From supermodels to rock stars, successful people love trying to convince us how unpopular they were in school.
"You know that's probably crap," Shane West says.
The handsome young star of the new high school comedy film Whatever It Takes and ABC's freshman drama Once and Again isn't ashamed to admit he was part of The In Crowd.
"An older girl got a crush on me in high school and it just kind of spread like wildfire. 'Oh, that's who he is ...' " West says. "High school can be that inane, so I was in the popular clique until the end of 12th grade."
West spent a few years trying to fit in, however, after moving to L.A. from Louisiana in elementary school.
"I got to experience both and I think it's almost better to be in the unpopular clique -- at least you know who your friends are."
That's the lesson Ryan Woodman learns in Whatever It Takes, now playing in theatres. West's character finds himself quickly climbing the social ladder after landing a date with the unofficial queen of Gilmore High (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), but he isn't sure he likes the view from up there.
"From like sixth to 10th grade, I felt very much like Ryan. I was shy, only had a couple of buddies, was scared of the most popular girls," says West, now 21. "Ryan had more courage than I did, though. He tried to make it happen."
Unfortunately, Ryan gets his shot with Ashley Grant through suspect means and pays his penance in numerous ways -- including a scene in which he regrets taking his dream girl to the carnival. Popular, powerful and sexy? Yes. Strong-stomached? No.
"Jodi was actually not in the car. They attached a camera to the amusement park ride and I had to turn on the camera," West explains. "And there was this cannon on other side filled with apple-sauce puke. I turn the camera on and with my other hand, fire the puke cannon at myself."
Nobody said landing the lead role in a movie was glamorous. If West wanted to play it safe, he could've stuck to playing the faultless hunk.
"At first I was up for the jock, but they really liked James Franco ... and they saw the possibility of giving me the lead," West says. "I liked that they gave me the opportunity to play the underdog, to play against type."
While filming Whatever It Takes last summer, ironically, Franco wound up playing an outcast on Freaks and Geeks while West took the role of a high school basketball star on Once and Again. West is waiting to see if the series gets picked up for another season. It had the best ratings for a drama debut since ER, but the ratings have since settled. Still, Once and Again does boast a fiercely loyal following.
"It's been bumpy, but I think already this year we've gotten a pretty good fan base. All the fans from thirtysomething and My So-Called Life jumped aboard," West says.
Not to mention fans of West. You can bet his picture is pinned up in more than one junior high school locker.
"The show is not your standard teen show, so I'm not too sure how many teens out there are aware of me," he says. "I know I'm signing more autographs now, though."
With a TV series and a feature film now under his belt, Hollywood's hottest new cutie proves he has "whatever it takes" to make it big. After years of playing small parts (like his "gill monster" stint on Buffy ), Shane West scored the role of Eli on TV's Once and Again. Well, now he's landed his first starring role on the big screen, playing a guy who scores with school diva Jodi Lyn O'Keefe in Whatever It Takes, (coming to theatres next month). So exactly how does it feel to go from gill monster to girl magnet? We got the scoop.
Q: Okay Shane: What was your most
embarassing moment during the filming of Whatever
Shane: Definitely shooting the love scene with Jodi Lyn O'Keefe- but not for the reason you'd expect! The was, we were in bed together and I was supposed to be totally naked. I was only wearing this little flesh-colored bag, to cover my private parts. Well evidently, the bag didn't cover me too well, because the second Jodi yanked the blanket off me, everybody on the set totally gasped. I just wanted to die!
Q: Whoa. How... revealing!
What about your first on screen kiss- was that
totally mortifying too?
Shane: Pretty much. I had to make out with Danielle Fishel on Boy Meets World while Ben Savage stared us down. I remember asking Danielle, "How do want to do this? Is it like, open mouthed or what?" She said "Oh I don't care." It was very strange, like "Hi, I don't know you, but I'm going to kiss you- so get ready." We did ten takes and I got used to it, but it was embarassing- especially since it was one of my first parts ever.
Q: Was it anything like your first
Shane: Kind of. I had an audience for that one too. It was in fourth grade. A group of friends followed me and this girl, and then they made us hold hands and forced us to kiss. It was brutal!
Q: Sounds like it! Tell us more
about your childhood.
Shane: Well, both of my parents were musicians when I was little. My mom was in the first all-female band in Lousiana; I used to go to sleep to the sound of her band practicing in the living room. My dad's band was reminiscent of the Clash. They actually opened for Blondie- and got better reviews!
Q: So showbiz is in your blood!
But it took you a while to get your first big acting gig.
How'd you survive?
Shane: I've been lucky. There were times when I had less than $100 in the bank and I somehow managed to be able to live in a couple of places for free. I lived in my managers garage for 5 months. Finally she was like "Okay you've got to leave now." Another thing that saved me is that because of my background, I have a love for music. During all the time that I didn't work, I wrote some really great songs. It's the same old story: if you're going through bad times and you're a musician, you're going to write some good stuff, but when things start going right, your heart isn't into it.
