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Christian Kane

Christian Kane - "Leverage" Tv Series - Ign.com Interview

Saturday 21 February 2009, by Webmaster

US, February 20, 2009 - This past week, Leverage’s two-part season finale kicked off with "The First David Job." Nate was unceremoniously reunited with his ex-wife, Maggie, Sophie got caught conning her own team, Elliot got the snot beat out of him, Parker and Hardison locked lips and the team’s headquarters went kaplooey. We’re all waiting anxiously to see how things will play out in "The Second David Job," which will air on TNT - Tuesday the 24th at 10pm.

This week IGN TV had a chance to talk with Leverage’s own personal heavy hitter, Christian Kane - who plays the one-man wrecking crew, Elliot Spencer. You might also fondly remember Kane from Joss Whedon’s Angel, where he played the nefarious Lindsey McDonald.

IGN TV: Just right off the bat here, I just wanted to let you know that I’m not only a big fan of Leverage, but I was a huge fan of Angel.

Christian Kane: That’s great, man. That’s awesome. It’s funny that a lot of the fans of Angel have come over and hung out with me on Leverage. I was so fortunate to have been on that show. It created one of the best fan groups ever. I just have the best fans in the world.

IGN: Sam Anderson, your old Angel pal, was even on an episode of Leverage a few weeks back.

Kane: He was, man! It was cool. And we kept trying to figure out how to do some sort of a look between the two characters, and we asked Dean (Devlin) about it and we told him "for Angel fans, you gotta have a moment where we stop and give this look like ’do I know you?’" They wouldn’t go for it, so there’s this one moment when me and Sam are walking by and we give each other this look, like this evil look, and we just kind of did it on our own.

IGN: Even though they’re both physical roles, are there any differences that stand out to you with regards to playing Elliot and Lindsey?

Kane: The funny thing about Lindsey was that he was kind of Elliot in a way whereas they’re both bad guys trying to become good guys. In their own way. He had the whole angel and the devil on each shoulder deal, just like Elliot’s doing. Those characters do get together a bit. It’s great, because of the physical aspects of Elliot, I get to do all my stuff and start off as a tough guy, instead of taking five years to finally shed the skin to come back as someone who could fight. Doing the Lindsey role was hard for me the first two seasons, and I was really fortunate to work with my best friend David Boreanaz . You know a lot of people got killed off on that show, so I was fortunate that Joss kept me around for as long as he did. It’s hard doing a television show with a bunch of superheroes when you’re a pin pusher. Everyone was flying around on cables and I was getting punched by every girl on the show. It’s a lot of fun to start off as one of the superheroes now. It’s been a blast.

IGN: On Leverage, you play the team’s hitter. The muscle. Did you need to go through extra training for all the fight scenes?

Kane: On Angel I got to work a lot with Mike Massa, who was David Boreanaz’ stunt double and Mike would let me do most of my stuff by myself. I did almost all my fight scenes by myself. So Mike taught me a lot and then I went off and did Secondhand Lions, and one of the key things about me doing that role was I didn’t get paid. I got to play the young Robert Duvall and I said I want to do my own stunts. And the director told me that I could so I did all my own stunts on that movie. So I was kind of prepared for all that stuff. I grew up in playing war in the backyard and roughhousing so I kind of knew what to do.

IGN: Coming off of "The First David Job" we got see, for the first time on the show, Elliot meet his match.

Kane: I did. This was a great opportunity for me. This was one of my dear dear friends in life, Clayne Crawford. We’ve been friends for ten years. Charlie Brewer started letting me take control of a lot of the fight choreographing that comes with my character. You know, he does everything else, but he kind of lets me run free with what I want to do. We’ll talk it over and then he’ll kind of just let me go. And we needed someone who could act, because there needed to be an actor in this role, but we also needed someone who knew how to fight because people can get hurt when you bring in new actors to do this kind of stuff. So I called my boy Clayne Crawford. We did a movie called The Forlorn together. It’s about the Donner Party. I knew Clayne could throw punches, so that was a really safe move for me and I got to work with one of my best friends. It was fun, because I didn’t just want someone to come in there as a stunt guy and all of a sudden be the guy who takes out Elliot, because that just wouldn’t be fair. We needed someone that was recognizable and Clayne was gracious to come in and do us a favor.

IGN: Some of the funniest parts of the show come when Elliot has quick flashbacks to horrific moments from his past life as a mercenary. Specifically, there was one set up to look like a Deer Hunter Russian Roulette scenario.

Kane: It’s funny that you said Dear Hunter, dude, because that’s what I based that whole scene on. Me and the wardrobe lady based that whole thing on The Deer Hunter.

IGN: What’s it like for you just to film those tiny, brief scenes of intense torture, and have it meant to be humorous?

Kane: I’ve been very fortunate with some of my flashbacks. They haven’t been very long. They’ve all been very short and very brutal looking scenes, but they were all good fun. I actually enjoy those little scenes because a lot of times on the show we’re playing two people. I’m playing my character on screen, who’s also playing someone in a con. But in these little scenes I get to go back to some of the movies that I grew up with like Deer Hunter, Missing in Action, Rambo and all that stuff because he’s been in a couple of POW camps.

IGN: Yeah, there was this one where you were being dragged down a hallway while they screamed "Where’s the Monkey?" at you.

Kane: Yeah, I was in a Turkish Prison in that one, and in this one I’m in a Korean Prison. So he’s been all over the world, man. You know, a lot of people have asked about my hair, and I based a lot of this character off a book I read a long time ago called Rogue Warrior. It was the story of Richard Marcinko, who was the founder of Seal Team 6. A lot of people have talked about how long my hair is on this show, and I based it off Marcinko who literally had a poster up in every third world country that there was that stated "Kill on Sight" and a reward amount listed underneath. So this Navy Seal, who founded Seal Team 6, one of the best that there’s ever been, had to grow a beard and really long hair as a disguise. And that’s kind of Elliot’s thing. He has long hair because everyone else all across the world knows him.

IGN: And when it’s time for a con, you just put it back in a ponytail. No sweat.

Kane: Exactly, man. Exactly. So tell people to leave me alone about my hair.

IGN: How was it for you when you learned that Leverage was going to get picked up for a second season?

Kane: Oh, it was great. Dean Devlin ran a con on his own con-ers. He told us that we were going to do press for the last few episodes. Timothy (Hutton) was in Paris. Gina (Bellman) was in England and I was in Nashville and he had us all chime in on the computer and he said ’can you all see my computer?’ and then he spun the computer around and it was Michael Wright, the head of TNT, and Michael said that we were picked up. It was great. We owe it to the fans, man, because they’re been so great to us by tuning in each week and hanging out with us. And fans get the sh*t end of the stick sometimes because they fall in love with a show and then it gets yanked. So, it’s okay to fall in love with this show because we’re going another season. And that was very important to me, and I know it was very important to Tim, because we owe our fans that.

Leverage concludes its first season on Tuesday, the 24th at 10pm on TNT.