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FBI: International star Luke Kleintank shares how Law & Order: Special Victims Unit saved his career

Luke Kleintank
Luke Kleintank as Scott Forrester on FBI: International. Pic credit: CBS

FBI: International fans have Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to thank for Luke Kleintank’s career.

The actor, who plays Scott Forrester on the hit CBS series, opened up on how he was nearly ready to quit the acting game until an audition for the NBC series changed his life.

Without that break, a different actor would likely be starring in FBI: International now. 

Luke Kleintank on his Law & Order connection

It’s little surprise that there is some crossover between actors who have done Law & Order and FBI. As Dick Wolf created both franchises, the producer enjoys using the same actors in guest roles.

In 2009, Luke Kleintank was a struggling actor who had been attempting to find various odd jobs. He landed his first-ever acting gig in the Season 10 episode Snatched. He played a minor role as the SVU team tried to find a kidnapped girl, which led to a legendary thief. 

Speaking to Cinemablend, Kleintank shared how he’d become frustrated at the lack of jobs and considered quitting acting with a long ride to New York for the role. 

“My first job ever was Law & Order: SVU. I lived in Maryland, and I took a bus for three and a half hours to New York, three and a half hours back, so that was seven hours a trip for every audition. I started doing this when I was 16, 17. And I was going to quit. I was going to be done because of all the rejection, and it was tough. It’s just a hard business to get into. I remember I got an audition and I went to an audition for Law & Order: SVU, and then I got a callback. I got on the bus and we were driving up to New York City, and the bus broke down on the way up there.”

Kleintank added he was in various problems with the bus breaking down and getting lost before finally reaching the set for the auditions.

“We got to New York City, and I ran down to Chelsea Piers. Jonathan Strauss was the casting director,and still is to this day. I ran there – I was two hours late, by the way. It was Friday night, and I ran in there and the receptionist was like, ‘The auditions are pretty much over. They’ve been done for a long time. So let me see.’ So she called up, and Jonathan Strauss and the director of that episode were up in their office, having some wine with their buddies. It turned out they were still there when I got up there, they were kind of tipsy. [laughs] I went into the audition and I did it. I did my thing, and I go back because I had to run back and get the last bus out back to Baltimore. I got the call that says ‘You got the job.’ And that was Law & Order: SVU! That was Dick Wolf.”

That successful audition helped launch Kleintank’s promising career, leading to FBI: International.

Kleintank and his career success

FBI International
Scott Forrester (Luke Kleintank) faces a challenge in the FBI: International Season 1 finale. Pic credit: CBS

After his Law & Order: Special Victims Unit appearance, Kleintank began gaining more TV roles. He landed a recurring role on Gossip Girl, then a part on The Young and the Restless that led to roles on the shows No Ordinary Family, Bones, and Pretty Little Liars.

Kleintank also worked in another Law & Order appearance on the short-lived Law & Order: LA spin-off. 

Kleintank’s most significant role was on the Amazon sci-fi drama The Man In the High Castle opposite current FBI: Most Wanted star Alexa Davalos

While he’s happy on FBI: International, Kleintank shared that he told producer Derek Haas and Jonathan Strauss how they had saved his acting career. 

“I was about to quit, had it not been for Jonathan Strauss, and I spoke to Jonathan Strauss. I was on a Zoom meeting with him and Derek Haas when they gave me this job, and I told him that story. I was like, ‘If it had not been for you, I would have gone home on that bus that night and had a whole different path in my life.”

FBI: International fans are undoubtedly happy Kleintank got that audition to allow the actor to play Scott Forrester so well. 

FBI: International Season 2 premieres Tuesday, September 20 at 9/8c on CBS.

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