Christian Kane: In action (and in song!) this Sunday

Have you been checking out Leverage this season? I hope so. I’m rather worried that it’s moved to Sunday night, but hey, I’ll take Leverage whenever I can get it!

Well, if you haven’t been watching (and even if you have), Sunday’s the night to check it out.

Now, you know Christian Kane sings, right? He had one of his songs played in the first season and a new single come out last year, and this time, we get to hear him sing it. How’d they handle it? Well, here’s a quick description of this Sunday’s episode:

To take down a corrupt record executive, the Leverage crew infiltrates the world of country & western music, inadvertently turning Eliot into a genuine country music star, performing the original song “Thinking of You”, which was co-written by star Christian Kane.

I’ve heard the song, and for someone who isn’t really a country fan, I have to say that I enjoyed it. I really think you will, too.

Now, enough about my thoughts. What does Christian Kane have to say about it? Well, check out a few tidbits from a recent conference call with the man himself.

On Sunday’s music-themed episode:

Well I was – it was – 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.  And we ended – you know (John) tried to fit it in second season, but it just didn’t work.  We – I’d had some really great success, as well as Angel did, when I sang on Angel in second season, and just you know we developed such a big fan base out of that whole episode for my – for my band.  And so (John) took note of that, and caught wind that, and it was – you know it was (John’s) idea to do it, 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, and you know the song was – 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, and that’s coming out now, and is actually coming out in October.  But the single’s coming out – the actual single’s coming out September 1.  And another great thing about that is Tim Hutton directed the music video, and Tim directed you know “Drive” by The Cars, and Don Henley and Neil Young.  So he’s – you know this is old hat for him.

So for my co-worker and one of my best friends to direct my video was an honor, and then those both come out together first week of September.  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 is actually going to be available on iTunes, “Thinking of You”, the night the episode airs.  So after the episode airs, if you like this song, you can go to iTunes and download it.  And so we’re really excited about that.  But it was…it was a little bit of collaboration between me and (John Rogers). Dean’s a fan of the music, so Dean gave it the green light…

On “Thinking of You”:

I [wrote the rhythm and lyrics], me and (Blair Daly) actually ironically, the guy that wrote “The House Rules”, which was my first single, we wrote that together in about 30 minutes.  I had something to say that day.  You know most of my songs are about a girl, if they’re not about a girl, they’re about beer drinking, but this one – this one’s about a girl, and I get a lot of my – a lot of my influences come from love, and more importantly, heartache.

And I had something to say that day, and we really wrote it in like 30 minutes, it just liked poured out on the page.  And so you know he was playing guitar, we were both coming up with some stuff, and I – so yes, I collaborated on it – me and (Blair) collaborated together on music and lyrics.

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Leverage: The Ice Man Cometh (and Go-eth)

LEVERAGE: 2.08 “The Ice Man Job”

I was really surprised when I was seeing ads for Leverage indicating that Sophie would not be part of a job and that she had left. Fortunately for us, Gina Bellman is still on the show, just in a more limited role because of her pregnancy.

And honestly, they did a fantastic job of keeping her in yet out of the picture. The fact that every single member of the team needed to call her for one reason or another was great, and it really proved that even though she’s no mastermind, she certainly has a part of the team that can’t be replaced.

What surprised me most, though, was that based on last episode’s ending, I don’t know whether people really realized she was leaving. As impactful as it was, I just figured that she’d just get over it and stay with the group. But moving to London? Well, that’s entirely different.

Sophie aside, it was a fun episode. I very much enjoyed Hardison as the grifter, even though everything he did was wrong. He played it too over-the-top. He was still believable–in fact, too believable. I adored when he called Sophie and she basically said it would be ok, as long as they weren’t Russians. Which, of course, they were. It was fantastic.

And the “fight” between Hardison and Eliot when they were breaking into the bank was hilarious. I love that Eliot had so much trouble trying to pretend to be beat up–and resisting it so much. It did surprise me, though, that the Russians didn’t recognize him as the Ice Man’s mute bodyguard, but maybe he went down too fast, so they didn’t notice.

Parker really entertained me, though. First, she looked amazing with her hair pulled back. Second, I loved watching her break into the vault. Even when she was dictating to Hardison and instructing Nate while he was in there, it was cool. This group can really do so much.

By the way, how cute was it when Parker was uncomfortable because the couch was lonely, so Nate was instructing Eliot to sit by her. It’s such a weird sibling relationship those two have. I’m thinking back to the previous episode when Eliot was icing his arm and Parker was poking it. And I’m just laughing.

Oh, and the Eliot/Harison hug. You know, I think Christian Kane was having a hard time keeping a straight face on that one. I love it when actors just almost break character. It’s hilarious.

Anyway, overall, it was a great episode. It clearly had an impact as a dreamt of diamonds stuck to the bottom of tables (methinks it was like sticking the cubic to the bottom of the soda can…but different), and I really can’t wait to see how everything develops, now that Sophie is temporarily out of the group. At least we assume it’s temporary.

Next week is the summer finale, so be sure to stay tuned. I hope we leave it on a very high, very anxiety-driven note. Where will the team go from here?

