British Invasion on the Small Screen
Multi-talented Muzz Khan is taking the U.S. by storm - without actually being on its shores
Actor/singer/DJ Muzz Khan is making a splash in American TV and film without, so far, leaving the British Isles.
He's done a guest stint on the hit series 24 and will make his US film debut in the upcoming Me Before You, but perhaps his biggest calling card so far is his role on the second season ABC's beloved cult favorite Galavant. Khan gets to display his comedy and singing chops as Barry, the hapless assistant to series villain Wormwood.
Khan took a break from planning his first trip to Hollywood to chat with us about Galavant, juggling music and acting, and the British sense of humor.
Your resumé is pretty diverse! Is there a type of role you feel most at home with?
Kind of you to say so! It’s always a relief to hear people say that. As an actor, you try not to get typecast too much, so I’m grateful that I’ve had the chance to shape shift as much as I have! I’m pretty comfortable with whatever gets thrown at me, y’know?
On stage, I’ve surprisingly had the biggest acclaim playing very aggressive, alpha-male characters who have a reckless and raw edge to them. Totally not what I’m like as a person. I don’t have a violent bone in my body and have never been in a fight in my life!
On screen, the picture is a little different. I’ve done a lot more comedy on screen. I guess I’d like to keep switching it up and diversifying. It’s the best way to be.
Can you tell us a little about Galavant?
Galavant is what happens when you fuse British humor with American, with the genius of Disney encapsulated inside the world of medieval times! It’s one of the most refreshingly different pieces of television I’ve seen. There’s nothing like it on screen in the UK and nothing like it in the US either. It’s self-knowing, whimsical, mischievous and pokes fun at the genre it’s purporting to be. It takes risks.
ABC’s president, Paul Lee, recently came out saying he loved it and Season 2 is currently rated at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. We’re thrilled!
Between Galavant and shows like Glee, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and Smash, it seems like musicals are the next big thing on TV. Why do you think they've become such a phenomenon?
If we really psychoanalyse this and strip it back to the bone – then it’s because music is innate. It’s a ritualistic, tribal phenomenon that’s existed since the days of the caveman. I would say we as a species love music! That’s why we like musical theater and music-filled cinema. They make us happy, they’re feel-good and they’re entertaining.
Can you talk a little about the difference between working in British and American TV (Or are they that different?)?
It’s a far bigger animal in America. The whole production, the business of it and the scale of it, is bigger. I guess that’s not surprising given the size of the country. It’s all ratio, right?
When I did 24 – and also Galavant – I found it to be a really well-oiled machine. Not to say that us Brits aren’t well-oiled either. But the nature of the beast is just that more colossal with you guys. Oh, and the MAIN difference is that you guys talk with a funny accent! Obviously.
Do you think you'll ever get a chance to DJ on a show or in a movie? Are you interested in becoming a music supervisor?
A boy can dream! I’d love to play a DJ on screen one day and really delve into the art and craft of being a DJ. There’s A LOT of graft, skill and knowledge that goes into it. By the same token, there’s a lot of comedy to be had too. And some of the things I’ve witnessed on dance floors could fill volumes!
What are your goals for your career?
I just want to continue working as an actor in as many varied mediums as possible.
I’ve had such a blast doing a regular stint on Galavant, actually, so it’d be great to do a regular stint for a few seasons on an American show for a while. It’s so refreshing to live and breathe in a character on screen for a prolonged period of time and to get to explore who they are as a human being. To get under their skin.
You get that kind of opportunity on stage all the time – and it’s exhilarating. I’ll be visiting America and coming over to LA in February for a few weeks and I can’t wait to see how things develop during pilot season. I’ve literally just signed with Industry Entertainment who will be managing me out there.
Here’s to 2016!
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