(NEW YORK) — Luke James is getting candid about his recent role on The Chi as the boyfriend of Imani, played by transgender actress Jasmine Davis.

James tells ABC Audio that he initially had some concern taking on the role of Trig — the estranged older brother of Jake — but soon realized it was a great opportunity to shine light on an important and authentic story.

“I had a slight reservation, but not totally,” he says. “Because at some point in your life… you have to live for you, and you have to do what makes you happy, regardless of whomever.”

“And this is art,” he continues. “This is something beautiful and brilliant. These stories are needed.”

James says his desire to share those meaningful stories made him “grateful to be a part of it.”

“I love the writing and the intention,” he says, noting that the cast was also “wonderful.” “And so, I had maybe a slight reservation, but not totally. I just looked at it [as an] opportunity to really do things — what I prayed for. To do art that means something that motivates the world.”

James explains that he also wanted a project and role that made people think and “have a conversation.”

“If you can sit there and watch it and have a conversation, then that’s the start,” he says. “We can have a conversation and we can get to a better place. Because at the end of the day, it’s about love, and more than ever in this time we need unity and we need true love.”

“And to still be in a place where we hate somebody for something that isn’t our business,” he continues. “It’s ridiculous… And so you need shows like this to help us see ourselves and help correct, in a positive light.”

By Candice Williams
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