Kellan Lutz takes his jobs—all of his jobs—very seriously. Whether he's taking down fugitives on his new CBS drama FBI: Most Wanted, romancing Valerie Cherish on The Comeback, or even his real-life role of father-to-be, Lutz is prepared. That was very evident during this interview for FBI: Most Wanted.
After mixing it up with likes of Sylvester Stallone, the vampiric Cullens and Greek legends on the big screen, the Twilight veteran is heading back to TV to bust bad guys in FBI: Most Wanted. In the series, Lutz plays Kenny Crosby, a communications specialist and Army veteran who is taken under the wing of Jess LaCroix (Julian McMahon), the head of the Fugitive Task Force. The actor said there was a lot on the page that appealed to him regarding the role, including the chance to have some stability.
"It's multi-layered as far as the show, but the character himself, he's an Army vet and he deals with PTSD. That's always been something that has been near and dear to my heart because my older brother suffers from that," Lutz said. Lutz's older brother served in the Army in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and now his youngest brother is enlisted and in Japan right now, giving him "an understanding and sympathy for that disease in itself."
The new FBI star said he's excited to play a character who finds a new purpose.
"It gives my character a new wolf pack that he can deal with what he was trained to deal in. Because a lot of times, military, they try to immerse themselves back into civilian world and they lose their minds. They weren't meant to see and do what they did over there. It's hard to find normalcy again. So, that was a huge draw, just because it was written so well," Lutz said. "And knowing it was part of the Dick Wolf universe, which is so many great shows, and they know how to make great, entertaining television with great heart and depth."
However, before Lutz was bringing in the bad guys on TV, and even before Lutz was making Twihards swoon as Emmett Cullen, he was costarring opposite Lisa Kudrow in The Comeback, Kudrow's short-lived follow up to Friends in 2005. The Comeback followed Valerie Cherish, a sitcom star who turned to reality TV for a new taste of fame. Along with the reality gig, she got a new sitcom role on a youth-skewing, raunchy series. Lutz played one of her costars, the beefcake Chris MacNess. In the original series, Lutz's character wasn't incredibly developed, but did have a few key moments. That changed in 2014 when The Comeback was revived for a second season. Lutz appeared in the finale and his character, no longer a young adult, made romantic moves on Valerie Cherish.
"Man, I loved it! And they're talking about doing a season three…Valerie Cherish will always be near and dear to my heart. And we had just such a fun cast on that. It's always sad, you know [Robert Michael Morris] isn't around anymore, which is tragic. But that show was really something special. A little before its time when the first one came out. [Co-creator] Michael Patrick King is just so lovely to work with. Yeah, I like that show a lot," Lutz said about returning to The Comeback.
The Comeback conversation prompted something unusual in the interview. Lutz had a question.
"What was your favorite part about it?" Lutz asked. Lutz, apparently prepared to engage on every topic including The Comeback, was now the interviewer.
The way Kudrow portrays Valerie, you forget she's playing a character, that Valerie isn't a real person, I replied.
"[Laughs.] Was it seeing her sort of, like, that struggle, that behind the curtain sort of awkward?" Lutz followed up.
Valerie Cherish wanted fame so badly, no matter the cost, I said. And in the end, she got what she wanted, but did end up paying.
"Yup, yup," Lutz said. "It's a perfect show."
The Comeback wasn't long for the world when it first debuted, and Lutz's most-famous role, in Twilight, came a few years after in 2008. And yes, he's well aware the five-movie series is always on TV these days, and very prepared to talk about that time in his life when his profile rocketed to new heights.
"My wife [Brittany Gonzales] had never seen any of [the Twilight movies] and it blows my mind that she—I love that she just loves me for me and not—not that there's anything wrong with loving Emmett or anything like that, but it was really cool to sit down and watch it with her," Lutz said, noting they have Breaking Dawn left in the viewing.
While rewatching the movies, Lutz said he paused to fill in his wife on what was happening behind certain scenes, what it was like working with director Catherine Hardwicke on the first film and the experiences the young cast had together as fame came calling.
"We had so much fun on set. Then we go from movie one to movie two and we had more security guards and bodyguards than we had cast members," Lutz laughed. "It just blew up and it was such a unique season in my life that she really just wanted to know as much as possible because that really was such a testing period. I had a really great support system. I had an anchor in reality and I didn't let my head get too big and yeah, I just appreciate it so much. I love my character."
With Twilight in the past, Lutz's return to series regular TV work comes as the actor is preparing for another role, perhaps his most important one yet: father.
"I've done tons of movies and I've traveled the world, and I love that, but as soon as I got married and my wife and I really wanted to start a family, I knew that I needed to make a switch and have a life where there's consistency that we could bring children into the world and I could come home every night and we weren't international and we could have something that was just consistent to start a family in. This really came after a lot of prayers and discussion. It was just a perfect fit," he said.
FBI: Most Wanted premieres Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m. on CBS. And you can be sure that's the exact date and time, because Lutz, always prepared, made sure this writer repeated it back to him.