Q: Um, speaking of hearts... we
hear that you don't have a girlfriend right now. Can you
describe your ideal date?
Shane: Yeah - it would be the kind of date that just keeps going: First you go out to eat, then you see a movie, then you go to the beach, then you hang out talking some more. It's fun because you spend the whole day together. My first dates with the two people I fell in love with were like that. I think you get to know each other better that way.
Q: If you could have a date with
anyone, who would it be?
Shane: Courteney Cox was my first major crush. I thought she was so cute on Family Ties. I remember making my dad take me to the Masters of the Universe movie so I could see her in it. But she's with David Arquette now, so I guess I've lost my chance
And you thought Tom Cruise made an impression dancing in his undies to Bob Seger.
Well, Shane West just might have a chance to undo the top gun when he hustles onto the big screen in the climactic scene of the upcoming Whatever It Takes, playing the accordion at his high school prom...in nothing but his BVDs.
"It's basically the Risky Business moment," he says with a laugh, "but 10 times more embarrassing."
Embarrassing, maybe. Memorable, definitely. Seems West does things that way.
Ever since catching the eye of director Barry Levinson, who gave the then unknown actor a supporting role in Liberty Heights, he's been on a Hollywood tear. No sooner was West shooting Heights than he landed the role of Billy Campbell's big-man-on-campus son on the ABC hit Once and Again .
"I knew it was a good show," says West, who was thrilled to work with creators-producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick. "But their last two shows, My So-Called Life and Relativity , didn't find their audiences until it was too late. So, I'm excited that we were able to catch on. But I'm not surprised, because it's so intelligently written."
The 21-year-old Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native, who moved to Los Angeles with his sister and mother in 1987, has done his own share of writing. He penned a screenplay about troubled teens on a road trip, which he hopes to shoot during hiatus from Once and Again. And, as if he had any extra time, he also fronts the band Average Joe.
But it's his "brief" appearance in Whatever It Takes that has tongues wagging. Shane plays the unlucky-in-love hero in the update of Cyrano de Bergerac , appearing alongside Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Freaks and Geeks star James Franco and fellow Sizzler Marla Sokoloff. But wasn't Cyrano ugly?
"They didn't put any prosthetics on me, no nose
piece or anything like that," shrugs the hunky
West. "But they combed my hair to the side, which
surprisingly works. It's ugly as sin."
- UP EARLY OR UP ALL NIGHT?
"Up all night. I don't know why I even had
to think about that. I just have a problem
waking up early"
- READ THE BOOK OR WATCH THE MOVIE?
"Watch the movie. When I was 12 years old,
my stepdad forced me to read Wuthering
Heights and all those classics, and I don't
remember a thing about them."
- THE POOL OR THE BEACH?
"The beach. You've got waves, and the pool
just kind of sits there. But loading all the
crap back in the car is not cool."
- THE GORDITA OR THE ENCHIRITO?
"I'd have to say the gordita, because I don't
even know what the enchirito is. I've never
had one. Are they new? Gorditas are good."
- DINE IN OR TAKEOUT?
" Takeout. I'm a fast-food junkie. It's just easier."
TeenHollywood: As seen on "Whatever It Takes", you play the accordion very well, what did you learn first, guitar or accordion?
Shane: Let's just say I never learned the accordion. I'm self-taught on guitar over the last four years. The accordion was something I started to work on and found that every time I did a scene with the accordion I wasn't allowed to make any noise because they had to dub (the accordion sound) in. I could have gone to the studio and played it for them to dub it in '85 so basically I got lazy. I found it was taking so much time learning that as well as doing the movie that I just decided to take the reeds out of the accordion. I know where to play and the notes that I'm playing are accurate but I didn't actually play the notes.
TeenHollywood: You did a good job, it fooled me.
Shane: Thank you. Apparently it's been fooling a lot of people.
TeenHollywood: Was your high school dating situation similar to your character's in "Whatever It Takes"?
Shane: Definitely, from grade six to grade ten I was very much like Ryan. I had a couple of buddies, all guys, but I didn't have as much courage as Ryan did. I didn't try and set up anything to get with the most popular girl. I would usually just sit there and hope, you know? In tenth grade a senior developed a crush on me although she didn't mean it seriously, she just thought I was cute. It spread like wildfire because that's what school is like. I was popular from about tenth to twelfth grade. But as soon as summer hit I realized it wasn't that memorable. I would rather be unpopular than in that clique.
TeenHollywood: In reference to the relationship between Maggie and Ryan in "Whatever It Takes", do you think many people miss seeing the relationships that are important to them?
Shane: Yeah I do, because I think people get wrapped up in stuff. And this is the perfect business to realize what's important and what's unimportant. This is the business where people scre w up those things all the time and I think most people do. A lot of people learn from their mistakes. I've never made mistakes in that area but I'm very much a people watcher and I learn from other people's mistakes. I think people in this business and pe ople in life generally do screw those things up.
