The Follow Up: Johan Stuckey
You know your homie that comes over to your house helps himself to the fridge and asks your parents on the couch, “What are we watching?” That’s Johan. And he doesn’t hold back, even if your dad is famous and kind of has an intimidating vampire vibe. If Johan is in an empty room long enough he’ll end up making friends with the doorstop. I’m not saying that Nick Cave is a doorstop. I’m simply saying it’s not his fault he’s friends with Johan. Sometimes you can’t help it, he’s the charming homie. —Grant Yansura
Ready for round two? I accidentally deleted the first interview.
Yeah, maybe it’s a blessing.
Okay, explain to us how you ended up knowing Nick Cave?
So I met Nick through the family I used to work for. I was a nanny for their son and he was the kid’s godfather—or he is. I don’t know why I said “he was.”
So he’s the godfather of the kid that you would nanny?
The nanny channels his inner cat prowess and pounces on a kickflip 50-50 to quick crooked grind Photo: Mullins
So through that connection, how did you get to know him?
His son is around the same age of the kid I would nanny. So anytime they were in town, he would come and hang out with us. I was trying to get the kid I nannied into skating a little more and Earl, Nick’s son, already skated a bunch. We’d all go to the skatepark and stuff.
How old was he at that point?
At that point, he was like 14 or 15. But, yeah, through that we would just go skating and we hit it off immediately. He’s basically become like a little brother to us—brought him skating a shitload. And taking him skating, obviously you're gonna meet his dad. And then I hit it off with Nick also.
So then you’re going to pool parties with Nick Cave?
Yeah, essentially every summer. Ha!
I remember the first time you brought Earl skating. Do you? What happened?
Yeah, I do too. The first time we brought him skating we were in deep Pasadena at this shutdown building and we were just skating when all of the sudden, out of nowhere, six cop cars showed up. They told everyone to get on the ground and we’re, like, “What? Okay.” So they start taking everyone’s names and stuff, then they took Earl over and were giving him a hard time because he had an English passport. He was trying to tell one of the cops his name and the cop couldn’t understand what he was saying through his accent. So he keeps telling the cop his name over and over again. Eventually the cop’s partner had to come over and say, “The kid’s name is Earl.” The cop kept asking Earl what he was saying, even though he had the ID. That was scary, though. I thought I was gonna get fired and Earl was gonna deported.
I don’t know if I’m making this up, but I’m pretty sure he said, “Like, My Name is Earl,” and used the show as a reference.
No cops, just hops—Johan goes frontside 360 over a chain-link challenge Sequence: Mullins
Doesn’t Earl have a trick in your part?
Yeah, he made it. He got a trick in there. I love the editing on that one.
The cut from Nick’s face to Earl’s.
Oh yeah, they look so much alike.
For sure. That’s definitely his son.
Yeah, he is the father. So how did it come up that Nick drew a graphic for you?
Well, we were up at a pool party and he was showing me a graphic that he had done for an Australian company and he was, like, “Why don’t I do a graphic for you?” I had just gone pro and I was, like, “Shit, man, I’m down.” Then the next time I saw him he mentioned it again saying, “Should we do that graphic?” So I went and got some paper and came back and he was, like, “What should I draw?” I said, “I don’t know. It’s your board.” I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but he drew a picture of himself and I told him to hold up a sign saying “Fuck Johan Stuckey,” because it’s my board. So that’s how it went down. He drew three of them.
Do you have the original?
I do. I got it framed right here.
Did you tell him about the song you picked for your part?
Oh yeah, originally I had a different song picked out and he was, like, “Oh, that’s cool.” But then I switched it, like, three months ago. It’s an older song from like ’88, before I was born.
Did you ever tell him you never dived into his music until meeting him?
Yeah. I mean, I knew the hits and stuff but the way I really got into his music was the first summer they were here. After that summer, we were hanging out and we had talked about music a bunch. So at the end of the summer, he was, like, “Here, take this. I usually don’t go giving out my own records but I think you’d enjoy this.” It was one of his albums called Push the Sky Away. He also wrote me a nice little note on it and stuff. But yeah, my first introduction to his music was through him. It’s kinda sick—or epic really. Pretty crazy, now I’m a huge fan. One time I was, like, “I know your stuff, but I’m more into your bandmate’s band 33.” He thought it was funny.
What did he say about that?
I think he thought it was funny. That was a while ago and we’re still friends, so, yeah, I think he thought it was funny.
And you live with the dude Mike from that band Drugdealer, right?
Oh yeah, Drugdealer. We’ve been living together for about a year and a half maybe.
There’s a saying for folks who want to make it as an actor in LA: “You’ve got to stay on that crusty gap to grind” Photo: Mullins
So somehow you’re just immersed into his music scene without even trying?
On accident, yeah. I’m a big fan of music so I’m stoked to surround myself with people who play it.
Is Kenny Anderson in that band?
Yeah, Kenny just joined. He plays the horns. He’s always over here practicing and stuff, so that’s cool. It’s really cool to see the music they make in our shitty little apartment. It’s pretty amazing.
So he writes everything there?
Yeah, Mike wrote most of the songs here, but they record in New York or somewhere here.
So you’re just around for the creation of everything?
Yeah, pretty much. I’ve been listening to this album since Mike moved in basically.
So Kenny’s on the couch?
One time I woke up and Kenny was on my couch, yeah.
Did you ever think you’d have Kenny Anderson sleeping on your couch?
No, sir, I did not. I didn’t even think I’d have a couch.
What happened? Did he just go One Step Beyond that night?
