Lucius Baston is a force to be reckoned with on Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) FX’s Atlanta (2016) and Roots (2016) which ran on three different cable networks (A&E, Lifetime and History). Lucius’ acting talents range from serious and dramatic to the opposite end of the spectrum…comedy. In other words, he will give you a good cussing out and then turn into a hilarious character causing his audience to belly laugh until it hurts.
Lucius, along with his two older brothers were born and raised in South Richmond Hill Queens, New York by their father who was an army veteran turned train conductor. Lucius played basketball in high school and then enlisted in the United States Air Force where he was active duty for 11 years.
Lucius was shy growing up. He only opened up to you if he knew you well but quickly became popular amongst his community members and fellow students when he showed interest in spinning records. In the beginning stages of Hip Hop, and when Lucius was the tender age of 11, he became a Disc Jockey sensation going by the name of Little Lu. Lucius’ fan base grew in numbers as he further developed his DJ skills. His first paid gig was at his school’s dance. The crowd went wild watching this tiny kid present such a larger than life stage presence. Lucius currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
We spoke to Lucius and he had a lot to say…
The Lyfe…What was your very first movie role?
Lucius…My first paid film was called The Touch (2005). I remember improvising my monologue throughout the entire audition. They did not have a role for me but they liked my improvisation so much that they made up a line just for me. My paycheck for that gig was $75. That’s when I knew I was on to something.
The Lyfe…Who in the movie industry inspires you?
Lucius…Jeffrey Wright from HBO’s Westworld, Kofi Siriboe and Omar Dorsey from OWN’s Queen Sugar, and Oscar Winner Viola Davis from The Help and Fences.
The Lyfe…What is your contribution to Hollywood?
Lucius…I think I inspire older people who want to get into acting but think they are too old. I came into the game late but I don’t believe that anyone’s dream has an expiration date. I think those people look at me and have a renewed inspiration that they can bust Hollywood wide open no matter how old they are.
The Lyfe…What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Lucius…Venice, Italy and because I love warm weather…the Bahamas.
The Lyfe…What jobs did you work before you became a successful actor?
Lucius…I was active duty Air Force for 11 years. I was stationed at Clark AFB in the Philippines then MacDill AFB in Tampa. I also worked in the electronics field testing silicon wafers for contamination, which I wasn’t fond of. And lastly, my favorite job was working in women’s shoes at Dillard’s. (laughing) I was really good at my job, too. I sold lots of shoes but the women were hilarious. One woman I remember vividly tried her best to fit a pair of shoes that was definitely not her size. When I returned from the back room, I told her we didn’t have a larger size and that’s when the struggle became real. I watched her almost break the shoe by forcing those narrow shoes onto her not so narrow feet. (laughing)
The Lyfe…Given that you are a veteran, what do you think about Colin Kaepernick and others who refuse to stand during the national anthem?
Lucius…Coming from a military family, people have fought and died for the freedom and rights that we have today. One of those rights is the right to protest. That’s America.
The Lyfe…What’s your favorite food?
Lucius…Macaroni n cheese
The Lyfe…Do you have a daily routine?
Lucius…I have a love/hate relationship with working out (laughing). But, I’m sure to check my emails and self-promote my brand.
The Lyfe…Can we expect any new projects coming up in the near future?
Lucius…Yes, you’ll see me in Queen Sugar, (season 2, episode 15) on November 8th. You’ll also see me in season 2 of The Quad and a film called Frontrunner this fall with Hugh Jackman which will be out next year.
The Lyfe…Any inspiring words you want to put into the universe?
Lucius…Trust the light that is within you. Trust your own personal talents. Instead of ignoring your gifts and your purpose in life, explore those gifts and share them with the world.
The Lyfe…Besides TV and film, have you done any documentaries or reality television?
Lucius…TV and film are my main focus but I have a couple of projects in my back pocket that will surface soon. I will start producing films.
The Lyfe…Who was your acting mentor?
Lucius…My mentor’s name was Kathy Laughlin, the Founding President of the Performers Studio Workshop in Tampa, Fl. I studied under her for four and a half years.
The Lyfe…Do you have any hobbies?
Lucius…I love the outdoors. I love hiking on Stone Mountain and taking long walks on the Beltline. I love to read, also.
The Lyfe… If you weren’t acting, what would be your second career choice?
Lucius…I love business. I would definitely be an entrepreneur. I would most likely own a real estate company.
The Lyfe… Tell me something juicy you’ve never shared in any other interview?
Lucius…When I’m home alone, I really don’t like wearing clothes. I’m a nudist (laughing).
The Lyfe… Is there anybody throughout your acting career that has meant so much to you?
Lucius…Nicholas Cage for sure. We were doing a scene in the movie Bad Lieutenant and in between takes Nicholas just flat-out asked me, “Hey, why aren’t you out in LA, you’re a great actor?” That meant so much to me so early in my career, just starting out. And secondly, Director DeMane Davis from Queen Sugar. It’s an amazing feeling and honor to work with people who believe in you.
The Lyfe…What actor is on your bucket list to work with someday?
Lucius…Director Antoine Fuqua from Equalizer 2. Samuel L. Jackson from Django and of course, Denzel Washington from Training Day and Glory. Who wouldn’t want to work with Denzel?
The Lyfe…Who would be the best person to play Lucius in a movie about your life?
Lucius…Omar Epps. We almost have the same kind of eyes and we both have that New York flair.
The Lyfe…When people recognize you on the street, do you willingly sign autographs?
Lucius…Most people are generally respectful so when they come up asking for selfies, I’m okay with that.
The Lyfe…What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened with a fan?
Lucius…I was in one of my favorite café’s near the Beltline and I’m sitting there on my laptop. This Caucasian woman started walking over to me slowly and said, were you in the movie Atlanta? I said, yes and then she beckoned for her husband and baby. I was nervous because I was thinking, “Oh boy, what did I do”? (laughing)
The Lyfe…Any funny, behind-the-scenes movie set moments you care to share?
Lucius…On the set of Queen Sugar, Dondre Whitfield is a freakin non-stop, practical joker. It was hilarious watching him play tricks on other cast members, like when he literally hung Tina Lifford’s (Aunt Vi) casting chair from the rafters. It feels like family on the set of Queen Sugar.
The Lyfe…What is your best quality?
The Lyfe…What can impatient people do to become more patient?
Lucius…Understand that you can’t control everything nor can you force everything.
The Lyfe…Any words of inspiration?
Lucius…Get out there and make somebody smile even if that somebody is you.