TeenHollywood: Was Aaron Paul, "Floyd" in "Whatever It Takes" your real-life roommate?
Shane: He was until about a
month ago. It was great. I've known him for about four years
and he's a great guy, very similar to his character.
TeenHollywood: What direction do you want to go in as an actor?
Shane: Well, I like teen movies as a fan, but I don't want to continue doing them. I only mean in the rhelm of what I've done - "Whatever It Takes" and "She's All That ", stuff like that. I'm into a lot more edgy roles and am looking for something that will give some sort of respect. I'm looking for difference in every role that I've done. So far in my career, on stage I've played the character who's supposed to be the p erfect, innocent boy. I then went straight to "Liberty Heights" where I played the jerk, but laughable college student. Then I went straight to TV where I played the nice, popular guy who has major learning disabilities and then I went to playing the unpo pular guy in school. So I've been fortunate in starting off playing a different character every time. I want to continue doing that.
TeenHollywood: Do you want to be a musician on a professional level as well?
Shane: I'm trying. We played our first gig at the "Roxy" about a month ago. It went really well but we didn't have anything (CD's) to give to anybody so what we're trying right now is to record a demo and then shop it around. So I'm going to do that on the side, but if things fall apart in acting th en I'll do that full time. We've only played one gig with our band but it went so well that we took a break. It was exhausting, mentally preparing for it. We were surprised. Our drummer is a converted guitarist. He isn't even a drummer and we play punk mus ic so he had to play fast. We were so exhausted after the show and everybody was bobbing their heads the whole night. We had a great time, we were laughing and goofing it up on stage. It was like a drug, it was addicting. We want to do a demo and once tha t's done then we'll start playing everywhere.
TeenHollywood: What medium to you prefer acting in, TV or movies?
Shane: Well, definitely movies.
I use "Once and Again" as an exception because it's written
so well. It's very therapeutic for me. I come from a divorced
family as well and because it's written so well the
lines just come out of your mouth. I don't have
many moments where I'm lost saying "What's my next line?"
It's a very casual set, the cast is great, no one dislikes
each other. So I'm very partial to the show but in the
end I know I want to be in film.
TeenHollywood: Are you currently dating anybody?
Shane: Yes I am. Her name is Sherry, she's an actress, and that's about as far as I should go into it.
TeenHollywood: How is living in LA compared to Baton Rouge?
Shane: It's night and day. I love Baton Rouge. A lot of people leave their hometown and dislike it because there's nothing to do. There's not a lot to do in Baton Rouge but my family's there, I was raised on the LSU campus, I love all t hose places. My dad and my mom were in separate local bands at the time so I went all over the place to gigs as a baby. I have good memories of Baton Rouge and of Louisiana in general. I can't wait to go back.
TeenHollywood: You've guest starred in a number of TV shows. Aside from "Once and Again" what was your favorite TV show to work on?
Shane: Sliders. When Jerry O'Connell was on the show I did an episode of that. It was a good, meaty guest star role. A lot of guest roles are seven liners but this one was a bigger role. They went to a Nazi-like world and I got to play a Nazi youth. I was just basically a confused kid. It was a lot of fun. Evidently, Sliders has a good fan base with a lot of trivia and I was the only character that slid with the lead actors through one of their portholes to another world.
TeenHollywood: Is there anything you hope people will walk away with after watching "Whatever It Takes"?
Shane: I hope that they will enjoy a good, heartfelt story. It has humor in it, it has a bit of an edge because they hired a bunch of dramatic actors rather than comedic actors, and I hope they go away feeling good about it. I want it to be a movie that people rent over and over again. I want it to be that movie in somebody's shelf that they'll watc h when they want to see something fun.
Mandy: All right, Shane. Tell me how you met your first girlfriend.
Shane: Wow, my first true girlfriend? I met her at a party. I didn't really have the courage to go up to a girl then, so I did the old cheating way of getting my friends to find out what she thought of me. I was 17 at the time, and I fould out she was intimidated by me. As soon as I heard that, it gave me a little more confidence to talk to her.
Mandy: Cool. Do you remember your first kiss?
Shane: Yes, it was in the fifth grade. I was forced to kiss this girl I liked. We had to hold hands and walk down this pasture while everybody kind of ran around us. Then, at the end of our walk, they forced us to iss each other. It was mortifying.
Mandy: I bet. When you're dating, when do you know you've graduated to boyfriend and girlfriend?
Shane: It's unpoken. It's a feeling that just happens
Mandy: Understood. Here's one for fun: Hypothetically speaking we're on a first date, but you only have $20. How are you going to make it a great night?
Shane: I woud say if you're into movies, I would go to a movie. Not where it costs $10 a ticket, but the cheaper route and watch an indie movie. Then get coffee afterward, and I guess discuss the movie.
