The Joy of Sets: Brian Krause's Charmed Life
While we all know that Charmed was about the bewitching Halliwell sisters and the Power of Three that kept them cooking for eight seasons, those of us who have been lucky to feast on the amazing Charmed — The Complete Series edition are fast realizing that Brian Krause's Leo was indeed the man of the mansion. So when the chance orbed in, ya'll know I was more than happy to chat with the original Whitelighter for a spell.
TVGuide.com: Did you participate in any of the extras for the DVD set?
Brian Krause: Yeah, [exec producer] Brad Kern and I sat down and watched an entire episode. I think it was the "Vaya Con Leos" episode, which was one of my last ones. We did some voice-over stuff.
TVGuide.com: Now, I became addicted to the show because TNT airs them when I'm at the gym.
Krause: In the morning? And then in the afternoon. And then early night. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: It's the Law & Order of the occult!
Krause: Yeah! I TiVo my name just for anything that comes up, and let me tell you, I can't TiVo anything else, because they keep repeating it. [Laughs] It's incredible. I think more people watch it on TNT now than when it was ever on The WB, just because you have the availability. I can watch it at 10 in the morning, I can watch it at noon. I can watch at 4.
TVGuide.com: Which is great!
Krause: I know! I have been recognized more from people who say "Oh man, I just started watching it last year!" People who never saw it when it was on.
TVGuide.com: And you auditioned originally for Andy? Thank god you didn't get that one, since they killed him off pretty early.
Krause: Yeah, I would have been one and done. I was going to play the cop opposite Shannen [Doherty].
TVGuide.com: Speaking of, how was it on the set, with these very strong personalities?
Krause: Well, obviously there was tension, with Shannen there or not. Even when Rose [McGowan] came in, it was tough. Three girls...I think it's tough for women to find a place of success in this industry and when they do, God bless 'em. They have to work harder, stay leaner and be prettier than the men do. I think once they got there, they demanded a certain level of respect and wanted things to run a certain way. I just didn't get involved, so maybe that's why I stayed around so long. I would show up, do my stuff, talk to the crew members and go home. I tried not to get involved in any of the drama going on with the three of them, or four of them. There were a few tough days, but I don't think there was a day I didn't walk on set and laugh...they all had amazing senses of humor.
TVGuide.com: How many of them did you hook up with?
Krause: Just one.
TVGuide.com: You gonna tell me who?
Krause: Oh you didn't dig this up? [Laughs] I dated Alyssa for about 8 months.
TVGuide.com: Ok, good choice.
Krause: [Laughs] Yeah, you know, if you're gonna go there, go big.
TVGuide.com: And it's a smart one, because she wasn't your on-screen love interest...
Krause: Right, so if it failed, how would we [make that work]? Exactly.
TVGuide.com: You had some great stories over the eight seasons and Leo really become pivotal to the mythology of Charmed.
Krause: It started around Season 3, Season 4, when I did an episode called "Saving Private Leo." Brad had pitched it to Aaron Spelling and they weren't sure about it. You know, to take a storyline away from the three girls, they were all about the girls and the power of three...so they weren't sure if Warner Brothers would go for it. Why would anyone want to know more about this character? But we got to do it and that episode got really good ratings and a lot of response to it. So that's when they started making episodes, three, four times a year, that revolved around my character. Which was great.
TVGuide.com: Watching the show in bulk with this Complete Series set I gotta wonder, how many times did these women call out your name? They were summoning him all the time!
Krause: That was actually a joke on the set. Holly [Marie Combs] would be like 'how many different ways can I do this?' In between takes she would scream "LEOOOO!' [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Do you have any favorite episodes?
Krause: Yeah, a couple. It's hard to remember the names. "Saving Private Leo" definitely, because I got to do the war thing a little bit. Gosh, there were so many...playing a flower child, when I was pregnant, when I was the sloth, sitting there on the bed. "Vaya Con Leos" is pretty fun. "Sense and Sense Ability," the one I wrote the story on, I liked. All the gladiator stuff.
TVGuide.com: How do you feel about the show's finale?
Krause: It was tough, you know? To not get picked up for the whole season, I can't say I was...yeah, I can say it: I was pissed off. I was angry. Not fulfilling my contract and only bringing me back for half a season kind of pissed me off. But they wanted to spread that out over the whole year and I felt like it wasn't fair to keep me [around] and not use me...so I wound up doing half the season and then coming back for the final two episodes. I think it ended all right and it was nice that they could do the happily ever after. I thought it was a nice wrap-up, yet it was kept open enough in a way that, if it was ever redeveloped somehow, everybody is in their spot to do something.
TVGuide.com: And eight seasons is pretty impressive. Especially for a netlet like the WB.
Krause: Yeah. I think it was the longest-running series with female leads in TV history. So kudos to Alyssa and Shannen and Holly and Rose.