Interview with 'Samurai Girl' star Brendan Fehr
Amongst the craziness of the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, there were few moments that were not rushed and crazy. The ABC Family party was one of them. Brendan Fehr was kind enough to spare a few minutes for me. We talked about Samurai Girl, a little about Roswell, and how he was an MVP on CSI: Miami.
Do people still come up to you every day from Roswell or has it died down a bit?
It's died down obviously a little bit. The show's six years removed [from airing] but still [people approach me] quite a bit. And surprisingly, for the amount of airtime I had on it, CSI: Miami. I mean, when you're the number 1 watched show in the world, the odds of [being recognized are high but] that surprised me. [When you're in] literally a thirty-second scene every three-fourths of an episode or every one-and-a-quarter episode, you didn't expect too much out of it.
But you played a very important role. I mean..
Let's be honest, I solved most of the cases.
I'm just saying...
They go and arrest the guy but I'm finding out where that phone call's coming from. [laughs]
Which is very important - they may arrest the guy but it won't stick without that information. [laughs]
Tell me a little about your character on Samurai Girl.
His name is Jake Stanton. He's an ex-army brat, because you know in television every badass is an ex-army brat, who was stationed overseas and became friends with who you find out is Heaven's brother - this is back-story that you don't see, that you just hear about. He then gets involved with the Japanese Mafia in some form - you get the feeling that [he] was an assassin of sorts, a hitman. So he's done some very dark things and has a very dark side to him but he elects to cut his ties with them and kind of goes into hiding. [Heaven's brother's] last words were to come find me so she hunts me down and kind of drags me back into this whole world.
Did you really get into the fighting aspect of the role?
I loved it, I loved it. The sword fighting scenes are great, I think they look really good - I haven't seen all of them yet but the ones I have seen...a lot of it is training between me and Jaimie so they don't get too intense. But I really liked the hand-to-hand stuff. As much as you [can do] on ABC Family, as much as you can do television in general for the most part, we did a great job - it kind of looks dirty and gritty and raw. Between me and the stunt choreographers, we had the idea that the sword fighting would have power behind it but be graceful and pretty and very sharp. And then when we got to the hand-to-hand, I was just like, "Let's make it Bourne Identity-esque, let's make it kind of dirty and ugly." I think with what we were able to do, we accomplished it. So that was my favorite - the hand-to-hand.
Did you enjoy playing the assassin turned good guy? Is this a type of part you'd like to play again or maybe be straight up bad guy?
Yeah, I think every great character has a sort of duality about them. It's whether you're a bad guy - you're the villain fighting good tendencies, I think that's always very interesting. Or you're a good guy, and obviously every human being is flawed in some way, shape or form, and you're kind of fighting certain temptations or certain urges to do despicable things and I can appreciate that just being a memeber of [the human race]. When you're fighting to do what you think is right and when you're able to do that in a character, when the writer's allow you to make a point of that, it's interesting.
For a part like this where the back-story of a character is fairly well developed before you get your hands on it, what kind of work do you do in order to make the character more your own?
When we shot the original pilot, [Jake's history] was kind of implied. I kind of some of it up on my own. Just the way I had envisioned delivering a particular line or delivering a particular scene, it just instinctively came to me that I was some sort of a assassin/hitman [type of guy]. You don't deliver flowers for the Japanese Mafia.
Well, you could...there just might be something else in there.
[laughs] Yeah, like a tommy gun. But I developed a little bit of it kind of on my own based under certain assumptions and, when they started writing the mini-series with the other five episodes, we all seemed to be on the same page which was nice. I didn't have to [panic], "Oh, oh no - that's what you...? Oh no, how I'm going to rework this whole thing?"
So what else do you have coming up?
Family time, that's about it. We just finished wrapping this up about three weeks ago - we just got back, we filmed it in Vancouver. I just had a little girl...
Thank you very much. So I'm using this time to get settled back down, I got my suitcases unpacked finally. A little breathing time and obviously looking for the next project and we gotta find out were this goes. Until then, I'm just going to spend time with the family and get that handicap down.
After revealing that I can't quite get into golf but was jazzed about football season starting, we spent the next few minutes discussing Fantasy Football and who our go-to guys were.
It was Brendan's first time at Comic-Con but was keen on the idea of making return appearances. "Hopefully we'll get to come back here with the same show and we'll get bigger and bigger and badder and badder each year." I guess we'll know the verdict on that after this weekend.
Samurai Girl airs Sept. 5th, 6th and 7th at 8/7pm on ABC Family.