Almost Paradise: Christian Kane discusses that perfect season finale

Christian Kane in Almost Paradise (Photo Credit: Courtesy of J. Goldstein PR).
Christian Kane in Almost Paradise (Photo Credit: Courtesy of J. Goldstein PR). /

Christian Kane discusses the Almost Paradise season finale.

The Almost Paradise season finale was jam-packed with big revelations for Alex Walker. Not only did his estranged daughter Evelyn come to town, but so did the ex-partner who had ruined Alex’s life and career not so long ago!

Christian Kane stopped by Precinct TV to pull back the curtain on “Something Walker This Way Comes,” from Alex’s relationship with his daughter to that massive fight sequence between him and Todd Carpenter. Plus, what does he think could be next for his character if this excellent TV crime drama gets a season 2?

Learn more in our interview below. If you missed any of Almost Paradise season 1, catch up now either on Amazon Video or by using the Electric Now app.

Precinct TV: This episode was always the intended ending for Almost Paradise season 1. Did knowing the specific place Alex was going to end up change the way that you played him in the rest of the season?

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Christian Kane: It wasn’t so much a specific place as to play up the anxiety and the hypertension, because I knew that was going to come to a head, and I also knew that the reason why he had that was because of his partner.

Even though I felt like we looked at [Alex’s heart monitor] watch too much, and the watch went off too much. I was like it has to because it won’t pay off unless you realize what’s wrong with him. I knew that I was going to go down in the last episode; nobody else did. I really had to play up the fact that hypertension was very serious to him.

I think the daughter was 30 percent of it. And I think just him getting back at his partner and finding out why was a lot of the hypertension. And  hypertension sometimes can be cured by resolving conflicts you had earlier. So I knew I had to play that stuff up. And that was pretty fun all season for only me to know.

In the last scene of the season, I didn’t have the watch on anymore. I made sure to have a really bright red band on, which means I’m not wearing the watch anymore.

PTV: That’s the real hook of the episode, is that it finally introduces on-screen the two people who have had the biggest effect on Alex’s life. How did you work with your co-stars to build the history between them that Alex had with Evelyn and with Carpenter?

CK: It was easy for me because they had been two main characters in the show, even though we didn’t know who was going to be cast, or what they were going to look like, or anything else. But I had them in my mind; I was playing them as lead characters. I think the audience did too, because they knew who Todd Carpenter was, and they knew that I had a daughter that I didn’t talk to.

For them, they got the role maybe a week before, and then all of a sudden come in and go oh, by the way, you’ve been talked about all season, and that’s pretty tough for an actor to do. I’ve done it before. All of a sudden you feel this weight upon your shoulders.

I think the Philippines and me helped them out by just putting them at ease. When you’re on an Island like that, there’s not a lot of stuff to worry about. And me and Jared Turner are good friends in real life. We had a couple of drinks, and just laughed and had fun. And in that, we’d develop a camaraderie, which probably would have happened before [Todd] shot [Alex]. So that gave him backstory.

And then with the girl who played my daughter [Nathalie Morris], we had breakfast one morning with me and her and [Almost Paradise co-creator] Dean [Devlin], and talked about the character and stuff like that.

Almost every character that came in this year, we would always take them to dinner. We wanted them to hear our side of the story. We wanted them to hear our input on who we thought their character was. A lot of people don’t like that, but everyone seemed open to it. And then we would sit back and listen to their take on how they wanted to play it. That develops camaraderie, and it’s easier to shoot on the day. I really wanted to, especially with those two characters, make sure that we had open dialogue way before we stepped on set.

PTV: Early in this Almost Paradise episode is a big scene where Alex is unconscious and the rest of the characters are talking about him. What was that like for you to play, since you’re privy to what they’re saying and he wasn’t?

CK: It was fun. That was Dean Devlin; [he] gave a callback to everyone. You see Evelyn there, Kai is there, Ocampo and Ernesto come in, and then the little girl Sophie comes in and Cory comes in. It was kind of a whole thing, to show Evelyn that Alex has made a difference on this island; he’s not just a waste of life. And show the audience how much these characters really do like Alex being there.

PTV: Conversely, you have an almost Terminator moment when Alex gets his weapons and goes off to rescue Evelyn.

CK: Absolutely. I had brought that up with Dean and said, is it funnier if he’s on a little moped that barely runs? We toyed with that for a bit. And then Dean goes no, we’re going to go ahead and give him the full chopper, so we had to fly that chopper in. How are we going to make it where he had access? So the “Rent Me” sign, you could rent it from the lot, was an important thing.

