Interview with Christian Kane and Beth Riesgraf of “Leverage: Redemption” on IMDb TV by Suzanne 9/30/21
These are two of my favorite actors, so it was great to speak with them again. I love the new series, and these second 8 episodes were ever better than the first two, in my opinion. This was a really fun chat, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Suzanne: How you guys doing?
Christian: Hi, how you doing?
Beth: Hi, Suzanne.
Suzanne: I love your show. I watched it since the beginning, and it’s great to see you guys back.
Beth: Thank you.
Suzanne: Your characters grew closer this season; you’re like brother and sister Do you think this is partly because of Hardison being out of the picture?
Christian: That’s very good. We were talking about this earlier. I think, well, you have to remember that during the time that we were away, they were still working together. So, that’s kind of a fun dynamic that we had to come up with, you know, how close are we? How much do we know? All that kind of stuff. But you’re absolutely 100% correct. Hardison being away with the other teams, it leaves two totally different voids in our life. It’s the love of her life, and so he’s gone, and she’s worried about it. Then for me, that was my best friend. That’s my brother, but I like to punch him, and he punches me, and I have nobody to punch, you know what I mean? So, it’s like there’s a hole that he left there. So, I think they do. I think they look for him in each other. I think it’s brought them closer together, because he’s not there as much as he needs to be or wants to be.
Beth: I think when we’re on the go, you know, we’ve been working together, like he said, and running these international teams. When we find them again, Parker has learned to throw a pretty good punch, and she obviously has been getting some training from Eliot. Those sorts of moments were really fun.
I think that one of the fun parts about this dynamic, for me, is our ability as characters to compartmentalize. So, when we’re in a moment together that’s super intense, we are laser focused, and there’s no gaggy stuff, but when it’s more of that familial moment, at HQ or over comms or something like that, there’s room for this other stuff to come in. I do really love that about our dynamic. Like I always say, Eliot has a shield up around all of us, and that’s like him protecting us, but there’re still moments where we’re gonna make jokes and make fun of each other, because we can, but when push comes to shove, it’s almost like boom again when we’re right back there.
Suzanne: I love your guitars.
Christian: Oh, thank you.
Suzanne: You know who else has like a zillion guitars behind them on Zoom? Oh, Jeff Daniels.
Beth: Oh, amazing!
Suzanne: Yeah, I saw him at the TCA panel, and he had, I don’t know, like fifty guitars or something on the wall behind him.
Suzanne: Yeah. I don’t know if he’s in a band like you. I think he just plays for fun. I’m not really sure.
Christian: [unintelligible] I’m sure there’s a picture of that.
Suzanne: Yeah. So, with a normal brother and sister relationship, Eliot would probably be protective of Parker. I know you guys have each other’s backs, but is it fair to say that even though they love each other, he’s probably a little afraid of her?
Christian: Well, I think he’s afraid to be inside her head. I think he just doesn’t understand anything that’s going on in there. When Eliott’s had everything set on fire, the world is burning, and in her head, there’s a bunch of balls bouncing around, and it’s dangerous, and you got to keep ducking. I think he’s very scared to be in her head.
Beth: Stay out of this realm completely, Christian. Do not enter! [laughs]
Christian: Which is pretty fun for me, because we didn’t play it right off the bat, and I noticed that we weren’t playing that, how he got so annoyed with her. And I noticed that it was because Hardison was there. You know what I mean? So, this whole thing, and he wasn’t as annoyed with her, but when Hardison left, then I started playing it more annoyed, because I’m like, “Look, I gotta be upset about something,” and so she gives me so much ammunition it’s ridiculous. So, that’s fun to play off of.
Suzanne: Yeah, and Beth, both of your characters do a lot of physical things on the show. Do either of you do your own stunts, or is there some people taking your place?
Beth: I mean, Christian doesn’t do his stunts. I do all of mine. [laughs] Oh my god, no, Christian does everything, I will I have to say that, but I just try to glean any bits of his genius on stunts and try to incorporate that, and he’s very, very capable and able. I know when to step back and let my stunt people come in and do the real hard work on that stuff. Christian has been a really great mentor to me on all of that and said, “You don’t need to do this part. Have somebody else do it,” because he also knows, especially when I was directing or when I have a heavy day of some other stuff, he’s like, “You save yourself, and you don’t need to do this part. You let the professionals come in to do it.” But, you know, trying to stand next to him, we’re always all like, “Whoa, this is incredible,” because even from a director’s standpoint in “The Bucket Job,” I know I can trust that his intuition on these fights and everything is going to be so much better than anything I could probably come up with to tell him, because he’s got all this experience, and it’s amazing.
