CynbytheSea Interview with Conrad Coates

Conrad, the members of CynbytheSea, thank you for your generous time, it's been a pleasure interviewing you, we wish you continued success as we follow your career.


Q1.) When did you decide that acting was what you wanted to do?

CONRAD:After training and working for a couple of years in the theatre it finally sunk in how important story telling was, especially cultural folklore.

Q2.) How did your career begin?

CONRAD: I apprenticed with small theatre companies for years performing as much as possible to gain experience.

Q3.) Can you tell please tell us about the details of your audition for La Femme Nikita?

CONRAD: I was brought in for over 4 years for different roles and was now on a first name basis with the producers whenever I came into the room. It worked out well for me seeing that Haled became a recurring character in season 5.

Q4.) Did you watch the show before being called for the audition on La Femme Nikita?

CONRAD: Many times.

Q5.) Did you have any input in how the character of Haled would be played?

CONRAD: There were certain parameters that the members of the Collective would fit into. Haled was a specialist and what I brought to him was the notion of his rigidity to stay within what he was taught.

Q6.) Which was your favorite episode/scene on La Femme Nikita?

CONRAD: When Haled was convinced that meeting the "mole" was a trap and it turned out to be true.

Claudia Conde ~ Buenos Aires - Argentina

Q7.) What type of role to do you like to play best, the bad or the good guy?

CONRAD: I enjoy playing characters (good or bad) that discover something about themselves that they never considered before that changes their out look on life.

Q8.) If you could write one episode for your character Haled, on La Femme Nikita, what would have happen ?

CONRAD: He would have lived to fight another day.

Chrissy Langeveld ~ Netherlands

Q9.) You have been in La Femme Nikita and "The Pretender" as a 'bad guy'. Can you think of any reason why the producers/directors would cast you in these parts?

CONRAD: I think I'm perceived as a very serious guy with an intensity level of 11 out of 10. At least it seemed to work for those characters.

Q10.) I notice that you have done some stage acting as well as Television and Film. Which is your preference and why?

CONRAD: I don't put one over the other. I really do enjoy doing them both because they demand a different set of skills from me.

Q11.) A pity I don't get the 'Body And Soul' program here in Australia. It looks great. What's it like working with Peter Strauss?

CONRAD: Peter and I had a great relationship. The man is a leader, full of knowledge of what goes into telling a story for television. He really set the bar for all concerned- in front of the camera and behind- to follow.

Warren Stewart~ Perth Section

Q12.) When you got the role for Haled, after you were killed off, did you wish you had an bigger role to portray in "La Femme Nikita"?

CONRAD: I was very happy playing Haled; he got to be around for the final 4 episodes of La Femme Nikita. I felt very fortunate to have been in those shows, especially when Haled took out Operations. (I was teased a lot on set that day)

Deb Schwartz~ Michigan- USA

Q13.) It's difficult finding bio information on you, we'd love to know more, can you tell us a bit about yourself.

CONRAD: I was born in London, England. At a young age moved to Canada, where I was educated. After school, I worked extensively in local and regional theaters and at the Stratford (Shakespeare) Festival. Presently I reside in Los Angeles.

Q14.) Were there any serious moments while filming in La Femme Nikita, that you all just busted out of character? Bloopers, Out-Takes?

CONRAD: Truly nothing ever happened, if you can believe it in almost a month of shooting. But off the set! Sorry I can't talk about that. We had to sign a waiver never to reveal anything.

Q15.) What geared you towards an acting career, and what are your interests outside of acting?

CONRAD: I really fell into acting; like the porcupine who backed into the cactus and said, "Mother is that you?" When that happened I knew I was in the right place. As for interests outside of acting, I enjoy reading philosophy, literature and of course watching films. I'm a bit of a golf nut, though still a student of the game and I'm also dabbling in writing and filmmaking.

Q16.) Do you attend Sci-Fi Conventions since staring in "Earth , Final Conflict"?

CONRAD: I was never asked to attend any conventions. I would have liked to though, I hear they're lots of fun.