But the greatest thing about that was the fish. Me and Dean were the only ones that knew the fish was loaded with firearms. Kai and Ernesto kept saying it; they’re like what did you put in here, concrete? Why do you have this fish? This fish doesn’t even grow in these waters. Me and Dean got a huge laugh out of that…and so that was a really great payoff for not only the audience, but the entire cast and crew, because Dean and I were the only ones that knew what was in that fish.

PTV: This episode also contains the longest fight sequence of the Almost Paradise season, as Alex and Todd finally face off. You put a tremendous amount of work into all of your fights, so what was that big final battle like to film?

CK: It took a long time. It was all done at night, and the sun was coming up and Dean still had to blow up the building. The fight actually was even longer than that, and at some point in the middle of the night, Dean looked over at me and said, how do we cut this down? So I got with [stunt coordinator] Rodney Cook and said, you’ve got to shave this. We really cut a lot of stuff off the fight, just because of time.

But that literally was about from seven o’clock at night until six in the morning. And we had five hours after that to get on a plane to fly back to Los Angeles, or we were going to be stuck in the Philippines during the quarantine. There was so much pressure on all of us.

And I just kicked into Eliot Spencer gear, because a lot of times [on Leverage] they would film Tim Hutton and Gina Bellman on a couch talking for six hours, and then go we’re out of time guys, let’s do this fight. It’s me fighting five guys, and you’ve got 20 minutes. I’m used to being under that kind of pressure….It felt like I was right back in my element. I didn’t have a problem with it, and Dean has been there so many times. I think we were the only two that weren’t nervous.

PTV: In the middle of that, Alex throws out that comment about Kai being his “best friend.” So should Almost Paradise fans assume that was a sincere compliment, or was that another way for him to needle her, even in that intense of a situation?

CK: At that point, I think Alex knew he had the upper hand and especially when she showed up, he goes all right, I’m going to use her for distraction. It was 50/50 on that, which is how I played it. It was him giving her a compliment. It was also him trying to get under her skin.

And the worst thing about it was because he said that, it threw her off, where [Todd] was able to get the upper hand with the bar. It played so fast that you didn’t get to see the reaction, but I think that’s why she got caught. Because she’s still sitting there going, “What did he just say?”

We’ve worked really hard this year to create distance and chaos between Alex and Kai, and that was a little bit of a payoff. I don’t think anything is going to change; we’re not best friends now. She still is going to be annoyed by me. And I’m still going to push all her buttons. But you saw over the last couple of episodes, there’s starting to be a very much a mutual respect.

PTV: The role of Alex Walker in Almost Paradise is special for you. Not only was it written for you, but you’ve said in our past conversations how much you connect with the character. Why does Alex stand out amongst all the other memorable characters you’ve played?

CK: I didn’t have a lot of emotional stuff to do in The Librarians. [Jake] still had this armor that he had to put on. And Elliot Spencer in Leverage, and Lindsey on Angel—they all had this armor that they had to put on. This guy took his armor off, and that’s what was so fun to play.

I get to be more of a vulnerable person. I get to be more of who I am. I feel like this guy was closer to me than anything else. He’s very vulnerable. He does get his feelings hurt, and he’ll show it to you when it happens, and none of those other characters ever did.

Every day I went to work and strapped on all this armor, then you go play this character, and this guy doesn’t really have anything. Maybe he’s got a cup, and that’s about it.

PTV: After watching the Almost Paradise season finale, there’s this sense that anything is possible for Alex. Now that he’s dealt with his issues, is there anything you’d like to see for him in the future?

CK: I’m looking forward to the surprise, just like everybody else. Where the money is going to go, now that we know he doesn’t have money because he sends it all to his daughter. I want to see how they justify that. That’s going to be fun for me. I also want to see his relationship with the Mactan Police Department. I want to see how that starts to unfold. At some point, is he going to get his badge and his gun? Is he going to go back and help? I honestly think that he’s going to stay the hired gun.

There’s so many stories that were up on the board before we started this, that got ripped off the wall because of space and availability…There’s a lot of characters that we haven’t really gotten to introduce. We don’t know who [Evelyn’s] mom is. There’s a lot of stuff that we can go through with Ernesto. Maybe Kai has a boyfriend. Who knows what’s going to happen?

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All 10 episodes of Almost Paradise season 1 are now streaming on Amazon Video and the Electric Now app.