After having featured in other shows like Shining Vale and Runaways, Derek Luh has delved further into the supernatural realm becoming the shapeshifting character Jordan Li in The Boys spin-off Gen V. Inspired by superheroes and all things morally corrupt, Gen V makes its watchers question their values. However, out of the powerful bunch, Luh’s character seems to be the most… ‘normal’.
Along with London Thor (the feminine side of Jordan Li), Derek Luh has created a relatable and sociopolitical character that sparks conversation about mental health, sexuality, and the direction of humanity as a whole. Luh seems privileged to have played such a diverse role, and, hopefully, with a new season in the works, Jordan’s complex character will be discussed and analysed at a far deeper level.
What do you find most fulfilling about acting?
The joy of getting lost in a different world.
Had you always planned to branch out into acting or did that shift just come naturally after already being present in the arts industry?
I was always interested in acting but never brave enough to pursue it. I toyed with the idea but didn’t really know how to or where to start until randomly in the summer of 2019, an agent reached out to me via Instagram and asked if I had any interest in acting and if I would like to have a meeting with them. I was really hesitant, but my manager insisted, saying ‘what do you have to lose,’ so I went to Burbank, had a meeting with them and signed as soon as I left. A few days later, they sent me to an audition. I booked it, fell in love with the craft, and knew this is what I was supposed to be doing.
In Gen V, you play the masculine form of the character Jordan Li, alongside London Thor who plays the feminine side. Why do you think, or do you think, it is important to have a character that embodies both the male and female? How was it working together with Thor to create this deep and complex character?
I think it’s important for this role to embody both the male and female form. Because Jordan is both male and female, they struggle with the realities of being a male and with the realities of being a female. Working with London was a dream come true. She is such an amazingly talented actor with such generosity. We got along so well and had so many similar ideas about Jordan as well as respected each other’s choices. There’s a video of us dressed as Jordan on set in between takes watching football together, swaying back and forth at the same time in the same direction at the same rhythm. I think that speaks for itself. 
It has been mentioned before in other reviews that Jordan’s masculine form is more reserved than their feminine form. During your interviews you seem to love to fidget, saying in a previous interview that when you get nervous you start “moving your arms weird.” Are you more reserved and anxious as a person, if so, what made you want to be in front of the screen?
(Laughs) That’s so funny! I never started moving or fidgeting in interviews before. All of that was shot during filming of the first season, so I think I was just bringing Jordan home with me a little bit. I’m normally not a nervous or anxious person in real life, but I think Jordan was just seeping out around the edges a little bit, and the moving my hands weird comment was supposed to be a quote from Talladega Nights, but I guess the joke didn’t land!
As we know, Jordan Li is essentially shapeshifting, but do you think there is a better way to describe it? To me, I see it rather as a physical way to portray mental shifts and the conflicting, and confusing, feelings and thoughts of the teenage mind.
Oh, that’s brilliant; I love that take and I’d agree. We definitely had described the female form of Jordan as being the mask or the brave face you put on for certain situations. As humans, we react differently based on our environments, relationships, or even past traumas. It’s just much more nuanced when it’s one physical body. So, seeing it manifest in two different physical bodies who occupy one mind and soul but react completely differently to different stimuli is a lot more jarring. In short, yes, I agree and maybe we can come up with a new term for this together.
The show takes a dark turn and the ‘supes’ are met with moral competition, do your own morals match up with either Jordan’s feminine or masculine side? From the initial episode, it is clear that Jordan Li is one of the more morally just characters, do you agree with the actions that they take throughout the series? Do you think Jordan could have been a bit more ‘in your face’?
As I read this question, I’m struggling with picking just one side. I truly think my morals match up with both so perfectly. It’s that fine line of putting yourself first and doing what’s best for you but also wanting to be a protector and a hero. Sometimes we lose ourselves trying to save others, and I think Jordan is so fearful that if they don’t look out for themselves nobody will.
I think with everything going on externally and everything going on internally, Jordan did the best they could. This is a young kid whose world is collapsing around them. It’s not the easiest trying to save the human race from extinction all while having identity issues!
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