Rookie Blue Q&A: Eric Johnson on Luke's Return, His Favorite Moments and More

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On Thursday, Rookie Blue returns after a mini hiatus, as fans hope to receive some answers after the cliffhanger that concluded "The Girlfriend Experience."

In anticipation of the episode, I spoke with Eric Johnson yesterday, whose Luke Callahan rejoins the crew at 15 Division this week. Luke's goal may be to save Gail, but the actor shares here how his character's reappearance might be awkward for some, while also speaking on his favorite storyline and who else he hopes to see again on Rookie Blue.

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Why did they wait until the ninth episode to bring Luke back and were you surprised by the delay?
No. After the last season aired and before going to the third season I talked with our executive producers.  We felt it was definitely needed to get Luke out of there so that you don't get the mopey ex-boyfriend hanging around while Sam and Andy are in the throes of new love. I think the reason for Luke coming back couldn't be a better one. He's trying to find Gail who could be in the hands of a serial killer. We're rushing to hopefully save her life. So there couldn't be a more pertinent circumstance for me coming back to 15 division.

Luke went through so much last season with his engagement, the shooting, and the breakup but it was all very linked to Andy. Will his storyline still have a lot to do with their relationship?
Luke is definitely an outsider now and he has an outsider's perspective on not only the personnel but the division itself. That's actually something that comes up. There's a little bit of a feeling of Luke having one foot out the door. That I'm here to save Gail and then I'm out of here.  He's also not talking about all the stuff that had gone on the year before and avoiding the elephant in the room.  Him cheating on Andy and the engagement and all of that and the fact that her and Swarek are together, let's just avoid that while we can.  It's a really interesting dynamic. It also gives Luke the ability to call people on their bs. He can call people out on their behavior.

What was it like for you coming onto the set when the rest of the cast has already filmed eight episodes?
I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little intimidated. You've got this whole team that's been together and is like a well oiled machine after eight episodes and you're another cog fitting into the works. It didn't take long to be comfortable in Luke Callahan's shoes. I was very lucky that the first scene that I shot coming back was actually Luke's arrival. Any awkwardness played in very well to what we were doing.

Have you had a favorite storyline so far on Rookie Blue, either as Luke or a fan of the show?
For me, this year everything that Dov is going through is just absolutely riveting. Greg is such a, I don't want to call him underrated. He's such a great part of the show and it's nice to have him showcased. His character is really evolving this season. The whole season for me this year is…the sh*t got real for 15 Division and it's continuing and that plays through right to the end of the year. I'm a big fan of that storyline for Dov. I thought it was a really great and a really interesting way of tackling that.

And your favorite story as Luke?
All of that stuff last season with Camille Sullivan as Jo Rosatti was really interesting.  It was lots of fun. Typically my scenes were all with Missy and nothing to take away from her but it was nice to have somebody where it was more of a tete a tete.  We were very much equals going at each other on any of the stuff with Jo and that was a lot of fun to play around with. That definitely made going to work interesting.

Any chance we'll see more of Jo?
I hope so. She was great. She was such a firecracker to act with.

Is Luke in all of the remaining episodes this season?
I'll be there the rest of the year. Yes.

Will we see Luke in Rookie Blue Season 4?
We don't know yet. We will have to wait and see. It's still in the works.

It looked like there was some chemistry between Luke and Gail at the end of last season. Any chance we'll see more of that in upcoming episodes?
It's funny because I get asked about that on Twitter just about every week. What's the deal with Luke and Gail? It's interesting what people pick up on. It's one lingering look in my office and the next thing you know the rumor mill starts up. I think Gail definitely has her hands full in this upcoming episode. So she's got other things on her mind as does everybody else in 15 Division. We're all just doing our best to save her life. 

What do you hope to see in Luke's future on the show?
Somebody asked me will we ever see Luke as being happy. I sure hope so. I think he needs to find a little balance in his life between work and his personal life. I don't think he's ever really had that. Maybe he needs a hobby like windsurfing or painting or something. He definitely needs a little zen balance in his life.

And is today your birthday? Any fun plans? I mean, besides this interview?
It is. It's also my wedding anniversary so I'm making a lovely dinner for my wife. So I'm a pretty lucky guy. I get two things to celebrate today and I'll never forget.

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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I really hope Luke returns for season 4. He's a great detective and his rougher attitude adds extra to the show. They need two detectives and Traci is still in training, so keep him working in 15. I loved the little bit of friction he created with Sam, and also the advice he gave him about Andy. So great that he threw the "You"re an idiot" back at him. If Luke flubbed it with Andy, he figured Sam should be the one to get her. What are friends for if not to have each others backs.

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This was an excellent interview!!! I love the actor's perspective and I'm really glad he's back on the show. It wasn't until he broke up with Andy that I realized how much I liked his character. Somehow the pairing with Andy just never clicked for me and I'm really hoping that they don't revisit that relationship. He had much better chemistry with Jo and even Gail, although Gail obviously her hands full (with her ex and Chris....yawn). The Dov storyline is also one of my favorites.

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Great read. I really enjoyed it.

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@Kathryn - I like you ideas Eric is one actor I like more when I see interviews. Lots of times I try to forget about the interviews so it doesn't take away from the character.

Sarah-silva

I love all the interviews from the cast. I was never a Luke fan I do think he is a good part of the show.

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Wow - that's a great interview Christine. Thanks. Loved to hear about Luke, Luke and Jo, & what Eric thought about his character and the series.

Aries93

I haven't really missed Luke and I honestly forgot that he was even on the show. Whether he returns or stays away doesn't bother me. However, I will admit that Gail and him did have some chemistry, so if that were to be explored, I'd happily be a fan. Although, I wouldn't look forward to Gail being 'that' girl who ends up sleeping with/having a slight thing with every male cast member. i.e. Chris, Dov, Nick.

Nathy

That's a great interview, thank you Christine! Eric is such a fun person to interview and to talk to :) What really made me laugh is the thing about Luke and Gail. This is I think where Eric gets how obsessed the fanbase is: a lingering look and all of a sudden people come up with speculations about "what might be" and it seems that it was nothing more than a look, the way he says it. And he says it better than anyone, Season 3 is *the sh*t got real for 15 Division" lol!

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I love Eric. He always says something that makes me laugh. (in this case the birthday memory prompt for his anniversary) I really loved Luke with Jo too. He comes to life so much more when he's paired with an equal. If they don't bring her back, they need to find him someone similar who keeps him on his toes. I'm still partial to the idea of a brash crime reporter.

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