Recently we had the fortunate opportunity to contact Mark Metcalf (The Master from Joss Whedon’s “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer”). He was nice enough to allow us to ask him a few questions regarding his current and future projects, as well as reminisce about some of his time working on “Buffy”, with a little personal insight added just for flavor. We hope everyone enjoys reading his answers as much as we enjoyed coming up with the questions!
FilmSnobbery.Com: Could you tell us more about your current acting projects?
Mark Metcalf: I have three films “in the can”. All three are Ultra Low Budget films and may never see the light of day but we do the work and keep our fingers crossed. The one I have the most hope for is called Resurrection Ferns, directed by Tate Bunker, a contemporary Little Red Riding Hood story with me as the Big Bad Wolf. Another, The Adventures of Belvis Bash was directed by Gary Ambrosia and Alex Lvovsky. It’s a comedy about a low level rock & roller who does a show recalling Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. I play a Major in the Army who recruits Belvis to play in Afghanistan. The character will remind people of Douglas C. Neidermeyer with a theater background. The third is called Fort McCoy. It has a good cast including Eric Stolz and Seymour Cassel but I have no idea whether they will be able to finish it.
FS: Do you have a favorite charity you would like to promote?
MM: I am a Champion for the Alzheimer’s Association. I do as much as I can to further the study of, prevention and treatment of the disease.
FS: How was your experience on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” different from your more limited experience on “Angel”?
MM: I think because Buffy was a new show with nothing but the talent making it to back it up there was more of a hungry and creative feeling about the set. We were in uncharted territory, as it were, and that was stimulating. On Angel there was a little more complacency. I loved working with Julie Benz and I think I had more time with her on Angel but the script just wasn’t as edgy.
FS: Could you describe the make-up chair experience for playing the Master on Buffy/Angel?
MM: At the beginning of the season it took 5 hours to do the make-up because they would apply the mask and then paint it while it was on me. They weren’t sure yet what the colors should be so it evolved as the season went on. By the end of the season it was only taking 3 hours because they could paint it ahead of time and then apply it and finish painting it. I used the time to meditate on the character as I watched them grow it on me. I couldn’t do anything else because I couldn’t talk or have headphones or see or move much at all.
FS: Do you enjoy working the convention circuit, and what is your best experience at a convention?
MM: There are so many pluses and an equal number of minuses about sitting at a table being friendly and funny and answering similar questions for six to eight hours and being paid for it that I would have to say yes I enjoy it in smallish doses and if the food is good.
FS: Outside of the convention circuit, do you communicate with fans on social networking sites such as Twitter, MYSPACE, or Facebook?
MM: No I don’t. There is an Official Mark Metcalf website managed by a woman down in Texas and I keep her updated on what I am doing but I usually get to it after it is too late. I am more involved in the work than in the celebrity that comes with the work.
FS: What is your favorite memory from any film project you’ve worked on?
MM: Each film has a host of memories and it would be unfair to pick a favorite. Besides, if I did that favorite would be different tomorrow or by later tonight. Animal House, because we were younger and essentially virgins at making a film and it was 1977 before people were afraid to do everything spontaneously, probably has the most exciting memories but it would be ungentlemanly of me to go into most of them.
FS: If you were not a professional actor, would alternate career would you choose?
MM: I would be, and probably should have been, a marine biologist. I can think of nothing better than spending my days up to my waist in a tide pool somewhere around the world.
FS: Since you’ve done some producing lately, which do you like more: being in front of the camera or being behind the camera?
MM: I am much more comfortable in front of the camera or on the stage. You kind of have to be and adult when you produce and as an actor you are encouraged to be a child. Not childish but a child in your heart and mind.
FS: If you could choose to be the villain or the good guy, which would you choose and why?
MM: Villains are more fun to play but since I have played more of them than the other I would like to play the good guy. Maybe I could even get the girl someday and ride off into the sunset. That would be fun. You don’t think it’s too late do you?