Mark Pellegrino’s introduction to Ayn Rand

As people are talking about Altas Shrugged on Twitter, let’s revisit Mark’s story about his introduction to Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Mark’s told this story a few times, including in the excellent ‘Good versus Evil’ podcast which you can listen to above.

Mark learned about Rand came through someone he knew from his acting school. The two of them would drink coffee and argue about topics like politics and environmentalism all night in a 24-hour café — and Mark wasn’t winning the arguments. Having watched Mark in action, that’s hard to believe!

Mark suggested a book exchange where they would each share five books. He doesn’t even remember the books he selected, but Mark’s friend gave him Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. When Mark read the book, he recognised himself in the villains as well as the heroes… and the rest is history!

I like to imagine Mark’s mysterious actor friend still drinking coffee in late-night cafés and occasionally giving a copy of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead to a stranger he’s engaged in debate.

The story thumbnail is from Mark’s excellent portrayal of John Galt from Atlas Shrugged in a reading at an ARI Gala.