"I started my career as an actor thinking it would be a piece of cake" : Christian Kane

The collapse of Enron and the subsequent demise of their accounting agency Arthur Andersen made global headlines and sent shockwaves through corporate America. While some investors lost their life savings, Enron's bosses made millions. Now the tale of unrelenting corporate greed has been made into a movie The Crooked E. This airs on Hallmark channel on 28 June at 10:30 pm. India also gets a brief mention in the saga.

The film is based on the book written by former Enron employee Brian Cruver. In the film, actor Christian Kane plays Cruver. Kane was previously seen in the television series Dawson's Creek as well as in Angel, which was the spin off to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Through an email questionnaire sent by Indiantelevision.com's Ashwin Pinto, Christian dwelt on his role, his love for acting and music as well as his attitude towards his fans.


Did you get to meet the real life Brian Cruver and what did you learn from him?

Yes, I did get to meet with Brian. It was a nice thing because I understood better what was expected of me, how Brian felt, what he went through. Brian himself had worked there only for around nine months, but he had all the inside information

On the day the scandal broke out, reporters were calling Brian and he gave them anonymous quotes. It's when those quotes started to appear on the front page of papers, that he decided to write a book. Meeting Brian was fun and it definitely helped me a great deal in portraying him.


Was there extra pressure on you to depict a real life person?

It is always more of a challenge when you know, besides your directors and your audiences you have this set of people who know the real person and will always compare you to him. Then there is the person himself, evaluating my performance as he watches it.


Were the former Enron employees happy with 'The Crooked E' or did they feel that some of the depictions were exaggerated?

There are a couple of showbiz distortions but for the most part, the TV version is right. For example, the rumour about strippers being hired as secretaries just makes the movie more spicy

There is another instance, which was that Brian never broke up with his fiancée due to work pressure. Also the employee pep rallies led by Kenneth Lay (Enron's former CEO) were far more massive than what was depicted in the movie.


Is Brian Cruver the youngster with stars in his eyes who comes crashing down to earth something you can personally identify with?

Well yes. I think it happens to all of us at some time in our life. The height of the fall is variable.

I started my career as an actor thinking it would be a piece of cake and that I was the best thing that happened to the industry. It's when I actually started out that I realised how tough it was.


When and how did you get your first major break in television?

Well, I dropped out of University and wanted so badly to be an actor that I headed straight for Hollywood. I got a job as a production assistant and then also in the mailroom of a talent agency, hoping that I would come across something suitable for myself.

Fame L.A was launched back in 1997. I went ahead and auditioned and bagged the lead role. Then came Rescue 77. The fortunate or the unfortunate thing is that neither of them turned out to be huge successes.


Do you recall the moment when you realised that you would be an actor?

My best friends as a kid were the movies and my singing. Very close to home, I found a movie theatre that became my second home. I would watch every single movie that hit the theatre. Sometimes, I would watch the movie more than once.

After watching the movie I would act like a bartender, a pilot, a cop, a sweeper, a vampire…gosh! I wanted to be everything. They became my inspiration. But it was Top Gun that made the final mark. It was somewhere in the middle of it that I decided that acting was my calling!

"There are a couple of show-biz distortions but for the most part, the TV version is right"

When and how did you get involved with 'Angel'?

Well, the producer wanted me to be on Angel as a lawyer. It was not as cool as being dressed in a camouflage and having fangs and stuff, but it was a great experience anyways.


There has been criticism in some quarters that even those teen flicks which have an interesting premise are often dumbed down to appeal to a not too demanding audience. Your comments.

I think everyone has a role to play, a job to do. The film critics have a job to do too and I guess they are only doing their job.


How much baseball practice did you do for you role in Summer Catch?

II was already decent at baseball if I may say so! We would play lots of it! For the role though besides all the practice there were also loads of re-takes!


Would you say that the new movie 'Secondhand Lions' which you appear in has more emotional depth and maturity as opposed to the slapstick seen in Just Married?

I think the role is packaged differently. Every role requires a particular performance and has some expectations. It is my job to meet the expectations.


Tell me a bit about the music you create with your band Kane?

I'm the lead singer and a guitarist in our band - Kane, founded by my friend Steve and myself. We are a rock-n-roll country band. We just basically have a ball.

The music is real good - I guess anyone would say that about their own music, but seriously, even if you don't like country music, you will love this.


What is a bigger priority for you? Music or acting and why?

Well, both are a priority for me. I treat both of them with equal importance. I know it's strange to have two 'first loves'…but that's the way it is. I mean every time I would act I would also sing.

Finally what kind of a relationship do you enjoy with your fans?

Well, I owe a lot to them. They have seen me in all these negative and 'bad guy' roles, but they still love me and support me and that's the best thing. I want them to know that I am not really 'that bad' and that I love them all! Cheers!

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