Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Christian Kane talks "Angel." This Buffy fan swoons.

Christian Kane sings on "Leverage"

In February actor-turned-country singer Christian Kane, who currently plays Eliot Spencer on TNT’s “Leverage,” made his Coyote Joe’s debut after missing the January Stout Pull due to snow. Kane has starred in plenty of hit films like “Just Married” and “Friday Night Lights,” but I remember him best as Lindsey McDonald on “Angel” (this website alone is certainly an indication of my undying devotion to the Buffyverse).

It was on “Angel” that I first saw Kane sing though he also sang for his first acting gig on “Fame L.A.” Kane and I talked country music and transitioning from acting to the stage – Kane’s lived part-time in Nashville for years and his band Kane’s activities were covered in the pages of Angel and Buffy magazines. Although I tried not to geek out he could obviously tell I was a fan and was kind enough to share some “Angel” stories with me.

Check out Kane’s album “The House Rules.” It’s full of rocking radio-ready country and includes the song he sang on Season 3 of “Leverage" (another geek worthy episode that included a nepharious John Schneider and Alona Tal of "Supernatural" and "Veronica Mars" as Eliot's country crooning love interest. Love me some Meg Manning).

Here's the "Angel" portion of our interview.

The first time I saw you sing was on Angel when you had your demon hand (transplant). And now with "Leverage." Did those storylines originate because of  abilities you already possessed?

They did. That was the big thing. For two years I didn’t have a hand and I hated it. I remember the day it happened. It was very funny. Tim Minear was a good friend of mine. He was a writer and a producer on “Angel.” We were sitting there and I had my fake hand on. It was an hour in makeup everyday. I couldn’t eat lunch. They cut off my right hand which is what I do everything with and I was miserable. I was watching all these people. They’re all superheroes. They’re flying around on cables and turning into vampires. I literally looked over and he was writing the next episode and I said “What are you doing Tim?” He said, “I’m writing the next episode. It’s awesome.”  I looked at him and I said, “Kill Me!” I know people don’t want to die on TV shows, especially hit TV shows, but I was like “Dude, kill me.”

He said, “What are you talking about it?”

“I’m miserable dude. This hand. I’m in a suit. Everyone’s a superhero and I’m a frickin’ lawyer.” So they gave me my hand back after that. And the one thing that David Greenwalt and me had in common was the love of music. He’s good friends with Jeff Bridges and a lot of people don’t know that Jeff Bridges has put out a couple albums. We talked in his office and he said I want you to sing a song. David wrote the song  and that was because I was a musician. That was their attempt to make me happy, which worked. I got to have my hand back and I got to sing a song.

So were you happy when you returned in Season 5 with long hair, tattoos, and cowboy boots?

That’s a funny story because I was in New York doing “Taxi” with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon. Joss Whedon called and said, “Hey, do you want to come back?” I said, “Joss, I want to come back, dude. I’ll do whatever you want. David Boreanaz is my best  friend (and he literally was). I want to come back, but I don’t want to get beat up by anymore chicks.”  He started laughing and said, “You have to trust me.” So I show up the first day. Spike’s throwing me around the strip joint kicking my ass. I look over and I go “dude.” Joss said, “Just trust me.” All right bro. I’m getting beat up again. It’s not cool. I trusted him and he gave me superpowers and I got to fight Angel. I did like coming back more than I liked being a lawyer.

How did you feel about dying in the end?

The funniest thing about it is, and since you’re an Angel fan I’ll tell you, Joss tried to kill me five times. I would not do it. Everyone died because of me. He kept trying to kill me and since I was a reoccurring character I would never do it. I said, “If you’re going to kill me, I’ll never show up.”

What about when Lindsey finally is killed, despite fighting on the side of good in the end?

I hated it. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I felt like I should be there for the final fight. My dear dear friend that we miss every, the late Andy Hallett killed me (Hallett died March 29th, 2009). He hated guns and was really nervous about firing the gun at me. It was very sad. He felt bad (and said) “It’s not how I wanted to do things.” It was a really surreal moment with us. I said, “Dude. It’s ok” and he shot me and I died. I think I shoulda been there for a final fight.

Yeah. Lindsey was a villain but viewers liked him. You wanted to root for him.

I think that followed me. It’s the same thing that’s going on with “Leverage.” We’re all bad guys, but you root for us.

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