Interview With Actor Aidan Kahn

By Ruth on May 2, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
1
0

In my perpetual quest to highlight the talent that inadvertently gets overlooked in the entertainment business, it is such a delight to discover actors like Aidan Kahn, who have a wealth of skill, but oftentimes fade into the background. After I discovered Aidan’s Hallmark connections, he took some time recently to answer a few questions about how he got started as an actor, what his notable works have been, and even what his future aspirations may be.

Photo Credit Mandisa Photo

RH: Please tell us about your journey to become an actor.  Why did you decide to enter this profession?

AK: I grew up in an artistic family and music was definitely my focus. I played the fiddle at local events on Bainbridge Island, where I lived for awhile as I was growing up, and I ended up using that skill later as an actor (keep practicing, kids). I went to Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan in the summers to study classical violin. When I was ten, my family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia and I really got into rugby, which they play there instead of football, and I kind of got scouted to play in college in New York. But when I got injured and had to stop playing rugby, I turned my focus back to the arts, became completely hooked on theatre and there was no going back!

What was your first professional job in film/TV? What are your memories about that job?

I studied Political Science and French at Vassar, but every semester I spent more and more time doing a cappella, comedy and theatre stuff, and by the time I graduated in 2014, I didn’t know what I really wanted to do. I thought I’d try the acting thing and at least explore theatre and film for a while. So I came home to Vancouver from New York and I got my first full-time movie job working on Lifetime’s Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story as a camera trainee. It’s the busiest job on a movie set! One minute you’re prepping the camera and switching out lenses, and the next you’re taking coffee orders or wrangling hundreds of feet of cable. Now they do a lot of it wirelessly, so these new camera kids get off easy not having to wrap cables.

I believe Garage Sale Mystery: All That Glitters was your first Hallmark film. How did that job come about? What did you like about working with that cast/crew?

That was basically the first real, professional acting gig I got. I had just signed with an agent in Vancouver— I auditioned and got the part. Peter DeLuise, who has directed tons of Hallmark stuff, is a total character and a great guy, and doing my first real scene with Lori Loughlin and Noel Johansen was cool.

You were also the casting assistant for a couple of the Gourmet Detective films. How did that come about?  What were your responsibilities and experiences with that film series?

I needed a job! Partly because acting wasn’t paying enough to support my addiction to the shopping network (just kidding) and partly because I needed something to keep my mind off all the auditions I wasn’t getting! I was lucky enough to get a job working for Jackie Lind— who is one of my favorite people and who was becoming a very important casting director when I started working for her as a camera guy. It was a great job because I got to watch countless auditions and learn from what actors did well and what they messed up. It taught me so much about how to audition and helped demystify the casting process, which is a source of great anxiety for a lot of actors.

from Supernatural

You also got to be on Supernatural and Van Helsing. What was your experience like with both shows? Any behind-the-scenes stories/memories? 

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to play the bad guy, and lately I’ve gotten to do that a bunch, which as a twenty-five-year-old guy, I feel very lucky to be getting to do! I couldn’t believe my luck when I got to do Supernatural. Playing that evil character, and getting to hang out with Jared {Padalecki} and Jensen {Ackles}, Aleks Paunovic and pro wrestlers like The Miz… it was so fun. Jared and Jensen (Sam and Dean) are hilarious guys. They make everybody laugh and feel at home. The whole crew was great. I didn’t spend quite as much time on the set of Van Helsing, but getting to work for Neil Labute, who is a huge playwright, was very thrilling and I think Kelly Overton is terrific— definitely not an acting challenge to try (and fail) to flirt with her in that scene. And I got to be a bad guy again!

You came back to Hallmark for Dater’s Handbook and Summer Love. What do you like about working for Hallmark?  Any specific memories you’d like to share from either film? 

My role in Summer Love was the biggest I’d had up to that point, and that’s one of the great things about Hallmark— they’re more willing to give somebody a chance if they aren’t already famous, which is a challenge with other networks. I also like the lightheartedness of Hallmark movies. It’s basically the only channel on TV you can get the whole family together to watch nowadays because there’s so much dark, scary, adult programming out there. It’s exhausting.

from Dater’s Handbook with Brittney Wilson and Lynda Boyd

Rachael Leigh Cook was really awesome to work with. She is very warm, funny, and generous, and she’s genuinely interested in the people she’s working with— and that’s not just a hollow show biz platitude. Travis Milne is great too. We’ve remained friends and we might even be roommates in LA pretty soon. Brittney Wilson, whom I married in Dater’s Handbook, is actually my ex-girlfriend and we’re still really good friends. I didn’t spend much time with Meghan Markle, but it was kind of cool meeting her because I guess she’s gonna be an English princess now or whatever. I managed to get my buddy Matt Visser to be my best man in that movie so all of us could hang out on set that day and in the past few months Matt has been booking roles all over the place, so I bet Meghan is just KICKING herself. I mean, she had a choice between Matt and me, two day-players in her TV movie, or an English Prince, and look that’s a tough choice, a real “Sophie’s Choice,” Ruth.

 

Please tell us what you can about your short film Oasis.  What were your roles on this film? What was your purpose in making this film? What is the status of this film? 

Oasis was my first short film and my debut as a director. I also wrote, produced and starred in it along with my friend Tiera Skovbye, who’s now one of the stars of Riverdale. My brother, Rowen Kahn— who’s also been a prolific Hallmark actor—and I also wrote and performed the music for the movie, and I got country singer Lanie McAuley to sing on one of the tracks I wrote. Besides using it to learn the craft, I made the short film to start a directing resume so I can get hired to direct other projects in the near future, including maybe Hallmark movies! Oasis was accepted into more than twenty festivals and I recently signed a deal with a distribution agent for the movie.

