Ian Kahn isn’t too heartbroken over saying goodbye to George Washington.
Kahn stars as America’s first president in AMC’s Revolutionary War drama “Turn: Washington’s Spies.” The fourth and final season is currently airing.
“You know, I’m surprised I’m not sadder that it’s over,” the 45-year-old told Fox News.
“It was such a huge responsibility playing the role,” said the actor. “And carrying that man wherever you go, going through the challenges that he was going through, it’s very hard. So it’s a great sense of relief. I’ll miss the camaraderie with the crew and cast. I’ll miss playing such an immense human being because he really was that. But so far, I’m OK and I’m very excited to see how life moves forward.”
When the series first premiered in 2014, Kahn didn’t just slip into period costumes to portray the founding father. He sought the help of Washington impersonator Daniel Shippey, of California’s Breed’s Hill Institute -- a non-profit organization that aims to educate Americans on the country’s history. Shippey served as Kahn’s historical advisor on the show.
“For the last four years, every day at work, I would ask myself, ‘What would George Washington do in this moment?’” said Kahn. “I learned a lot as a human being, as a man, and certainly as an actor.”
Kahn said Washington became a part of his life even after cameras stopped rolling.
“When I first thought of George Washington, I would always imagine the man on the dollar bill looking kind of [grumpy] and displeased all the time,” he said. “But what I didn’t know was that he was an amazingly charismatic man. He was beloved by his soldiers. He also struggled immensley [with] his political problems during the Revolutionary War... But he handled things very beautifully."
Kahn’s journey into American history has taken him a long way from the time he once wooed Sarah Jessica Parker on HBO's "Sex and the City."
“I was so young and so inexperience,” he admitted. “I think it may have been the second show [I’d] done. I think I did one after-school special before that… I met with my agent and he said, ‘This is an audition to play Sarah Jessica Parker’s boyfriend. I had such a crush on her from ‘Square Pegs’ that I said to him that night, ‘I’m going to get this part.’ And he said, ‘It’s going to be a tough part to get. Everyone wants to play the part.’ And I said, ‘Well this one, I’m going to get.’”
Kahn appeared in 1999 during Season 2 in an episode titled “The Freak Show.” He played charismatic journalist Ben, who easily lured Carrie Bradshaw (Parker). While the on-screen romance ended disastrously, Kahn enjoyed the perks of the job.
“I got to kiss Sarah Jessica Parker. That was awesome,” he said. “Every time it shows up on TV, I’ll go, ‘Look how young I look! Like a child!”
Then from 2001 until 2002 he starred as Danny Brecher in the WB teen drama “Dawson’s Creek.”
“I had a lot of fun doing ‘Dawson’s Creek’ mainly working with Josh Jackson,” he recalled. “I remember when we were in between setups, we would go back to his trailer and he had a Playstation back then. We would play video games. It was a sweet setup. And then we would go back to work, get 20 minutes, and then run back to the trailer and keep playing video games. It was a really fun time.
"I’m always surprised by how many people remember that role and remember that show."
He said isn't really in touch with the cast of "Dawson's Creek" but had only great things to say about them.
"...I was really more of a guest on that show. I know they stay in touch. But I’m sort of the old guy who came in for one season. But if I ever do run into any of them, I’m sure it would be very pleasant. They were lovely people.”
Since then, he's come a long way.
Now, as his dramatic role on "Turn: Washington’s Spies" comes to an end, he's able to reflect on what he's learned from taking on such a serious role.
“As I got further with [‘Turn’], I learned more and more about what an amazing man [Washington] was and how much he sacrificed for his country,” he said. “It was love at first sight, second sight, and even third sight.”