It’s hard to steal the spotlight from Dorothy when it comes to “The Wizard of Oz,” especially in “Emerald City.” The actress playing the titular role, Adria Arjona, is both an extremely talented actress and a stunningly beautiful young woman. But then we are introduced to Lucas, played by Oliver Jackson Cohen. And even though he doesn’t have a brain (yet), his stupidly handsome character easily earns the award for fan favorite. Ladies and gentleman, we have an incredibly sexy scarecrow on our hands, and the chemistry between him and Dorothy is something worth discussing.
While speaking with the producers and actors of the series, we couldn’t help but ask about the handsome British 30-year-old. We were happy to discover that Cohen is not just a beautiful face with the body of a Greek god — based on the way everyone speaks so highly of him, it’s safe to say he’s also a wonderfully kind and funny person person. Arjona freely gushed over Cohen. She says they bonded quickly during rehearsals, and then truly became best friends during filming. “I’m literally texting him right now,” she says, after we finished our interview. “And we just finished Face Timing.”
While appearing mostly battered, scarred, covered with dirt and dried blood in the premiere, when cleaned up, Cohen looks like this.
When we asked producers Shaun Cassidy and David Schulner why they made The Scarecrow Dorothy’s love interest, Cassidy joked, “Have you seen Oliver Jackson Cohen?” But in all seriousness, he explains that the romance “was organic to us.” Schulner adds, “You spend a lot of time with someone in a strange land, and on the road… Things happen.”
Cohen’s sexiness is not lost on Arjona. “I have to make out with that! How f***ed is that? My life sucks, let me tell you,” she jokes.” Arjona refers to him as her other half.
“Oliver and I always needed to be near each other,” Arjona says. “He moved to an apartment right near mine, across the street. Everything we would do — we would do together.”
If Cohen looks familiar, it’s because he was featured in the TV series, “Mr. Selfridge” alongside Jeremy Piven, “Dracula” with Jonathon Rhys-Myers, and he most recently wrapped work on a feature, “Healer” with “Grey’s Anatomy” star, Camilla Luddington. But Cohen is about to become a lot more well-known Stateside, with the seemingly always shirtless and affable “Emerald City” character set to become a fixture on American TV screens every Friday night.
Cohen, who once worked in a warehouse as a florist before his career took off, endearingly plays the dimwitted scarecrow with blind heart and strength. Good looks aside, it’s easy to fall in love with his character. And because everyone is sure to wonder about his personal life, Cohen seems to make sure that part of his life actually remains private: He’s been attach to former “Dracula” co-star, Jessica De Gouw since 2013, but he and the Australian actress haven’t been seen together in quite some time.
Regardless of relationship status, audiences have a date with Cohen for at least nine more weeks. And for that, we are grateful.
“Emerald City” airs on Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.