Leverage’ Actor Christian Kane shows his country side

It’s the hair … and the voice … and the acting.
Photo: Mark DeLong

He’s got the good looks, the voice, the acting skills, the stuntman physique and that hair, oh that magnificent hair. Entertainer Christian Kane pulls double duty as an actor and musician. You know him from Angel and the current hit Leverage, but what you may not have known is that he is also a bona fide country singer. After many years in the business as a singer and songwriter in Nashville, Kane is hitting the road again with his band. Check out behind the scenes footage from his newest music video shoot for the song “Let Me Go” and see him perform it live this Friday night at Stoney’s.

To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, “Singing or acting, we’re at war here, pick a side.” Though it is nothing new in the entertainment world, it seems like the singing actor era is coming back. What do you think?

I think it’s great and you have to remember, 40 years ago, you couldn’t get a studio deal in Hollywood unless you were a singer. Everybody sang. With me, it’s a little bit different. It’s really not fair. It’s okay if Tim McGraw goes and does a movie, and it’s okay if Justin Timberlake does a movie, but it’s not ok for an actor to become a singer. I never understood that. So we’re really breaking down some doors, which I am enjoying a lot. I’ve been doing music for 12 years now, and we’re just getting out there to the public. The few who cross over as actors and singers, we value ourselves as entertainers. That’s what we do. We just love to entertain.


Christian Kane
September 16, 7 p.m., $5.
Stoney's Rockin' Country.

What was it like being able to incorporate your music into your character’s role on Leverage?

It was a gift. It was such an honor. There are three things about that episode that I love. No. 3 is that I got to sing my own songs. I have been writing music and singing for a long time and for me to get to perform one of my own songs, that was the coolest thing in the world—and that was only no. 3. No. 2 is John Schneider, a very good friend of mine, sang one of my songs on the show. He’s had four or five no. 1 hits. He’s a bona fide country star. To have someone like him sing one of your songs on TV is such an honor. And the no. 1 favorite thing about that episode is I got to fight my all time idol Bo Duke.

I really enjoyed the episode of Leverage where you fight with UFC star Urijah Faber. Are you a fan of mixed martial arts?

Yeah I’m a big fan of the UFC and mixed martial arts altogether. Urijah is a dear friend of mine, and I called him and asked him if he would be willing to come in and do an episode. I fought Matt Lindland in Season 2, who is a big UFC guy, and I’m hoping to bring in other friends. I am talking to Rich Franklin now about coming in. I grew up in the wrestling world in Oklahoma, so I have a bunch of friends out there who are in the MMA business. I train as much as I can, but I can’t do it as much as I want to because we’re filming all the time or I’m out on the road. I don’t really need to anymore; I’m getting too old for this sh*t.

Growing up as a wrestler, did you ever see yourself becoming the action type of guy you are now?

Of course. I grew up with action movies in my head. This was the role I came to Hollywood to play. It’s fun. It’s a guy who has a heart and it’s a guy who knows how to turn it off.

Your voice is clearly suited to country music. Who are your influences from and outside of that genre?

My influences are Alice in Chains and Elton John, but I love country. I love Garth Brooks. I’ve watched what Garth did, and he’s mapped out the guidelines for how to treat your fans. We take this to heart when we play. He’s said this before and this is not verbatim, “No matter where you were in the house, no matter if you were front row or backstage, I have the best time.” When I first heard that I thought it was really cocky, but then I realized he’s doing it right. And that’s what we do; we try to have the best time because if we’re having a great time then it will bleed out to you.

So what do you like to do when you come to Vegas?

[Laughs.] No comment. I like to say Vegas’ tagline when I’m in Vegas. That’s what I like to do. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.


Previous Discussion:

  • As the singer approaches 50, his vocals remain a high point, his mix of throaty growls and raspy screams sounding near-perfect.

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