Spotlight on NIKITA Star Shane West

Shane West was very confused in high school. But probably not for the reason you might think!

Despite knowing full well that he “didn’t have any plans for sitting behind a desk,” the Baton Rouge Louisiana native simply had no idea as to what he wanted to do with his life.

“My parents were musicians and music had always been and a huge part of my life and something I always thought I would do, but I was very confused in high school,” admitted West during a recent phone interview with the TV Addict. “I drew my own comic books for a while, I always thought I might have a band, and I was a huge fan of sports. The plan was to go to a division 3 College, play basketball, go to the CBA and maybe get a call up to the Clippers one day!”

Suffice to say, the Clippers loss is our gain.

Post High School, West, quickly made his mark landing high-profile roles in Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights and ABC’s much beloved brilliant-but-cancelled ONCE AND AGAIN. Crediting his amazing and supportive family for his work ethic and keeping his head on straight (“If I ever got a big head they would just pop me, it wasn’t allowed!”) the young actor quietly took on more adult roles with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, that little medical drama you may have heard of called ER, and can next be seen in the much-buzzed-about NIKITA reboot premiering tonight on the CW (“A” TV in Canada).

Just how apprehensive was the actor about signing on to another television series that could potentially last six or seven years? Well, considering West had a mere 48 hours to make a potentially life-altering decision, not nearly as apprehensive as one might think.

“You would wish there would be a lot more time to think about it but usually you don’t have it. Without saying what the projects were, a lot of hasty decisions that ended up being positive thankfully were made over the years because you literally had two days to decide. That’s it! And it just wasn’t enough so i usually said no to get out of that situation.” revealed the actor. “With something like NIKITA — where we knew we were shooting in another country (Toronto, Canada), little things like tax differences, getting a new cell phone — there was a lot of stuff to think about. But in the end you have to go with your gut. Acting is your job and if you feel that this is something you can be successful in and you’re actually going to enjoy it then you make the decision. And thankfully, it’s looking like this could be a hit and people will like it.”

Evidently West does not surf the internet, as “like it” does not begin to describe it. With reactions ranging from the NY Times “surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation” to Variety and Entertainment Weekly’s variation on the “promising newcomer” theme, we’re pretty confident that it’s safe for West to unpack his bags, and get comfortable playing Michael. The rogue and seemingly vengeful Division agent that still feels burned by his relationship with the show’s titular character. Or so we’re led to believe.

“Michael’s inherently a good guy, he’s just confused.” defends West of his character’s murky motives in tonight’s premiere. “It’s funny, in the midst of shooting episode six I don’t really think you’re going to see him as dark and negative as he was in the pilot. A lot of what was going on with the character there was development. Having shot episodes 2, 3, 4 and 5, the character has opened up and developed more. Sure, he’s done some bad and shady things that he’s conflicted about. But what’s good about him is that you really get the sense of his humanity and how much he cares about Nikita.”

In other words, gunfire and explosions won’t be the only things heating up the set of NIKITA this fall.

“What’s cool about the show is that Maggie [NIKITA star Maggie Q] and I naturally have a very apparent and natural chemistry together,” said West when asked about the obligatory will-they-or-won’t-they possibilities between the show’s two leads. “Not long ago, we actually finished one of those flashback episodes [pulling back the curtain on the twosomes relationship prior to the premiere]. It’s going to be pretty unique. Not sure I’m loving my hair — it’s kind of a Charlie Sheen/Don Johnson pushed back kind-of-look — but I think people will enjoy it for sure.”

NIKITA premieres Thursday September 9th at 9PM on the CW (“A” Channel in Canada)

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