Playing the bad guy

In conversation, Mark Pellegrino is warm, open, funny and friendly — in short, the polar opposite of many of the parts he’s been chosen to play. “I’m wondering if the casting directors see something in me that I don’t see in myself,” he says, laughing. One mean guy role that gets him recognized often is Paul, Rita’s rough ex in the bloody Showtime drama. People will say, “‘Oh my God, you were such an a—hole!,’” he adds. “I take that as a compliment, but what I try to do with parts like that is find the things I can get behind morally. My approach isn’t to judge the character, because then I feel like I’d be playing a caricature of somebody, as opposed to a real person.” Plus, Mark will have you remember, Paul was right about Rita’s secretive new guy. ” He sniffed him out and he knew that there was something really wrong with this picture, and he wanted to protect his wife — even though he was just a mess.”

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