Return of the Spirit Boy
an exclusive Spotlight on Christian Kane

hen Angel pushed Wolfram & Hart client, Russell Winters, out of a high-story window during his first ever mission for the Powers That Be, not only did his actions alert the law firm's Senior Partners to his presence in the City of Angels but it also saw him come face to face with their golden boy, Lindsey McDonald. What began as a seemingly harmless standoff between the two soon ignited into a long-term rivalry with Champion and Lawyer constantly fighting to see who would gain the upper hand (until Angel chopped Lindsey's off that is.) On screen, Angel and Lindsey despise everything that each other stand for, sharing hatred, jealousy and contempt. Off-screen nothing could be further from the truth as the long-standing friendship that exists between actors David Boreanaz and Christian Kane could only ever see them swapping memories of good times rather than swapping punches. As Lindsey McDonald, Christian portrays a man driven by ambition and it is a trait very much reflected in the man behind the morally-questionable lawyer as he strives to be successful in his two chosen passions, music and acting. During a recent visit to London, Christian, along with friend and guitarist from their band KANE, Steve Carlson, kindly spent a few moments of their time to share with CoA desires and dreams for both.


The first impression you get when you meet Christian Kane is that here is a man who is intensely proud of his heritage as he comes across every inch a cowboy. Born in Dallas, Texas in 1974, his father's career in the oil-business pretty much called for him and his family to move across various locations throughout the Southland before finally settling in a small town called Norman in Oklahoma. Christian spent much of his childhood in movie theaters watching his favorite actors on screen and aspiring to be in their company. Chris actually pinpoints the performance of Tom Cruise as the rebellious fighter pilot, Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in the 1986 classic Top Gun as the turning point at which he decided he wanted to become an actor. Strangely, when he attended the University of Oklahoma after leaving high school, he decided to major in Art History rather than drama but the pull of Hollywood still appealed to him in a way that his studies didn't. Rather than continue with something that didn't inspire him, Christian soon dropped out of university making the brave decision to take a chance and pursue his dream of appearing on stage or screen. Music had become a deep influence in his life as he often found himself singing back-up on stage with his cousin Brandon Hart but Christian had his sights set on an acting career and so armed with no more than $300 in his pocket, he packed up all he had in a pickup truck and moved to Los Angeles.

Christian during

the Premiere of

Secondhand Lions

Like any potential Hollywood young blood, the roles he yearned for didn't just fall into his lap and Christian had to work as a production assistant and mailroom clerk for a talent agency just to make ends meet. His patience and endless rounds of auditions paid off in 1997 though as he landed the role of Ryan 'Flyboy' Legget in a funny case of what seemed to be life imitating art. "My first role ever was one of the lead actors on Fame L.A.," he explains, "And so during that time I had to play a country singer that moved in from Kansas." Fame L.A. was a revamped version of a popular 80's show based around the famous New York School for Performing Arts. In taking the lead role Christian not only had the opportunity to act but to sing which for someone who had never been in front of a camera before was pretty daunting. "I kind of busted my chops," he says, "I did a little acting and I did a little singing and Prescott Niles taught me how to play guitar for that show. He was the bassist for The Knack. I kind of also had to learn how to act. It was my first role and they just threw me on and it was nice that I got to do both at the same time, they kind of came up together." Working right alongside Christian in the pilot episode of that series was a familiar face and someone he would work with once more during his future role of Lindsey McDonald. "Thomas Burr (also known as Wolfram & Hart stooge lawyer Lee Mercer) was in the pilot," he confirms, "He's a good buddy of mine. It was such a comforting thing to see him on Angel, it just kind of made me feel at home."


