Taofik Lucas-Walker, Superstar

Taofik Lucas-Walker plays part of Jesus Christ in the play version of the movie,The Thorn. He is on a ten-city tour in the US.  -
Taofik Lucas-Walker plays part of Jesus Christ in the play version of the movie,The Thorn. He is on a ten-city tour in the US. -


My name is Taofik Lucas-Walker and I play the part of Jesus Christ in the play version of the movie, The Thorn.

I love the name my mom gave me, more so its meaning. Taofik means “blessing, good luck” in Arabic, and that definitely describes my life.

I come from a small family, just my dad, Gerard Walker, my mom Joanne Lucas-Walker and my sister Laela Lucas-Walker.

Laela is four years younger than me.

I am currently single.

My parents are Trinidadian, but I was born in Washington, DC, in Georgetown, in 1998.

My dad is from Santa Cruz and my mom is from St Joseph. I go to both places when I go to Trinidad. But I grew up in the city and I love the city.

So in Trinidad, I’m from Port of Spain.

I was interested in football and drama from a very young age. Soccer was always at the forefront. I lived it, I breathed it. I wanted to go pro and make a living doing it.

But at the same time, doing little acting classes just for fun throughout. In my high school acting class in sophomore year, the teacher told me, “Drop the soccer now! You can go very far with acting!”

I didn’t listen to him.

I haven’t been to Trinidad in four or five years, since I was playing with the TT U-20 national team. I was on the same team with Jabari Mitchell and Noel Powder.

Taofik Lucas-Walker played football with the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 national team. -

Trinidad gave me the opportunity to try out. And things ended up working out.

I love the US and DC, where I’m from. But I’m kind of glad to have gone with Trinidad, because my family is from there. Playing for TT meant a lot more to me.

I was raised Catholic but – nothing against the Catholic religion – went into a non-denominational church, just Christian, just the Bible.

Gaining that relationship with God has allowed me to connect with anybody. No matter where they’re from, what colour, background. Even if you believe in God or not.

It’s allowed me to progress as a person. And a person of God.

What the Devil meant for harm, God will turn for good. God has been able to heal me from illness and heartbreak. I end up getting opportunities from a door that was closed!

God is in control. I’ve seen it in my life and other people’s lives. And I know it happens on a global aspect.

I’m now on a ten-city tour in the US.

The Thorn has presented itself into my life. I didn’t chase it, it came to me! I believe all these opportunities that have come to me are blessings from God.

Every single time I’ve tried to control the outcome of things in my life, it would never work. Now I’m faith-driven. I know that the doors that will open will only come from God.

The transition from soccer to modelling and acting was one of those things.

I went into high school head high as a varsity starter.

My mentor, Chris Levy, pulls me into his office and tells me straight up I had to be more than just a soccer player.

In another world, I may have been a full-on actor. In Denmark, I was playing second division. When I came back, that very question came back: to be known as more than just a soccer player. And it’s funny because it’s, like, turning into that now!

Modelling has opened doors to acting. I’m with four agencies now. All of them really appreciate me. As more than, like, a pretty face.

Under Armour is my favourite gig so far.

I’m a big music guy, make playlists for people. Definitely have a little soca in there as well, too.

I use music to drive my day, whether it’s a show day or a game day.

But, at the very beginning of the day, I always make sure I listen to a good Christian worship song to start the day off right.

After that, I’ll listen to Drake or Bryson Tiller or Kes the Band.

I do go clubbing. And always end up being the babysitter for my friends.

Especially in the modelling/acting industry, opportunities have come for me from everywhere.

There’s no timing on things. I’ve had a lot of great gigs where all I’ve had to say is, “Yes, I’m available.”

The Thorn began as a youth play under John and Sarah Bolin at a local church in Colorado. The core engine of the story is the passion of Jesus and his life.

Taofik Lucas-Walker: "The Thorn began as a youth play under John and Sarah Bolan at a local church in Colorado. The core engine of the story is the passion of Jesus and his life." - Courtesy Ted Mehl

But John went to the Cirque de Soleil and wanted to blend that aspect into the production too. To captivate audiences and to bring the story to people who don’t know God or have a relationship with him.

The Thorn is actually my first acting role. I’ve done, like, a couple of commercials.

It’s amazing that I got the role of Jesus.

At first I thought it was a scam. I looked at the trailer, all the Cirque de Soleil stuff, and thought, “I’m an actor! I can’t do 500 backflips!”

They said, “We’re also looking for actors. And to cast Jesus. And we like your look.”

Sarah Bolin sends me a self-tape to do and I do it. And they love it. And I get the role to play Jesus.

On the first night. I had, like, little butterflies but I was playing a character I truly resonated and had a relationship with. I felt I had every single detail to do my own depiction of the character and how he has been in my life.

I carry the cross, I fall three times, I get whipped, all of that.

But I don’t do any of the backflips and the Cirque de Soleil stuff. The people who do that are amazing at it. I’m strictly dramatic.

The best part of being in The Thorn is, on and offstage, the family atmosphere. I’m around a bunch of, like, believers for sure, but also people who really want to see each other do well. There’s no, like, competition vibe. Everybody is so in sync with everybody.

“How can I serve you? How can I help you do that better?”

It has, like, a domino effect.

If I had to find a bad part about being in The Thorn, it would be how tired I feel after a show. I really have to go into the ice packs and massage I had to do after a soccer game. Which I did not expect.

Whenever I go to Trinidad, the tip of the iceberg that lets me know I’m home is shark and bake at Maracas Bay.

Or going to Pigeon Point or Kariwak Village in Tobago.

Growing up in the US, the passive racism, I’d frequently get, like, “Oh, you’re not really black!”

You always had a nickname in national football in Trinidad. and I was completely accepted on the U-20 team so I knew they’d come up with something. But “White Boy” really threw me off.

In modelling, they ask you very specifically what you are. I’m black. Sometimes I put “ethnically ambiguous.”

I come across as a lot of things: Moroccan; Brazilian; people come up to me and speak Spanish all the time.

In Trinidad, we have this cross-section, from whites to blacks to Asians, that all have the same strong accent. That still surprises me today.

A Trini is to me is somebody that embraces an energy. In my own character, I have a lot of energy.

And I feel like I get that from Trinidad. Every time I come out of Piarco, I just get that warmth. Like I’m awake, even though I got up at 3 am to make the flight.

Trinidad and Tobago to me is home for sure, the place I can go to for family and everything like that.

But it’s also the place I go to to really connect with where I come from. A place I’m at peace. I grew up in the city but I’m an island boy at heart.

Read the full version of this feature on Friday evening at www.BCPires.com


"Taofik Lucas-Walker, Superstar"

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