Mandy: Can you tell me about your worst date ever?
Shane: I was still around 17or 18, and I liked this girl I met at a concert. She was one of my first kisses-it was more of a real kiss. We were sitting down on this hill and I was sliding as I was trying to kiss her. So I tried to push up the hill to get back toward her and we hit teeth. She stopped me from kissing her and said, "By the way, you just hit my teeth."
Mandy: Oh! But I guess this would answer the next question: Where is the strangest or wildest place you ever made out?
Shane: Oh, jeez, man. Let's see. Top of a skyscraper in New York
Mandy: How do you show a girl that you love her?
Shane: That's a tough one. I love giving flowers and I like to surprise her all the time.
Mandy: What would you change about the whole girl/guy romance game?
Shane: The mind games wouldn't be there. I'd have guys and girls in the same boat asking each other out. You just have to lay all your cards down. We'd all just be real.
Mandy: Good one. What do you think makes a girl sexy?
Shane: Ok, I'll give the generic, cool response, but it's true: A nice laugh, good personality, and she doesn't play hard to get.
Mandy: Very Nice. Nice to tak to you. Thanks, Shane!
BigStar_Host: We'll be talking with young actor SHANE WEST! Shane can currently be seen in the hit series "Once and Again" playing the character of Eli Sammler. Shane was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and began to realize his passion for acting at age 15. Shortly thereafter, he began playing roles in a number of hit television series, including "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer," "Sliders" and "Picket Fences." But, Shane's acting career truly took off when he made his stage debut in the starring role as Angel in the Mark Taper Forum's production of the classic "The Cider House Rules". Written by John Irving ... a classic ... pick it up ... expand your horizons! Anyway .... Shane received tremendous critical praise for the performance. This fall, Shane will co-star in the new Barry Levinson film "Liberty Heights." He will also play a lead role in the Sony/Phoenix feature film, "I'll Be You," directed by David Raynor (of "Trippin'" fame) which will premiere early next year. When he isn't acting, he plays lead guitar and writes most of the music and lyrics for his own band, "Average Joe." Shane was born on June 10, 1978, which makes him a youthful 21 ... newly legal! And, also makes him a Gemini ... sign of the twins! Shane once dated actress Rachel Leigh Cook of "She's All That" fame. Some of his notable TV appearances are .... Playing the character of "Kirk" on the TV show "Sliders" in 1995. Shane was also featured on "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" in 1997 as the character of "Sean." He appeared on "The Closer" in 1998, "To Have and To Hold" as "Mitch" also in 1998. His other appearances include "Meego," "Boy Meets World," "Mr. Rhodes," "Picket Fences," and "The Crew.
Shane: Hi everyone!
sweetheart_4ever_2000 asks: How did you land the part as Eli on " Once and Again?
Shane : Mm ... let's see, I auditioned for the part in December, one of the first pilots of the season. I wasn't sure about Marshall and Ed's work .. hadn't seen their stuff. So, it's a funny story, I went in and read it as a sitcom with sitcom humor. And, they stopped me and said, "Whoa, you obviously haven't seen our work ..." I was very embarrassed! But, they let me continue and must have seen something in me to give me a chance. They gave me a shot and I kept going back and one day they told me I got it ... I didn't even test for it.
sweetheart_4ever_2000: Do you and your character Eli have anything in common?
Shane: Let's see ....Kind of similar grade problems. When I was in high school I didn't do too bad, I had a 3.4 GPA. But, I had problems focusing ... which is similar to Eli. But, I never had the problem where I was failing constantly. So, I think that would be about as similar as we are .. I was not the popular jock in high school. So, there aren't too many similarities.
sweetheart_4ever_2000 asks: How did you get into the movie industry?
Shane: Well, it was around 10th grade and I got the "acting bug." I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and had to figure out something fast. I was forced to take drama as an elective to finish graduating high school. But, I wasn't into acting at the time. So, I took drama and it wasn't the class that was exciting or the people it was that I could get lost in my own world and with my own imagination for these characters. I got into that. I've always had a crazy imagination, so I kind of got the bug off of that.
sweetheart_4ever_2000 asks: Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Shane: : Mm ... well, I'd have to say acting-wise, one of them believe it or not is Bill Paxton, which you might not hear too often from people. I respect him a lot because he came from behind the scenes first, and continued to do a massive amount of roles in movies for many years before he was ever known. And, his breek was Apollo 13 and I look up to him because he did good work while he was anonymous and busted his butt til he got to a level where people knew who he was and he was starring in the movie.So, I use him as an inspiration and he's worked very hard to get to where he is now.
kricket1418 asks: What is the movie about?
