Watching the 2007 movie Eastern Promises this afternoon, I was reminded of Lucas’s tattoos. Viggo Mortensen’s character, Nikolia, plays a driver for members of the Russian mob based in London. it’s an excellent film, violent but with some complex characterizations–everyone is not what they initially appear to be–and it held my attention firmly throughout (and not just because of the intense knife fight in a sauna between a naked Nikolai and two thugs.). Nikolai’s body is covered in tattoos. As one of the characters says, “If you don’t have the tattoos (in a Russian prison), you don’t exist.”
The stars and onion domes we saw on Lucas’s body could be seen on Nikolia’s body. Both of these man had endured horrors most of us can only imagine.
For Lucas, the tattoos covering his flesh were part of the price he had to pay to survive those eight long years of torture and deprivation. I had a lot of respect for that character. No one goes through something like that without it taking a toll mentally, physically, emotionally.
Richard brought this flawed and damaged hero to life in a way that deeply moved me. I am sure becoming Lucas also took a certain toll on him. I am thankful for the complexity, intelligence and integrity he brought to the table. Thank you, Richard. Your Lucas will always be a hero for me.