Ha! Nah, it was actually his birthday. They went bowling and maybe to a bar and he didn’t want to drive home so he slept on the couch, I ended up getting him a blanket and tucking him in in the morning because he just looked so cold. He’s not even drinking right now.
Just his perfect little cold body.
I know. He’s over there just looking so beautiful sleeping. Sleeping Beauty.
Matching your shirt to the bushes at the spot is next-level—5-0 to fakie on a harsh bank Photo: Goldman
Alright, so what else you been doing? What moves have you been making?
I’ve been trying to dip my toes into the acting world, actually. I recently got lucky and somehow got a commercial agent. So they get me auditions for commercials and I just go and try. I recently did a Super Bowl commercial.
I know. It’s like a fraction of a second. You can see me and I’m kissing my girlfriend. It’s so epic. It’s a pretty funny story of how that happened. Well, I’m the one trying to be an actor in my house—my girlfriend isn’t trying to be an actor at all. Anyways, the dad I was a nanny for is a director and he was, like, “Hey, I’m directing a commercial. You wanna be in it?” I was, like, “Absolutely.” I had to do an audition, as a formality, in Santa Monica. Then a couple days later the guy I auditioned with called and was, like, “Hey, would your girlfriend want to be in this commercial too?” I said, “I’m sure she would.” So I asked her and she was down. Then she was in automatically, like, didn’t have to audition at all, she’s just in. And so we’re on the set and they keep bringing her into all the shots and I’m, like, What the? I’m over here trying to act and she doesn’t even want to be seen.
Did you know it was gonna be on during the Super Bowl?
I had no idea. It’s funny because I saw John, the director who hooked me up with everything, and I asked when it was coming out and he was like, “Oh, I don’t know.” But he totally knew.
So did you get the big bucks?
No, I didn’t get residuals which would have been sick because I’d be rich, but I got a day rate for the days we shot and then a one-time buyout after it aired. Which is still sick. But yeah, I read you can make a lot of money on commercials. I’ve had auditions for commercials that had residuals.
Have you gotten any roles besides this Super Bowl one?
I did a short film about a year ago that actually just came out called Hamburger with my friend from Canada. I did some background work. I had to miss the WKND Sir Palmer premiere because I was doing a movie. Remember?
Yeah, uh, we remember.
It’s a Christian Bale movie that comes out this summer. You probably won’t even see me but I was there.
Johan improvises on and off the set—makeshift wallie to backlip with a little help from the props department Photo: Mullins
What were you doing?
I was working on some cars, actually.
Were you there when Christian Bale came up to me while we were skating?
Yeah, that was me and you. We were skating that spot in Koreatown with the drop-down rail and you shooed him away.
I didn’t know it was Christian Bale. I thought it was some random dude trying to talk to me while I was filming.
This guy’s over here filming VX. Christian Bale comes up and goes, “Hey, you ever film with those GoPros?” And you literally shooed him away. You go, “Yeah, yeah, man I have sometimes.” I remember he was so goofy about it.
Yeah, I didn’t recognize him.
I totally forgot about that—that’s hilarious.
But I remember I looked up and saw Natalie Portman. They were together filming something. I recognized her and then I realized there was, like, a thousand people around. And I remember there’s all these cameras filming them. And then I started directing them, telling them they could get roll-up shots. I remember Natalie Portman was loving it, and she definitely probably wanted to talk to me one-on-one, but she was busy filming.
I mean, if she’s reading this, uh, reach out.
She came into this restaurant my girlfriend worked at.
Oh yeah? Was she asking about me?
No. She was actually with her husband and her baby. Actually, she did mention you. She said, if you could just leave her alone, that’d be great.
So you're an actor? Do you get nervous?
Yeah, I get so sweaty and nervous. The worst part about auditioning is sitting in the waiting room. It’s essentially like a hospital waiting room—it’s the worst. Everybody is juiced up and anxious and you can just feel it. It sucks. It’s a little better in the actual room where you audition, for sure, because you know they want you to be the guy they’re looking for. But yeah, it just sucks.
Is there a lot of nervous energy in one room?
Yeah. I’ve had, like, 12 auditions, which isn’t much, but basically I’ve had the same conversion with the same type of person each time. It’s, like, “Oh, man, are you nervous?” “Yeah, I didn’t get any notes did you get notes?” “No, I didn’t get any lines.” “Oh, man, me neither.” It just sucks. Or you see a guy that looks like you and you’re, like, “What are you going for?” And he’s, like, “I’m going for Sam,” Well, sweet. Me too. It’s just, like, Shit.
I feel like if you keep trying, there’s a role for someone that looks just like you.
Yeah, the thing is my agent only does commercials, so I gotta do all that myself. and I’ve been so busy filming this part. But yeah, I gotta get back on it. I’ve been slacking. I was just focusing on skating for a second.
Nah, dude, do the acting thing. Trust me.
I know. I’m trying to have a Jason Lee transition. Like, get my own show—funny guy, you know? Why not?
Yeah, start small.
I’m doing the commercials, man.
￼While Grant is shooing away the Black Swan, Johan makes the transition from wallride nose press to 50-50, then from skater to actor Sequence: O’Donnell
I know. This is your last VX part. You gonna miss it?
Well, I mean, for now it is. Yeah, it’s kinda scary to me. I’ll miss it for only the first couple months and then I’ll get used to the way I look in HD. We filmed that line the other day in HD and I was, like, This is what I look like? Fuck. Harsh transition.
Are we still bowling on Wednesday?
Let’s bowl it up.
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