In Part 2 of our exclusive telephone interview with Christian Kane, he talks more about starring in and being a producer on the series ALMOST PARADISE, airing Monday nights on WGN America and then on Amazon and the Electric Now app, plus his guest appearance on SUPERNATURAL, his music, and more.
ASSIGNMENT X: You star as Alex Walker and you’re a producer on ALMOST PARADISE, which is the first U.S.-made TV series to shoot in the Philippines. Between wearing those two hats, you said you have your fingers in a bunch of different things on the show, so what are some of those other things?
CHRISTIAN KANE: Well, I was a fight coordinator on LEVERAGE, so it’s very tough for me not to do that. So I did my fights on LIBRARIANS, and I was fight-coordinating on LEVERAGE for my fights, and so I was always thinking about the next thing for me to do [in terms of fight choreography]. I know how to do this, and I know that sometimes the set doesn’t allow for what you can do in a huge, open [rehearsal] room. So I always like to get [to the set] in the makeup, and dance as I go. I’m also acting at the same time they’re filming, so it’s tough, because you’re always doing that.
The wardrobe was a lot on me. I had to run everything by [ALMOST PARADISE co-creator/executive producer] Dean Devlin, but I always try to make the guy look as out of place as he’s supposed to be. Nobody wears Converse and socks on the beach. But this guy is an American. He doesn’t know what he’s doing yet. So as the season went on, I was like, “Let’s start getting him more into some flowered shirts and more beach wear and more comfortable as he’s acclimating to this environment.” Which was a lot of fun, to have something about every episode in making that step.
Especially since we did shoot some out of order, you had to remember where you were going as your character is getting more advanced. And in that same sense, they picked it up really quick, I didn’t have to explain it, but I always made sure [everyone understood], “We can’t do that in this episode, because the other episode before it has not filmed yet. We’ve got to do it there.” So keeping the timeline together, which I really didn’t have to work that hard on, because the other actors are on top of it, but keeping the timeline together when you shoot out of order like that is very important, especially on a first [season].
AX: Can you talk about your guest-starring role earlier this season on the “Last Call” episode of SUPERNATURAL? You played Leo Webb, an old Hunter friend of Dean Winchester, played by Jensen Ackles. Leo owns a bar and performs there with his band, and gets Dean up on stage with him, so you and Jensen Ackles sing together on a duet of Waylon Jennings’s “Good Ol’ Boys,” which was the DUKES OF HAZZARD theme song. Of course, Leo turns out to be a bad guy, so he and Dean have a massive barroom brawl. Were you and Jensen Ackles friends, or did you get cast because SUPERNATURAL likes to have BUFFY and ANGEL actors on their show? Of course, SUPERNATURAL has now been around for …
KANE: A hundred years. I’ll tell you the bottom line story, which is fun. And don’t forget, Mark A. Sheppard was one of the regulars on [SUPERNATURAL], and he was on LEVERAGE, he was our bad guy on our show. Me and Jensen Ackles have been friends for over twenty years. He’s one of my oldest friends in Hollywood. I remember all the way back [in 2003] when I was in Texas, doing SECONDHAND LIONS with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine, and it was Thanksgiving, and Jensen happened to be home, and he drove all the way from Dallas, Texas, to pick me up in Austin, and take me back to have Thanksgiving with his family. Anyway, he’s always been a friend, he’s always gone out of his way.
They asked me to do SUPERNATURAL a couple times, and asked me what I thought about it, and I just didn’t think things were right. A lot of people bring in Eliot Spencer so that their main character can beat him up, to give validation to that character. And Jensen’s character didn’t need validation, but I knew Jensen was going to beat me up if I came. So Jensen called my house. And he said, “Kane, you want to come do SUPERNATURAL? It’s the last season.” I said, “How’s the money?” He’s like, “S***ty.” I went, “Of course it is.” I said, “Do we get to fight?” And he goes, “Yup. We also get to sing together.” And I was like, “I’m in.” I said, “Do you beat me up?” “No. But I do kill you.” [laughs] “Of course you do.”
And I got on a plane and went to Vancouver, and got to sing and “dance” [do fight choreography] with, like I said, one of my oldest friends in Hollywood. That was so much fun. There were no stunt doubles, it was really us, getting to be boys again. And of course the singing, we went into Bryan Adams’s studio in Vancouver, Canada, and both of us laid down the tracks, and then we went and had a beer. It was like the old days, when we used to play music together, and we got to do what we do. I told him – I literally sent him a text – I said, “Is there going to be a fight scene?” He said, “They’re working on it.” I said, “This is ridiculous, man. I said, “You got a demon hunter and Eliot Spencer in the same room. You think somebody would hit something. Otherwise, it would be like watching Thor and Wolverine assemble a floral arrangement.” [laughs] He started laughing. He said, “You’re absolutely right.” The next day, they had jacked the fight scene up quite a bit.
