Charmed star faces own demons

Charmed star faces own demons

Brian Krause has been sober for a year. He will be in Perth for Supanova next month.
Brian Krause has been sober for a year. He will be in Perth for Supanova next month.

Former Charmed star Brian Krause has met his life’s challenge head on for the past 12 months, revealing he has not touched a drop of alcohol in that time. Robyn Molloy finds out how his new movie venture is close to his heart and why he will be in Perth next month.

Brian Krause, who played Leo Wyatt for eight seasons in the hit television series Charmed, will beat out other stars at Supanova with ‘a couple of cartwheels, a really bad juggling act’ and possibly singing out of tune when he catches up with fans at the event.

Speaking from Laguna Hills, California last week, Krause has been working on a docudrama about homelessness with Mark Rolston (Shawshank Redemption, Departed).

His own battle with alcohol means the project is close to his heart, as the main character is an alcoholic living on the streets.

“For me getting sober this last year has been everything,” he said.

“That is what has helped pique my interest in the homeless world and addiction and all of it.”

Krause said a friend in Los Angeles had walked past the same homeless man for five years, living where many others do as well, amongst foliage near bus bays.

“One day it was raining and the guy was shivering under a tree and he brought him a sleeping bag and the guy started crying and since then the whole neighbourhood has kind of looked after this guy Michael,” he said.

“Michael is 55, he had a career, a wife and house, we don’t know the full story and it is hard to push him but that’s where we are recreating scenarios.

“You know filming, we wonder are we filming as a film or are we filming as a documentary, we are kind of doing a little bit of both because it is two different worlds.

“With our main character that Mark plays with family it is a movie but when we’re on the streets with Michael it is very much like the movie Glow or something like that.

“We have shot with him for a couple of weeks and are cutting together a trailer and we’re going to go out and look at different grants, crowd funding, that sort of thing to take it to the next step.”

Krause said proceeds from the film would cover costs with the rest going to Michael or his church.

“It (homelessness) is a problem the world over, the deeper I get into that issue, beyond Michael, he is just one of hundreds of thousands of millions and it’s staggering, it brings me to tears,” he said.

Part of what is tearful is that confronting alcoholism hits Krause in the face as he has walked the path too.

“When I see our friend Michael, he’s a beer drinker, all he does is drink beer, he drinks the tall cans and who knows how many a day,” he said.

“I give it to you when you get him sober, he’s not going to want to sleep in that tent and that dirt but something in the brain snaps, I don’t know, alcohol is a dangerous drug, very dangerous and I don’t know, hopefully people can educate their own kids.

“That’s all you can do, you can’t tell people not to do it because it is socially acceptable.

“And I am not saying that, as hey, it’s a darn good time. I am like that old commercial for eating ‘when the fun stops’,” he laughs.

Krause said he drank for so many years but was now clear headed and had a great outlook going forward.

He said it wasn’t easy to change a lifetime habit.

“Obviously this last year has just been to get through to here, when you are really keeping count for once,” he said.

“Probably trying for the last five and trying to slow down the last five before that. Trying to only do it once in a while before that, you know, it is a life change.

“I drank for so many years and let’s see what life has to offer without it. So far so good.”

Whilst he has had a number of guest roles in shows including Madmen, CSI Miami and Castle, Krause has not played a bigger role than on Charmed, which finished 10 years ago.

“Perhaps that’s an accomplishment in its own right, that Leo had such an impact. Everywhere I go people don’t even know my name, I’m Leo,” he laughs.

“I need to rebrand as Leo 2.2.”

He was last in Perth two years ago for Supanova and will be there again on June 25 and 26 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.