Luessenhop one of the coolest in the business
by Tony C. Lesesne
As I sat over breakfast with John Luessenhop in a quaint Santa Monica restaurant, I began to realize that this guy has to be one of the coolest movie directors I have ever met, and I’ve been plenty of them. Luessenhop is smooth, easy-going, down to earth and incredibly funny without effort.
A little over six-months ago, Luessenhop scored a #1 film with TAKERS which featured two mega stars from R&B and hip hop (TI and Chris Brown) as well as notable Paul Walker (Fast and Furious) and Hollywood leading man Matt Dillon. So what is it like to direct numerous A-list stars in an action-packed crime drama and keep everyone focused? “It was pretty easy” Luessenhop said. “They were all very professional and ready to make the film the best that it could be.
Turning back the clock, we learned where Luessenhop came from. “I Came out to LA after college and wrote kids comedy, then had a tough six months. My agent passed away. My roommate died in a jeep accident. Believe it or not, I got stabbed in the back in a gang fight. I’ve been through law school, and was a Wall Street attorney for six years. I still wanted to make films so I left before becoming a partner.
What makes Luessenhop cool is not just his clear gift for filmmaking, but the fact that he enjoys his family and lives his passion for working with kids through basketball as much as he does making movies. At 6’5, he is an imposing man, yet his calm demeanor and laid back style puts you at ease. in a town where people work hard at being cool, it is refreshing to meet a talent such as this who isn’t working at it, he just is.