No TV lawyer endures more regular humiliations than ”Angel” costar Christian Kane. Though his character, Lindsay McDonald, is the wiliest employee of a law firm (literally) from hell, he has to walk into star David Boreanaz’s fist (or garrote, or sword) about once an episode. Those regularly scheduled brawls — which Boreanaz’s vampire avenger always wins, naturally — are the subject of a lot of good natured jokes on the set: Kane, 27, and Boreanaz have been pals since both were starting out in Hollywood. The duel continues on the next ”Angel” (Dec. 19, 9 p.m.), when the longtime adversaries unexpectedly find themselves on the same side of a deadly question.
EW.com talked with Kane about his righteously nasty character — and why it’s good to play the fall guy.
Even when Lindsay has temporarily set aside his evil ways to help Angel, he STILL gets the crap beat out of him.
Every episode! I’m always getting the s— beat out of me. I’ve been choked, cut. You know, Angel cut my hand off. I got beat up by a blind woman; I got beat up by Darla [Julie Benz], who’s dying of syphilis. One of these days, Lindsay’s going to kick someone’s ass. All the writers have to do is put pen to paper, and I’m ready to go.
About that writing: This law firm can summon demons — and yet they don’t have evil paramedics on call to reattach Lindsay’s severed hand. What gives?
Exactly! I was like, I’m rich as hell, I’ve raised someone from the dead, and I’ve got a $5 rubber prosthetic hand. I complain about that rubber hand every day. But the producers have a reason for everything. They know what’ll happen, even if I don’t. The coolest thing about being on a show that deals with fantasy is, even if you die, that doesn’t mean you’re off the show. But my fantasy plotline is, Lindsay gets super powers. He ditches the lawyer suits, he ditches the rubber hand, and he’s got… he’s got a METAL CLAW! And a leather jacket. And he’s a badass. You get beat up a lot, stuff like that goes through your head.
Do you ever question your choice of profession?
No way. I’ve always wanted to be an actor. When I was growing up, my family moved around a lot in Texas and Oklahoma, and the movies were like my best friend. I had done a little acting when I was in college [at the University of Oklahoma], but I was in a fraternity, hanging around with wrestlers and football players, a rough crowd. I couldn’t tell them. I drove across town and tried out for a production of ”A Streetcar Named Desire” — I had one line. Every night I’d sit through three hours to say that one line, and I loved it.
How did you land your first acting job in Los Angeles?
It was six months after I got out here. I knew no one. I came out with nothing but my truck and some clothes, when I was 21. The second audition I got was for ”Fame L.A.” and the character was supposed to be a comedian. I said, ”I’m not really that funny, but here’s what I can do: I can sing.” And I can. I’ve sung backup for my cousin, Brandon Hart, who’s a country singer in Nashville. So they made the character a singer.
Did you knock ’em dead at your first WB audition, too?
No. Well, maybe. I’d met Boreanaz when I was starting to do ”Fame L.A.” and he was just starting on ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” We went to the same gym. We always said, ”We’re going to work together.” But you don’t ever think you’re going to work with your buddies. [In 1999,] I auditioned for ”Buffy,” for the role that Marc Blucas has [as Buffy’s boyfriend, Riley]. Later, they called me in for ”Angel.” I went in, played one scene, and that was it.
Riley’s a corn fed Iowa soldier boy — that’s a far cry from the slick lawyer who wears expensive tailored suits, isn’t it?
I’m a LOT different from Lindsay. If you saw ”Love Song” [an MTV movie that aired this month], I played a musician, a regular guy. That’s me — I sing in a country rock band called Kane. That’s what I do most of the time, when I’m not working on ”Angel.” If you see ”Crossfire Trail” [a TNT western airing Jan. 21], that’s the person who’s most like me. I’m a cowboy from Oklahoma. I don’t even know what half the words Lindsay uses mean. But you know who’s not me? On ”Dawson’s Creek” [an episode airing in January], I play this frat boy, kind of a dick…but also kind of a nice guy. No, more of a dick. That’s not me.
This season, ”Angel” is set partly in a demonic karaoke bar, where Boreanaz sings, very badly. If Lindsay ever took the stage, what would he sing?
That’s easy: ”The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” That’s a good long song. More screen time, baby.