Looking for a Sean Keenan-type
He is now so in-demand that Sean Keenan’s name is shorthand lingo for casting agents.
If anyone is having a bumper year of roles it must be Sean Keenan.
Having recently appeared on Hoges for Seven, Glitch and Newton’s Law for ABC, Wake in Fright for TEN and Foxtel’s Australia Day movie, he has barely left our screens.
The former Lockie Leonard star jokes that even casting calls are starting to refer to him.
“Channel Seven is coming out with The Sean Keenan Biopic next year! Played by a Sean Keenan-type,” he laughs.
“After Lockie people would say ‘We’re looking for like a Sean Keenan-type’. I’ve been asked to do the odd short which I’ve turned down and I was told they were asking for a ‘Sean Kennan-type.’”
He admits to concerns about being just as easily overlooked for the next hot thing, as well as not quite knowing what the description means.
“I’m not sure. What is any kind of type?” he asks.
“But then it moves from wanting a Sean Keenan-type to ‘Who’s Sean Keenan?’
“Everything comes in ebbs and flows and for now things are building.”
Indeed they are. Keenan has won strong reviews for his performance in TEN’s Wake in Fright remake. But last year things began so quietly he booked himself in for a 6 week acting intensive course in New York.
“But of course as soon as you book a holiday that’s when you get work,” he sighs.
“I got Hoges at the start so I had to shorten the trip on one side, then I got Newton’s Law and had to shorten the other side.
“Then I came back and we got the dates for Glitch (S2).
“Choices are one of the most important things. But it’s hard. You do have big gaps of no work. I’ve had a few things I have turned down and I’m only human, a month later you think ‘F***! Why did I do that? I’m still not working!’ But then you get a job and you see it come out and you think ‘I’m so glad I didn’t do that!’
At the time we chat, Keenan is about to tackle the season finale for Glitch which includes a showdown for Charlie with the villainous Phil played by Rob Collins.
“It’s very scary, but fun,” he continues.
“You find you live your character’s emotional journey. Charlie is at a state now of realising who he is to the full extent, so it gives him a confidence. With his sexuality he’s getting to a stage where he it’s not as confusing to him anymore. He’s starting to realise these things can be out in the open.
“But then he is still being pursued by a dark force who wants to wipe them all out. So it’s nice to know that all of that is complete for me as an actor.
“Now we are shooting the final episode chronologically, so you go into it with a sense of all the stuff you have lived, remembering all the glitches, is in your body as an actor.”
I’m curious about how the cast describe a glitch, as despicted in the series?
“A glitch is like a visceral memory, a melding with reality. There is something a character will see in their world that triggers a memory coming back at them. But we start to figure out it was a scientific process and they didn’t have any memories…..” he explains.
“A remembrance of their past life is actually part of their brain being restored. We call them the glitches, but I’m not sure if the audience knows that!
“It helps to have shot the glitch in the 1920s for him to be able to draw on that, because these moments are quite traumatic.”
Has he had glitches in real life?
“Not when I’m a sober!” he laughs.
“The closest in life is when you listen to a song and you have a feeling of nostalgia. But obviously it is far more vivid for these characters.
“I remember moments from my childhood quite vividly. But it doesn’t necessarily mean I am hallucinating!”
“It’s so important to steer your career in the right direction. I’d love to be doing more film but you do what you can.
“If you work hard and you make sure the work you are doing is good then it makes sense you will get more. So I think I’ve been doing that.
Wake in Fright concludes 8:30pm Sunday on TEN
Glitch concludes 8:30pm Thursday on ABC.