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'Tut' star Avan Jogia takes on the role of Egyptian pharaoh in Spike miniseries

Ben Kingsley, left, and Avan Jogia star in

Ben Kingsley, left, and Avan Jogia star in "Tut" on Spike. Photo Credit: Spike TV

No matter your creed or station in life, at some point you start to think about what you will leave behind.

For King Tutankhamun and the 23-year-old actor, Avan Jogia, who portrays him in the new miniseries "Tut", the parallels are obvious. Embodying the historical role of King Tut is a huge undertaking, and one that transitions Jogia from a teen heartthrob on Nickelodeon's "Victorious" into leading man status. It's his first leading role and one that might widen his scope as an actor to create satisfying, if not more complex, work.

In the miniseries, we follow a hungry King Tutankhamun at the very beginning of his reign. He's young and fueled by the desire to impact his people. All the while he's figuring out how he wants to be remembered in the world.

amNewYork spoke with Jogia about becoming King Tut.

Were you worried about embodying a specific perception of Tut?

There wasn't anything to draw upon. So, what I concentrated on was the idea of royalty throughout the dramatic spectrum. How they've been portrayed and the weight of that kind of rule. I wanted to explore the desire to not be forgotten by time, especially when you're a ruler. You don't want to come up short.

What do you think his greatest challenge was?

Deciding what his people really needed. He had to decide what kind of pharaoh he wanted to be -- if he wanted to be just. There's an expectation of whether or not he was going to be a troublemaker and if he's going to upset the order of things. He learns how much his people are suffering from the turmoil of the current religious structure. He needs to free them from this oppressive structure.

How does it feel to work with a legend like Ben Kingsley? Did he impart any advice?

He's was incredibly helpful and generous. He puts up this energy and gives you so much to work with that you're able to take that and return it. To me that's the perfect working relationship. That really showed me a lot because he's been doing this for quite a long time, and he still has the same love for it. He's still insanely curious, and that's what being an actor is about. I hope in that point in my life that I'm just as committed and curious.

On TV: "Tut" premieres on July 19 at 9 p.m. on Spike.


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