So what do a little grey horse, a lawyer for demons, and a criminal turned good have in common? The one and only, actor-singer-songwriter, Christian Kane. We had a chance to catch up with one of our favorite bad boys turned good at the premier of 50 to 1. The story of the amazing crooked footed New Mexico horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 2009. The movie chronicles how the New Mexican cowboys made a long shot dream come true. Christian portrays Mark Allen, one of the owner/trainers of the horse, and was here in Albuquerque for the premier.
Christian first appeared on the Hollywood scene in a show called Fame L.A., which was based off the popular 80’s TV show, Fame. The show was short-lived, but that didn’t stop Christian from charging forward. He had left the University of Oklahoma, with only 15 credit hours to go, in order to pursue his dream in acting. By his own admission, he spent more time studying booze and women then art history while he was there. “School was a character study for me.” Kane says with a smile.
He landed a few small roles in movies before he getting one of the key roles for his career, and one that he will always be remembered for. Lindsey McDonald, attorney extraordinaire for Wolfram and Hart, the largest demonic attorneys office in L.A. and around the world in Joss Whedon’s Angel. Kane thinks Lindsey was such a fan favorite because he was a bad guy with a conscious. Throughout the show, the human lawyer to the demons struggled with his role, sometimes trying to kill the vampire with a soul and sometimes helping him. “Do you know how fun it is to go to work everyday and try to kill your best friend.” Kane says with a laugh, speaking of David Boreanaz, who played Angel. Kane found himself in another defining role a short time later with Leverage. Playing Eliot Spencer, the muscle of the team on the show. Kane gets to demonstrate not only amazing hand-to-hand combat skills in this role, but also a softer, deeper side to his character. He jokes and said he modeled Eliot after B.A. Baracus from The A-Team. “Everyone on set would be like, ‘Oh, you’re doing Clint Eastwood?’ and I would explain, “No, I’m doing B.A. Baracus. They’re all as old as me, so they knew who he was.” Kane jokes.
Thanks to that little known show, Fame L.A., Kane got a taste for singing. In his hometown, there were a lot of talented musician and singer, like Garth Brooks, and Kane never thought his talent measured up. After singing on TV, he found a passion for singing he couldn’t deny. “We use to play the Viper Room (in L.A.) for women and whiskey,” Kane says fondly. His passion for music made it hard for him to turn it into a business, like acting, but he has been successful at it nonetheless. There was a point where the Rock ’n Roll lifestyle got a little out of hand for him and his band mates, but they have pulled it back together and balanced it out. Kane is proud to be a singer/songwriter and says if you give him a title to one of his songs, he’ll give you a story behind it. All the songs he writes are from the heart and the few he doesn’t deeply resonate with him. He loves both his career choices and has no plans to sacrifice one for the other anytime soon.
Kane shared that it was great to be back in New Mexico. Ten years ago, Kane and Skeet Ulrich shot a little movie in Santa Fe called Into The West with Steven Spielberg. They became fast friends on the set and have talked off and on over the years but this would be the first time they had seen each other since Santa Fe. “It was another relationship that I wouldn’t have to work hard on for this movie.” Kane’s character and Ulrich’s characters are best friends in 50 to 1. This movie was great to shoot and required very little acting from Kane. When he arrived in New Mexico he sat down with Mark Allen himself. Having read the script, Kane wanted to hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth, and he got it. “We [Mark Allen] opened a bottle of Patron, and about ten minutes in, I realized I didn’t have to act. I can show up and be myself. We don’t fall far from the same tree, me and him.”
With a grin, Kane says he never talks about pending projects that are coming down the pipeline. “If I told ya, I’d have to kill ya,” Kane says jokingly. “I don’t talk about or get excited about projects until we roll film, it’s just the way it is, but I do have something coming.” Kane did talk about a project he just wrapped called Allstars with Fred Willard and shared how he ruined every take laughing at the ad lib Willard would provide. “He is the King of making things up,” says Kane. “His delivery is so good, I’m laughing the whole time.”
When asked what legacy he wanted to leave behind, Kane shared three things he felt were worthy of being carved into a tombstone.
Number one: Early in his career he was taught how to be a cowboy by Tom Selleck [in Crossfire Trail].
Number two: He got to play Robert Duval [in Secondhand Lions].
Number three: He got to work with Calvin Borel on a horse [in 50 and 1].
“We are in the business of immortality,” says Kane. “So when I go, I’ll be around.”
With his acting legacy already firmly in place, and country albums in circulation, we can only wonder what Christian Kane will do next. The one thing can all rest assured in, he will look good while doing it.