Shane: Liberty Heights is a period piece about a Jewish family, circa 1950's ... basically the life of a Jewish family, the racism they went through and all the hard times. As well as the good times that they go through. It's very similar to "Diner" and "Avalon" and "Tin Men". And, it's .. yeah, it's probably the best way to explain it .. doesn't have a huge storyline or anything like that.
elea23 asks: What's Barry Levinson like?
Shane: Barry's great! He's very quiet. He's very ... seems to be very internal. I had a small role in the movie, so consequently, I didn't deal with him too often. But, he likes to watch, he likes to watch the actor. Obviously, he knows what he's doing. And, but ... we actually ... I found the first time that we started getting along was when I found he was a football fan. Therefore, we found a lot of reasons to talk.
rayajewell asks: What is it like working with Billy Cambell?
Shane: Billy's great! Probably one of the nicest human beings I've met. Very generous ....Works as well as he does onscreen with the actors as he does off. He's 40 years old and acts like a kid. And, he, you know, we play video games all the time, he's always reading books .... Just a lot of fun to hang out with ... a really cool guy.
elea23 asks: Shane, I hopw you don't mind a question about Once and Again? I was wondering about the actress who plays Eli's girlfriend, Jennifer. I really think the 2 of you have great chemistry. Will there be more Eli/Jen stuff coming up??
Shane: Yes! There will. Yeah, we've gotten a lot of good feedback with the characters of Eli and Jennifer. The actress who pays Jennifer is Kimberly McCullough and she's great. She's 21, a bundle of energy. And, there will be a couple of episodes coming up to follow our storyline. Keep watching! ;)
BigStar_Host: Who is your favorite actress?
Shane: Mm ...Wow. I'm a big fan of Angelina Jolie. I think she's, besides coming off as a very intelligent person, I think she's .... I wouldn't want to say an underrated actress because I think she's gotten many accolades for her work. But, I think, you know, in a way I think there's going to be a lot of great things to come from her when the years go by.
Athenaps asks: If you could be anything other than an actor, what would you be?
Shane: Musician. Which I guess I am as well (chuckles) ... I have a band right now and we're called "Average Joe." Which is "Average Jo" ... we're in rehearsal halls right now getting ready to record our first demo.
BigStar_Host: Does it have a title?
Shane: No, not yet. I'd have to say untitled.
jen15427 asks: What is your favorite movie?
Shane: "Scarface" ... Al Pacino .. he's amazing.One of my favorite actors. I think the way it was shot and the acting in the movie was brilliant.
sugarchik143 asks: Shane, what's your fave football team?
Shane: Well, okay (laughs) ... I gotta be loyal to the New Orleans Saints. I'm from Baton Rouge and I'm a big fan of the Saints but they're disappointing me as usual .. they continue to lose.
differentsomeone asks: whats
your all time fav music group!?
Shane: Whoo ... I'd have to say The Clash. I was raised on The Clash when I was growing up .. them and The Kinks .. in the south.And, I think The Clash ... each one of their albums are completely different. THey always have something important to say as well as making good music.
LaurenVD asks: can you give us some inside stuff like on what activitiesd you like doing in your free time?
Shane: Mmm .... other than music? I
write. I currently finished writing a script that I"m going
to try to develop eventually. I love to play sports. You
know, pick up games of football, basketball, baseball,
whatever .... Let's see .... I'm an avid moviegoer
.. I love to watch movies, I'll go with friends or by
myself if I can't get anyone to go with me.
elea23 asks: Do you have a girlfriend?
Shane: No, I'm currently single. ;)
princess_2_m80 asks: what are your plans this new years
Shane: Well, this is kind of sad, I don't really have any yet. A part of me .. you know, it's the new millennium, a part of me needs to go out on a road trip or do something fun. Not sure if the show's gonna let me do it? Let's see ... I could simply just hang out with a group of friends and go around ... I'll probably cruise Hollywood and look at all the freaks.
Athenaps asks: Do you have a favortie scene in the movie? And why is it your favortie?
Shane: Oh ... wow. Okay. I mean this isn't a favorite movie, but "National Lampoon's Vacation" .. the first one. It would be, I think the scene when Chevy Chase and his family get lost on their trip and wind up in the ghetto and the reaction of the two races is so humorous when you're able to see someone who's never been in the ghetto before and tries to act like he's from another race. If people have seen that, they'll know what I'm saying. That would probably be it, otherwise I'll have to think about it for a long time.
Athenaps asks: who would you like to work with as an actor, actress, or director?
Shane: Let's see ... actor would be Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, those are guys that I admire that take chances. That's what I hope that I can do. Let's see ...actresses would be Angelina Jolie, as well as Christina Ricci, and actually Linda Fiorentino, too, I like her edge. Directors, Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese .... and Kevin Smith hopefully, eventually.
raven_78045 asks: HOW DID IT FEEL WHEN YOU SAW YOURSELF ON TV GUIDE??
