Derek Luke - Rotten Tomatoes

Derek Luke

Highest Rated:   84% Pieces of April (2003)
Lowest Rated:   15% Baggage Claim (2013)
Birthplace:   Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Derek Luke was an all-but-unknown actor who was still working a day job when Denzel Washington plucked him from obscurity in 2002 for the leading role in his first directorial effort, Antwone Fisher. Born in Jersey City, NJ, in 1974, Luke displayed a precocious interest in drama at the age of four, telling his mother he wanted to be an actor, and, in 1995, he moved to California in hopes of making a career for himself in film and television. The 1,000-dollar nest egg Luke brought with him didn't last long, but, determined to get his foot in the door of the business, he took jobs that would allow him to meet people in the entertainment industry -- first serving as an usher for television tapings at the Universal Pictures studios and later as a sales clerk at a shop selling candy, gifts, and sundries on the Sony Pictures Studios lot. While there, Luke became acquainted with Antwone Fisher, a screenwriter who had a development deal with the studio, and learned that Fisher's memoir about his turbulent early life was being made into a film. Luke became even more intrigued when he learned Denzel Washington was interested in directing the film, but, despite landing an audition for the project, the picture was put on hold before casting could be completed. In the meantime, Luke continued to work at the store and landed bit parts on the sitcoms The King of Queens and Moesha before auditioning for Antwone Fisher a second time in 2001. While Luke wasn't happy with his reading, Washington was convinced the actor had the right emotional pitch for the character, and, several weeks later, the Hollywood veteran stopped by the Sony Studios store to tell Luke he'd won the part. Though opinions on the film were mixed, Luke was singled out for his raw, authentic, and emotional performance. After completing Antwone Fisher, Derek Luke was soon cast in two 2003 features: Pieces of April and Biker Boyz.Though Luke was still every bit the dramatic powerhouse that he was in Antwone Fisher, his abilities were put on the back burner somewhat in the ensemble casts of Spartan, Friday Night Lights, and Glory Road. As a wronged family man who becomes a freedom fighter in apartheid-era South Africa, however, Luke proved in Phillip Noyce's 2006 biopic Catch a Fire that he was more than capable of carrying a major film. Luke would remain a familiar face on screen for years to come, appearing most notably in movies like Madea Goes to Jail and on TV shows like Trauma and Hawthorne.


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet American Refugee
  • Actor
67% Extraction
  • Actor
No Score Yet 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons
  • Actor
19% Self/Less
  • Anton
74% Alex of Venice
  • Frank
27% Supremacy
  • Raymond
15% Baggage Claim
  • William Wright
$17.3M 2013
56% Sparkle
  • Stix
$24.4M 2012
55% Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  • Speck
$7.2M 2012
80% Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Gabe Jones
$176.7M 2011
29% Madea Goes to Jail
  • Joshua
$90.5M 2009
52% Notorious
  • Sean Combs
$36.7M 2009
33% Miracle at St. Anna
  • 2nd Staff Sergeant Aubrey Stamps
$7.8M 2008
70% Definitely, Maybe
  • Russell T. McCormack
$32M 2008
27% Lions for Lambs
  • Arian Finch
$15M 2007
75% Catch a Fire
  • Patrick Chamusso
$4.3M 2006
56% Glory Road
  • Bobby Joe Hill
$42.5M 2006
82% Friday Night Lights
  • James `Boobie' Miles
$60.6M 2004
65% Spartan
  • Curtis
$4.3M 2004
84% Pieces of April
  • Bobby
$2.5M 2003
23% Biker Boyz
  • Jaleel `Kid'
$21.8M 2003
78% Antwone Fisher
  • Antwone Fisher
$20.9M 2002


35% 13 Reasons Why
  • Mr. Porter, Hannah's guidance counselor
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
59% God Friended Me
  • Henry Chase
  • 2019
42% The Purge
  • Marcus Moore
  • 2019
84% Empire
  • Malcolm Malcom
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2015
No Score Yet Rogue
  • Marlon Dinard
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
No Score Yet The Talk
  • Guest
  • 2016
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
  • Guest
  • 2015
No Score Yet The Wendy Williams Show
  • Guest
  • 2012
No Score Yet Hawthorne
  • Miles
  • 2011
25% Trauma
  • Cameron Boone
  • 2010
  • 2009
No Score Yet Last Call With Carson Daly
  • Guest
  • 2009
No Score Yet Lopez Tonight
  • Guest
  • 2009
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
  • Guest
  • 2003
No Score Yet The King of Queens
  • Delivery Man Orderly
  • 2000
  • 1999

Quotes from Derek Luke's Characters