MICHAEL MCMANUS INTERVIEW 3-17-2009
The Following interview was conducted in March of 2009 for the Exclusive publication on
www.michael-mcmanus.com and www.lexxverse.com only.
Any other publications are deemed without authorization without prior permission.
This interview has been edited only for punctuation and grammar.
Theater Work related topics:
1. What projects have you been doing this past couple of years, and what did you enjoy the most about them?
don't have anything against Broadway musicals. Can’t see it somehow but
whether I’d say 'yes' is huge speculation. I’ve said 'no' to musicals before
but never to a really big production.
good question. I can only really comment on Toronto and Ontario theatre. It is
to me a shambles and I puzzle over how to make a contribution without just
adding to the problem. 'Straight’ theatre is in terrible shape.
might come from some combination of more time, money and more skill\talent;
where those things are going to come from is anybody's guess.
Summer of Samuel S' (JP Donleavy)
don't think much of my own writing; if I did write something for film or theatre
I would certainly have to direct as nobody else would have a clue what it was
about. In my experiment in film making from a while ago it also seemed
unnecessary to write all of the dialogue if you are directing it yourself and
know what a scene needs.
don't feel I can disclose all the dirty details but I can tell you that the
producer\director\writer was Mr. Donovan who produced Lexx. It was a B-
movie-style script; some sex, violence and a large dose of religion!
probably are but I haven't been looking for work recently. I’ve been doing the
work that finds me. Locally I haven't read or seen anything that makes me want
to be a working actor.
as Live Kai
I didn't write it myself and the identification with the character of Live Kai is not one for one. I believe that J Hirschfield was using what he knew about me (a lot) and blowing it up into a satire of--ME. Very clever, and enjoyable, and difficult. That’s what I suspect but you can ask him. The episode was way too long so not Live Kai’s entire subplot made it in. When we were filming it I did turn into Live Kai. Not everybody was thrilled with my personality during that part of shooting.
Michael as Live Kai's
performance of "Henry IV"
My main contribution to Live Kai was to ask for Henry the Fifth instead of Hamlet as the one-man play. It seemed more appropriate to the character and uncommon to theatre; there have been many one man Hamlet's, no Henry’s that I know of.
Michael as Kai in Season 1
we toasted the beginning of the project, Brian, P Donovan, R Siegl and me, there
was a feeling that it could be very, very successful. My feeling is that it
achieved some of that success. The cult status is cool, the classic has to wait
a few years yet.
read Oliver Sack's book about autism: “An
Anthropoligist on Mars”. He talks about the attachment some autistic
people feel towards the unfeeling Spock and calls him the 'mandatory autistic
character in a Sci-fi narrative,' or something to that effect. That's more my
line of thinking about what the character represents. I also didn't try to 'want
to be human' because it really bothered me that 'Data' always wanted to be human
which was satirized beautifully in 790's little brain chip.
8. above...of the people I know he is the most alarmed at the extent to which I
have removed myself from the scene.
couldn't be happier with the arc of my character through the series. I like the
way it ended. a little Deus Ex Machina was just the thing for 65 hours of TV.
not quite accurate: P Donovan was wrapping the series once the earth was
destroyed. I lobbied heavily and successfully for the chess episode, wanting my
character to find an ending with the end of the series.
was never shy about expressing my opinion. Most beneficial would have been to
continue through the years without really big breaks of time in between. That
wasn't possible but I expect that doing in four years what it took us six years
to do would have been a big advantage.
would say that reincarnation in the show is a conceit rather than a premise--not
to nit-pick. Personally I haven't seen any evidence of reincarnation. People of
many religions believe it but I have to say I don't.
is more and more common. I'm not comfortable with face surgery. I don't like
looking at it so I think it would have to be something extreme for me to go
under a knife for cosmetic reasons.
McCarthy most recently. also reread Herodotus's
“History” this winter. I love that book.
Garland. John Zorn.
the new Portishead.
4. Is golf still a main pastime and if so, what's your handicap these days?
competition these days is squash which I also love and am much better at. My
golf handicap remains embarrassing but as I was told by a friend of mine
recently when I connect with the ball I hit it beautifully. I'm going to try to
lower my score this summer so I will tell you what my handicap is in October!!
DO want to do conventions, I'm just being horribly disorganized about it. I will
get the ball rolling. It's a question of 'when'. It always is with a guy like
are your thoughts on the current US political situation?
would be wonderful to host a radio show. I have no idea if I have the gift. I
Gross from NPR.
--let's say five. In five years I want to be acting regularly in Canada and the
US, playing golf to a nine handicap, performing once a month at least with a
quartet--bass, drums, violin and piano, and I want to find myself in the arms of
a loving woman getting it right for the first time in my life!
to Michael for taking the time out to answer our questions and for being so
candid in his responses.