Shane: That was strange, I was practically wearing what I wear everyday and they took that shot and used it. It was very strange in the fact that I got ... I received many calls from people I don't talk to anymore. But, since TV Guide is you know, a nationwide publication, I got a lot of interesting phone calls from that.
princess_2_m80 asks: how do you feel now that you get so much attention from girls
Shane: That's not true. I'm not .. I don't know if I'm noticing the attention from girls. It's different, I'm being recognized more, but it's not from girls, it's more from 40 year old men and women. I'm not sure what audience is watching the show. But, it seems that it's by ... I've been recognized more by older people. I think it'll change when my movie, "Whatever It Takes" comes out cause it's teen based.
Podie77 asks: What is the best thing about acting??
Shane: For me, it's to inhabit a character. It's to become someone else and to be able to live out your fantasies and your imagination. You can't get any better than that for me.
Athenaps asks: You like Linda Fiorentino - did you see Dogma?
Shane: I did! See, I like Kevin Smith as well. I thought it was a very good movie. Basically because Kevin Smith, as usual, wasn't afraid to deal with all the, you know, flack he was going to get back from the movie. I enjoyed it, I thought she was good.
rayajewell asks: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are 3 things you would want?
Shane: Jesus! I should have prepared for that one. Oh no ... My guitar. Besides, I guess the food and the money and all that stuff A guitar.Some of my closest friends. And, um .... Probably a nice speed boat.
BigStar_Host: Do you like to go on location or do you prefer to work on a soundstage?
Shane: Location is more .... I guess more gratifying, more ... it would be more fun. I enjoy location more than I do on set.But, you know, both have their advantages.
BigStar_Host: Do you get along well with the cast of Once & Again? Do you hang out socially?
Shane: If the success of the show was based on the chemistry of the cast, then the show would last probably 10-12 years. I've hung out with Billy Campbell on occasion as well as my girlfriend on the show. Everyone gets along really well.
BigStar_Host: Who's the practical joker in the cast?
Shane: Billy. Billy constantly is finding ways to harass me ... as well as the cast members.
BlueGrl77 asks: Have you been able to travel a lot, and if so, where was your favoite place?
Shane: Well, lately I haven't been able to travel a lot.Let's see .... My dad was born in Jamaica. So, fortunately, I've been to Jamaica 8 or 9 times and that would definitely be my favorite.
g_theman_l asks: HI I AM 12 YEARS OLD ( MALE ) AND I AM A MODEL CAN YOU GIVE ME ANY TIPS FOR THE FUTURE?
Shane: Ha ... well, I'd have to say if it's something that you wanna do, if it's something that your heart is behind, you have to follow where your heart is. You know, I would say that to continue to work really hard at it. Because nothing real in life comes easy.
fricktd asks: How did you get started in acting and what advice do you give to young teens who also want to act?
Shane: I would say you just have to be able to expect the downs and to be able to stick with it. and believe in yourself, as cliche' as that sounds.
Hannah3_99 asks: What is the most important thing in your life right now?
Shane: That would be and always will be my family.
sweetheart_4ever_2000 asks: If you could chage anything about your life, what would you change and why?
Shane: Hmm ... I don't think I'd change anything. I've been through a lot of hard times. But, I wouldn't change it for anything. I'd rather look forward and see what happens next.
BigStar_Host: Do you work with any charities?
Shane: I just ... no, not currently, not yet. I will. I just gave ... this is the first time I've been in a position to do this. I gave some money to my old high school. In repairments for the school. And, the other thing I did was I gave some money to a Vietnam Veteran cause.
BigStar_Host: What TV shows do you enjoy watching?
Shane: Let's see, I don't watch TV really. I would have to say .... Things like "Saturday Night Live" and maybe "The Simpsons" just because that's ... the writing on "The Simpsons" is brilliant .. I don't think a lot of people catch it all the time.
rayajewell asks: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Shane: Yes. I have one sister. Actually, I have two sisters now! My dad and my stepmom in Louisiana, they just had a new baby girl named ... her name is Marli Ann and she's probably 3 months. And, my sister that I grew up with is named Simone. And, she's 19. It was .. we weren't well-off.
LaurenVD asks: what was your childhood like?
Shane: We grew up in the lazy south. But, we have a huge family. And, what my family was very good at was making my sister and I feel loved. And, up until this day, I, you know, we were never well-off and always scrounged around to survive but always did a good job at it. And, we were always okay ... always ... what's the word? Definitely secure.
BigStar_Host: You mentioned your band. What instrument do you play? Do you sing?
Shane: I sing and I play the guitar and I write.
ccscwm asks: what kind of music do you sing?
Shane: I would say punk. More of like a style of pop punk. Nothing like The Backstreet Boys. More or less like GreenDay.
Athenaps asks: Do you prefer TV or Movie work? Why?
Shane: I prefer movie work. I'd have to say that. There seems to just be a lot more opportunities. It seems to be many more genres with the independent, mainstream, you know, whatever.
rayajewell asks: What are your dreams/goals for the future?
Shane: Well, goals for the future ...You have to earn respect. That's what I hope I'm going to be able to do. And, I don't necessarily want to be ... get to that level of a "Tom Cruise" for instance, I'd rather be ... not to say that he's not respectable, but I'd rather be more on the level of people who get noticed like Edward Norton.I guess that's one of my goals.
sweetheart_4ever_2000 asks: HOw did your band get started
Shane: Let's see .. my parents were both in bands when I was little. So, I got the will and, I guess, hopefully the talent from them. And, I formed the band along with my bassist, actor, Ben Gould, two years ago and we kind of fell apart. And, then we reunited probably about 7 months ago and have just now gotten back into the studio.
ignasio_2000 asks: Shane, what was your first break?
Shane: My first part in this business was a guest star on the last year of "Picket Fences". Which was an audition that I actually crashed.Which was not my audition. I went with a friend and got the part.
raven_78045 asks: ARE YOU THE ONLY ARTIST IN YOUR FAMILY????
Shane: I'm the only actor in my family. My entire family is musical. In one way or another.
rayajewell asks: What was your favorite subject in school?
Shane: History. I'd have to say.
rayajewell asks: What is your dream vacation?
Shane: Hmm ... my dream vacation currently would be to go to Europe and to cruise around or just visit Scotland and England and Italy. Do that whole thing.
raven_78045 asks: ARE YOU GONNA DO OTHER PROJECTS WHEN THE SHOW IS IN SUMMER HIATUS????
Shane: Hopefully! Yes. I have a couple things lined up right now that I haven't made a decision about. I'm kind of picky, so ....
simonsupercock asks: if you could play any part in any film what part would it be?
Shane: Well, let's see ... the type of genres ... I'd love to be in a war movie. I'd love to play .. part of me would love to play a cowboy.And, I'd also like to play someone with a really crappy life, someone who could, just to show that it may be possible that I can do something that is deep.
Athenaps asks: The actors you mentioned you respected, particularly Johnny Depp, are known for picking "odd" or quirky scripts. Is that a route you would like to take? Or do you want more mainstrem type of movies?
Shane: That's a route that I would love to take and I'm more prepared to take. That is the route that I will emulate and I will do my best to do.
jenniferlee_1980 asks: What do you see yourself doing in the future, say 10-15 yrs from now?
Shane: Well, I hopefully see myself being successful in this business. And, on another note, I hope that musically things will be going well as well.
rayajewell asks: Do you have any pets?
Shane: No, I don't. But, I want a dog, though.
rayajewell asks: How long have you been playing the guitar?
Shane: About two years.
BigStar_Host: If you could a part of history at any point other than right now, what part of history would that be?
Shane: Jeez, a part of history ... huh? Let's see ... that's a good question. I'd say World War I. I wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall, to be able to see the mentality of the nations during that time. I'd also have to say probably the American Revolution as well, in the Colonial days.
BigStar_Host: Why those periods of time?
Shane: Well, the colonial days ... simply because of our history, because that had to be one of the most exciting times ... as in bad and good ... that and the birth of a nation. The development (in WWI) of machinery ... of these horrible you know, instruments of torture, you know, war-like tools. And, the fact that we were able to ... this is not in a good way, but to successfully have an entire world fight each other. Would be interesting to know what was going on in people's minds.
BigStar_Host: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Shane: Ugh ... I'm lazy! I'd have to change ... let's see .. when I set my mind to it, I'll do anything. It's getting me to set my mind to it that's trouble sometimes.
BigStar_Host: Who are your heroes?
Shane: I don't know? I'd have to ... I mean ... my mom .. as silly as that sounds, is defintely one of my heroes. She was able to take care of us from age ... basically from age 3 until now on her own. And, I think she was able to develop two pretty level-headed kids.
BigStar_Host: If you could talk to one person in history, who would it be?
Shane: I knew that question was going to pop up! :) I'd have to say two. I'll use ... I'd have to say George Washington. To say that he was a smart man .. but in a lot of ways he didn't know what he was doing politically ... nor did anyone at that time. And, I think he'd have a lot of very interesting, honest things to say that wouldn't be political jargon. The other would have to be Hitler. Obviously, I'm very opposed to him. But, it would be to see how he could do those things, those horrible things to those people with a clear conscious .. or if he had one.
Athenaps asks: Where did you receive your actors training?
Shane: I didn't. I only took two months of actor's training with a man named Richard Brandor (sp?) ... that's it.
BlueGrl77 asks: When you were younger did you ever have a crush on someone on T.V.? If so, who and have you ever been able to meet them?
Shane: Yeah .... It would be Courtney Cox on "Family Ties" .. she was so cute on that show and I had a major crush on her ... from "Family Ties" to "Masters of the Universe". No, I have not met her, and I'd be embarrassed if I did!
