Among the dozens of rising actors in Hollywood today Ashley Zukerman stands out in the roles he has landed and for the attention he has received. The actor’s latest work includes the Peacock series “Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol” in which Ashley plays the lead character, professor Robert Langdon. You’ve also seen him in the hugely successful Fear Street trilogy on Netflix and in Succession where he potrays Nate Sofrelli, Shiv’s on-again/off-again lover. We caught up with Ashley in New York to chat about his work, life aspiration and dreams.
Giulia: How do you stay in character and how do you shift between the roles?
Ashley: It’s different for every job. Some require more immersion than others. The material dictates that, also the conditions of the work. But it’s always about finding the differences between me and the character – and research.
Giulia: The Lost Symbol is a 2009 novel written by American writer Dan Brown and you play the professor Robert Langdon who studies symbols. How about yourself , are you a believer in symbols or signs?
Ashley: Symbols are just place holders for ideas. I don’t think you can believe in them. They just exist. If by signs you mean ‘am I a believer in omens?’ do I think ‘all things are connected and have meaning outside of that which can be explained’? I don’t know. I think my very pragmatic and logical approach to life has softened in recent years. Especially during The Lost Symbol.
Giulia: How does it feel to play the young version of Robert Langdon in The Lost Symbol portrayed by Tom Hanks in the Da Vinci Code? Did he give you any tips?
Ashley: It’s a nice feeling to play someone that so many people already have a connection to. It’s an honor to have been chosen. And I enjoyed the fact that he’s a younger version of the character. So, although still connected to everything that’s come before he’s less formed, less complete, more rough around the edges – I could push him to be more closed minded, more arrogant. [More at Source]
Ashley Zukerman, best known for playing Shiv Roy’s ex flame, Nate, on “Succession,” has a new TV role as Harvard professor of art and symbology Robert Langdon in “Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.”
It’s the same role played by Tom Hanks in the big-screen movies “The Da Vinci Code,” “Angels & Demons” and “The Inferno.”
“I tried not to think about [Hanks’] portrayal of the character much,” Zukerman, 37, told The Post. “I just felt like I was mining Dan Brown’s work.”
Premiering Thursday, Sept. 16 on Peacock, the thriller series follows Langdon as he becomes ensnared in a mystery when he’s called to the U.S. capitol to give a speech — only to find his mentor missing and a gruesome severed hand with a mysterious symbol tattoo. The resulting puzzle he must figure out involves everything from the CIA to Freemasons.
Langdon is the main character in Dan Brown’s bestselling novels, “The Da Vinci Code,” “Angels and Demons” and the titular “The Lost Symbol.” Zukerman’s rendition of the character is 20 years younger than the Hanks version of Langdon, even though the series is set in modern-day.
“Although this is the third book [about Langdon], we’re using it as a prequel,” he said. “So we’re able to dive deeper into his idiosyncrasies and ask why and pull at the threads a little more.”
Zukerman hadn’t read the books before starring in “The Lost Symbol” but said he dove in immediately after landing the role.
“It’s not that I started it and put it down, it’s just that I had missed them. But luckily, I was able to catch up and study this specific book and the Masons, and the [topic of] art history, and this specific world. It was sort of a thrilling thing. It was an incredible joy reading 3,000 pages about someone I was about to play. That’s unheard of in anything I’ve done previously.”
Dan Brown is also an executive producer on the show. Zukerman said he hasn’t had a great deal of interaction with the author, but they had one conversation that has stuck with him. [more at source]