Christian being punked by Ashton Kutchere

Although Fame L.A. actually completed a full season run of 22-episodes, the ratings for the show were not quite as the producing studio, MGM, had hoped and it was subsequently cancelled. Unfortunately the next role Christian landed, that of the courageous, wild and shameless Wick Lobo in the WB's Rescue 77 met with the same fate yet Christian was undeterred. Secure in the belief of his own talent ability, he landed a small part in the 1999 film EDTV before securing the role that was to bring him recognition and kudos. Ironically Christian was blissfully unaware that the character of scheming young Wolfram & Hart attorney Lindsey McDonald even existed. Rather than looking to be added to the cast of new spin-off series Angel, Christian was aiming to be included in the Season 4 line-up of its parent show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as he auditioned for a character who was the antithesis of the man he eventually got to play. "I started out for Riley," he says, "but my good buddy [Mark] Blucas got it." Christian openly admits that he played his audition for Riley perhaps a little less than wholesome and it worked for him in a way he couldn't have imagined, "I think Joss [Whedon] saw me as a darker character and so just brought me on for the pilot of Angel."

"Stephanie being one of my really good friends in life, it really did feel like it was us against the world." ~ Christian on being the new kid

Lindsey McDonald made his Whedon-verse debut in the opening episode of Angel, giving Christian the chance to work with long-time friend David Boreanaz. He actually recalls his opening scene in the episode "City of..." as one of his favourite moments from his entire time on Angel, " It was the first time David and me ever got to act together and there was just a chemistry. There was something. Neither one of us was on the same page and he was a badass and I was trying to be a badass and that right there was just a defining moment. You could tell the tension but you could also see the easiness of how we just flowed into each other. It's very easy to act with Boreanaz and I think he feels the same with me. It's something that we do, you know, we walk in and we feed off each other and it's great." Although he made his introductory appearance in the premiere episode, Lindsey didn't show himself again until episode 18, "Five by Five". By this time Angel was proving to be a major thorn in the side of his employers and the young associate tried to enroll the help of rogue slayer Faith to eliminate the problem, all the while trying to get one over on his beautiful co-conspirator, Lilah Morgan. Lilah played by the ever-stunning Stephanie Romanov made her presence known a couple of episodes previous in "The Ring" and although her initial attraction towards Angel was a little obvious, what developed over the next few episodes and into the next season was an incredible dynamic between Lilah and Lindsey. "There's a lot of sexual tension between Lindsey and Lilah," Christian agrees, "and Stephanie being one of my really good friends in life, it really did kind of feel like it was us against the world. Everyone else was a series regular and we were fighting for a pole position and although we were against each other we were on the same team. It was a very weird dynamic but it was me and her against everybody else and I think that came off on screen."

"It's very easy to act with Boreanaz."

As an instrument of evil, Lindsey impressed without effort and it was clear that the Senior Partners had him earmarked for success. The one thing they hadn't accounted for however was the conscience that was buried deep down inside of Lindsey, which reared his head on occasion and that incredibly he also had a heart. Falling in love with the sire of his greatest enemy (Darla, portrayed by Julie Benz) allowed Lindsey to be ruled by his heart in defiance of Wolfram & Hart's wishes. His vendetta against Angel became personal. He had lost his hand and the woman he loved to the vampire with a soul and his need for vengeance was in stark contrast to the plans that his bosses had. Yet despite that they were still willing to give him everything only for Lindsey to turn his back on them. He had already fought a battle of faith with his bosses when they had attempted to clear the name of potential child killer, Vanessa Brewer, but once he discovered that an innocent person had been butchered in order to give him his new hand, he found that he was doing the unthinkable of working alongside his enemy, Angel, for the second time in the Season 2 episode "Dead End". Although Lindsey may have resented working one-on-one with Angel, Christian relishes the opportunity to act alongside David and recalls the raiding of the Wolfram & Hart body shop in that episode as another of his favorite moments from his time on the series. "When we're driving in the car, it was five o'clock in the morning, the sun was getting ready to come up and it was the last shot of the day and it's colder than shit," he jokingly recalls. "We're in a convertible car and it was so easy. It's very easy to act with him and it's really not a big scene but it was just me and David. Five o'clock, very tired, very cold and we're driving in this car and we got it done. There was a lot of dialogue and there were a lot of emotions going on in that time and it was very simple." As the sun set on his 'good deed' Lindsey left Wolfram & Hart blaming his 'evil hand issues' and Christian left the series and his fans behind. Just for the time being, anyway.

Return to Behind the Scenes Main Page