Christian: Yeah, and you know, the thing is that my stuff is a dance. People don’t understand that, because it looks violent on screen, but really what I’m doing is a dance. It’s a salsa dance, you know, it’s literally I’m just dancing with the other person. Her stuff is a lot harder than mine. People don’t get that she’s hanging office stuff, and she has to hang there sometimes for a long time, and then, she has to jump to the other one, or she has to hang there for a while until they get it all done, and then, you’re tired. Then, you got to jump down and jump up and do a flip. Her stuff is way harder than my stuff. Most of my stuff is literally a choreographed dance. Hers is actually really physical, and the problem that we run into, as we’re in the middle of a pandemic, is in New Orleans, [there are] no gyms and nothing but good food that’s usually fried. So, it’s very tough. This this season was very tough.
Beth: A lot of salt.
Christian: Yeah, a lot of salt.
Suzanne: Sugar, too, right?
Christian: [unintelligible] and not get hurt. Luckily, just just bumps and bruises for both of us, but it was tough. You had to be very disciplined and, you know, do your push ups in your home, because you couldn’t go to the gym, and it takes takes a toll on your body, for both of us.
Suzanne: Well, you guys both look great on the screen, so it doesn’t show if you put on a few extra pounds with that great New Orleans gumbo. So, I was going to ask you if you work out a lot to keep in good shape. So, obviously, you do Christian; you were talking about it. What about you, Beth?
Beth: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, with all the wire work and the harness work, you have to keep your core super strong to protect your back and your neck and everything else. So, I work out as much as I possibly can. I think stamina-wise, the show moves really fast. It’s a really, really tough show, because it’s big, and emotionally and physically you have to be rested and in shape to kind of hang with these hours and keep it fresh and and stay for stamina purposes.
Then, we have the humidity and the heat in New Orleans, which is its own character, and so electrolytes became very important for me. And I had to cut back on some caffeine, and I’m used to drinking a lot of coffee, and I had to kind of tweak. That’s kind of the fun about going on location is you get a new set of rules, and you’re like, “Okay, how do I do this here?” but it was absolutely challenging. I mean, I would agree with Christian, it’s a very physical show for us, and it’s really fun, but it is challenging at times.
Suzanne: I was talking to Aleyse earlier, and she’s definitely enjoying doing some of your kind of thing, hanging from the wires.
Beth: Oh, yeah.
Suzanne: Falling and all that stuff.
Christian: It’s a lot of fun.
Suzanne: Going back, you were talked about directing; I read that you directed two episodes. What can you tell us about that?
Beth: Yeah, absolutely. I had the time of my life working with the whole team and LeVar Burton in “The Bucket Job.” I think it’s a classic Leverage episode. I loved it so much. [There’s] a lot of emotional growth for Eliot and kind of windows into the things that he’s been going through emotionally, psychologically that we haven’t seen before. So, that was a lot of fun.
Then, logistically, “The Great Train [Job]” episode was one of the toughest, I think, to sort of plan, because we had an episode written that takes place on a moving train, but we didn’t actually have that as a location. So, we were finding two trains, but the trains couldn’t move, and we had to build some on the stage, and it was while shooting the finale as Parker, so it was a lot to juggle. I’m really really proud of how they both came out. Everybody brought their A game. They always do, but it was really an incredible process for me, because I got to work with so many people that I – as an actor, I don’t get to work with the production designer in the same way you do as a director, so all of those decisions and collaborations were so exciting and really, really fun.
Suzanne: All right, and they tell me I have just a little bit of time left. Christian, your character goes through the wringer emotionally this part of the season with maybe meeting some of your family, and I don’t want to give spoilers away and what happens with a relationship, but you have all the usual hitting and kicking and punching and all that kind of stuff. What was it like for you?
Christian: It was an emotional time for me, to be honest with you. I lost my father in December to COVID right in the middle of shooting and then had to come back and do the last walk off scene for Beth’s episode, because we’d already shot the episode, but then we still needed that pickup, that beautiful shot down Bourbon Street. Couldn’t have asked for a better situation. So, there’s a lot of things I was going through too at the same time, and I really loved that. I’d like to dedicate her episode to my dad, and just that walkway is such a beautiful shot. And I needed my friends around me at the time, and I couldn’t have asked for [better] ones in my life, which were the people that I was working with. So, it’s so good.
Then, to have Eliot in a relationship, it’s like it was something new, because he’s never done that. I mean, he’s lied to people; he’s hit on people, but he’s never really had let’s say, a quote unquote girlfriend type thing. And I’ve talked to Beth about about this. I needed him to be broken at the end of the season, because I’ve got to go somewhere with my character, and I don’t like him to be all fixed up.
So, with Beth directing, the emotion that came out with me and the beautiful LeVar Burton, and then the relationship troubles that he has, I feel like at the end of the season, it really pays off for me.
So, I’m excited. I’m excited people to watch it. We all play better characters when we’re a little bit broken. She doesn’t have Hardison, and I’m broken, so we end up broken, almost always end up broken, at the end of the season, which is fun. We’ve got somewhere to go now.
Suzanne: Yes. Well, I hope there’s another season; I really enjoyed the episodes, and I would stay. I would love to stay and talk another ten minutes with you, but they tell me I have to go. So, thanks so much again.
Beth: Yeah, until meet again.
