Mark Musto - A Face to Face Interview
The actor and the person
Meet Mark Musto, up-close and very personal. The following interview took us over three days with some pause on both sides due to our personal activities. We didn't know how to start the interview. However, we kept him busy and like he told us at the end. Joseph, I had a blast! Some actors are made, others learn along the way. Mark career started at a certain point in his life... but, let's ask him some important questions
How are you Mark?
How are you Joseph!
Thanks so much for your time... and your talent for this interview!
My pleasure Joseph!
Let me start with Uncivil Liberties (UL). Who got you casted for this movie?
Tom Mercer cast me in UL without an audition, he was familiar with my work and actually he said he had me in mind when he was writing it
What's the best anecdotes from that film?
When we were shooting the scene where I come in and shoot Mike Wilson in the barn, one of the crew members had 'fart spray' and sprayed it in between takes, he cleared out the barn LOL. Not sure to this day how many were aware of who did it-- (smiles)
Not too bad! What can you tell us about Tom Mercer?
Tom Mercer is a writer/producer who directed UL. Mercer co-founded and led a regional chapter of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), which has grown to more than 150 members, the most active AIVF salon in the country.
This is where Tom and I first met and quickly became friends.
We first shot a short for UL called "Face of the Enemy." Tom brought the short to festivals and was able to get distribution for UL, which was then completed and released.
Becoming an actor
How or when you said," I m going to be an actor"?
I caught the acting bug when I was cast as a background actor on Martin Scorcese's "Age of Innocence." I immediately enrolled in acting classes and was cast in a theater play following my first classes, then proceeded to do three to four plays a year for the following several years until I transitioned to film & TV.
My roots are in theater and I've been fortunate enough to have played some very juicy roles and learn my craft as well!
Yes! I also have a musical background and have written & produced my own music and toured for a while having played at the world famous CBGB's in New York.
Was this interview
Right time and right place...
Talking about right time and right place, before theater and acting, what was your goal in life? What didu want to be? A physician, a psychiatrist or maybe a lawyer?
Before Acting I was a sales rep for a dental company, but actually I was doing theater and sales simultaneously, honing my craft & learning the art of acting. I also briefly was a financial consultant for several years. Interesting question Joseph!
Thanks! The best moments in your life? I believe that acting is a reflection of life.
My best moments in acting have to be meeting and working with and some the wonderful people I've worked with. Some of my favorite parts have been Lord Ruthven in the stage play "The Vampyre" , Jesse Strang in "The Confession of Jesse Strang," and Bill Sutton in "Uncivil Liberties".
If you could go back in time like Michael J. Fox... where would you love to travel?
If I could go back in time, I would go back to Hollywood in the 20's to 50's, it's my favorite period. "the Golden Age of Hollywood."
Lines and best actors...
How or what's your best technique to learn your lines. Do you do extra research regarding characters and the 'universe' around them?
I have been blessed with an 'ability' to retain lines pretty easily. I usually will read over my lines... and do them in segments while putting myself in the character's head. I always do tons of research on my characters as well as drawing from my wealth of life experience and emotions!
That was great! Now, what actors do you admire?
Some of the actors I admire are Johnny Depp, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Bradley Cooper & Bruce Dern -- who I've worked with and are both great guys!
The cliché question, are you heading into directing?
I never really had any desire to direct until I worked as 1st. AD on a film a few years back. I was instrumental in picking the lead actress and had lots of input helping her find the character & directing her as well... as some of the other cast members.
What I found was that it also helped me in my growth as an actor. So for the future, I would definitely love to direct given the opportunity.
And. ..what is the future of cinema from your own point of view?
I believe the future of cinema lies in thoughtful, relationship type movies as well as films public can relate to no matter the genre.
We agree on that!
For me as an actor, my goal is to touch the souls of my audience while moving them.
I want to thank you so much for your honest answers Mark!
I want to thank you myself... you actually took me to my roots!
Let's make an scene together. I'm the screenwriter and you are the actor. Let's surprise our reader!!
That sounds cool!
Camera, lights, action!!
You are taken hostage in the Colombian Jungle. You are a black op. from team six that was captured by my squadron from FARC. I have you tied up to a bamboo chair -- all beat up and about to pass out. You won't give any information to me Comandante Lujan. Be creative please. Mosquitoes are already humming around...
"Waterboarding Will be next amigo! Tired of your bulshit... you Yankees do whatever you want, but tonight your life might end... if you do not collaborate...huh?"
"Comandante Lujan do you think that this battle can be won by bastards like you ?
How dare you...! (Slap!) I want the names of the other five assholes that left u stranded!! You see that river out there? That's where we water board our guests return!!
(Lujan in rage pushes the. Black Op. Toward the hut's window. ..right into the river bank.)
He works his ropes loose on a rock and jumps in the river.
Washington DC Langley. On a computer a signal turns on. .is the endo-tracker that gives the coordinates of the hostage.
Back to the jungle-- fight ensues
The black Op. Makes it to the other side of the river
Lujan screaming: You will not get too far amigo!
(Guerrilla flank start shooting)
Black Op. slips into the jungle with bullets flying overhead as Langley dispatches rescue team.
That was cool Mark!
Thanks Joseph! You surprised me with the questions!
You did wonderful as well!