AX: Did you guys pick the Waylon Jennnings DUKES OF HAZZARD song, or did production just say, “Well, this is what we got the rights for you to sing”?
KANE: You know, Jensen sent me a couple of songs that he enjoyed, but I think overall – I’m not a hundred percent on this – Jensen did call back with the song choice, so I’m pretty sure Jensen had that up his sleeve, and I think he made that happen, which I thought was outstanding – these people thought enough about me coming in, and thought enough about the episode with me and Jensen both in it, to go out and buy a song that prestigious. And I was like, “Come on, man, ‘Good Ol’ Boys,’ me and you, back on the screen, come on.”
AX: And they also used your song “House Rules” on the episode soundtrack …
KANE: Yeah. And that was another little gift they gave me. I’m telling you, man, it was one of the funnest jobs. I hadn’t seen Jensen in a few years, since he was up there [shooting SUPERNATURAL in Vancouver] and I’d been in Portland. It might seem closer than that, but it’s really not that close. And I was doing LEVERAGE and LIBRARIANS, and we’d talk, but we didn’t get to see each other. And so we caught up right where we left off. It was a blast working with him.
AX: What’s going on right now with your music?
KANE: Well, we’re in quarantine right now, so me and Riley Smith, who’s on NANCY DREW, he plays Nancy Drew’s dad, Riley Smith, someone who I’ve done music with for over a decade, we keep mailing stuff back and forth to each other. He’ll write some music and send it to me, and I’ll [work on it and] send it back, so we’re trying to write the best we can right now while everything’s on lockdown.
And of course, Fred Curry, who’s the music supervisor on ALMOST PARADISE, I’ve been a fan of his for years. I used to have a picture on my wall when I was a kid with him and the rest of his band, because he was the drummer for Cinderella. It just happened to be that [ALMOST PARADISE] episode with the music, we were flying stuff back and forth to each other, and I’ve known him for a long time, and we talked a lot about music before I went there, but I didn’t realize he lived right down the street from me. So as soon as this is lifted, I’m going to go in and we’re going to get together and do some writing as well, and maybe I can talk him into seeing if Tom Keifer, who I know, who was the [lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist] for Cinderella, will come in as well.
AX: So we can look forward to a new album in the foreseeable future?
KANE: I hope so, yeah. Albums are completely new for this day and age, so I’m not sure of the correct format anymore, but I don’t think you have to have twelve songs. Most of the time, whether it’s five or it’s twelve, nobody gives a s*** about anyway. So hopefully, start putting down some smaller records. I’m not in this for the music business anymore. I’m an actor now. I’m just in it to make me feel good, and to give some stuff out to the fans who have been asking me for a while, and I owe it to them, and it’s my fault it’s taken so long.
AX: Do you know what the fan reaction has been like for ALMOST PARADISE? Because with the Internet, things are much more immediate these days.
KANE: Well, that’s the beauty of it. I’m sure you know about the Kaniacs [organized Christian Kane fans], and they’ve been with me through thick and thin. We’re seeing an unbelievable, bigger response than I ever thought we would see for ALMOST PARADISE. I was booked on several TV shows across the country [to promote the series], and wasn’t able to go. Right when I got back from the Philippines, I was supposed to get on a plane and go. We were not able to do that. There was no time to do any publicity for this show. We’re doing all of this through word of mouth, and they have shown up. The ratings keep getting higher. And that’s unheard-of. We went up from Week 2, twenty percent. And then we went up last week. That normally doesn’t happen.
It’s all word of mouth, it’s all Kaniacs, and it’s all our friends and family that have supported us through this time. So I think the response is unbelievable, and unbelievably great. We’re on a little bit late. We’re on a network that not everybody gets. But Amazon has done us a big solid, and Amazon runs them right after they air, and you can get them on Amazon. iTunes was supposed to have it out right after it aired as well, but they’re starting to pick it up and get it together. And literally, this show is word of mouth. And it’s doing so well just through that, that it would be ungodly if I was actually able to get out there and promote this thing, so I thank you, and I thank all my fans for really sticking with me.
AX: What would you most like people to know about ALMOST PARADISE?
KANE: I mean, if it was a different time, I would probably say something different, but right now, we’re all at home. We’re all doing the same thing. And we’re all going stir crazy. And I’m honored to be able to take you on a tour of the Philippines every single week. Most people know what China and Japan look like, because we’ve seen it on TV, we’ve seen it way more in the movies. Not a lot of people know about the culture and the spirituality and the colors of the Philippines. We just don’t know about it. Unless you’ve been, you don’t know about it. So it’s an opportunity for me to take you on a journey to a place you’ve never been, and since you’re sitting on the couch anyway, let’s take a vacation together. And that’s literally what I have to say to people. Let us get you out of this. We’ve always relied and leaned on entertainment in bad times. Well, we did something for you guys. We did this. So come with us and take a little trip.
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: ALMOST PARADISE: Star and producer Christian Kane on his new series, his music and SUPERNATURAL – Part 2