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DEREK LUKE (Russell McCormack) can most recently be seen in Robert Redford's Lions for Lambs, a controversial drama that explores the human consequences of a complicated war, alongside Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Redford, for United Artists.

Luke recently completed work shooting the lead in Spike Lee's World War II drama Miracle at St. Anna, about a group of black U.S. soldiers who get involved in a Tuscan village's efforts to weed out a traitor. Luke previously starred in the Jerry Bruckheimer film Glory Road for Disney Studios, as well as the Peter Berg-directed film Friday Night Lights, opposite Billy Bob Thornton for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. The film was a success at the box office and hugely successful in its DVD and VHS sales.

Luke's "overnight discovery” is a true Hollywood tale. He was relatively unknown before Denzel Washington discovered and cast him in the lead role for Antwone Fisher. A New Jersey native and former employee at the Sony Pictures gift shop, Luke auditioned for the role of Antwone Fisher five times over a four-year period before he finally won the starring role that marked his big break into feature films. Luke was heaped with critical accolades (including an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead) for his emotional, vulnerable performance. Daily Variety named him one of "10 Actors to Watch” in 2002 after Antwone Fisher premiered.

Although his "overnight discovery” has been exaggerated, what has not is the promise and talent that his "discovery” brought forth. Director Phillip Noyce cast Luke virtually on the spot for his award-winning role in Catch a Fire, a political thriller based upon a true story and set in apartheid-era South Africa. At Luke's audition, Noyce noted that "Derek came in and he just blew everyone else that was up for this part away. You couldn't even look at anyone else.” His "volcanic” performance won Luke the Hollywood Breakthrough Award at the 2006 Hollywood Film Festival.

Luke also starred in Biker Boyz (2003), opposite Laurence Fishburne and Kid Rock, playing a rookie African-American motorcycle street racer hoping to dethrone the reigning champ. He also co-starred in the critically acclaimed independent film Pieces of April, written and directed by Peter Hedges, opposite Katie Holmes and Patricia Clarkson. Luke also starred opposite Val Kilmer in the David Mamet feature Spartan, for Warner Bros. Pictures.

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