From music to modelling and starring in hit rom-com films, Luke Eisner has notched up a number of impressive milestones in his young career.

His storytelling journey, which spans across multiple genres are already laying the groundwork for a career that will span decades. An accomplished singer, songwriter, and producer, Luke makes up one-half of the Los Angeles based pop/rock duo VOILÀ alongside Gus Ross. Their most recent album “Long Story Short” receiving critical praise from Billboard.

Commercially, Luke’s modelling portfolio includes campaigns with international brands like Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, John Varvatos, American Eagle, Calvin Klein, NIKE, H&M, Revolve, and Stuart Weitzman. He has appeared in five Times Square campaigns and has been featured in Vogue, GQ Style, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire.

Still, the name Luke Eisner is perhaps best known to fans of Netflix’s Tall Girl. The actor made his debut in the film in 2019, playing the character of Stig Mohlin. Winning the hearts of audiences with his portrayal of the charming exchange student who sees past fellow schoolmate Jodi’s (Ava Michelle) stature, Stig served as one of the standout characters of the film.

luke eisner tall girl 2
From left: Ava Michelle as Jodi Kreyman and Luke Eisner as Stig Mohlin in a scene from Tall Girl 2; Photo: Scott Saltzman/Netflix

Tall Girl was an impressive success for Netflix. Garnering over 41 million views for the platform in just four weeks, it was a bonafide hit for the streamer. Naturally, a sequel was mooted, and it has duly arrived on the platform this month.

In Tall Girl 2, Luke returns to portray Stig. Like the first film, the actor also pulls double duty by penning and performing song featured in the film. In this exclusive interview with AugustMan, Luke discusses the evolution of Stig Mohlin and his approach to modelling singing, and his future plans.

Tall Girl 2 is out, tell us how has the character of Stig Mohlin evolved in this one?

In the first movie everyone wants to be friends with Stig. He has to deal with all his peers trying to earn his love and respect. However, In the second movie, no one wants to be friends with Stig. So now the tables have turned, and he is the one trying to earn his peer’s attention!

I think Stig is goofier and dorkier in this film. As I sit here in my Harry Potter pyjamas it’s safe to say I can relate to that. We also find out he is not as confident as we once thought. He’s actually insecure about his stage fright. That itself took me back to when I first started touring with my band and the nerves associated with singing in front of people.

Luke Eisner
Photo courtesy of Luke Eisner

In terms of preparation, was it easier or harder this time around stepping back into his shoes?

I found it to be harder this time around! Tall Girl was my first movie and when it came out I made the newbie error of reading through just about every comment and review about the film. Even though my grandparents are Norwegian and Swedish, I was born in Wisconsin. As an American actor playing a Swedish character I faced a lot of pressure to be as accurate as possible.

I had asked Netflix this time around to put me with Swedish accent expert and renowned coach, Erik Singer, to work on the dialect. And I studied with him for months before the film. I also had the opportunity to improv during most of the scenes in the movie, so I studied improv comedy at Groundlings in preparation.

In the first script, Stig was described as buff and ripped. Frankly, I looked like I was allergic to weights in the first one I was so scrawny (laughs)! So I started working out with Jason Momoa’s trainer, Mada, every day for 8 months leading up to shooting. Because of his coaching, I was able to gain 25 pounds. I hope that would get me closer to fulfilling what the writer had in mind when he first envisioned Stig.

Tall Girl 2 (From left to right) Luke Eisner as Stig, Griffin Gluck as Dunkleman, Johanna Liauw as Stella; Photo: Scott Saltzman/Netflix

Tall Girl garnered an impressive 41 million views in its first 4 weeks. Were you surprised by the reception?

I was absolutely blown away. It changed my life almost overnight! Every day I feel like I hit the lottery, I feel so fortunate to have been a part this. It really says a lot about the reach of Netflix. I don’t think I’ve been to a restaurant or grocery store since without someone asking if I’m from Tall Girl.

Usually I’m buying way too many frozen dinners or eating of the kids menu so it’s always a bit embarrassing (laughs). Even when I travel abroad and there’s a language barrier, families will approach me in airports. It’s always a joyful experience because it’s usually a younger demographic that recognizes me and their parents are always so excited to see their kids excited.

It makes me happy because they don’t see me as Luke they see me as Stig, so I feel like in a way that character keeps living on off the screen. That brought a lot of joy to my mother and my father before he passed and that’s the best way I could have repaid them for raising me. It is just a really happy thing that happened and I’m so beyond thankful that I was a part of it.

Why do you think audiences gravitated towards this story?

When I was younger, if I ever caught a cold my dad would give me cough medicine but tell me it was cherry candy so I would take it. I think the first movie used the same tactic. It disguised a moral lesson as a light-hearted upbeat movie so kids would enjoy it and at the same time help heal some of their insecurities.

Do you think audiences will be excited to see the continuation of this story in Tall Girl 2?

I really hope so! With the first film, I think a lot of people related to being bullied for their own version of being “too tall”. The second film goes after anxiety as a theme where the bully is no longer the jerk at school but rather the voice inside your head. I think a lot of people, including myself, can relate to being their own worst critic.

The movie also explores the storylines of the supporting characters. I think we see a group of very different people with different walks of life all realizing they aren’t so different from each other after all. Plus there’s musical numbers and karaoke scenes which I hope are as fun to watch as they were to film!

Luke Eisner and Anjelika Washington as Fareeda; Photo: Scott Saltzman/Netflix

We also understand that you have a role in The Uglies, a new Netflix film. Can you tell us more about that production and your involvement?

I was very excited to be a part of that movie having been a fan of the books growing up. One of my dreams was to be in a movie based on a book. McG, Mary Viola, and Jenny Hinkey all worked on the first Tall Girl so when they invited me to do The Uglies with them I was honoured!

You also have a musical background. Which holds a stronger passion for you – music or acting?

I always wanted to be an author growing up, so to be honest I view both music and acting as just different forms of storytelling. I actually was able to write songs for the soundtrack of both Tall Girl movies, so I think they really go hand in hand!

For lack of a more poetic metaphor, it’s kind of like leg day and chest day at the gym. I need both in order to feel balanced and healthy. Song writing is a way to express my own feelings and tell my own story. Acting is a way to become more empathetic and tell someone else’s story. The fun part is finding out that there’s always a part of you in everyone’s story. We are all written differently but with the same ink so to speak.

Photo by Kirby Johnson

We understand you also have extensive modelling experience. Is this something you will continue doing even after your acting and music career is taking off?

I was scouted to do modelling when I was 18. Coming from a very small rural town I knew nothing about the industry. I quickly learned so many of the top designers use their collections to tell a story and I fell in love with yet another form of storytelling. I feel everything in the entertainment industry all ties together and I am thankful to be working in any facet of it.

My agent Marco Servetti at Vision models and David Ralph at IMG models deserve all the thanks and recognition in the world for giving my career in entertainment a start and I hope that I’ll be fortunate enough to model forever! I have an upcoming campaign with Ralph Lauren I’m looking forward to working with him and his team again.

Catch Luke Eisner in Tall Girl and Tall Girl 2 now streaming on Netflix.

(Main and featured image: Kirby Johnson)

written by.
Richard Augustin
Former chef turned writer; Richard has tip-toed around the publishing industry for two decades. When not busy chasing deadlines, you can still find him experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

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