An Interview with Shannon Kane
By Wilson Morales
March 1, 2010
In a film that stars Don Cheadle, Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes, one of the scene stealers in Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ is actress Shannon Kane.
The Kalamazoo, MI native is also seen on the daytime soap, ‘All My Children, playing Jesse Hubbard’s daughter and police officer Natalia.
In ‘Finest,’ three unconnected Brooklyn cops wind up at the same deadly location after enduring vastly different career paths. Kane plays who a hooker involved with Gere’s character.
While speaking to Blackfilm.com, Kane talks about working with Gere, moving back home to LA, and her role on the ABC soap.
What was the attraction to playing this role?
Shannon Kane: The role I play is a Puerto Rican prostitute who’s also the love interest of Richard Gere, who plays a police officer. Antoine (Fuqua) saw this film similar to ‘Crash,’ where there are different storylines within the film that all intersect in the end. As for me being in the film, a lot of it had to do with the cast. The cast was amazing and working with Antoine, I knew that he would deliver a certain reality that in my career I haven’t been able to come across. That is what lured me to take the role.
||Not only are you playing a prostitute, but a Latina from Brooklyn. How did you prepare for it so that it looks authentic on-screen?
SK: That was definitely a journey. I had a good friend who had a cousin from New York. She was a Puerto Rican to the T, speaking really fast and heavy with the accent. The moment I met her, I automatically knew I would have to study her for the role. She reminded me a lot of Rosie Perez, and I followed her, interviewed her, and got to know her and her culture. In terms of getting dark and exploring what you may call the lady of the night, I interviewed a prostitute in New York and she gave me her life story as to how she ended up living this life. I studied Spanish for a year when I was in Mexico City, but I’m not as fluent as I should be. I do speak the language.
Most actresses starting out choose not to do nudity in films, but you chose differently. Why so? Was there any hesitation at all?
SK: Definitely. It was hard to take on at first, but once I got into the role, I realized that I had a lot more to do than just take off my clothes. As long I’m in character, everything else just transforms and comes to me naturally. It was just on with the game.
|How was working with Richard Gere?
SK: Working with Richard was an extraordinary experience. He’s a Buddhist and believes in peace. The feeling I had around him was very comforting. In order to do these risky scenes that we had to pull off, it took a lot of trust. The both became close and trusting of one another.
With this being a breakout role for you, what did you learn from working with Antoine?
SK: The thing I learned from both Antoine and Richard is to not be afraid to take risks. That’s were the real magic comes from; when you have the creative freedom to keep the other person on their toes. You really can’t be afraid to put in your input and make the role unique and authentic as possible.
These last few years, you’ve traveled from Kalamazoo, MI to New York City and now Los Angeles. How’s it working out?
SK: It’s really about taking chances. It’s the same outlook I had when I did the film. It’s my dream and motivation to keep on going.
How’s working on the soap?
SK: It’s fantastic. We just recently moved to LA and just like the new studio, the actors have come with brand new energy to make it a joy to be there. It’s great to be part of the reformation of the show.
Unlike most of the veterans on the show, who have lived from the most part in New York and have to adjust to the West coast, you came to the city from LA.
SK: Yes, for me, this was an easy transition to come back here. It’s actually a relief. When you’re in New York, you have to hustle everywhere because it’s so crowded and you don’t get the time to enjoy the lifestyle of privacy. That’s what I got coming back to LA.
Should we expect more on the show from Natalia?
SK: Definitely. I’m doing some work right now where Natalia goes under cover and if you stayed tuned you’ll see more of me out of the police uniform.
BROOKLYN’S FINEST opens on March 5, 2010