Christian Kane talks about how he first came on the show, what to expect in the two-part finale and a quick return for the second season.n
Christian Kane's stock has certainly been rising over the last few years. After a recurring role as Lindsey McDonald on Angel, the actor/singer has appeared in such films as Friday Night Lights and Taxi and after another stint on TV as Jack Chase on Close to Home, Kane has finally found the role he has always wanted as Elliot Spencer on the hit TNT series, Leverage, which concludes it's first season with a two-part finale that starts tonight, February 17, at 9 PM ET on TNT and will conclude on Tuesday, February 24 at 9 PM ET on TNT. I got the chance to speak with Kane over the phone about his role on this popular series, which was just renewed for a second season, and here's what he had to say.
I just wanted to hear how you got on board with this show in the first place and how you came to this character Elliot?
Christian Kane: Oh man. I've known (series co-creator) John Rodgers for a couple of years. I was actually going work with him on another project with him and I ended up losing the role to a good friend of mine. When John wrote this role, he told me he kind of had me in mind for it, so they called. My agent said to take a look at this thing and I looked at it and his name is Elliot Spencer, wearing wire-rim glasses, sipping on tea, and I said this is absolutely not for me. They told me John Rodgers wrote it and I said, 'Oh, you've got to be kidding me.' So I went back and, of course, after that, it said, 'Elliot Spencer, wearing wire-rimmed glasses, sipping tea, kicks the crap out of everybody in the room.' I called my agent and said, 'Dude, you've got to get me on a plane right now,' because I was living in Nashville at the time. So, I almost missed the opportunity, and thank God I didn't. Then, of course, when Dean Devlin became involved with it, that just said how much more of a great project it was, to me. This is something I dreamed of as a kid, playing a role and doing stuff like this. I was a big A-Team fan, so I got to be B.A. Baracus, that's basically what it is.
Yeah, definitely. It has a feel of The A-Team and Ocean's Eleven and all this kind of stuff. The show has been very successful and we haven't seen a show like this in awhile, so do you think that's kind of why it's been so successful?
Christian Kane: I think it's a great show. I think we're using a lot of retro stuff that worked on television, but adding a new hyper-technical world and all this technology that is starting to confuse everybody and starting to get all Matrix. It's kind of scary, but it's old-school and you kind of get to go back in time and hang with the vibe, and at the same time be forced into the future. So it's a good thing.
So how have you enjoyed working with Timothy Hutton and the rest of your cast like Beth (Riesgraf), Aldis (Hodge) and the rest of these guys. It really seems like you gel on the screen, so how have you enjoyed working with those guys?
Christian Kane: I've enjoyed it immensely. We have to be careful. We've been such a family and it's been sort of tough for us because we have to remember that we don't like each other and we don't trust each other on the show. It's hard to remember that sometimes because we've been so close off-screen that you have to remember, 'Hey wait. We're all thieves and we don't give a sh*t about each other and we don't know if we trust each other.' A lot of the acting comes from that because we have to remember the roles we're playing and not the fact that we've been so close. A lot of shows don't work like that. This one has a thing where we have really good camaraderie on and off the camera and it makes it a blessing to go to work.
You get a pretty good set-up in the pilot where nobody is sure what you do and then there's the scene where you take everyone out. Do you have a favorite scene that you've filmed throughout the season?
Christian Kane: I'll go back to this one. I loved the fight scene in The Bank Shot Job, where I'm outside of the bank and everyone else is in the bank. That was actually the first episode after the pilot. We did the pilot and then it took six months for us to get back on and get going again and The Bank Shot Job was actually shot first. That was the first scene, I was alone on the set and there were none of the other actors there, but I loved the fight because it meant so much to me the way they shot it, but also because Elliot Spencer is a technical guy. When he goes in, it's really quick blows, but this one, he was beating a woman and someone he thought of as his mom, a mother-type figure, so he really hurt him bad. He was throwing haymakers and all that stuff. I loved that fight scene.
