Chatting with Leverage star Christian Kane is kind of like sharing a beer with a buddy at a honky-tonk in Nashville. He’s a laid-back good ole’ boy who speaks his mind but he’s also got that Southern charm that allows him to say, “no, thank you,” over and over and still sound like he means it.
His enthusiasm for both his acting work and his music simply over-flows and this week, he got to combine his two loves for a very special episode of Leverage. No, not “very special” in an 80’s sitcom kind of way, but how about Christian Kane singing one of his own songs before “duking” it out with special guest star John Schneider.
“I get to fight Bo Duke, my childhood idol, I get to fight him,” says Chris. “Schneider’s become my golf buddy. He loved to be in here, and we’ve all become really good friends. And you’ve never seen him in role like this either.”
Richard Chamberlain guest starred a few weeks ago as Parker’s mentor who inadvertently walks her into trouble, and coming up is comedian Bill Engvall in a NASCAR themed episode that should be a hoot. Christian says there are more big-name guest stars coming on board, but he’s sworn to secrecy.
‘It’s going to be so much fun for people to get to see these guys putting on a different mask than they ever have. I know all these guys, and they come in, and they’re nice guys in real life. But to see them put that mask on, it’s like wow, I think they’re going to scare people.”
Talk about playing against type. . . how about surly Eliot Spencer picking up a guitar to sing?
Says Christian, “It was a little bit of my idea, but you know (John Rogers), we had talked about doing a music episode, taking down a record company for a certain reason. I’d had some really great success when I sang on “Angel” in the second season, and we developed such a big fan base out of that whole episode for my band, so John took note of that. And I think that it was me kind of egging him on, and then, of course, I got the fans involved, and I’ve got the best fans in the world. So I think he just got tired of listening to them.
“So we did it. The song is a song I wrote a couple of years ago, I tried to put something that was going to be on the album that is coming out in October. But I couldn’t find the song on the album that I really wanted to do this, and then I looked at this older song that I had, and I was like oh, this is it. And so we’ve decided now to put this song on the album. And the great thing about this song is this song “Thinking of You”, it’s actually going to be available on iTunes the night the episode airs. So, if you like this song, you can go to iTunes and download it. We’re really excited about that.”
While you’re on iTunes, you can also download Christian’s EP which features his most popular tune “The House Rules,” which will be heading for the radio this fall. If you’re in Portland, you can see Christian performing live at DANTE’s (check their website for dates) and on September 3rd, he and the band will being a tour across the US that begins at the Oregon State Fair.
These past few years have been exceptionally good to Christian Kane, he’s playing the role he’s always dreamed of on a hit TV series, found himself a group of fine people to work with and his music career is taking off. But juggling an acting career and a singing career isn’t easy. Even with Christian’s energy and enthusiasm, something’s gotta give.
“I don’t like to shut any doors, I like to take different avenues and stuff like that, you know,” says Chris. ”And I don’t need to be Brad Pitt or Kenny Chesney, I really don’t, I just want to be Christian Kane, I just really want to do what I love for the rest of my life.”
From here, that prospect is looking pretty good.
Watch Leverage, Sunday nights at 9:00 on TNT. And don’t miss “The Studio Job,” tomorrow, July 18 with special guest stars John Schneider and Alona Tal and the TV premiere of Christian’s song, “Thinking of You.”
Photos: Erik Heinila / TNT