Oklahoma-bred actor/musician Christian Kane recently spoke with CMT.com about the truth he finds in making country music.
“I get paid to lie to people as an actor,” Kane told CMT. “Country music is the one area that I don’t lie. I tell the truth.”
Kane, who grew up in Norman and attended the University of Oklahoma, plays Eliot Spencer, the muscle on a good-hearted team of cons on the TNT caper series “Leverage.” His past TV roles include “Angel,” “Into the West” and “Close to Home,” and he made a memorable appearance in Carrie Underwood’s “So Small” music video. He also has appeared in the films “Friday Night Lights,” “Secondhand Lions” and “Just Married.”
Along with acting, Kane has been pursuing a career as a country music singer, and he has been gaining some ground with his single “The House Rules.”
“I don’t apologize for what I do. I love what I do,” he says. “They always say, ‘Are you an actor or are you a singer?’ I say, ‘I’m an entertainer.’”
He said he got his first acting role because he was a singer, but his acting career actually has stalled his foray into the music business.
“It’s a tough road,” he told CMT. “People think that I’ve gotten the red carpet because I’m an actor. It’s absolutely the opposite. There were fences put up. There were walls put up. And if you know me, you know that I just go through them.”
“The House Rules,” which Kane co-wrote Blair Daly, is the title track for his first full-length country album, due out Dec. 7 from Bigger Picture Group.
“It’s really all the stuff that I know about, which tends to be whiskey and women,” he told CMT about his album. “You’re not going to hear me sing about being on a tractor or being married … because I don’t know anything about that.”
Kane worked with legendary producer Bob Ezrin and Nashville veteran Jimmie Lee Sloas on his major label debut. Also signed to a songwriting deal with EMI Music Publishing, Kane writes much of his own material. He has written with hit songwriters Blair Daly, David Lee Murphy, Casey Beathard, Jerrod Niemann and fellow Oklahoma boy Brett James. He worked with James and Murphy to pen “Happy Man,” which was included on the deluxe edition of Trace Adkins’ 2010 album “Cowboy’s Back in Town.”
CMT recently debuted the music video to “The House Rules,” directed by Kane’s “Leverage” co-star Timothy Hutton. The Oscar-winning actor, whose directorial efforts include the Cars’ video “Drive,” Don Henley’s “Not Enough Love” and a Neil Young concert film, “Freedom,” volunteered to helm Kane’s video.
Kane expects to do more singing on “Leverage” since his performance of his “Thinking of You” helped the episode titled “The Studio Job” become the series’ highest rated.
In a 2008 interview, Kane told me that he divides his time between L.A. and Nashville but owns land south of Norman. His parents live in Tulsa, and Oklahoma is still home.
“This is a great place to be raised, and it’s a great place to die,” he said. “It’s funny because you fight so hard to get out of Oklahoma, and now I’m fighting so hard to get back.”