How did you get your start as an actor? Was it something you
had always wanted to do?
Shane Briant: My mother was an
English West End star. She starred with Rex Harrison before the
war. I suppose it was in the blood. At university, Trinity College
Dublin, I studied law but spent most of my time in the uni theatre
– becoming a pro in my third year and playing Hamlet
professionally in Dublin aged 19. Then I went to London in a play
starring Yvonne Mitchell, Sheelagh Cullen and myself. “Children
of the Wolf” (just the three of us) I was nominated for
the London Theatre Critics Award for the “Best Newcomer in a
London Stage Play”. Then I was contracted for two years by
Hammer Films at Elstree Studios to play leads in 4 films. That was
it – i was an actor!
Karlsweb: You've done some work wearing heavy makeup in
Farscape and also in movies movies. What was that like for you?
Shane Briant: The
make-up was magnificent. Mainly because it looked so real and
nasty. Some of the masks are so peculiar they look like comic book
stuff. No disrespect but not like Karvock who looked as though the
flesh was falling from his face. It’s never fun to have put on.
Two hours every morning and very hot and uncomfortable during the
day. And no lunch but liquids. But Dave Elsey is a genius.
Karlsweb: Dave Elsey (The Farscape Creature Shop) said he
had created the makeup for Kaarvok based on Dr. Simon Hedler, your
character in Frankenstein The Monster from Hell. Did this
influence your portrayal of Kaarvok at all?
Shane Briant: None
at all. Simon Helder was a “nice young lad”. Kaarvock was much
more like me – flesh eating, brain-sucking deviant.
Karlsweb: You’ve written several books! Can you tell me
about them? Are there any more coming out soon?
Shane Briant: All
my books have been published in Australia only right now. But I
send them all over the world. “The Webber Agenda” 1994
(espionage) “The Chasen Catalyst” 1996 (drug trafficking in
the diplomatic bag – quite sexy.) “Hitkids” 2000 (9 yr old
son of a hitman for the mafia decides to take over the family biz
on the accidental death of his father. “Bite of the Lotus”
2001 (big international thriller centering on global money
laundering in America, Russia, Asia, Australia. “Graphic”
2005- Sydney crime thriller – think ‘Lock Stock and Two
Smoking Barrels'. If any readers want a copy they simply have to
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the books have been optioned for film at one time or another.
Karlsweb: What was your favorite non-Farscape role?
Briant: Dorian Gray in the American ABC movie of the week. And
a two hander I did with Geoffrey Rush (tv series was “Twisted
Tales” - ep called “Bonus Mileage.)
Lance Henriksen and Shane's wife Wendy
Karlsweb: How were your experiences on Farscape compared
with some of the other similar work you’ve done?
Shane Briant: It
was a very happy set and a very tight ship. I usually prefer
location work such as spending 8 weeks in Vanuatu making ‘Till
There Was You”. And remember, it’s tough in that mask all day.
But i was surrounded by talented people and I was pretty much
given free run with the characterization by our director. And the
catering was excellent.
What are some new or current projects that we can look forward
to seeing you in?
Shane Briant: I
wrote a short film called “A Message from Fallujah” that went
out into the festival circuit and took out the Grand Prix at the
Los Angeles International Film Festival and reached the final 10
for oscar nomination. Starred the great Lance Henriksen. I am told
the DVD will soon be out called something like “Oscar Nominees
and The Best of the Year.” I played a small cameo for fun.
I am currently working on a feature film that I can’t tell you
anything else about, barring it is a psychological thriller that
will scare the hell out of the audience.