Kavan Smith on DirecTV's "Rogue"
Photo by Trevor Brady
You may recognize Kavan Smith as Major Evan Lorne in the Stargate series, Jed Garrity in The 4400 and Deputy Andy in Eureka.
Now, Kavan plays Tom Travis, a devoted father and dedicated high school teacher in the new crime drama series Rogue by DirecTV.
Kavan and his brother were raised by his father when his parents divorced. They had a Thai nanny who taught at cooking school -- hence Kavan's love for cooking.
Kavan's facial features are pronounced in the most handsome of ways. When you see him on-screen, he's captivating.
When you were growing up, you didn't like your name "Kavan" because people mispronounced it.
"Kavan" was tough growing up. I've had everything from Kevin, Galvin, Kelvin, Gavin, in my last apartment in Los Angeles my power bill came to one Kazan Smith. Nobody ever got it right. I always thought Roy Rogers was a cool name. I'm glad now that my folks went with Kavan. I've come to really like it. That doesn't mean that anyone ever gets it right. But I no longer want to be called Roy. My parents differ on its meaning. My mother says it means handsome one and my father says it means Bog man.
You skipped out of school and had lots of odd and end jobs, never really sticking to one thing. How'd you finally decide that you wanted to stick with acting?
I was kindly advised by the university that if I withdrew I wouldn't go under review. If I went under review I'd be kicked out. I chose to heed their advice. A very good friend of mine and I used to skip school and work on skits and then take them public in some way; either on a bus or a mall or at parties. It was one of the only things that really filled me up. I had a lonely childhood so it was a great escape. When the university intervened I thought about what it was that I'd like to spend the rest of my life doing. Performing was the only option. I went back to school only this time into the performing arts faculty and was hooked after day one.
Did you ever feel you were "trapped" in the sci-fi genre for a while?
I've chosen to live primarily in Vancouver. When I first moved here Vancouver was setting itself up as the sci-fi location. It wasn't by choice. I'm not a massive fan of the genre myself though have come to appreciate it over time. But living in Vancouver and wanting to be an actor means there is a very strong likelihood of being in sci-fi programs. The fans are incredible whether you like the genre or not. But trapped is not the word I would use. That being said, I think the landscape is changing. A more diversified selection of shows is setting up in Vancouver. So we'll see what happens.
What's it like going to sci-fi conventions?
A convention is a very odd thing indeed. It's a wild mix of awe, fear, confusion, appreciation and shock. I've never attended one as a fan. I'm not really the fan type. The first one was the strangest one. Dragon*Con. Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. Eye opening. I'm surprised I ever went to another. I suppose I've been to about a dozen now. And usually they are just good fun, a way to see the world and a way to say hello to fans."
Kavan Smith's Twitter: @kavanjsmith
Photo by Trevor Brady
Describe your audition for Rogue and what character development you're planning for Tom Travis.
I certainly had to audition. The scene was basically a terrific three-page monologue. Very heartfelt. Very intense. And I fell in love with the part right away. Though they didn't hire me for quite some time. As far as keeping a character from getting boring that's really a joint effort. Writer, director and myself. The stuff that is thrown Tom's way would really be difficult to deal with in a boring way. I suppose I'd just try to keep it from being one note. Keep it real. Keep it as honest as I can and hope the writers and directors have my back.
When you're cast in a role, do you have a routine?
I've been at this for a while now and lines are no longer a problem. Diet is a bitch because I have two little kids and a wife who are all fussy eaters and I'm the primary cook so my dietary needs seem to be secondary. But at my advanced age it's a salad life for the most part. It doesn't really change much while working. I'm far less superstitious than I used to be. I did all kinds of bizarre stuff when I was younger. I try to work out as much as I can. But it seems to be the first thing that gets sacrificed in our busy life. I concentrate on just staying as lean as possible, not too worried about muscle any more. Kid's stuff.
Tell us about your tattoos.
I have two so far. More might come. The first was a mistake when I was 16. But I still like it. The second has very personal significance for my family and me.
You love martial arts and football. Did you ever go to martial arts competitions?
When I was a kid, I grew up with some tough kids and a few of them were involved in martial arts. I've always been fascinated by the sport. I've done Karate, kick boxing, Aikido and a few others. I never competed. I was never worried about that. I just wanted to learn. I teach my kids when they'll listen and if I'm not careful I'm gonna get my ass handed to me by them some day in the not too distant future. I've always been a Dallas Cowboys fan. Have been since I was four years old when my dad bought me my first "Property of Dallas Cowboys" shirt. And then of course there were the cheerleaders. That had something to do with it. I don't get much time for football anymore. I really have to prioritize so I get to watch only the musts, which for me are fighting (UFC) and cooking shows. Not cooking competitions but actual cooking shows."
How and when did you meet your wife?
My wife followed me around for years. Stalking me really. She was working for a circus as a juggler and acrobat at the time. She must have asked me out at least 10 times before I finally said yes. I hate to use this word but it's the only one that's accurate; she begged. I'm nothing if not compassionate so I finally said yes. And she's fine with the job now. In the beginning she wasn't. She's a jealous woman. But she's fine now. The last couple weeks anyway.
In The Outer Limits, your character was absorbed by a woman. How did that movie magic work?
"I've done five Outer Limits, I think, and can't really remember that being absorbed by a woman part. I claim old age and lack of a coffee so far this morning.
How do health benefits work for actors?
Health is covered in Canada but it is supplemented by the local Union. Upgraded that is. Family can certainly be on board. In the states SAG-AFTRA covers. In both cases coverage is dependent on the amount you earn and pay into the union.
Please tell us a behind-the-scenes story from Rogue.
I had such a great time. Had nice chemistry with creators and some of the directors and hopefully some of the actors. Everyone always asks me about pranks and I can't remember anything. Clearly I am dull and need to get my head out of my ass and start pulling some F'n pranks. Nobody told me all those years ago when I started back in acting school that the question I was going to get asked more than any other was did you pull any great pranks. What is it in our collective psyche that makes us want to hear about pranks? I'm so behind the times.