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Noah Danby interview

Date of publishing: 11th April 2007

Noah Danby interview Noah Danby isn't someone you'd want to face down in a dark alley, considering he studied Korean martial arts under the same master who taught Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. There's also plenty of muscle behind his film credits, which include Against the Ropes (with Meg Ryan), The Tuxedo (with Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Exit Wounds (with Steven Seagal and Isaiah Washington). Danby's small-screen roles include turns on Queer as Folk, Smallville, Godiva's, Stargate SG-1, Lexx, The Brady Bunch in the White House, Mutant X, Relic Hunter, Andromeda and Animorphs. You can now see him in the brand new Sci-Fi Channel's TV show "Painkiller Jane" playing Connor King.

Download the audio interview by clicking here (Zipped MP3 file)
Disclaimer: Please, do not direct link to this file, link to the page ONLY.

Linda Craddock: Thank you for taking the time for this interview and welcome to The Scifi World. Tell us about your audition for the role of “Connor King”.
Noah Danby: Well, I’d just moved back to Toronto from Vancouver and was there maybe a month working on one of my own projects that I had written, and I received a breakdown of “Connor King”. I loved it right away. I fell in love and that’s pretty rare, too. You read the breakdown. You’ve seen breakdowns before, I take it?

Noah Danby interview - Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1Linda Craddock: No.
Noah Danby: Well, in the audition process, they give you a breakdown of the character. So when you go in for an audition you’re not blind going into reading the script. Anyway, read the breakdown, loved it. Did the audition and that was it. More often than not, you just got to forget about an audition, even if you love it. You’ve got to let it go because you never know what’s going to happen and then I got the call a couple of weeks later. Funny enough, I got the call from my manager saying, ‘Hey, Noah. I got a great audition for you. This character, on this new TV show, Painkiller Jane’. And I was like ‘uh, you’re perfect for it, your perfect for it’. Then he told me the title and I said ‘ah, Hilly, I already auditioned for it’. (Laughter) But a few days after that I found out that I was in consideration and I was like ‘ah, that’s fantastic’. And then they had me read “Andre McBride” as well and then they brought me back to “Connor”. I guess I was more suited.

Linda Craddock: Great.
Noah Danby: For the role, yeah.

Linda Craddock: Based upon the initial script, has your character stayed more or less true to what the writers intended or has it varied from scene to scene, episode to episode?
Noah Danby: That would be more of a question for them because they're writing as we speak. I mean, they’re forming the characters based on the performance we give.

Linda Craddock: Are you involved in many of your own stunts for the role?
Noah Danby: Oh, one hundred percent.

Linda Craddock: Wow, really?
Noah Danby: Yeah, as much as I can do. What’s the best way to put it - I will do whatever I can do, but, it’s so funny. I just watched the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and there’s this scene where Robert Redford runs along the top of the train. He wanted to do that himself and he did it himself and the studio found out and they freaked. It was like maybe the second day of shooting, and so there’s a limit to what we’re allowed to do, but as much as I can do, I will.

Linda Craddock: Impressive.
Noah Danby: Yeah, or, of course, that’s what I’m there for. I am a very physical actor. That’s part of my attributes. It’s what I bring to the game.

Noah Danby interview - Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1Linda Craddock: Were you familiar with the character “Painkiller Jane” prior to the project and what was you perception of her?
Noah Danby: To be honest with you, I’ve never heard of her. I’m a comic collector. I love comic books. I have since I was a kid, but I’ve never heard – I stuck to basically Marvel and DC, you know, “Incredible Hulk”, “Superman”,--but I’d never heard of “Painkiller Jane”. As soon as the role came up, though, I went and read it. I thought it was a pretty gritty, sexy comic book.

Linda Craddock: Does “Connor” have any fear “Jane” and the “Neuros” are one in the same?
Noah Danby: I think the whole team is a little bit afraid. The more he gets to know “Jane”, the more he’s curious about her. I think I’ve said before, the more he gets to know “Jane” the more he really likes the cut of her jib. He likes this woman. I think the whole team fears that the repercussions if we do find out she’s a “Neuro”, what we will have to do, what steps will have to be taken.

Linda Craddock: Could “Connor” be considered a loose cannon or does he play both sides against the middle when it comes to his own abilities, versus Jane’s, I guess from an ego point of view?
Noah Danby: Yeah, he definitely likes to sit back, sometimes and let the cards play out how they will. He likes to let “Jane” go out there and do the hard stuff sometimes, sometimes no. Some times he’ll be in there, nose first.

Linda Craddock: Here’s something I was very curious about: what is “Connor’s” initial reaction, I guess in the initial episode itself or the premiere, when he finds out her nick name is “Painkiller”?
Noah Danby: I don’t think it’s really established her nick name is “Painkiller Jane”. Even in the opening episodes, they allude to it, but they don’t say it aloud.

Linda Craddock: I know there was some mention of it in the 2005 movie when she was introduced.
Noah Danby: That’s different. I think you’re talking about the one pilot they did before. It’s a different show.

