Sean Kanan, Bold and the Beautiful's bad-boy "Deacon Sharp," has recently been heading up a couple new projects of his own. Branching out beyond his acting talents and into producing and writing, Kanan and his production company, Kanan/Hammerschlag Productions, have produced both "March," a film Kanan also plays the lead in, and "Chasing Holden" a portrayal of an 18 year old in search of the meaning of life. The latter is a story Kanan knows well as he has not only written it, but it is also loosely based on his own experiences. Kanan's adventurous spirit and…well good looks have caught our attention, so we asked him to take a few minutes to tell us a bit more about himself.

Melt: What kind of acting training did you have?

SK: I studied with Roy London for a long time. Roy is really known as one of the preeminent acting teachers out here. Brad Pitt and Sharon Stone were in my class. From there, I studied with Roy's successor, Cameron Thor. I also studied with Howard Fine for awhile.

Melt: What was your first "big break?"

SK: I did a couple of episodic things. But I guess my "big break" was "Karate Kid III." Columbia Tristar had an open call in Burbank, and then John G. Avildsen (directer of "Rocky" and "Lean On Me") was walking up and down the line, when he asked me to do a quick improv with him. He said, "I believe that." From there, I screen-tested.

Melt: Have you experienced any rejection?

SK: On a daily basis! That's the single most frustrating, difficult, aspect psychologically for any actor. I think it's probably part of the process. It probably goes towards toughening you as an actor, and helping you appreciate when you do get something.

Melt: How did you deal with the rejection, so it doesn't bother you?

SK: It does bother me. Of course it bothers me. I deal with it by having an innate belief in myself and a sense of persistence, almost to the point of being blind. You have to or else it becomes too daunting.

Melt: Do you like working on "Bold and the Beautiful?"

SK: I love working on "Bold and the Beautiful." I have a great character, that's a lot of fun. I love the people I work with.

It affords me the opportunity to go into other projects when I need to, which makes it the best of all worlds.

Melt: Do you like playing the "bad" guy?

SK: I love playing bad guys. Bad guys can get away with doing anything because they're not expected to be good. They can behave in ways that the "heros" aren't allowed to behave. I think the key to playing any good "bad" guy is finding why it is, they do the things they do. If you played it the straight up "typical villain" way, they become one-dimensional.

Melt: Would you encourage others to get into acting in Hollywood?

SK: I wouldn't encourage anyone to do it. Do it only because you have to do it. There are a lot easier ways to make money and to be successful, than trying to be an actor. If the end result of what you're trying to do is to become famous and wealthy, most people are going to be sorely disappointed.

Melt: What advice would you have for someone who has to become an actor?

SK: Study as hard and as long as you can. Don't be afraid to take the plunge and go ahead and pursue it. Realize that it's called show business. You have to be every bit as savvy about the business side of it as you do about the artistic end of it. Align yourself with people who are reputable, honest people, who, hopefully, have your best interest at heart.

Melt: Do you like producing?

SK: I enjoy trying to put the deal together and being on the other side of the table. I'm a bit of a control freak and I like to have my hands in every aspect of the film.

Melt: What credits are you most proud of?

SK: The thing that I'm most proud of overall is, "Chasing Holden," which is a film Lion's Gate released and that I executive-produced, wrote, and I'm one of the stars of. It has been a project of passion for me for a couple of years now.

Melt: Tell us a little bit about your experience with making the movie, "Chasing Holden."

SK: I have my own production company. I wrote the script and basically went out and raised a budget with private equity. At that point, we were going to use a bank to try to fund the rest and we got a private investor to come in and act as a bank. So we got our money together fairly quickly, went up to Montreal and shot it.

We had a distribution deal in place with Lion's Gate, who did "Monster's Ball," and that really made it much easier raising money. We went out and made it and the rest just unfolded.

Melt: What gave you the inspiration to write "Chasing Holden?"

SK: I went to boarding school my junior and senior year and I started writing in a journal. Years later, looking back on the journal, I probably got some of my early ideas on how to turn this into a screenplay.

Melt: What made you decide to write the screenplay for "Chasing Holden?"

SK: Because it really is a very difficult profession. I felt I had a good story (to tell). I was tired of being at the mercy of having to be hired by anybody. It gets really frustrating as an actor, always, basically waiting for somebody else to employ you. So I decided to do something proactive and then fortunately, it worked out pretty well.

Melt: What are your future plans?

SK: There's a screening in Ann Arbor, Michigan on September 12th of a film called "March" that I produced and starred in as the title character, "Julian March." I did not write that one, but one of my best friends since fourth grade directed it and another friend from my hometown wrote it, so it was kind of a hometown (New Castle, Pennsylvania) effort.

I'm really trying to gear myself towards directing my first film. I have a script where a friend and I came up with the story and I hired someone to write it. I'm trying to get packaged right now to direct (it). It's called, "Killing Time." It's essentially about a bunch of dirty cops but it's really an interpersonal story about relationships. I connected with the story and I would really like to direct.

Sean Kanana's official site is

  Samantha Plotkin is an award-winning playwright, screenplay writer, and freelance journalist. She has a Master's degree in Screenwriting from USC. Her articles have been published and reprinted in magazines and webzines nationwide.  


© Melt Magazine 2002