Lucas Black became a big star starring as Christopher LaSalle on NCIS: New Orleans. The Alabama native stayed on the show for many years as he rose to more fame. However, in 2019, he suddenly decided to leave.
Black’s character passed away, and fans were left shocked that he wasn’t there anymore. So why did he leave the show? Black stated that he had much more important things to do, which meant being with his family.
So what has happened since Lucas Black left NCIS? And what does he do now? This is all you need to know about him and his family life!
Becoming an actor isn’t a walk in the park. Some might think you just go to Hollywood and start acting. But the journey towards stardom is much longer for most.
It requires hard work, sleepless nights, and plenty of patience, and many actors don’t have any money while pursuing their dreams in their young careers.
Lucas Black from ‘NCIS: New Orleans’
But there are, of course, some exceptions. Some actors make their debut when they are one or two years old and move on to become major stars. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are two good examples of it, and the most impressive thing about child actors is that they have never had any formal training.
While others go to prominent drama academies, some don’t need any formal training to make it. And one of those is Lucas Black, mostly known for starring as Special Agent LaSalle on NCIS: New Orleans.
Black was only 11 years old when he made his on-screen debut. He hadn’t had any formal training before starring alongside Kevin Costner in his first-ever role. It was the start of a very prominent career as Black went on to many other big projects. However, after several seasons on NCIS, he suddenly decided to quit the show. Why?
Here is all you need to know about Lucas Black!
On November 29, 1982, Lucas Black was born in Decatur, Alabama. His mother, Jan, worked as an office worker, and his father, Larry, was a museum worker.
Black didn’t come from an acting family, and one might have thought that the young boy was to pursue a different career. However, things didn’t turn out quite the way he or his family thought.
First acting job at 11
When he was only 11 years old, Lucas Black got his first-ever audition. His mother set up the audition – but at the time, Lucas didn’t understand much anyway.
“I didn’t know there was such a thing as acting growing up. Everything I watched on TV was sports and outdoor shows,” Black said. “So pretty much everything I watched, I thought was real. I didn’t know there was a thing called ‘acting.’”
One day, his mother heard about a casting call on the radio. Black joked that she wasn’t motivated by her son’s acting talent, but the fact that Kevin Costner was starring in it.
“My mom, she heard about an open audition on the radio. It was for the movie The War, and she heard that Kevin Costner was going to be in it. Really, I think she brought me to the audition because she thought maybe Kevin Costner was going to be there,” he said, laughing. “No, really, I think she just knew from my personality that I wouldn’t be scared to be myself and just act naturally.”
Lucas Black did precisely what his mother said, and the audition went amazingly. The director Jon Avnet wanted children that never had acted before. With 11 characters to cast, Black went into the audition with about 5,000 other children. They were called into a room in groups of 50 – and once there, he did something no other child did.
Black explained that the children were asked to say their name, age, and where they lived. While most children replied with their addresses, Lucas gave them a detailed description of getting to his home.
“I said, ‘Well, you go down 157…you go by Mickey Wiggins store, and you turn left,’ and they were like ‘we need you to read some lines, kid,’” Black explained. “Just because I said something different from every other kid. So that was my first audition, and I ended up getting the part.”
Black never said whether his mother got to meet Kevin Costner or not. However, her decision to bring her son to the audition for a role in The War was the beginning of his very successful career.
Lucas Black – childhood and sports
After starring in The War, Black went back to Alabama to continue his studies. He went to Speake High School in the northern parts of Alabama, where he played football, basketball, baseball, and golf for the Speak High School Bobcats.
He would later in his acting career come back to the baseball, as he starred as Pee Wee Reese in the film 42, about baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
“Pee Wee Reese had such a significant part in helping change baseball by accepting Jackie as a ballplayer and as a friend and making a public gesture toward Jackie,” Black told AL.
In 1999, Lucas Black scored his first lead role in Crazy in Alabama, starring alongside Melanie Griffith. At that time, the actor also worked as a model for Calvin Klein.
Refused to change his accent
He was set to be the lead in The Horse Whisper. However, he turned it down because they wanted him to change his accent.
“You should just pick the part where you can be yourself,” Black explained. And we will soon get back to why Lucas is quite a remarkable person in Hollywood, considering that he is not really acting like a major Hollywood star.
Black later starred in several other sports films. He played a high-school football star in the movie Friday Night Lights and a professional golfer in Seven Days in Utopia.
“It’s a lot more enjoyable just because you get to reminisce about the days when I used to play, and then you get the experience of being on a team again with the actors and have that camaraderie with the players,” Lucas explained.
As he was finishing high school, Black got the role of Frank Wheatley in the 1996 film Sling Blade. He showed great talent, and several other parts followed. Then, between 1995 and 1998, he starred in the short-lived television series American Gothic, and it was clear that he was to pursue a full-time career in the business.
Lucas Black’s career was sure on the rise after work in a dozen films. In 2006, he got his first big breakthrough as he starred in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
“I read the script and was excited about it, and really intrigued that it was something different than the other two,” Black told Entertainment Weekly. “They taught us how to drift two weeks before we started [filming]. We would go to Irwindale Speedway, and we had the best teachers in the world, all the drift champions. Rhys Millen was my stunt double, but he was adrift champion back in the early 2000s, so he taught me.
“It was like a dream come true for a 25-year-old to be able to go out and learn how to drift, just burn the tires down to the tread and the highest octane fuel,” he added. “I mean, it was like jet fuel we were putting in these cars. And then, at the end of the week, I got a paycheck to do it! It was awesome.”
Lucas Black – Christopher LaSalle on ‘NCIS’
In 2014, Lucas Black got a big break after getting the role of agent Christopher LaSalle on NCIS. Black began working on NCIS before his character turned into a regular cast member of the spinoff NCIS: New Orleans.
Black became a fan favorite as his character developed on the show. He starred in 125 episodes through 2019, but his character passed away, to many fans’ shock, in season six.
The reason why Lucas Black left ‘NCIS’
“I wanted to take this time personally to thank all of you fans out there for your love and support. You were there to celebrate the victories and to pick me up when I needed it, and I appreciate that.”
Speaking on the Legacy Starts Today podcast, Black revealed that he had started to feel the strain of the television industry as NCIS: New Orleans filmed its later seasons.
“All throughout my career, there was a concern because I would observe how the entertainment industry would destroy families and destroy families,” he said.
“The way it’s run, you’re traveling, it’s a very fast pace, lots of long hours, especially in television.”
Unlike other former NCIS actors such as Pauley Perrette, there weren’t any fractions or brawls that led him to leave. Instead, Lucas Black wanted to spend more time with his wife, Maggie O’Brien, and their three children.
He revealed that he worked about 70 hours a week on the NCIS spinoff series in the first three seasons. Even though he and his family had moved closer to the filming location, he still felt that he didn’t have enough time with his wife and children.