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Leveraging a hit with Christian Kane

Leverage says goodbye tonight. As incredible as it may seem, tonight is the season finale of TNT’s new heist show! I’ve been hooked from day one and in that I am not alone. Clever writing, fantastic chemistry and a wry sense of humor make this show appointment TV at our house. So I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I heard that the show had been picked up for a second season.

Christian Kane, Renaissance manThe Leverage cast and crew will be back at work very soon, producing new episodes for a season premiere sometime in June. In the meantime, I snuck in a little time with Christian Kane who plays hired gun Eliott Spencer on the series. What was this country music crooner turned TV tough guy doing when I called? Hawking Maverix, his line of ladies lingerie, in Las Vegas, I kid you not. Christian Kane: This is what I love, let me tell you what it is; lingerie. Yeah, I know, I know, it’s always a perverted thing to say as a guy, especially if you’re talking to a guy, they’re like, ‘oh, lingerie, I see where you’re going, man,’ and I’m like, ‘dude it’s not like that, that’s not what I’m doing.’ And of course they’re thinking of the characters that I play, and they’re like, ‘yeah, it’s all about the girls’ and I’m like. ‘no, man, its surely not.’

Leverage and lingerie?

SheKnows: So what was the incentive to start your own ladies lingerie line? Christian Kane: I loved Victoria’s Secret for a long time; to me, and I gotta be honest with you, they’ve become Fredrick’s of Hollywood, its smut. I don’t like it anymore, I don’t like the colors, I don’t like the way that they’re designed. Everything’s pink now, neon pink, and it’s just not my color. What we’re trying to do is put some class and romance back in the bedroom and that’s what I fell in love with in lingerie. It’s weird for me to be such a tough guy on TV and just start talking about women’s clothing, but it’s because I love women and I hate the fact that these people have made you believe that you’ve got to get dressed up in something that shows everything. The fact is, I don’t want to see everything, man. The romance and the love of getting to where you’re going is what lingerie was created for and that’s what we kinda come back to — a French couture type design. We’ve got some really good corsets and stuff like that. You know, it’s all about the romance and when you take it away.

Leverage’s Renaissance man

SheKnows: You’re a man of many talents. Christian Kane: I’ve got to give that to my partner, Heather Robinson, who’s actually the designer. I designed, but only with words. She’s actually the girl who lays it down on the sewing machine and does it. SheKnows: So let’s talk about Leverage. What stands out when you think back over the episodes you’ve filmed? Christian Kane: There’s so much stuff that I think about whenever I think about filming; like my life has been slow motion for five months. But the one that jumps out at me the most was probably the first day of shooting after the pilot. It was The Bank Shot Job. (It) was just me and the three guys that I fought in the alley. The whole production up and running and Dean Devlin was there, none of the other actors were there. I was the first guy up and it was kinda surreal, I thought everything was landing on my shoulders and I felt like I had to…this is going to sound so stupid to say, this is such guy thing to say . . . I had to fight really good. I didn’t have to act, just fight really good. I’ll never forget that, it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and Dean said roll camera and I kicked the shit out of these three guys and he said cut, moving on, and I went, man, I just did my job and really well and the series kicked off with three kicks and five punches and I was a part of it. That was kinda cool for me. The Leverage cast from TNT's hitSheKnows: Watching you guys, I get the feeling that you’ve gotten as close off screen as you have on. Is that true? Christian Kane: Me and Tim (Hutton) have become very, very close. We’ll go out and have a little bit of dinner, a glass of wine every night at our favorite spot in Los Angeles every night after shooting. We’d just sit there and we’d talk about the day and I got to know a very talented actor. SheKnows: You and Aldis Hodge have an amazing chemistry on screen. Christian Kane: Yeah, me and Aldis are so close, its ridiculous, man. We’ve become boys. Like big time. But you know, we based our relationship on Riggs and Murtaugh, from Lethal Weapon and that gets brought up to us a lot especially with the writers. It’s funny because, not unlike real life, he’s someone that I wouldn’t hit, you know? I’m never going to hit the guy. So he can pretty much get away with whatever he wants, He pushes me as far as I can go without me actually breaking and I think Hardison being as smart as he is knows where that line is and he dances on, he wobbles on it, but he never actually steps across it which is a hard thing to do with acting; he does it really well, you got to give him a lot of credit. SheKnows: And who knew you were so funny! Christian Kane: You know, when the words are out there, you don’t have to act that much. And we’ve been very fortunate with the writers of this show to where we don’t have to really go over the limit or anything like that. We don’t have to do some, and God bless him, Jim Carey crap. It’s not overacting, it’s literally the words are there and we say them. And saying them in character most of the time they come out funny, so it’s really not spastic, which is really where the comedy comes from. It’s a funny TV show because it is real life almost. SheKnows: When you talk about being in character, well, you play several different characters every week. Christian Kane: That’s the beauty of the show. We get to act every day. We show up for work and play a character and we also get to play the character within the character. Not a lot of people do that and that is where monotony of the show will never fall short. Other shows, you’re sick and tired of the same old thing, who killed who, they did, put’m on trial—next week it’s the same thing. And God bless them, but after a while you’re just like ugh, you don’t pay attention to the character anymore.

Leverage’s country crooner

SheKnows: I think you hit the nail on the head there. I feel totally pulled in whenever I watch an episode and I never feel like I’ve been tricked. I feel like I’m part of the trick. Now we’ve talked Lingerie, Leverage, so what do we hear from your music career? Christian Kane: We are finishing the album right now, so I’m in Nashville, well I’m in Vegas right now, but I’m in Nashville as we speak. We should be done with that by April and we should have a single out and I’m with some really good people right now, man. I can’t honestly even talk about it because it’s so private right now, but it’s going to surprise some people because I am a country singer, but some of the people I’m involved with are not country—it’s going to be really awesome. So, that’s a promise, coming April, there will be a single, and hopefully, a record soon to follow. I know, we are back on TV in June, so that’s my deadline right there, to have an album out by then. Leverage main guys - Timothy Hutton and Christian KaneSheKnows: I love your music, so I can’t wait. Now, I have one final question that I’ve been dying to ask. It’s one I ask all of my interviewees, but I have a feeling it will be right up your alley. What’s something you’ve done that there’s no way you’re ever going to do that again? Christian Kane: That’s a great question! I got a whole book about stuff I’d never do again! Me and you could actually publish a whole freakin’ like 225 page book of stuff Christian Kane should never do again. SheKnows: Pick one Christian Kane: This is always going to be X-rated. SheKnows: Something I can print, please. Christian Kane: Alright. I was on a boat at night with Chuck Goff who’s one of my dear friends from Oklahoma, Chuck Goff is Toby Keith’s bass player and he’s been with him for 25 years. We’re on a lake in Oklahoma, I’m with my cousin, Brandon Heart, and we were going probably 20, 25, I don’t know how…we weren’t going fast, but we were on boat and without a life jacket I went from the back of the boat and ran to the bow and dove off the boat into the water and swam deep enough so the motor didn’t get me. They had to circle back around to pick me up and I’m standing out there in the middle of this dark lake without a life jacket and it looked like — I mean there was nothing there and I just went, that’s something I’ll never do again. SheKnows: Not boring around your house, is it? Christian Kane: I’m tellin’ ya, it could’ve just been like that; but fortunately, the Lord has blessed me in that way, and so I’m gonna take Him up on it. He’s a good guy and he smiled upon me, so I’m not gonna let him down. Watch Christian Kane on the season finale of Leverage, February 24 at 10:00 on TNT.

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