A one-night stand can be risky -- mostly since you don’t really know the person you’re about to jump in bed with. The girl could be a serial killer, or you could accidentally knock her up. That’s exactly what happens to the character Jimmy Chance, played excellently by actor Lucas Neff, on the Fox sitcom Raising Hope. That serial killer cutie he got pregnant ends up on death row and Jimmy ends up a single parent raising their daughter, named Hope. The show takes you on a fun ride from there. Neff is a witty, smart, multitalented guy, with many interests aside from acting. Join me as I catch up with him and soon you’ll know the real Lucas Neff.
Aside from acting you’re an avid writer, poet, producer, and you perform stand-up comedy. You also work hard at staying in shape. What does your fitness routine consist of?
I do an hour of CrossFit Monday-Friday. I also do an hour or two on my stationary bike, while doing lifts with a medicine ball. I used to run more, but I like the bike because I can read and get work done while I use it.
As a teenager at a certain point you were overweight. You became a target of some high school bullying. How did you get yourself through that phase, both emotionally and physically?
I kind of flailed about for a while. I was crudely drawn as an adolescent. Life was a brutal and inescapable fact. I didn’t have many close friends. And I, like most angry young idiots, rejected any help that was offered. Thusly, I tried to fix things on my own. If I was failing at some aspect of life, I just kept working at it every day until I saw myself getting better. Most survival I think is owed to the extreme obstinacy of the will. I kept going on until at some point most of the awful-ness was over.
Once you became fit and trim, I bet your interest in style was piqued. Who are some of your favorite designers?
I consistently like Tom Ford, John Varvatos, Ted Baker and Tommy Hilfiger has had some cool stuff out lately. I just try to keep my eyes open and if I like something I get it.
If I had a peek at your grocery cart what would I find?
I try to buy a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit. Also seeds. Flax seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds…there’s a lot of nutrition in seeds.
Do you have some regular spots in LA to grab a bite?
Sugarfish, Sage in Silver Lake, Real Food Daily. And for a quick bite I go to Veggie Grill in Hollywood. They always give me extra dipping sauce. Hat’s off to ‘em.
You’re originally from Chicago. Living in LA now, I bet you don’t miss those winters. Soooo are you a Bull’s fan?
You know I’m a Bull’s fan, you liar. You retweeted me about that. No one misses winter. No one. Dead Russian writers still hate winter. Ask Turgenev if he misses winter.
Yeah I may have noticed some mention of the Bull’s in your tweets…I can’t help it I’m from Chicago too. You weren’t too interested in tweeting for a while. Have you warmed up to the twitter universe?
I have days where I forget I’m on twitter. And then I have days where I do nothing but tweet. There’s a nice algorithm of reading something interesting, plus being bored out of my skull equals something twitted. But I love twitter. I follow blogs, politicians, porn stars, comedians, insane famous people. They all have something of relative worth to offer. Very relative. Roald Dahl would love it.
Also follow me on twitter: @RealLucasNeff #doit
You are the voice of the lead character Arlo in Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur”. Can you tell me about how that experience was for you?
Thrilling. Challenging. Glow-y. Strudel-y. Working at Pixar is like being a kid at the Chocolate Factory. You just hope you’re not Augustus Gloomp (I like Roald Dahl. And Maurice Sendak. And Bill Watterson. And Dr. Suess. And Shel Silverstein.). Now the movie is not being released until November 2015, so we can make it extra awesome.
You star in a sitcom, you also do some stand-up comedy. Does comedy grab your interest more than drama?
I don’t draw a huge distinction between comedy and drama. Life seems to ably accommodate both. I don’t really like dramas that don’t have some semblance of humor. And I don’t love too many comedies that don’t have some guiding, luminous cepheid of humanity. Most of my writing is bittersweet and most of my performing is joysplosive. But it all comes from the same place.
-words by: NYLON Guys correspondent Tina Turnbow-photo by: Eric Williams