Since The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers was released on Disney+ last year, Luke Islam has played Jaden ‘Koob13’ Koobler for his first regular character in a series, with Series 2 having started airing in September. In this year’s release of the Netflix musical screen adaptation of 13: The Musical, Luke played Carlos, and reunited with his fellow cast members including Eli Golden (who plays lead character Evan Goldman) for the film premiere at The Paris Theater. Luke filmed in New York for his upcoming project Theater Camp, in which he will play Christopher Lopez, working with the film’s writers Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman. In 2019, Luke was a contestant on America’s Got Talent, receiving Julianne Hough’s Golden Buzzer after performing She Used to Be Mine from Broadway production Waitress the Musical, and he later co-hosted the Waitress Cast Album Karaoke with Sara Bareilles and Shoshana Bean. We talked to Luke about playing Koob in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, filming as Carlos in 13: The Musical and performing She Used to Be Mine from Sara Bareilles’ Waitress the Musical as a contestant on America’s Got Talent in 2019.
Can you tell us about your character Jaden ‘Koob13’ Koobler in the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers and do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role?
The part of Koob was my first television series role. The whole process was so fast that started in New York City then California. I was so happy and grateful to try out for the part but was overjoyed after I booked the part.
What is Koob like to play and what’s it like having him as your first regular character in a series?
I love that Koob is just trying to figure out life as a teenager and continues to develop with the help of his teammates. I think we all can relate to that journey.
How much did you know about The Mighty Ducks franchise before auditioning and how do you find the experience working on set of the Disney+ show?
I had to learn about the franchise while the audition process was happening since I really didn’t remember the movies. The first season was filmed at the height of COVID-19 and our show was one of the first back in production. The whole process was different but we helped each other when possible and we finished the filming of Season 1.
What are you enjoying most about being part of the cast and playing Koob in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers?
The change in Koob and his continued growth as a teenager still finding his way more and more each day.
With Series 2 starting airing in September, what was it like returning to set to film the new episodes?
I enjoyed the change with Season 2 with both Koob and location. It was very nice working in the US and California. It allowed me to see my family where Season 1 it was prohibited.
In the new Netflix release of 13: The Musical, you play Carlos, what was he like to play and was there anything that drew you to the film and character?
I loved working on this movie since Broadway is one of my happy places. The opportunity to work with such a wonderful production team associated with Broadway was a dream come true. I loved making new friends from the cast.
What was it like working with the rest of the cast and being on set of a major musical screen adaptation?
All the kids were so talented with so many different skill sets. I was really challenged to perform at a level where I can support the talented cast. The dancing routines were made more manageable because of so much help from the production team.
How was it attending the film’s premiere earlier this year and seeing the completed film?
The experience was so wonderful and seeing my castmates again made it very special.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from filming as Carlos that you can tell us about?
I would have to say the amazing dancing by the cast and me trying to support their skills as best as possible.
Why would you recommend watching 13: The Musical on Netflix and who do you think it will appeal to?
I would love if teenagers and adults watch it so that they can relate to some of things happening.
You will be playing Christopher Lopez in the upcoming feature film Theater Camp, is there anything you can tell us about this project?
It will be a wonderful movie with teenagers who love the arts and their experiences. I was so grateful to work with my idols from Broadway that were the actors, directors and producers.
What was Theater Camp like to film and how was it reading the script for the first time?
It was unique since it was filmed in New York. I was able to see my family and friends. The script is so original and will make one feel good.
In 2019, you were a contestant on Series 14 of America’s Got Talent, what was it like seeing the response to your audition of She Used to Be Mine from Waitress the Musical and how was it receiving Julianne Hough’s Golden Buzzer?
My experience with AGT cannot be described with words. It was such an amazing journey but the production team is out of this world. They were so helpful and supportive and that goes for every person involved with the show. They were so amazing and nice.
How did you find the experience performing on America’s Got Talent and what did you enjoy most from being a contestant?
The live portions of the show were surreal and an experience I will never forget.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time as a contestant on America’s Got Talent?
The entire journey at AGT was wonderful for me. I cannot be more grateful for such an experience.
We understand you co-hosted the Waitress Cast Album Karaoke with Sara Bareilles and Shoshana Bean, how was this?
The kindness Sara and Shoshana showed me melted my heart. I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunity.
Where does your love of performing come from and how did you get into it?
I’ve loved performing since I first started speaking. It feels like a part of me.
What are some of your favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
I love The Color Purple and Dear Evan Hansen. These musicals move me.
What are you hoping the upcoming year brings for you?
I am just enjoying the year working on schoolwork and seeing what can be a new opportunity for me to perform my art.
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