Some folks manage to land big acting gigs after studying the craft for years and acting in no-budget indie films, while suffering through an endless amount of part time jobs. Others, well, just happened to be working at the right gift shop at the right time. Yes, that's how Derek Luke was discovered -- he was working at a gift shop on the Sony lot when someone said, "Ya know that guy who sells Sony t-shirts? Yeah, how about we cast him as the lead in Antwone Fisher?"
Needless to say, Luke is hot right now -- he's starred in Catch a Fire, Friday Night Lights, Biker Boyz and Glory Road, just wrapped filming on Definitely, Maybe and, according to Variety, landed a role in the Robert Redford-directed Lions for Lambs starring Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Michael Pena and Redford. Luke will play one of two soldiers who strays from his platoon and winds up exactly where you don't want to be while stationed in Afghanistan. From there, storylines intersect and Oscar nominations are handed out.
Penned by Matthew Michael Carnahan (brother to director Joe Carnahan and writer behind The Kingdom), Lambs is quite the departure for Redford, who has yet to helm his own gritty, politically-charged film set in the Middle East. It also marks the first film for Cruise and producing partner Paula Wagner since they were booted from Paramount and landed at United Artists.