Noah Danby interview - Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1Linda Craddock: I thought they would carry that forward?
Noah Danby: No, they didn’t carry it forward. This show is a completely different show. Their show revolves around “Painkiller Jane”, but ours revolves around “Jane Vasko”. Our “Jane” versus their “Jane” is very different.

Linda Craddock: How far into the series do we get a real sense of “Connor”, with his history and his intentions towards the team’s mission to hunt “Neuros”?
Noah Danby: You learn bits and pieces throughout the series. But just when you think you might know him, the script takes a sharp right and all of a sudden you’re going off in a different direction and more questions are brought up. I think it’s a good formula for all TV.

Linda Craddock: Intriguing. What would you say was your most challenging moment playing the role of Connor?
Noah Danby: Honestly, there’s been a wide array of challenging moments. Emotionally, I mean, all the characters in the show. We run the gamut when it comes to that. It was so great when I saw the first show with Kristanna and “Jane”, and she was ‘wow!’ You just get to see her dynamic, the character’s dynamic and her versatility as an actor. I mean, it just blows you away [with how she goes] from crying tears to laughter to being sarcastic to being seductive. I mean it’s all in one. She’s the total package. The writers are so great; they give little snippets of creating a larger dynamic for our characters.

Linda Craddock: You are no stranger to the sci-fi -fantasy genre with appearing in four episodes of “Stargate SG1”, “Relic Hunter” and “Andromeda” just to name a few. Do you enjoy playing a character with a more physical, athletic role than say a role in a comedy or drama?
Noah Danby: Honestly, Linda, I enjoy it all. I love sci-fi and fantasy. I love that, [especially] for me growing up reading comic books. It has been something I can completely get my head around. I love make believe, always have. That’s probably why I’m an actor, so, and I have a huge imagination.

Noah Danby interview - Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1Linda Craddock: That’s why you appreciate it so much.
Noah Danby: Yeah.

Linda Craddock: Same as myself.
Noah Danby: It’s nice.

Linda Craddock: Please reflect on your experience working on the Stargate: SG1 set for four episodes.
Noah Danby: (Laughter) Those guys are a riot (more laughter). You go on that set and, I mean, first Chris Judge with a cigarette and he gets up out of his trailer and he gives you a big hug and it’s such a very warm reception when you step on that set and they know what they’re doing. They have it down. They make you feel so comfortable and that’s the best way to describe it. It’s very comfortable. Such a great cast/crew. The guys working on the show and one of the AD’s who worked on Stargate, and worked on Stargate Atlantis as well, transferred over to “Painkiller Jane” so we knew each other too. It was nice to have that familiarity.

Linda Craddock: Talk a little about your role in “Alien Incursion” and “Numb”.
Noah Danby: Oh boy, you’re bringing up some oldies but goodies.

Linda Craddock: Yes (laughter).
Noah Danby: I’ll tell you about “Numb”, I remember that one. “Alien Incursion” was a fun little piece that I did for Jeffrey Lando. I can’t believe I remembered that. Jeffrey Lando, he’s a great guy, great director from the States but I think he moved to Vancouver and doing his own projects. “Numb” was a blast, I mean Harris Goldberg, the director and writer, what a sweetheart, and Matthew Perry, of course (laughter). He’s a stand up guy. He’s got some comic timing, you’d better believe it.

Linda Craddock: Well, we’ve talked a little bit about your physical abilities: you enjoy it, you do what you can, and that is your strong point. So tell us about your workout routine.
Noah Danby: Well, it never stops. Depending what my call time is in the morning, I always get up at least an hour before so I can go for a jog and then I’m on set and if I have a break, I will do my martial arts or yoga. I’m a big guy as it is. I used to weigh quite a bit more than I do now, but I don’t lift weights anymore, other than basic pushups and sit ups.

Noah Danby interview - Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1Linda Craddock: What style of martial arts do you indulge in?
Noah Danby: I’ve had an opportunity to get out there and kind of try them all. Six years with Hapkido, though; it’s a Korean martial art. It’s a very practical martial art. Practical in the sense of on the street--where Tae Kwon Do has a very flashy martial high kick—Hapkido is a very grounded martial art. I trained with grand master Hwang In-Shik, in Toronto. He taught Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and all of the old greats. He’s considered one of the greatest fighters in his time. Jackie Chan says that in his biography.

Linda Craddock: Interesting. And last but not least: what other projects can we look forward to in the near future?
Noah Danby: Well, you’ll look forward to “Painkiller Jane”.

Linda Craddock: Absolutely.
Noah Danby: We all have projects on the go, but until we get the green light, you have to tag a little “I wish” on the end of them. So, I better not mention them until it is a go. But “Painkiller Jane”, you can look forward to it; it’s coming out soon.

Linda Craddock: Okay, next Friday for us and I am looking forward to it. Well Noah, I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity for taking the time for this interview. I know you’re very busy.
Noah Danby: Oh, thank you, it feels great.

Linda Craddock: But I’m grateful, I really am, and I am so looking forward to the premiere next Friday.
Noah Danby: I hope you enjoy it.

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© 2007 - Interview by Linda Craddock for The Scifi World
Transcript by Linda Craddock, reviewed by Jennifer Redelle Carey


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