Mark Pellegrino on the challenge of playing John Galt

One of the highlights of the ARI Gala, other than watching Mark play John Galt, was hearing him talk afterwards about his experience.

After thanking everyone for putting together an amazing company, Mark said he didn’t think in his twenties, when he read Atlas Shrugged for the first time, that he’d be taking a stab at John Galt many years later — in a form like this [acting via Zoom] or any other.

Drawing a comparison with Hamlet, Mark described John Galt as being about as deep a literary character as you can get, and larger than any human being can possibly play him — a character whose ‘nooks and crannies’ someone could spend their life exploring, and probably play perfectly when they’re 85. Preparing to play John Galt requires a lot of work — Mark mentioned getting his head around concepts he’s been wrestling with for years that John Galt has in his guts — and the actors only had a week or two to prepare. That didn’t show: they were all fantastic!

Mark closed by talking about how inspiring it was to hear these words in the current time; these words were emotional and conceptual anchors for him that gave him a bit of fuel to proceed with the coming years. Mark said he was grateful for the opportunity because every time he read those words or listened to other people saying them, he felt a bit bigger and better. I found Mark’s closing comments very inspirational — the OAC’s star graduate certainly has a way with words!