After three episodes, Star-Crossed has proved to have more depth than a normal teenage romance would usually have. It takes place in a complex world with complicated relationships between the Human and Atrian communities.

Jesse Luken portrays a high school student, Eric, who has a blatant disdain for the Atrians. I spoke with Luken about Eric’s evolution, the friendship with maybe-Red Hawk Grayson, and the dynamic between the show’s two extremist groups.

Eric really doesn’t like the Atrians. Does that feeling hold throughout the season?

It gets chipped away. I think Eric gets exposed to different layers of the Atrians that he hadn’t seen before. He’s exposed to the reality of what the Atrians are. It’s like any prejudice, you know, it usually comes from a place of not ignorance and not knowing any better. As the Atrian 7 are in school more often and interacting more often his perspective on the whole thing goes through an evolution for sure.

Grayson intervenes in a conflict between the Atrians and the Humans, does he have any influence on Eric?

Eric and Grayson are best friends, so I’d say they both influence each other’s thoughts. That’s actually a theme that comes up a lot throughout the season is Eric and Grayson sort of struggling with their own fears and prejudices and trying to help the other one see their own point of view. Without giving out too much, it’s definitely interesting.

We see Grayson has a connection to the Red Hawks, but he’s hesitant to that connection. Is Eric aware of that? Or, is that something that’s even secret from him?

Eric is aware of it. There’s a level of Grayson that’s a secret from Eric and secret from everybody, but Eric is at least at a superficial level aware.

I spoke with Executive Producer Meredith Averill last week and she mentioned that in episode 5, we find out that one of the humans is secretly an Atrian. How that affect the characters?

It doesn’t come out for a while. The Human that is revealed to be an Atrian is not revealed publicly. And so, this person is revealed to a select number of people. They all have to work to conceal it for a couple episodes. It’s somebody very unexpected.

What drew you to the character of Eric?

It’s interesting to me to get into the causation of the people who it would seem superficially at least just villains. Just stereotypical, cliches, run of the mill villain, but if you look there’s “Erics” in every high school, there’s “Erics” in any sort of social chains, but I find it interesting to try and see where they’re coming from, try to put myself in their shoes and see their perspective and things like that. 

Because we can immediately look at and judge and brand this person. They’re racist, they’re homophobic, they’re an asshole, whatever XYZ, but looking to see what caused these things is interesting. They don’t think that they’re — they feel justified. It was interesting to see Eric’s point of view and to find justification for why he had such animosity. 

On the Red Hawks and the Trags

I think it is an incredibly interesting aspect of the show. I was appreciative that there was this duality between these two groups and the parallels that existed between the two groups. And it was nice that ostracization from the other is exhibited in all cultures and all wars. It’s a very common theme throughout history. 

It’s funny to point out these two groups — not funny, but ironic — to point out these two groups that have such distaste for each other have so much in common. Any groups that feel like they have to buckle down and get ready for the war and fear that which is not themselves.

Star-Crossed airs on Mondays at 8 pm ET on the CW.

(Image courtesy of Dave Racki.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.