Interview with Mark Humphrey September 9, 2008
Q: You were born (Mark Adrian Humphrey) on December 27, 1960 in Vancouver, British Columbia is that correct?
Q: What are your parents' names and what were their professions?
Mark: Jack and Sidney Humphrey. They met acting in a play. My father ended up as a TV producer in Canada and the US. He passed away in April 1987. My mother is retired and living in Toronto, Ontario.
Q: Did your mother have a career as an actress?
Mark: My mother had four kids in a row...she said she had four kids in diapers at one time. They thought they would stop with me, but Andy came along four years after me and was a nice surprise for them. So my Mom became a full time housewife who raised the kids. She maintained her love of the arts and I think I developed an appreciation for theatre and acting because of her...
Q: What is your families' background, religion, etc.?
Mark: English/Scottish background. Mom was Roman Catholic. Dad converted from Protestant in order to marry. I was raised as a fairly strict Catholic till around the age of 12 when all hell broke loose...My parents split...My father left, leaving my Mom to raise the 5 of us on her own.
Q: What are the names of your siblings? In what order were you born? What are they doing now?
Mark: John, the eldest, travels the world as a musician playing with the guitarist Scott Henderson. My sister Lesley, who was a top model at Ford and graced the cover of Vogue, is now working as a stage manager in Toronto. My brother Paul, who is a singer/songwriter, has just completed his fourth solo album. Myself and then my little brother Andy who is a professional guitar player living in Portugal with his wife and son Lee.
Q: You have a very musical family, what instrument(s) do you play?
Mark: All of my family members are professional musicians except my sister. I drummed in many bands before seriously pursuing my acting career. I play acoustic guitar and have a collection of odd instruments that I dabble with.
Q: Have you and your brothers ever performed together?
Mark: We have goofed around in the studio a couple of times but never gigged.
Q: Do you sing as well? Have you ever performed in any musical roles?
Mark: I goof around on guitar and like to sing in the car, but drumming was my first love, and I can still manage pretty well on them...In the movie where I played a punk performance artist, I faked playing the bass.
Q: Did you grow up in Vancouver?
Mark: I was born in Vancouver, my family moved to Toronto when I was 7. After graduating high school, I moved to NY to study and pursue my career.
Q: What were your favorite activities, sports, and hobbies?
Mark: I love playing all sports and being out in the middle of nature. I wanted to be a professional football player from the age of ten. I was my high school's quarterback. When I was faced with the choice of a career between Football, Drumming or acting... I chose acting.
Q: When did you decide to become an actor? What about the profession appealed to you?
Mark: We used to stay up late watching old movies for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to be the guy on the screen, but it wasn't until High School that I made the decision to go for it. The sense of adventure, challenge and the opportunity to portray other interesting characters was what compelled me towards acting.
Q: You attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York, what was that experience like? How long did you live in New York?
Mark: I lived in NY for 5 years and was at the Institute for a year. I then studied with Lee in his master group. I loved it and hated it. Looking back on those days, I feel the experience was amazing.
Q: What was the master group?
Mark: Lee came in once a year to teach his master group...All full time students are encouraged to sign up and try to get into it, but I was the only student from the full time curriculum to get in for that year. This group is made up of actors who come in from around the world to study with him. It's a real crap shoot if any of the regular student body get to attend.
Q: Most actors work other jobs to pay the bills at least at the beginning of their careers. What types of jobs have you worked other than as an actor?
Mark: I was a short order cook, a truck driver, mover, and carpenter.
Q: You worked as a short order cook? How are your cooking skills?
Mark: I am an excellent omelet maker! Egg dishes, pasta, sauces, and I know how to handle a BBQ.
Q: Have you ever worked on commercials or as a model?
Mark: I started off doing commercials as a teen. No modeling.
Q: Have you ever done any voice over work?
Mark: Yes. I have done a lot of voice over work in Canada, not so much in the States. I was the voice of Mennen Speedstick for a while, and my Ford TV spot got a lot of play.
Q: Have you ever been required to change anything about your physical appearance for a role?
