Luke Cook thinks other actors need to “get some balls.”
Last week, Cook, who is best known for playing Lucifer on Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” shared a TikTok video explaining what the SAG actors’ strike is all about — and how most people in Hollywood aren’t making big bank.
In it, he revealed that he drives a “2010 Mazda S3. My previous car was a 2006 Ford Taurus.” He also broke down how “95%” of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) actors “cannot make a living from acting. They’ve got to have side hustles.”
Cook broke down how little he makes by sharing what he earned appearing on 4 episodes of the Hulu series “Dollface.”
He noted that the studio “put me on a billboard on Sunset. Do you know how much they paid me to be on that billboard? Nothing. The amount they paid me to be on the show was not much better … “
“I got paid per episode, which is 2 weeks of work, $7,500. Then it’s taxed, then a manager takes 10%, an agent takes 10% and a lawyer takes 5%.”
Cook made it clear this is not about headlining stars, who can be paid from $100,000 a TV episode up to millions per project, but the co-stars who make up the rest of a show.
“This is for actors like myself who rely on side hustles in order to get by because we love to do the job that we love to do and we’re willing to make the sacrifice of life, to dedicate our lives to it,” he said. “We’re just asking for a fair payday.”
And despite appearing on CW shows like “Katy Keene” and the “Dynasty” reboot, Cook counts himself as one of those actors who need to “side hustle.”
His others jobs include teaching a group fitness class, and he’s about to launch a protein drink.
In an interview with Page Six, the Australian-born star said that since posting the video he’s had colleagues reach out to say they’re thankful — because they wouldn’t have had the courage to do it themselves.
“I’m like, but we need you to tell your story right now … why don’t you have the courage?” he said. “You don’t want to piss off the bosses, like your future bosses. I understand that sentiment, I really do. But I just think we need to be a little more courageous right now. If we band together, they can’t shoot us all down.”
He pointed out how members of the writers guild, who are also on strike, “have got out there and said some heinous s–t about their bosses. Actors are not doing the same thing …I just think we’ve lost our rebellious spirit.”
“I’m hoping, fingers crossed, that we get some balls, for the want of a better word.”
One who has spoken out has is Kimiko Glenn, who played prisoner Brooke Soso on the hugely successful Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”
“People were bartenders still. People had their second jobs still,” she said on TikTok about actors who starred in the series. “They were f–king famous as s–t — like internationally famous, couldn’t go outside — but had to keep their second jobs because they couldn’t afford to not. We couldn’t afford cabs to set.”
On the one hand, Cook said, “I can live on carrots and water.” But he is in danger of losing his SAG health insurance, which covers his wife and two small children, and he’s also worried that the negotiation-stalling studios “will be able to starve us out.”
One thing that perplexes Cook is the criticism he has received.
“A lot of the pushback that I get, the hate mail that I get, it’s from very conservative people — and I’m not a radical leftist by any means,” he said. “So it’s funny to have this kind of cruel world, like, ‘Get a real job, stop complaining and get on with it.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow, I’m usually not completely opposed to everything you say, but there’s just a cruelty to this idea that [actors should] shut up and get to work for the billionaire.”
As Cook noted, Disney CEO Bob Iger makes more than $74, 175 a day.
“He’s never told a good joke in his life. He’s never written a good joke in his life, you know?” Cook said. “So who are we defending here? I think people really need to consider this.”