After playing werewolves on TV and the big screen, Canadian actor Kris Holden-Ried is ready to swash his buckle in an historical epic
Canadian actor Kris Holden-Ried is the alpha-werewolf on screen at the moment. Having won a legion of fans as the growly-voiced lycan cop Dyson in the Canadian hit Lost Girl (which returns for season two on Syfy in the UK this Thursday 12 January ), he’ll soon be on the big screen as Quint in Underworld Awakening (released in the UK on 20 January). But all he really wants to do get on a horse and win a war in big sweeping historical epic.
And there are more quotes from this interview in the new issue of SFX , out on Wednesday.
When you were a teenager you represented Canada in the pentathlon. How did you make the leap from that into acting?
“The decision came very naturally. I actually did want to be an actor when I was younger, but my father didn’t want to hear anything about it. And you know what? I went with his decision. I said, ‘Yeah, maybe you’re right. I don’t know anything about acting.’ It’s one of those dream things. Like wanting to be president of the United States. And I’m not even American.
“So I was on the national Pentathlon team for a few years, but there was no funding for athletes in Canada. I was in a massive amount of personal debt at the age of 21, so I joined a little modelling and talent agency to get a some work, to do anything so that I didn’t have to drop out of school. And an audition came up for a role in this film called Young Ivanhoe , and they asked me if I could act. And I wasn’t sure but I said I would give it a try. I went into the audition and I just had a natural ability, and I had the right look – I looked European, with long, blond hair back then – and I had the abilities they needed: sword fighting, horse riding.
“So to this day I’m thankful to that producer, and especially that director, who took a huge risk going with a completely inexperienced actor and gave him a lead role in this movie. They flew me over to France for two months and we were shooting six days a week about 17 hours a day. So that was my first experience of acting – a trial by fire – and I came out of it absolutely loving it. Dropped out of school, and been an actor ever since.”
And never looked back?
“Sure, I’ve looked back a couple of times. There were some pretty dark years there.”
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Did the fencing experience come in handy for the filming the season two Lost Girl episode where we see a flashback to your werewolf pack days Scotland? There was a lot of sword fighting in that.
“The fencing, sure. Sort of. I mean, fencing is a funny sport. Competitive fencing in not really very applicable to the stage world unless you’re fighting with a rapier during the Renaissance, you know? And we felt more like we were doing Braveheart , out in the woods, running around, horses and damsels and so on. It was a real treat and a real fun episode for us all to do. I hope we can do more of that kind of thing. I think it made the character richer.”
Do you spend as much time shirtless in season two as in season one?
“Ha ha. It’s something we have to do, you know? Women show their cleavage and men have to show their bodies once in a while.
“Yeah, you get used to it. The biggest problem for me was actually in that flashback episode. I injured my back and I couldn’t really do any physical stuff or work out, so I was a little bit limited in what I could show on the show. But now, on the next episode coming up that we’re filming I’m shirtless a lot again, so I’m hitting in the gym.
“Last year it worked out actually worked out really well, because I had to prepare for Clint in Underworld in January, February, so when I started Lost Girl season two in May, I was actually in great shape from Underworld .”
Interview continues on the next page…