Here’s a link to a page and trailer for Oasis: http://aidankahn.xyz/oasis/

 

from iZombie

Please tell us about any of your upcoming works. (iZombie and Lewis & Clark are listed, but if you have more, feel free to tell us more.) Any idea when we can see them? Tell us what you can about your roles.

I play Zack in the upcoming third season of the CW’s iZombie, which started airing April 4th! I’ve spent much of the past six months shooting that show and I can’t wait for everyone to see it. I won’t spoil who my character is here, but I hope y’all watch!

I shot a hilarious Jonathan Ames pilot for TBS a few months ago with Wanda Sykes, Hamish Linklater, Asif Mandvi, Ajay Naidu and others, but I’m not sure what’s happening with that; we’ll have to wait and see.

Photo by Jenna Berman

Lewis & Clark was a big HBO mini-series starring Casey Affleck that I was shooting a year and a half ago. There were about fifteen of us all living together out in Alberta for a few months— actors I admired before, and now I was living in tents and teepees with, so that was kind of crazy. We had a month-long boot camp, so we’d look wiry and muscular, and so we could learn Native American sign language, canoeing, nature skills, history, military marching and other stuff. I played a real historical character named George Gibson and I also played fiddle and wrote some music for the show, which was really crazy because my family is from the Pacific Northwest and I grew up reading books about the fiddlers on the Lewis and Clark expedition! It all kind of felt meant to be. The production was massive and there were a lot of big names involved— HBO had teamed up with Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks’ companies and NatGeo— but after a few months of shooting there were some problems that forced the production to go on hiatus and we haven’t yet finished it yet, so we’ll see what happens, and whether Affleck wants to follow up his Oscar win by spending several months in the wilderness. I was kinda glad when I got to shave my beard though.

Photo Credit Jenna Berman

Any plans to do any more writing/directing/producing/etc?

I’m currently producing a documentary about a group of cowboys and a really weird diplomatic trip they took to Central Asia to represent the US at the World Nomad Games, which are like the Olympics for Central Asia. It’s a pretty crazy story, and features some wild characters and a couple famous actors who went along for the ride.

I have a few other short films I plan to direct this year and I’m directing a music video for an up and coming artist’s first full album in May.

Other than that I have a few projects I’m working on as a writer and a bunch as a producer. Lots of juggling, but I like to stay busy!

What advice would you give to young people who are considering pursuing a career in entertainment? 

My feeling is that it’s not really enough just to be a good actor. You have to generate your own content and make things happen. I think you have to make your own luck, and you have to know an open door when you see it. Treat everyone you meet and work with with kindness and respect. You’re going to feel defeated and rejected a lot, but you can’t show it. You have to hang in there and you gotta be the last man standing. You have to know that this stuff ain’t easy, and 99.9% of the time it’s not glamorous in the least. But if you love storytelling and you’re keen to study and work very hard, then it’s what you have to do.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

What’s “free time”??

When characterizing a young actor like Aidan, the words that instantly come to mind are versatile and prolific. This is a young man who has done a little bit of everything in the business, and it has served him exceptionally well. As a result, he has had the opportunity to work with a wide assortment of industry professionals in various capacities. No job is viewed as beneath him, and he is not too proud, nor arrogant to do whatever is necessary to not only pay the bills, but to pay his dues, so to speak.

In this business, there appears to be an unwritten law which implies that “overnight successes” are a myth, and there is an invisible ladder which one must typically climb to reach the pinnacle of true success, or at least the status of “successful working actor.” Too many young people head to LA or Vancouver with stars in their eyes that blind them to what is actually expected of them in those first several years (yes, I did say several). There are not too many who have the limelight bequeathed to them on a golden platter, and for the select few for whom that does happen, they typically become the prima donnas and pompous jerks of the industry. You know, the ones you frequently read about in the tabloids.

On the other hand, Aidan entered the entertainment universe with the proper disposition and attitude which has enabled him to savor every rung of the ladder no matter how long it takes him to ascend to the next step. He is in this for the long haul, and each role he lands or job he performs is a learning experience as well as a chance to grow and receive exposure. He is in no hurry to attain the dream that he ultimately has in mind, and no matter the blood, sweat and tears he must invest, he will do whatever is necessary to witness the fruits of his labor and eventual triumph. In truth, he is already off to an excellent start, and the more experience he gleans, the better. 

Therefore, with all that in mind, I invite you to check out Aidan at the links below and consider supporting his career in whatever way you can. With a few Hallmark works to his name, there should be a vast appeal for many of my readers. And of course, he has a smattering of things coming up for which you will wish to keep an anticipatory eye. And if you are an iZombie fan, keep your eyes peeled for his intriguing character this season. I greatly anticipate what he will continue to bring to us in the future, and as long as he keeps himself grounded and remembers from whence he came, I sincerely believe he will continue to slowly, but surely advance towards his goals and ambitions, and we get to be the ones to witness every exciting moment along the way!

FOLLOW AIDAN

Website

Twitter

Instagram

IMDB

Interested in subscribing to all my site's updates? Subscribe below!

Subscribe to My Devotional Thoughts

About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

1 Comment

  1. Very interesting! I remember Aidan from the Hallmark movie, and it’s so interesting to read about him!

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Please know that comment moderation is in effect on this site. Comments may not appear immediately. Also, please note that any negative attacks on people, networks, or other comments that are deemed "inappropriate" or "overtly negative" may be removed and/or edited by the administrator.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge