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Shane Taylor rolls with punches of 'Strike Back'


October 13, 2012|By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol | RedEye

You've got this thing going on with Craig Hanson, where for me, it's not about Stonebridge. Stonebridge becomes the emotional target. For Hanson, it's about the guilt. It's about the self-loathing. It's about forcing his brother to do something that he wasn't cut out to do, and then leaving him, and he’s the only thing that he cared about.

There is a massive amount going on underneath that. It's that classic, psychological transference of anger that is thrust upon Stonebridge because after all, he's looking at Stonebridge as the man who would look out for [his brother]. Now you can go into the details. Stonebridge had to take him out in the way that he did. There are reasons for what he did, but in Hanson's eyes he kind of failed him. He failed him. It's almost like a betrayal.

He knew he was vulnerable, but to what extent I must say, I don't think Craig Hanson probably knew in terms of just how bad it was. But at the same time, he was expecting Stonebridge to look out for him, and it didn't happen.

The justification for then going on and shooting his wife, well, that’s extreme. But then you're dealing with an extreme man who comes from an extreme background. There is a one-way trajectory from there on in. What Craig Hanson was looking for was not only to make him suffer, but then to really go on a particular route that was going to see Stonebridge end [Hanson’s] life, if you know what I mean? It was almost like a Special Forces suicide ... He’s always looked at Stonebridge to end it. He was aware that it was going to end when it got to that final conflict. It was what he was egging him on to do.

It was, in Craig Hanson’s warped mind, and the way I was trying to play it, it was going to serve both people. It was going to serve Stonebridge for his vengeance, although he’d have live with it. Also, for the fact that it takes Hanson away because he had nothing. He just didn't have anything to live for, and he didn't want to. I think that the whole thing snowballs, pretty much, after the assassination of Stonebridge's wife. Then it goes on from there.

I think it’s interesting you say there is not a lot of difference between the three of them.
You look at the way they deal with things, it's post-traumatic, isn't it, for every one of them? They all had their ways of dealing with things, and they're highly controversial. They're all killers. They're all people who take out other people, for whatever reason. They've all got demons. I really don't see it in black and white, you know, these can be seen as good people because they're in Section 20 and Hanson because he joined Knox is this kind of character. They all operate in that gray. That's why I find them all very fascinating.

I would like to have seen all three of them in the field working together. I think they’d make a great unit.

I drew parallels to help me with my character. I would often read about the two of those characters and where they came from, and what their back story was. ... I just kind of thought, “Wow, this is really interesting. This is really interesting.” I know it kind of gets extreme for Hanson, but the energy, the makeup, the DNA is very similar. It's something to get a foothold for me going in.

I quite like the initial stuff with my brother and then Stonebridge. Then, of course, things happen, and Hanson becomes this kind of in and out sort of killing machine. By the end of it, I'm glad that there was some kind of moment where I could explain to Stonebridge where I was coming from, and what we are, and that’s nothing really to be proud of. Whatever I say, “It’s a game of soldiers and this is just no life.”

He's come to the end of the road. This is the perfect resolution for Hanson anyway. This needed to happen. It really needed to happen, and I knew that.

Are you as adept at getting out of handcuffs as Hanson is?
[Laughs.] You know, this is the thing, it's weird because you have these specialists, like Paul Hornsby is one. He's a great man. He did some stuff on “Band of Brothers” years ago and I worked with him. They are really good at doing what they do. They'll be the first ones to say, “Look, in reality this can't happen. This situation, you wouldn't do that; you can't do this.”

Then there comes a point where directors or producers or whoever it is that are writing, whatever. It's written in a certain way because it is an action show, and it's high entertainment, where the spectacle and the sort of poetic license just takes over. They get overruled. I feel for them because some of the situations, some of the “A-Team” situations like, “Man, how could they all get hit?” I feel for them because they've gone in and said, “Well, that can't happen; that's outrageous.” They are often overruled for the spectacle of the visual and the entertainment value.

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