It seems from this finale that we're going back to Timothy Hutton's character and getting some revenge from the insurance company and all that kind of stuff. What kind of things should we expect from this two-part finale?
Christian Kane: Well, that's what we want you guys to expect, that right there, because that has a lot to do with it, but there's so much more stuff going on. Hopefully, and I think Dean and John were very smart in doing this, because we've got everybody into a very comfortable zone now, where we're a team and we work well together and, I'm telling you right now, this sh*t is going to hit the fan. Nobody is going to see what's coming. I remember I was in my trailer and I got the two-part season finale and I just jumped out of my trailer and knocked on Tim's trailer and I go, 'Dude, are you reading this?' He goes, 'Yeah, this is incredible stuff.' It was really a twist that no one is going to see, which is great. Just when you get comfortable on your couch, and you grabbed your beer for the night and sitting there to watch the team do what they do, it's not happening man. It's going in a different direction this time. It's going to be fun.
So have you guys started work on the second season yet so far?
Christian Kane: We have not. We just got picked up and we don't start up again until the middle of April, so we'll be back out there again in June.
Oh, you'll be back again in June?
Christian Kane: That's the great thing about this and TNT has been very smart on doing this. You don't have to wait too long. We go back up in April and we'll be back with a new season of Leverage on TNT in June.
Oh, nice. That's great.
Christian Kane: He's smart. He knows that to have an audience that's been as gracious that they've been with us, and very very loyal fans, TNT is just really great about that. They're not going to make you wait for a whole other year. They're going to get it to them sooner than later.
So is there anything you can tell us about what to expect in this second season from either your character or the show as a whole?
Christian Kane: Buddy, I'm in the dark like you are. It's very exciting.
Oh, you haven't gotten any scripts yet?
Christian Kane: No man. We haven't gotten any scripts, we haven't even gotten any storylines. They're keeping it really really hush-hush and being really smart about doing that. I'm in the dark like you and, actually, I'm almost like a viewer at this point because I'm so excited to see what happens to the character, you know.
So have you been working during your hiatus at all? I see you have some film projects that are in the works, so is there anything you can tell us about those?
Christian Kane: Actually, I did those films last year. I didn't take a long hiatus, since we really haven't been on that long, and I actually came back to Nashville and worked on my record, because I'm getting ready to release a country album.
Do you have like a favorite moment, not a scene or a fight or anything, but just a moment from this whole season, or out of the response it's been getting?
Christian Kane: You know what, I have to go back to the scene with me and Timothy in the pilot. It was the first time I worked with him and it was such an emotional scene, these two guys sitting there talking about his son. We're shooting pool and just sort of talking and I got to act with Timothy Hutton for the first time. It wasn't going around and getting blown up and stuff like that. It was just me and Tim acting together and it was just so great to be able to work with such a high-caliber actor of his stature. I think that was my favorite point, just at the time, in Chicago, working with Timothy Hutton, that was one of my favorites, when we're playing pool in the pilot.
So, finally, what would you like to say to the fans of the show and also to anyone who might not have caught the season so far, to maybe try to get them on board?
Christian Kane: Right. Well, for the ones that are watching, I want to say thank you, I really do. We do what we do, but we don't really exist out there unless those guys are around. They've showed up and we ask to come into your living room every week and you guys let us in and we're very fortunate to do so and we owe everything to them and I appreciate it. To the people who may haven't seen it, I would advise you to go over to one of your friends' house who has, sit down on the couch and buckle your seat belt.
Excellent. Well, that's about all I have for you, Christian. Thanks so much for your time and the best of luck with the next season.
Christian Kane: Thanks bud. I'll see you real soon.
Be sure to tune in to the two-part season finale of Leverage, which starts tonight, February 17 at 9 PM ET and concludes on Tuesday, February 24 at 9 PM, only on TNT.