During a recent podcast, Mark explained how his passion for reality and truth carried over from studying marine biology to acting and philosophy:
“I was a pretty die-hard environmentalist, so I guess my goals were to clean and preserve the oceans. But I decided that wasn’t really my calling. In college, I got more interested in history and psychology than in the hard sciences. I drifted away from marine biology in the first year.”
“I don’t think I’m great with spatial relationships, but I’m fantastic with abstractions. Algebra and chemistry were very easy for me. Physics was more difficult because I have problems with visualisation and seeing spatial relationships, to the degree that you need to do that for the marine biological sciences. I just decided it was a weaker point for me, and I’d rather deal in the abstractions of psychology and history.”
“Maybe that’s why I eventually bowed out because I wasn’t a scientist, I was more of a poet. And an activist. And so that passion and love that I felt for nature have translated into other subjects. So perhaps it’s that.”
“Or maybe I can say this, now that I’m thinking about it. The passion that one has for reality and truth, which has to be your guide in the sciences, has carried over into my passion for reality and truth in acting, and communication, and in the philosophies that I’ve discovered, and in my assessments of history. So maybe that’s another aspect that has carried over. But I didn’t even think about it until you just asked me the question.”
This is one of the best interviews Mark did while promoting the Guardian Project — it’s always interesting when he gets a question he hasn’t been asked before! Well worth a listen, if you didn’t get a chance at the time.