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Fall TV breakout: Derek Luke

The ”Antwone Fisher” star puts on an EMT uniform in ”Trauma”

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Derek Luke
New Drama — 9-10PM — NBC — Debuts Sept. 28

Derek Luke had always been a movies guy, taking juicy roles in flicks like Antwone Fisher and Notorious. But with NBC’s new medical drama Trauma, he found a TV character — stoic paramedic Cameron — that enticed him. ”Cameron’s the only guy who represents the family man,” says the 35-year-old actor. ”He’s fighting evil and demons. What comes with his job is the title of ‘hero’ and he’s applauded, but when he gets home, it’s quiet. That’s appetizing and very meaty.” Viewers had better think so too, as Trauma has huge, ER-size shoes to fill. No problem, says Luke, who touts the series’ improvisational, film-esque shooting style (courtesy of Trauma and Friday Night Lights exec producer Peter Berg). ”Ninety percent of the time, none of what we have scripted is what we do,” he says. ”It feels very much like film.” Which has made a TV convert of Luke, who adds: ”I just freakin’ love my job.”