, Funny or Die. Although they’re not from North County, “they really like the place,” said Gage.
Gage originally auditioned for the part of the main teenager, but the director wanted a name actor in that role, and chose Jimmy Patro to play what Gage describes as “the bully asshole surfer,” Dylan Maxwell.
Gage instead was cast as a second lead character, Brandon Galloway, which he describes as the antagonist of the lead, the “bully jock” who lives in a nicer area of Carlsbad.
The series was shot in January. While some of the exterior shots were done in the Oceanside and Carlsbad area, most the location shots were done in Venice. “They thought Venice had the same beach feel,’ said Gage. Oceanside High School was not used in the filming, although an establishment shot in the trailer shows the campus.
IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, reports the show is “true crime satire.” However the story is fictional, as far as anyone can remember, including retired Sgt. Tom Bussy, now the Oceanside police department’s information officer. Bussy grew up in the area and was a surfer. “I would have remembered that if it happened here,” said Bussy. The story idea probably came, according to Gage, from various reports of vandalism on high school campuses around the country.
Gage, now a full time actor in L.A., started acting in commercials and plays in his childhood years. But by the time Gage got to San Dieguito High School Academy, he was known just as one of the local surfers. “None of my friends knew,” he said. After his 2012 graduation he moved to L.A. to restart his acting career.
For the last year and half, Gage has been getting enough roles to survive without having the typical struggling actor part time job. With filming of American Vandal wrapping six months ago, Gage now has another project that is currently streaming on Hulu, entitled [email protected]. No, the plot has nothing to do with graffiti.