A GoPride Interview

Shane West

Shane West has stolen our hearts from ER to CW's Nikita

Wed. May 2, 2012  by Jerry Nunn

This was a biopic where I played him. He was very enigmatic lead singer, poet, and sexually confused.
Shane West

shane west

photo credit // jason kempin (getty)
Actor Shane West has been taking over The CW playing Michael on the hit show Nikita. From Dr. Ray Barnett on ER to playing opposite Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember, West has stolen our hearts. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this Cajun can even sing performing with the The Germs and the punk band Johnny Was. We caught up to him recently after signing a pile of autographed photos at the C2E3 comic convention in Chicago.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Shane. How did the signing go out there?

SW: (Shane West) It was good.

JN: There were a lot of people out there.

SW: It was crazy. It is hard to say when you are doing these comic conventions you are hustled around the bowels of the buildings and you never know where you are turning up. You are exiting and entering. You never know if there is anyone here then you get to the big room and see all of the people.

JN: Have you done a bunch of these before?

SW: I have done New York twice, San Diego once and now Chicago.

JN: Is this your first time in Chicago?

SW: No, I love this city.

JN: You have filmed television shows here.

SW: I have done some stuff for ER and toured around with my band here.

JN: Tell me about your band.

SW: We haven't played in a couple of years mainly because of Nikita. It is a band that I reformed called The Germs that I have been singing for a while now. We have done a bunch of tours and played Chicago often. I have a couple of friends that live close by so many fun times I have had here. There are a couple of friends that I will see tonight before I go back to Toronto to finish out the season.

JN: So Nikita is filmed in Toronto. This is the second season still filming?

SW: Yes, our last day of shooting is actually next Friday. It is a long season with 23 episodes.

JN: They added one right?

SW: They added one. It was supposed to be 22. Last year it was 22. But now with 23 it is a long run. It is essentially July to April. That is a long time to do anything for a steady period of time. We are all tired but we are excited. It is a good feeling and it feels like we have accomplished something and wrapping it up, knowing we only have five days left. At the wrap party we get to say goodbye to everybody and go home for a couple of months.

JN: Is it picked up for a third season?

SW: We hope so. We don't know yet.

JN: What are you doing in your down time?

SW: Right now it is really up in the air. There are a few projects that I would like to do. They have to decide if they want me and I have to decide if they are doing it in the correct schedule. If they are picked up it will have to finish before July. I think by May 15 I will know everything for the break. Until then it will be quite stressful and chaotic until that happens.

JN: What area of Toronto do you live?

SW: Downtown.

JN: I just wrote a travel story there and loved it.

SW: Toronto is a lot of fun. It is very culturally diverse. The food and nightlife is amazing. There are great sports teams, well some are not doing so well (laughs) but lots of great franchises.

JN: Whatever happened to your movie Red Sky coming out?

SW: It was a disaster from the start. It was financed from Russia with a unique script that was essentially going to be the next Top Gun because there has not been one since. I don't think Iron Eagle counted. It was going to be something like that but mainly on land with battle scenes. It was Cam Gigandet and me as the leads. It was my chance to play the villain for the first time who winds up being the hero in the end. That is why I chose that. Cam was coming off a lot of heat from Twilight and it looked like a really good thing. I don't think it was prepared very well but they had the money but they ran out of financing. All I had to do was fly in and shoot some stuff and fly out. By the time I flew in it had already been three weeks into production. Everyone was already over it at that point.

JN: Oh no!

SW: The film was never released. They could try and finish it but it cannot be worthwhile. Without giving away too much I am supposed to die. They didn't film that so I don't see how this movie could be put together.

JN: Have you ever played gay before?

SW: Yes, in the film What We Do Is Secret. It was based on The Germs, which the band I started singing for. Darby Crash is a punk rock singer. This was a biopic where I played him. He was very enigmatic lead singer, poet, and sexually confused. We dabbled in it because the problem was he hid it a lot. It was the early '80s and he was becoming an iconic figure in the punk world that he was afraid to say anything. So many people loved and adored him so I think he was afraid to come out. He had girlfriends but also a series of boyfriends. We explored it and there was almost a kissing scene but there wasn't because a lot of people back then still think he wasn't. As writers we had to suggest it and show that it could be.

JN: I want to see this movie!

SW: It is a good movie. It is my favorite work so far.

JN; Do you Twitter so people can keep up with you?

SW: I do and it is shanewest_1. I have been trying to Tweet today but it has been a little busy!

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.