Joining a show that already has a cult following
Mark found it “pretty intimidating” joining Lost, particularly as he landed on set without knowing he was playing Jacob, a pivotal character in the show’s mythology. He says it’s always scary for an actor to join an established show, even more so when it’s one as iconic as Lost.
Researching his characters
Mark had a good sense of who Lucifer was from reading the bible four times, but the show’s mythology took him a different way. He hadn’t seen Lost, but the show was such a mystery he doesn’t think it would have helped anyway. After one take, the Director said, “that was it: Jesus the Carpenter,” and that’s what he worked with.
The passengers of Oceanic Flight 815
Some viewers think it’s about an afterlife, but Mark believes the island was a real place in the story and the passengers were brought there to learn a lesson.
Nobody messes with Mark on set, and he doesn’t mess with them — other than when he’s paid to do it on screen! He has serious conversations with the Supernatural boys. The amount of joking around that’s acceptable on-set varies with the show; it’s contextual. On Say It Isn’t So, there was one scene that Mark and the actor he was working with cracked up every take and couldn’t stop laughing.
Mark would sometimes laugh at Kyra Sedgwick’s character on The Closer when the camera wasn’t on him. Kyra’s character was a loose cannon who stepped from one nightmare to another; Mark’s character needed to take control of her, which played into how he worked off what she did. His was the only character in the entire series to scold her — a powerful character. That dynamic would restrain him from losing it. Mark has had characters (e.g. Paul in Dexter) that made him want to cry in table reads rather than laugh, but Lucifer sometimes made him laugh out loud, as did his character in Say It Isn’t So — though he wouldn’t quote the lewd non-sequitur that made him laugh every time he had to say it.
When shows cross the pond
There are stylistic differences. The US versions are broader. Mark was originally only into the Ricky Gervais version of The Office, but he started liking both. The original version of Being Human was made in the UK, and Mark’s version of The Returned is a remake of a French show.
Being That Guy
It’s pretty awkward if someone asks Mark to tell them the movies that he’s in. He finds it embarrassing going through his résumé. And it’s ‘fun’ when someone recognises him from one of his older movies, while he was still learning his craft.
The Commish is memorable for two reasons. Firstly, it’s the first time his wife Tracy (who he knew from acting class but wasn’t married to at the time) really thought he had acting chops. It was also memorable because the scene that made it onto the show — the one Tracy loved — isn’t as good as one that ended up on the cutting room floor because, at the end of the take, the cameraman found debris that would’ve been visible on the screen and they had to shoot again.
There was another occasion when Mark did the best acting he’d ever done on screen — 12 hours filming for a short film called Monsters, about making monster movies — and though it would be great for his reel. Three weeks later, he found out that the sound man hadn’t recorded a single word. Ouch.
Mark remembers the characters he’s played
Mark had no problem remembering which shows and movies his characters Deputy Standall, Jedikiah Price, Clayton Haas, Gavin Q. Baker III, James Bishop, Dick Hickock, Agent Johnson, Billy Phelps, the Blond Treehorn Thug and Punk (x2) were from. Mark didn’t remember playing Walt Cooperton in Knight Rider back in 2008, and didn’t recognise ‘Joe’ as his character name in Mulholland Drive or ‘Dude’ in Doogie Howser — but he did remember seeing a meme of his face after getting hit in the cashews by Doogie Howser. He’d forgotten about Cletus Freed in Renegade and was surprised his favourite character name — Derwood Spinks (The X-Files) — wasn’t on the list.
Mark read ‘In Cold Blood’ seven times in a row while preparing for Capote and listened to interviews. There were interesting aspects to his character that didn’t fit the narrative.
Mel Gibson made Mark a cappuccino on the set of Lethal Weapon and talked to him about Hamlet for an hour between takes.
When working with Kim Manners on The X-Files, Mark suggested some changes he thought would be more logical and was told, “you’re right, but we’ve got 34 setups to do, and you’ve got to do it this way.”
When he was younger, Mark was mistaken for Dolph Lundgren. The weirdest was when someone thought he was Jeff Goldblum.
Mark appreciates his fans
Mark loves giving back to his fans and appreciating them. There are a lot of talented people in the Supernatural Family. He loves appreciating their art and being able to mirror back some of the affection they give to him. Mark gets recognised more for Lucifer, but there are a lot of Lost fans too, and occasionally he gets recognised for Dexter.
Mark isn’t like his characters
Mark isn’t like any of the characters he’s played. If there were a character like Mark, it would be a cross between Monk and some version of Woody Allen — a philosophizing, neurotic, nervous dude.
Mark wanted Lucifer to have a redemption arc but didn’t think it would be on the cards. Supernatural is about hurt boys and orphans, and people who make their own way despite not having the love of a father — just like Lucifer. He hoped when Jack came onto the scene that might happen, but it wasn’t to be.
Episode description: Actor Mark Pellegrino joins Andy Farnsworth for an interview ahead of his visit to FanX Spring 2019 in Salt Lake City. Pellegrino has dozens of acting credits to his name, but is best known for his TV roles as Jacob in “Lost” and Lucifer/Nick in “Supernatural”. Mark covers a variety of topics, including what HE thinks happened to Oceanic Flight 815; how he hopes Luci’s story ends when “Supernatural” ends; what it’s like to join shows that have strong cult followings; the time Neil Patrick Harris punched him in the groin; and see how Mark does when he’s given names of some of the characters he’s played to see if he can remember the movie or TV show they’re from!