Transported to whole new level
CHRIS Vance’s career as an actor has taken him to various stops around the globe, beginning in his native England before a sojourn in Australia (where he starred in medical drama All Saints) and then to the US, where he landed supporting roles in Prison Break , Dexter and Burn Notice.
‘‘I think accidental may be a great way to describe it – I’m absolutely in no control of my career,’’ laughs Vance. ‘‘It’s just life, the journey of life. I embrace it and I go with it. It’s the only way I can be happy.’’
Based in Los Angeles, Vance takes on leading-man status – not to mention action-hero status – with The Transporter, a pedal-to-the-metal pay-TV series inspired by the film franchise starring Jason Statham.
When shadowy characters need something delivered with no questions asked, Vance’s Frank Martin – a former special forces operative with a hotted-up Audi and a strict code of conduct – is the man they call.
‘‘Frank delivers packages from point A to point B and the complications occur when the villains try to get their hands on it,’’ says Vance. ‘‘He tries to never break his rules . . . but where’s the fun in that?’’
Indeed, Frank can barely make it through a mission without some form of entanglement with a brutish bad guy or a beautiful woman. And for Vance, that’s a big part of The Transporter’s appeal. ‘‘You can’t go past that, can you?’’ he smiles. ‘‘Everyone wants to win the fight and kiss the girl and I’m still a kid, really.’’
A fan of the deadpan sense of humour Statham brought to the big-screen Transporter, Vance was keen to ensure the small-screen version has just as much verve and wit.
Carrying a high-octane series like The Transporter on his shoulder is new for Vance, but in his mind the job is the job, ‘‘whether you’re in three scenes or 300’’. ‘‘And I commit to it to the best I can,’’ he says. As far as playing Frank Martin goes, that includes learning to handle himself behind the wheel of a highperformance car.
‘‘My off-road driving skills have improved since I started playing Frank,’’ he laughs.
‘‘But I’ve also learned a lot of stuff you can’t do in your day-to-day driving. It’s perfectly useless here in Los Angeles where everyone drives at 15 miles per hour but, yes, I can now spin a car 180 degrees.’’
Wednesdays, 6.30pm, FX