Sin City is a dynamic and flashy place, and the truth to everything is obscured. Such is the case with hotel surveillance specialist Mike Cannon played by veteran television actor James Lesure on NBC’s new drama “Las Vegas.” James Lesure ( Le Sure) was born on September 21, 1975 in Los Angeles, California. An amateur boxer inspired by the feature film Raging Bull, James Lesure made his series starring debut in For Your Love. Growing up in Gardena and Carson, Calif., Lesure entered the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. after high school. After one year, when the reality of the rigorous training had obliterated any romantic illusions, he left school. Seeking a new direction, he enrolled in acting classes and joined a Shakespeare company that toured Los Angeles junior high and high schools. Lesure resumed college at the University of Southern California, majoring in English and theater. During a year studying abroad, he became involved in amateur boxing at the University of Kent at Canterbury. But fate stepped in and after performing in a college production of Hair, he was sidetracked from athletics by the allure of acting. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from USC in 1995, Lesure traveled throughout the United States before buckling down to pursue a professional acting career. Initially, he joined a small theater group in Los Angeles and began auditioning for small-screen parts. Success came with guest-starring roles on such series as Seinfeld, Mad About You, The Drew Carey Show and NYPD Blue. In addition, he appeared in the feature films Crimson Tide and Casanova Falling.
When not working, Lesure likes to spend time with his foster brothers and his friends. He also enjoys paint-gun competition, surfing, running, and playing basketball, tennis and boxing. James Lesure currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
James Lesure of NBC’s new drama “Las Vegas”
James Lesure gives new meaning to the term, Hollywood Hunk. He portrays Mike Cannon, a suave, competitive, and fun-loving member of an elite surveillance team, at a luxury casino, on the hit NBC drama, Las Vegas. In addition to handsome looks and magnetic charm, Lesure has a firmly grounded personality.
Question: Who is Mike Cannon?
Answer: He's the valet. He's also Danny's man on the street, and a wacky gadget inventor courtesy of that master's degree in engineering he has. And that's about all we know about Mike, since he gets an average of 2.5 minutes of screen time per episode. Mike is played by James Lesure.
'Las Vegas' Hopes Second Season Is Lucky Too
Man, it's really true: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
At least that applies to certain plot points in "Las Vegas," NBC's lively dramedy that starts a new season on Monday, Sept. 13.
Specifically, series creator Gary Scott Thompson doesn't want to reveal a key event in the relationship between Mary and Danny (Nikki Cox, Josh Duhamel), although "Who am I kidding?" Thompson laughs. "You'll probably see it trotted out in NBC promos by the time this story runs."
What Thompson can reveal is Danny McCoy (Duhamel), the ex-Marine who was recalled to duty last season on a classified mission to an undisclosed location, will be back in the series opener, although Thompson hints that the mission took its toll on Danny -- a toll that makes him more a peer with his casino boss, Big Ed Deline (James Caan).
"Danny and Big Ed have a lot more in common now, having been in the s***," Thompson explains. "Both of them have had to see and do things while working for their government and serving their country that otherwise they would not do. In the season opener, Ed draws upon some parallels with his own experience to help Danny deal with where he has been."
Danny's absence has resulted in another shift as well: His friend Mike Cannon (James Lesure), the cheerful valet who assisted Big Ed's team during crises last season, has finally, if reluctantly, joined the Montecito Resort & Casino crew on a regular basis.
"Mike has gone from valet and kind of unwillingly moved into the surveillance room, although it was a pay cut and he viewed it as a demotion because he loved being a valet so much," Thompson says. "It was a quality of life issue before - Mike was being around people, with a lot of freedom and making a substantial amount of money. Now, though, he's moving into an arena that will challenge him more."
And Lesure, Mike's alter ego, says he is looking forward to his expanded role in this new season.
"I think this 'new side' of Mike just falls in line with what we already have established for him," Lesure says. "He's open to it and curious about this new job, because it allows him to kind of play around as a cop or detective. That has to be exciting for him.
"Danny is Mike's 'road dog,' but getting to work with him officially is something new. There's this great little competitive undercurrent between them, and it's fun to play the way they keep trying to undercut one another."
The actor also is welcome to something that has been missing from his character's story line: some romance.
"And please print that in bold, black letters, please, because I have caught an incredible amount of flack about that," Lesure laughs. "I'm hearing that somewhere on the back burner he may have a love interest coming. I'm looking forward to it. I'm ready."
Juggling the demands of the colorful characters on "Las Vegas" may be challenging, but life keeps pitching the series writers new ideas, as in an August news story about a Middle Eastern emigre "of special interest" who had compiled a disquieting amount of video footage depicting Las Vegas hotels and casinos.
"I was there when that story broke and it was mildly amusing, to say the least, to read it as you are sitting in one of the hotels that apparently was targeted," Thompson says drily. "But there's so much surveillance and security show there, Las Vegas is almost literally the safest place in the world. Since we're a surveillance and security show, I feel confident in telling you that.
"There are cameras everywhere, and it's almost impossible not to be seen. But as they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. They keep quiet about what they've seen."
That doesn't mean those spicy, comic and poignant interludes might not inspire an episode of "Las Vegas," however. This is one location in which reality routinely trumps anything a room full of fiction writers ever could dream up, Thompson adds.
"We hope to have a lot of fun this year, while remaining rooted in what I'll call 'Las Vegas reality,'" Thompson says.
"Of course, the great thing about Vegas is, anything goes," he adds, laughing. "It was kind of hilarious, we were considering some story lines over the summer for this next season, and I thought, 'Oh, I don't know, that's a little out there even for Vegas.' Then, I swear to God, three of them happened right in front of my eyes while I was there this past week."
James Lesure speaks about his role in ''Las Vegas''
Do you relate at all to your character? How?
"Yes, we both like chocolate cake and women."
What's your sign?
"Virgo. Yes, I'm highly intelligent, which is supposedly a Virgo trait. I'm also very fertile."
What TV show from your childhood would you want to guest star on?
What is your number one pet peeve?
"It's a tie between lying and bad breath."
Which actor/actress/performer did you have a childhood crush on?
Amanda Peete and Fred "Rerun" Berry.