Mark: I've changed my appearance a few times, never anything too dramatic....Hair colour, moustache, goatee, that sort of thing.
Q: How do you feel about action roles that may require you to perform some of your own stunts? Have you had many roles that required this type of action?
Mark: I love that and always have. Yes, actually. I once hung from the 15th floor of a building under construction without any safety nets. It was in an episode of E.N.G. I liked the adrenaline rush.
Q: On film you have been shown running, riding horses, and other physical activities. What activities do you participate in for recreation or to stay in shape in your personal life?
Mark: Mountain biking, weight training, snowboarding, and I still love throwing the football around.
Q: I have read that you met Wendel Meldrum when you worked on Breakfast with Les and Bess. Do you have story to tell that would be of interest?
Mark: Wendel and I met on that show. I remember, while shooting in front of a live audience, we got the giggles back stage so bad that my eyes started watering and I got a cramp in my stomach. I made my entrance hunched over with tears in my eyes. We had a lot of fun together.
Q: How long were you and Wendel married?
Mark: 5 Years
Q: How many times have you been married?
Mark: I married only once.
Q: How many children do you have?
Mark: I have one beautiful son named Luke who is in his 3rd year at NYU at the Tisch School of Arts as a film student.
Q: Do you reside in Canada or the United States, or do you split your time between both?
Mark: I live in LA but do spend a lot of time in Toronto and Vancouver.
Q: Have you retained your Canadian citizenship?
Mark: Yes, although I have actually lived in the states longer than in Canada..I'm proud to be here and love this country..I have had a green card since '87 and am able to become a citizen whenever I fill out the papers.
Q: What was it like working with your real life family members in Cruel but Necessary? How different are your real relationships from those portrayed on the screen?
Mark: It was the best job working with my real family. So much fun, not only because they are fun to be with, but they are also excellent actors. The relationships on screen are very different to that of my real life. Wendel and I are still good friends and we love and adore Luke.
Q: Your resume lists film roles that appear to be college films, could you clarify them?
Mark: Home Front is an NYU grad project. Aces and 8's is an independent film, Valentines Day is a USC grad project, and City of Angels is also an independent feature...All movies done when starting out in my career.
Q: Can you describe your role on King of Kensington?
Mark: It was a half hour sitcom where I played a hockey player. My father was the executive producer. It was one of my first gigs and it was great to work with my Dad.
Q: Was King of Kensington the only time you had a chance to work with your father?
Mark: I also did an episode of Hangin' in.
Q: Do have a favorite role that you have portrayed or a favorite cast or fellow actor/actress that you have worked with?
Mark: On every project there is always a group of people that I really enjoy. My favourite role was the Punk Performance artist in Valentine's Day.
Q: Have you maintained close friendships with any of your fellow actors/actresses that you have worked with over the years?
Mark: Yes, I stay in touch with Art Hindle and Karl Pruner and a few others.
Q: You're appearing in Season 3 of Paradise Falls. Do you know if there will be a Season 4 or if you will be continuing to portray Wes Coleman?
Mark: If it goes to Season 4 it has been indicated that they would like me back, but nothing is concrete.
Q: You recently filmed Summer Eleven which is scheduled to be released in 2009. What is your role in the film?
Mark: I played Dave, an ambitious editor who is insensitive to the people around him. The film is an independent feature directed by Joe Kell.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Mark: The director of Summer Eleven has a new film that I am looking forward to being a part of, and I am up for a TV movie shooting in Canada.
Q: You mentioned that you love all sports. Do you have any favorite sports teams?
Mark: After working with Tom Brady on a sitcom Pilot in LA, that didn't get picked up, I became a true Patriots fan, and I have always loved the Toronto Maple Leafs. I used to sneak into every Leafs game when I was a kid.
Q: Is there anything that you would like your fans to know about you?
Mark: I love joking around; humour is the best side of me. I hope to play more parts that will let this show.
Q: Thank you, Mark, I appreciate your taking the time out of your schedule to answer my questions.
Mark: Thanks so much for your interest and for taking the time to do this.