With 17 years of experience under his belt, stuntman, producer, actor and writer, Mark Strange has travelled the world and worked with some of the biggest names in the films industry.
He appeared at the Great Northern Creative Festival to talk about his new role in a zombie apocalypse war film.
Redcon-1 is a collaboration between some huge names from across the pond including Carlos Gallardo, frequent collaborator of director Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Eastwood, creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic book
From a young age, Strange was interested in all the big action movies, like Rambo, Rocky and Predator. Mark Strange was very focused on being like his idols and emphasised the need for “a childhood hero or a goal to work towards”.
Mr Strange has worked across the globe in all markets from the UK scene to even spending three months in Hong Kong where he fulfilled a major dream by working with industry legend Jackie Chan on The Medallion and Twin Effect, which was directed by Star Wars Rogue One actor, Donnie Yen.
Mark Strange looks back fondly on his time with Jackie Chan and he even said: “The Jackie Chan experience was a massive thing for me at the time because I was such a big fan growing up and he was such a big influence in my career and again working with him closely in an action sequence, I learnt so much from him.”
As part of the back to back shoots for Twin Effect and The Medallion, Strange was attached to the front of an ambulance which rammed him into a chain link fence and Mark said: “It was my best acting ever that unfortunately wasn’t used in the final film.”
Back in the UK, he was a major driving force in creating a brutal and realistic fighting film known as 12 (although in some countries it was known as Underground) which was a pure action movie that did not even have a script when they started shooting but instead had a major focus on fight scenes.
Mark Strange said: “We shot four fights over five days which was hard work,” but he later added that it was worth it as the film was then funded based on the fight scenes alone and went onto be a big hit globally for him.
Strange has not restricted himself to the silver screen though as he has worked on everything from Stan Lee’s Lucky Man to Coronation Street as their fight planner. Talking about his time on Lucky Man, he talked about how nice James Nesbitt was throughout the filming process and his constant applause between takes being a real highlight.
Most actors fear being typecasted in certain roles throughout their careers but Mark said:” I love the assassin and solider parts and all that sort of stuff and I keep getting those parts.”
When asked how to get into the industry Mark said: “I’d say just go out and do it and meet as many people as possible,” he added: “You’ve got to put the work in.”
Words by Daniel Culkin