Tucker was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents Maggie Moss, a public relations and marketing analyst and ettxecutive, and Paul Hayes Tucker, a professor of art at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a leading expert on Claude Monet. His paternal great-grandfather was historian and ambassador Carlton J. H. Hayes. His aunt and uncle, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University, where they remain as co-directors.
His father is of Irish Catholic background and his mother is Jewish.
Tucker was raised in Charlestown, Massachusetts, but attended The Park School in Brookline, Massachusetts. He attended the Boston Ballet and played Fritz in their production of The Nutcracker for 5 years starting when he was in the third grade. He was featured in a Boston Ballet calendar and attended The Thacher School in Ojai, California. Tucker said of his ballet experience, "Ballet is one of the more difficult rigors that I've ever done. The Ballet instructors are some of the most intimidating people I've met."
Tucker currently is acting for the show Justified.
Aside from Westworld, Tucker has worked extensively i film and television since 1994.
|1994||Troublemakers||Moses Junior||a.k.a. The Fight Before Christmas and Botte di Natale|
|1996||Two If by Sea||Todd||a.k.a. Stolen Hearts|
|1996||Sleepers||Young Tommy Marcano|
|1999||The Virgin Suicides||Tim Weiner|
|2001||The Deep End||Beau Hall|
|2001||Ball in the House||JJ|
|2003||The Texas Chainsaw Massacre||Morgan|
|2004||Stateside||Mark Deloach||a.k.a. Sinners|
|2005||Bee Season||Student (uncredited)|
|2006||Love Comes to the Executioner||Heck Prigusivac|
|2007||Cherry Crush||Jordan Wells|
|2007||Day 73 with Sarah||David||Short film|
|2007||In the Valley of Elah||Mike Deerfield|
|2009||An Englishman in New York||Patrick Angus|
|2009||Veronika Decides to Die||Edward|
|2010||The Next Three Days||David|
|1997||Early Edition||Tony||Episode: "Frostbite"|
|1998||Mr. Music||Rob Tennant||TV movie|
|2001||The Practice||Chad Baldwin / "James Tucker"||Episode: "Vanished: Part 1 & 2"|
|2002||Philly||Eli Wexler||Episode: "The Curse of the Klopman Diamonds"|
|2003||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Peter Arnz||Episode: "Crash and Burn"|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Ian Tate||Episode: "Abomination"|
|2004||Six Feet Under||Bruno Baskerville Walsh||Episode: "Falling into Place"|
|2005||Masters of Horror||Jak||Episode: "Dance of the Dead"|
|2006||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Drew Ramsey||Episode: "Wrongful Life"|
|2007||The Black Donnellys||Tommy Donnelly||13 episodes|
|2010||White Collar||Avery Phillips||Episode: "Hard Sell"|
|2011||Criminal Minds||Raymond Donovan||Episode: "The Thirteenth Step"|
|2011||Royal Pains||Shaw Morgan||2 episodes|
|2011–2013||Parenthood||Bob Little||10 episodes|
|2012||Perception||Brady McGraw||Episode: "Nemesis"|
|2012||Person of Interest||Riley Cavanaugh||Episode: "Triggerman"|
|2014||Hannibal||Matthew Brown||2 episodes|
|2014||High Moon||Stanislav 'Stan' Stavin||TV movie|
|2014–present||Kingdom||Jay Kulina||Main role|
|2017||American Gods||Low Key Lyesmith||TV series|
- His sex scene with Josh Lucas in The Deep End (2001), considered his "breakout role," was filmed on his eighteenth birthday, to avoid legal implications.
- You can be drinking the wine today, but picking the grapes tomorrow.
- I'm not looking to be famous, but I want a body of work and a moral character that is deserving of fame.