Suzanne: Thank you. I’ll see you on Instagram. Bye
Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com
In this new iteration, and new world, the Leverage crew have watched as the rich and powerful continue to take what they want without consequence. Grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf), hitter Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), and hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) have watched the world change over the last eight years. Since their last job, it’s become easier–and sometimes legal–for the rich to become richer and the powerful to squash anyone who gets in their way. To address the changes in the world around them, the team finds new blood in Harry Wilson (Noah Wyle), a corporate lawyer who is looking for redemption after realizing he’d been sitting on the wrong side of the table for his entire career, and Breanna Casey (Aleyse Shannon), Hardison’s foster sister who has a knack for computers, robotics, and getting into trouble.
Dean Devlin, Marc Roskin, Rachel Olschan-Wilson and Kate Rorick. John Rogers and Chris Downey serve as consulting producers.
Dean Devlin, Marc Roskin, Noah Wyle, Francis Dela Torre, Jonathan Frakes
Electric Entertainment for IMDb TV
Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf, Aleyse Shannon, and Noah Wyle, Special Guest Star Aldis Hodge
Beth Jean Riesgraf (born August 24, 1978) is an American actress. She is known for her portrayal of Parker on the TNT television series Leverage (2008–2012) and the revival Leverage: Redemption which streams on IMDb TV.
Christian Kane is an American actor and singer-songwriter. He is known for his roles in the television shows Angel, Leverage, The Librarians, and Into the West, and the movies Just Married, Taxi, and Secondhand Lions.
Kane is the lead singer of the country–southern rock band Kane. On December 7, 2010, they released The House Rules, their third album and their debut for record label Bigger Picture Music Group. The album reached no. 25 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The first single from the album, also titled “The House Rules”, debuted at no. 54 on the Billboard Country Songs chart. The second single, “Let Me Go”, was released on July 11, 2011.
Catch Eight New Episodes of the IMDb TV Original Series Leverage: Redemption on October 8
CATCH EIGHT NEW EPISODES OF THE IMDb TV ORIGINAL SERIES LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION
ON OCTOBER 8
REVIEWS EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY, OCTOBER 4 AT 6:00AM PT/9:00AM ET
“Let’s go steal…eight new episodes of Leverage: Redemption.” In an all-new con, the Leverage crew surprised and delighted their fans by teasing the fall premiere of Leverage: Redemption in an exclusive video that dropped on IMDb TV socials today. The teaser video confirms that the IMDb TV Original series Leverage: Redemption will return this fall with eight additional season one episodes premiering October 8. In the brand-new episodes, the Leverage team finds itself up against a rival organization that embodies the system the team works so hard to take down.
Joining the cast in these additional episodes are guest stars Drew Powell (reprising his role as Jack Hurley from the original Leverage series), Ben Thompson, Joanna Cassidy, Jon Fletcher, and Brianna Brown, in addition to the previously announced guest stars James Marsters, LeVar Burton, and Andrea Navedo (continuing her role as Maria Shipp), as the Leverage team must aid a small town librarian, discredit a lifestyle and wellness guru, explore the failing memory of a legendary grifter, and more. Screeners for the new episodes are available now on Screeners.com. The remaining episodes of season one of Leverage: Redemption will premiere on October 8 on IMDb TV, Amazon’s free streaming service.
The first eight episodes of season one of Leverage: Redemption and all seasons of the original Leverage series are available to stream now on IMDb TV.
The rich and powerful take what they want, and the Leverage team is back to take them down. Sophie Devereaux (The Grifter), Parker (The Thief), Eliot Spencer (The Hitter), and Alec Hardison (The Hacker) have watched the world change over the last eight years. It’s become easier, and sometimes legal, for the rich to become richer and the powerful to squash anyone who gets in their way. The Leverage team finds new blood in Harry Wilson, a corporate lawyer who is looking for redemption after realizing he’s been sitting on the wrong side of the table for his entire career, and Breanna Casey, Hardison’s foster sister who has a knack for computers, robotics, and getting into trouble. In this new world, the team will use their collective skills to defeat a new kind of villain – from the man who created an opioid crisis from the comfort of his boardroom, to the couple who prefers to deport workers instead of paying them, to the shadowy security firm that helps hide dangerous secrets for a price. When someone needs help, they provide…Leverage.
Leverage: Redemption stars Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux, Beth Riesgraf as Parker, Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer, Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison, Noah Wyle as Harry Wilson, and Aleyse Shannon as Breanna Casey. Kate Rorick is the co-showrunner and an executive producer alongside Dean Devlin, and executive producers Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson of Electric Entertainment. John Rogers and Chris Downey are consulting producers.
IMDb TV uniquely offers premium Originals on a free streaming service including the upcoming dramedy Pretty Hard Cases, premiering September 10. Spanning drama and comedy, scripted and unscripted, additional IMDb TV Originals include the Untitled Judge Judy Sheindlin Project, a Bosch spinoff; the comedy series Sprung; the Untitled Jeff Lewis Project – a new home design series; On Call from executive producer Dick Wolf; and second seasons of Alex Rider and Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda