Mark Ferguson

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  • Trivia

    • Mark is listed with both Speakers New Zealand and Celebrity Speakers NZ Ltd, firms which book speakers and MCs for corporate events. He is also listed with the Luko Agency, which books actors for conventions, for his role of Gil-Galad in The Lord of the Rings.

    • Mark has his own company, Ovation Business Theatre, which specialises in translating business messages into entertaining yet informative events.

    • Mark co-founded the production company Spontaneous Productions along with fellow actor Jim McLarty. They produced the improv TV show Scared Scriptless.

    • Mark's character Darryl Neilson was placed number three on a New Zealand Herald top ten list of best Shortland Street characters. They said it was because he was, "much, much nastier than Coronation Street's Peter Barlow will ever manage to be. He played Darryl like a weasel wearing a man suit."

    • Air New Zealand decided it wanted to update the voice explaining the safety instructions for it's passengers, and they needed someone who would inspire calm, trust, yet seriousness. So they chose Mark!

    • Mark is a sci-fi/fantasy buff, and "The Hobbit" was the first novel he read on his own.

    • When filming his scenes for The Lord of the Rings, his character Gil-Galad was supposed to be grabbed by the arm by Sauron and thrown aside. But the techie working the mechanical arm was inexperienced, and they kept having to do it over. Finally, the sharp, metallic fingers of the mechanical arm grabbed poor Mark by the throat and lifted him up. Mark says this is the first time in his life that he ever fainted, but Peter Jackson thought that brought a great realism to the scene, and used it in the movie.

    • Mark's role of Gil-Galad was almost entirely cut out of The Lord of the Rings, since his character is a famous king from the distant past, not one of the current characters taking part in the action of the movie. But Director Peter Jackson insisted that some of this history of the Ring remain in the movie, since it was such an important part of the saga told by Tolkien.

    • Mark was trained for his fight scenes for The Lord of the Rings by the man who trained the famous swashbuckling movie star Errol Flynn to stage fight. Mark says the fellow was very old but sill had the moves!

    • Mark ended up with the role of the Witch-King of Angmar as well as his already won role of Gil-Galad in The Lord of the Rings because the actor who had been hired for the job was claustrophobic. The other fellow put on the armor and promptly fainted, so they needed someone who could tolerate the tight armor. Mark was handy and had previously worn similarly phobia inspiring costumes on Xena, so the role was his. Unfortunately, his footage as the Witch King was entirely removed from the final cut of the movie.

    • Mark attrends many Sci-Fi/Fantasy conventions, and when fellow Kiwi actor Craig Parker is in attendance they perform an improvisational comedy act together.

    • Mark is married and has two children.

    • Mark frequently takes part in theatresports, a form of improvisational theatre in which the participants divide into two competing teams and try to sway the judges or their audience into declaring them the winners.

    • Mark is skilled in riding horses and scuba diving.

    • Mark speaks German.

    • Mark is 6'4" with brown hair and brown eyes. But some websites list him as having blue eyes, because in one of his most famous roles, the elf king Gil-Galad in The Lord of the Rings, he has blue eyes. All the elves in those movies had blue eyes, even if they had to wear contact lens, as Mark did.

    • Mark is one of fifteen Kiwi actors suing New Line Cinema over merchandising revenues from the Lord of the Rings movies. They were told that they would receive a share of the net merchandising revenue, but there seems to be no net revenue, after a 50% distribution fee that they claim was never in their contracts was deducted.

    • Mark is the first of three different actors to play the part of Hades on the Hercules/Xena TV shows. He did so in the Hercules television movie "Hercules in the Underworld".

    • Mark is represented professionally by the firm Auckland Actors.

  • Quotes

    • Mark: (on suing New Line Cinema over "LOTR" merchandizing profits) I had a small part. God knows what the figures were on Frodo's [statement].

    • Mark: (on the faux reality show "Living the Dream") We definitely did worry. Maybe people are going to think this is unfair. But what we all felt is that as soon as somebody agrees to be on a reality TV show they agree to have cameras in their face for 24 hours a day for as long as they're on that show.

    • Mark: (on the faux reality show he hosts, "Living the Dream") We go further and further and further into an outrageous reality and at every stage we take a huge deep breath and go, 'Oh my god, we're about to do this. This is insane'. It's the most ulcer-inducing show I've ever been involved in.

    • Mark: (on his role of Gil-Galad in "The Lord of the Rings") When I saw my few seconds on the screen I recalled all the week-long work and thought 'That's all?!' However, it's a great film, it really moved me.

    • Mark: (jokingly comparing himself to NZ PM Jenny Shipley, who hosted an APEC Conference) We've got very similar roles, actually - I don't cause as much traffic chaos, but then again I'm slimmer. I mean, I have to control and host a lot of huge egos and talkaholics in the same way that she does, try to keep them focused and, of course, jump in at the end and try to steal all the limelight.

    • Mark: (on his role as the elf king Gil-Galad) My responsibility as a leader was enormous because the orcs had to be freed from their latex masks every twenty minutes to be enabled to breath properly again. That means, every mistake held up more than six hundred actors and extras and more than twice as many of the crew. For example, at the beginning I had to walk towards the orcs for about four minutes, and the camera followed my spear in a defined direction. After many attempts all was correctly adjusted- angle, height and so on- and then I stumbled over a stone on the ground and fell on my face- and the orcs had to get out and back into their make-up and we had to start all over again.