Cynthia Wilkerson~ Texas-USA

Q17.) When on a location, do you prefer to be close to your home or distance?

CONRAD: I always like to be close to set when working, be it in a hotel or in my hometown because I'm usually beat by the end of the day and I hate the drive. When out of town you seem to focus a bit more on the work. I don't like to push my family away while I'm working on something but they tell me I'm a bit tough to talk to when I'm doing long days for days on end.

Q18.) How long have you been in the acting profession?

CONRAD: Since 1986.

Q19.) Have you or would you like to direct an episode?

CONRAD: I'm working on developing the skills to direct. Hopefully one day I'll get an opportunity.

Q20.) Is there anyone or anything you take with you while your filming for a long period of time?

CONRAD: If there's no snow I bring along my golf clubs, a lot of pictures and a long distance calling card or two.

Q21.) Do you have plans, in the future, to portray any particular person and why?

CONRAD: I would love to do a period piece, something historical. Maybe playing Toussaint-Louverture leader of the Haitian rebellions of 1790, or the life of composer Saint-Georges (1600's). We never get to see these types of black characters in stories brought to the main stream.

Q22.)Is there any one thing that comes to mind during the filming of La Femme Nikita that you'd care to share with us?

CONRAD: We were shooting episode 507 "Let No Man Put Asunder". Some parts were story boarded (where the scenes are drawn out, by hand, so the DOP, camera operator and crew get the visual of what the director wants) Rene Bonniere was the director. At lunch he was going over his notes for afterwards and he called me over to show me how was going to set up the shot. There was Haled blasting away. I thought it was a great drawing of what was going to happen. After we had shot the scene he had autographed the drawing and gave it to me as a present. I was thrilled. Someday I'll frame it.

Sandy Meridith~ Kansas, USA

Q23.) I enjoyed watching you in the series "Body & Soul", why was the show cancelled?

CONRAD: Low ratings and politics.

Q24.) Had you worked with any of the actors on LFN before you did the show?

CONRAD: I had met Peta Wilson years before at a party but up to that point had not worked with her or any of the other actors before.

Q25.) Would you do another "Pretender" movie if the chance was given?

CONRAD: The character I played was killed in a gunfight. But stranger things have happened on that show before, including bringing back the dead.

Vickie Luke~ Charleston, WV

Q26.) How did you decide to become an actor and what would have been your second choice for a career?

CONRAD: A second choice of career might have been an architect or some form of law.

Dana Vrajitoru - Indiana, USA

Q27.) How did you feel about obtaining a role on a show that was cancelled and then revived by its fans on LFN?

CONRAD:Power to the people, right on!

Q28.)Your "Collective" co-star and you really looked completely "fed up" with one another and ready to kill each other......How did you achieve that level of intensity so quickly?

CONRAD: Adrian and I had known each other professionally for some time. So before shooting anything we had an opportunity to go over our characters history and how we came to be "in this place at this time". We knew there was an intense dislike for each other; which fuelled the bitter rivalry for power. We knew we could "go for it" in terms of not hiding our feelings for each other, which I have to admit is a lot of fun. It certainly scared the crew on the first day of our scenes together, which informed us that our work and chemistry was working.

Q29.) We've read the Roy Dupuis (Michael) "sets the mood" on the set and other actors follow his lead quite often....... did you experience that as well or feel it to be true?

CONRAD: I would have to agree. Roy Dupuis had a firm hand on the tone and mood of the show and for me as a visiting guest star he is certainly the one to point out how it's been done in the past- sticking to the formula that is. He was great to work with because was like the walking encyclopedia of LFN on set. He later directed me in episode 506 "The Evil That Men Do".

Q30.) What do you consider "the best moment of your life"?

CONRAD: When my daughter was coming into this world we had decided it would be a home birth. She didn't want to wait for the midwife who was late for her arrival. So I had to deliver her along with my wife on the bathroom floor. I saw colors around all living things for days.

Thank you for your interview for!!!
Brenda Allison ~ Missouri-USA


I have to thank you and your members for your interest in me and my career.
Conrad Coates

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