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Interview: Derek Luke Talks ‘The Purge’ and Marcus’s Evolution

Published on December 17th, 2019 | Updated on December 17th, 2019 | By FanFest

Spoiler Alert: This interview does contain spoilers to tonight’s season finale of The Purge.

The second season of The Purge has taken us on quite a journey with all the characters involved. However, Marcus’s journey has been one of the most fascinating of the entire season. His growth and the building of his character is unlike any other I have seen throughout the entire franchise.  This season did not lack in the roller coaster ride that was Marcus’s overall story arc and brought a lot of questions to mind during the finale.

Michelle Patterson: When you read the script for episode nine and knew that Ben was the passenger that Marcus and Andre picked up, did you think your character, as well as the others, would survive the night?

The Purge - Season 2 - Blindspots
THE PURGE — “Blindspots” Episode 203 — Pictured: Derek Luke as Marcus Moore — (Photo by: Skip Bolen/USA Network)

Derek Luke: Nope! I thought we were being put in the freezer. It was interesting because every episode allowed me to find out about Marcus, to reveal parts and qualities of Marcus that were being solidified in my heart. Sometimes you’re in the actual situation, that represents questions you have with some of the creators.  

It was one of those scenes where it was tough to process because of what was happening with Marcus’s wife. It was very interesting specifically because I made sure I focused on my storyline and not so much on everyone else’s so that our coming together could be organic. It wasn’t even a spoiler; it was a shocker to me!

MP: I remember sitting and watching the episode, and it got to the end where they hit someone. And I said out loud, “Oh please let it be Turner, let it be Turner.” They don’t need this right now.

Marcus - Derek Luke - The Purge TV Series
Marcus – Derek Luke – The Purge TV Series – Everything Is Fine – 2×02 – USA Network

DL: Nope, it was Ben! When we finished doing that scene, I really wanted to redo that episode. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a meeting or presentation, and you left and said, “Man, I wish I had thought of this or thought of that.” I didn’t have much to say when we first started filming that particular scene. It was such a shocker.

MP: Marcus has been very trustworthy and trusting this season despite everyone around him. Even after that episode, where he found out why someone placed a bounty on him. It made me wonder if you thought Marcus regrets picking up Ben after he saw the destruction he caused in a so-called safe zone more than he did trust Clint?

DL: Those are two fascinating characters. I’m going to ask you a question now. Can you expand a little bit more on that question?

MP: When I was watching Marcus and Clint came to this understanding per se, and I was waiting for Clint to pull something. As soon as he stabbed Michelle, I grew so frustrated because I wished that Marcus hadn’t believed him. He seemed too buried in his grief.

Marcus – Derek Luke – The Purge – Hail Mary – 2×09 – USA Network

DL: You know that was another hinge for me. Where I mentally pulled from was Marcus’ own specific school of thought. I believe he believes in pull yourself up from your own bootstrap type thing; he believes certain things can be resolved with a handshake. That was one of the major storylines, and following Marcus, he felt like there was a perfect world in an imperfect world until purge night.  

I liken it to social media. You can have a million likes, and then the day someone writes something ugly, the day you read one dislike, it sends your world into disarray. In a way, you spend time trying to win that person over. I think Marcus sincerely felt like he had won Clint over. I didn’t feel sorry for Marcus, but man, this guy is so trusting. It was definitely a challenge, especially when you’ve lived and had experiences where people have multiple sides to them.  

You’re asking a very valid question. It’s one of the things I wrestled with within the series. I’m glad you’re bringing it up cause it’s like some therapy for me.

MP: I loved those characteristics of Marcus. No matter he wouldn’t let anyone take that from him and that’s beyond rare in this world of the purge. Every other character has attempted to kill or has killed this world. Don’t get me wrong I understand their viewpoint as someone is trying to kill them, but even when walks into the area in the triage where everyone has died in this last episode, he was still trying to talk to Ben like a person.

THE PURGE — “Before the Sirens” Episode 208 — Pictured: Derek Luke as Marcus Moore — (Photo by: Alfonso Bresciani/USA Network)

DL: Exactly.

MP: That blew my mind. I don’t think I could be that put together in that moment after seeing that many dead bodies surrounding me.

DL: Wow, you made me think of something that is a little deeper. I know this is a purge world, but it reminds me of the mass church shooting that happened. I think grace and forgiveness is not a color thing, but it shows some form of supernatural response. When you were talking, it made me think about situations where the hero is trust or forgiveness. 

MP: I think it’s a valid point, though, because it’s so prudent with today’s society. I believe that is what makes the purge absolutely frightening. It seems like something that is on the brink of happening. This series has been one of the horror franchises that has made me think the most.  

And that’s part of what I love about Marcus too. He is one of the most thought-provoking characters for that reason also. Once he saw that Michelle was going to be okay, he immediately went to working in the triage center that night to help other victims.

Would Marcus continue working at the various triage centers around town during future purge nights?

Marcus & Michelle - Derek Luke & Rochelle Aytes - The Purge - Happy Holidays
Marcus & Michelle – Derek Luke & Rochelle Aytes – The Purge – Happy Holidays – 2×06 – USA Network

DL: I feel that Marcus will go one of two ways. He will either silently join the resistance because his son is now the man behind it and stepping up. I think Marcus would be raising awareness about the purge. I think on purge night–since he talked about it when he was tending to Michelle. He says, “They ask us to do this, but I usually ignore it or turn it down.” 

I think he would turn into a private triage center. He’s turning a new leaf. I think half of that is because his son is Viva La Raza! He’s standing up for what’s right, so I feel that Marcus wants his family. He wants to be a part of their life. He knows the way he has been interacting with them is not going to fit into this new world of the purge. 

MP: I love that he was there supporting resistance. I was actually going to ask if you saw him being a part of the resistance with Darren.

DL: What is so interesting as I’ve seen it happen with my mother. Me and my mom were very close, but once I got to a certain age, I started to sort of imploding and keep things in my heart. I got to a certain time where I was reviewing and viewing my life. I was viewing and reviewing my mom’s life. It makes me think about Darren because there was a portion where it felt so relatable because my mom and I have a great relationship, but there was a point where I went dark. I started to process everything internally.

MP: That disconnect.

Darren & Marcus - Derek Luke - The Purge TV Series
Darren & Marcus – Derek Luke – The Purge TV Series – Everything Is Fine – 2×02 – USA Network

DL: Yeah, and then finally, when I became verbal again, it became very clear that I wanted to stand for something greater. I wanted my mom to know I was a man. That’s how I look at Darren. He wanted his dad to know I’m a man. At first, he was like I’m fine without you, but I actually need you. 

MP: Unfortunately, I know that’s all the time we have this evening. I do want to thank you so much for talking to me. It’s been such a pleasure.

DL: It has been awesome talking to you! I’m really grateful for your questions.

According to IMDB we will be able to see Derek Luke in two upcoming films, Dhaka and Long Day Journey. Hopefully one day we will see his return to The Purge franchise as well. You can connect with him further via his social media accounts on Twitter and Instgram.

 

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