BlueGrl77 asks: What was the best lesson you ever learned throughout your life and from whom did you learn it?
Shane: The best lesson is to be a truthful person. Is to not base my life on lies. It would be that from whom I can't say, I don't think I know for sure, more of just what I've experienced.
Athenap asks: Would you have fought for the north or the south in the Civil War?
Shane: OOoh ... well, that's a creepy question! Coming from the south, during those times obviously I would have fought for the south. But, in my beliefs now, I'd definitely fight for the north.
ecruo asks: Would you ever like to set up you own production company?
Shane: Yeah, I think I would. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that in the next couple of years.
raven_78045 asks: Who Do You Think Would make a better president: Al Gore or George Bush?
Shane: Oh man! See, I'm more left wing. I'd say neither. Not a fan of George Bush. But, although I lean more towards democratic than I do republican, I don't believe Al Gore would make a good president either. But, at this point, I don't see anyone that would make a very competent president.
rayajewell asks: How often do you go on the internet? Do you have e-mail?
Shane: I'm just ... completely computer illiterate. I just got involved with the internet, but I still don't really know how to work it, I'm learning!
rayajewell asks: Whats the best part about being in 'show-biz'?
Shane: :) It's fun! It's .... I'm not a materialistic person, so the things that come with it, such as more access to money, more popularity, are fun. But, they're not what I need.But, at the same time, I mean, it's not something that I think any person would throw away.
rayajewell asks: What is your biggest fear?
Shane: Hmm ... one of them is failure. I'd have to say the other one is sharks. I have a huge fear of sharks.
rayajewell asks: How do your parents/family feel about your success?
Shane: They're completely behind me. And, they love that I'm trying to be successful and that I'm working hard at something at the age of 21.
jenniferlee_1980 asks: What is your advice to teens growing up today?
Shane: I'd have to say the most important thing to do, which I learned in high school, is to be real. Don't deny your parents anything, or your friends anything, just learn to have fun, but to have respect for others as well.
rayajewell asks: Do you speak any other languages?
Shane: No. I don't. And, it's a shame.
Athenaps asks: Do you like to rehearse scenes a lot, or do you tend to wing it?
Shane: I'm kind of schizo with that. I like to rehearse AND wing it. In general, if it's a internal scene, something that's ... the emotions are hidden deep, I actually like to be more spontaneous with it. You know, just see what comes up.
BigStar_Host: What was the biggest adjustment you made, going from obscurity to a hit TV show?
Shane: Mm ... nothing really yet. I mean, well, okay ... let's see .... Personaly life ... has changed because I haven't had time to do as many things that I would like to do, you know, besides acting. You know, as far as publicity goes .... not much has changed yet.
horseshoe465 asks: What has been your fav moment in you fame
Shane: Probably would be the "End of Days" premiere. I went to that not too long ago and you know, my whole .. I hate the red carpet, so my whole plan was to grab my agent and get out of everybody's way. And, let's see ... as soon as I stepped on to the red carpet all the photographers started calling my name!And, I was in awe!~ I don't know how many pics I took and interviews I did, my agent couldn't get the smile off his face.He asked me "when the hell did this happen?!"
Athenaps asks: Are you concerned about the darker side of fame? Like the stalker-fans and such?
Shane: Yeah. I mean, I haven't thought
too much about it cause I just don't like to. But, it's
something that everybody has to think about. And, you know,
I'm just ... things like drugs and stuff ... I'm not into
that crowd and I just hope that the darker side doesn't go
rayajewell asks: Are you a good dancer?
Shane: I'm horrible! Absolutely horrible!Yeah, I'll be honest!
ecruo asks: What is your favorite book(s)?
Shane: God, I need to read more. I used to read all the time. I'd have to say ... it's a classic and it parallels my imagination ... it would be "The Hobbitt" .. the "Lord of the Rings" series by JRR Tolkien. He knows how to weave an amazing story.
BigStar_Host: Do you miss the stage?
Shane: I do."The Cider House Rules" was the first and only play that I've done. And, consequently, I didn't think I'd miss it cause I wasn't a theatre fan, but I definitely now want to get back on stage one day.
BigStar_Host: Do you have any last comments about Liberty Heights?
Shane: Mm ... it's a very good period piece and I would say anyone who wants to watch, I think, a one day classic, it'll be a classic one day, they should go and see this. I think it'll do much better on video.
jenniferlee_1980 asks: Do you plan on having a family at anytime?
Shane: Oh yeah, definitely. You know, I don't see it happening for a while, but yeah. Big family, lots of kids. :)
BigStar_Host : Is there a fan club or a website?
Shane: I'm not a ... I think someone has an unofficial website for me, but I wouldn't know how to get there besides just looking up "Shane West". I don't know! Probably go to the "Once And Again" website ... I'll always be there for people, but I'm not going to be a publicity hound. I'm always interested in what people have to say :) This was fun!Thank you everyone! :)Bye!