Leverage: Brawn vs. Brawn

LEVERAGE: 2.02 “The Tap-Out Job”

Of course I was looking forward to this episode. Christian Kane himself told me it’d be a good one! And I enjoyed it, which was surprising because I’m not one that usually cares for lots of bloody fighting.

But I’m a sucker for Eliot and Christian Kane, so there you go.

What grabbed me here was not the sob story of the fighter. It wasn’t why they were doing it. It was the fact that they were caught. In a way they couldn’t have avoided. And that was an interesting moment: Nate telling Parker and Hardison to pack it up (they didn’t hesitate for a second), while Nate and Eliot–clearly the muscle–barge in to save Sophie.

But despite the fear, it was kinda funny. Just hearing Hardison say that he can’t hack hick–and discovering that their whole plan fell to pieces because someone happened to have a cousin in the fighting scene in South Dakota. Do people still live in South Dakota? (To people in South Dakota, I apologize. That’s merely a joke. Curse me in the comments below.)

Anyway, it’s random that someone in Nebraska would happen to have a connection right in the middle of their cover story.

What’s more funny? Sophie’s aversion to the food in Nebraska. The fact that her phone call to room service (all of her food is yellow!) took precedent over anything else. But really? Despite the end, I don’t really see her having pork rinds in the end. But hey, she was starving.

But back to the matter at hand, I’m glad we got some good fighting scenes of Eliot. As you know, Christian Kane has a background in wrestling and does the stunts for the show. It’s nice to have an episode center on him. And I know he was excited about fighting people like Matt Lindland and Ed Herman (if you didn’t know he was excited, just follow the link above).

So did you fall for it? Did you think that he really killed him?

I’ll admit. I did. Until “Omaha,” as Nate so cleverly called him, ran out the door and decided to flee. Something just seemed too simple. Now, to me, I thought he got to the fighter. I thought that they talked to him, maybe bribed him, to go down.

But now that I think about it, that wouldn’t necessarily work. Which is where the doctor came in. If you recall, he was the one that injected Tank with something. I didn’t think of anything at the time–Sophie’s exclamation about how he just took the safety off the gun was still going through my brain and shock wouldn’t allow me to believe that anything was amiss. But thinking about it now, there you go. That’s what kept him down.

It was nice. Two-two-two cons in one! Pretty sweet.

So despite the sweaty, bloody mess, I enjoyed it. I liked to see Eliot play the more vulnerable character. You know, when he was in the office, playing the kid who owed money? Definitely a new side, at least in the episodes I’ve seen so far (and there are still a handful of episodes in season one that I need to see). It was great.

And what’d we think of Sophie and Eliot’s chat? They’re definite a duo that we don’t see put together all that often. It was different. Nice. A reveal into Eliot without finding out more about him.

And definitely effective for the con in the end. Well done, Leverage, well done.

Christian Kane on ‘Leverage’

image courtesy of TNT

image courtesy of TNT

You know the drill: the hacker, the hitter, the grifter, the thief, and the mastermind. Together, they make up the fantastic team behind Leverage, TNT’s drama that recently started up its second season.

Tonight’s episode is especially a big one for the series, where the hitter, Eliot Spencer, is teamed up against Ed Herman (The Ultimate Fighter 3) and Matt Lindland (Ultimate Fighting Championship) as part of “The Tap-Out Job.” When the group tries to stop a corrupt mixed martial arts promoter, things get a little messy. And it’s up to Eliot to save the day.

Needless to say, it’s an episode that you’ll definitely want to check out, especially if you’re a Christian Kane fan.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a conference call with Christian Kane himself. He’s a very interesting actor with a diverse set of interests, including acting, music, cooking (rattlesnake steak and purple pizza are his specialties), and more. Luckily enough, I got to ask him a few questions, which I’ve included for your enjoyment below.

Hi. How’re you doing?

I’m so good. How are you doing?

I’m good. So, I have to ask. Now that Mark-Paul Gosselaar has cut his hair in Raising the Bar, you seem to have won the award for Longest Hair on TNT on a guy. How’s it feel to be the last man standing?

No, let’s make–there’s really no mistake about it. I had that award wrapped up before. Mark’s hair was shitty compared to mine. We’re not going to get into that whole thing. Mark’s actually a friend of mine and it–and it’s [funny] because he really enjoyed the long hair, and he had to end up having it cut, and I didn’t. And when we showed up for the upfronts, Mark was like, “This guy gets to have long hair.” You know, he was talking to Michael Wright on TNT [executive vice president, head of programming, TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM)], and Michael Wright didn’t really have anything to say about it.

But I was always going to win that award, sweetheart. Mark’s hair wasn’t as cool as mine.

So tell me a little bit about your music career. I hear you have a CD coming out.

I don’t have a CD coming out. I have a single coming out . We’re still…in the process of doing the CD. I was with Sony for a while and we did a CD, and then we parted ways with Sony. But Bob Ezrin is producing me, who did all the Kiss albums–you know, he did Kiss for years–Jane’s Addiction, and most importantly, he did Pink Floyd “The Wall.”

And I’m his first country project, man, so on the 22nd, the same day as “The Tap-Out Job,” which is [Wednesday], which is the big MMA fight that I’m in…the single’s going to be released to the public. And I’m just so fortunate that the fans have stuck around this long and waited, God bless them, for this–for this to come out.

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