He played Drake in ALIENS (1986), he harassed Tim Robbins in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994), he chased a serial killer in SAW V (2008) and he was undercover in THE DEPARTED (2006). We are talking about the actor Mark Rolston.


For SCIENCE FICTION FILME UND PRAKTISCHE EFFEKTE  (Science Fiction movies and practical effects)  he kindly gave an interview.


Science Fiction) Before you became an actor for film and television, you played a lot of theatre. Can you tell us something about that and how did you get into film? Why did you become an actor at all?


Mark Rolston) Acting is a vocation. Theatre is the basis for it. Before you go into film or television, you should do theatre. You learn to walk before you can run. I wanted to become an actor because I liked this whole universe and I loved to slip into other personalities.


SF) As far as I am correctly informed, you started in television by dubbing some characters for a Japanese TV series called STAR FLEET (1982). How did you get the job and is it difficult to work as a character voiceover artist?


MR) Actually I started dubbing before that. I dubbed Jackie Chan in his early movies like DRUNKEN MASTER (1978) and others. When Jackie and I shot RUSH HOUR (1997) together, it was a real pleasure to tell him. He just said: "No! You, me? No!" The job then brought me to STAR FLEET as Johnny Lee. With that money I bought my first writer. I still have speaking parts today. So I speak Commander Kolivan in Dreamworks VOLTRON or Lex Luther in Warner Brothers YOUNG JUSTICE.


SF) I love movies. Especially ALIEN (1979) and THE THING (1982) have been my favourite films since my early youth. Is there a special film or event after they thought: "All right. I want to do that later too"? Do you have personal idols in the film business?


MR) There are so many plays and films that have inspired me. Robert Prosky in DEATH OF A SALESMAN, THE WITCH OF OZ (1939), CHILDREN OF OLYMP (1945) by Marcel Carne, APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), THE GODFATHER (1972). My personal idols: Robert Duval and until recently Morgan Freeman.


SF) You also appeared in a lot of tv series like SLEDGE HAMMER, MATLOCK or TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Is there a difference between working for television and movies for  cinema?


MR) The real difference is that one medium only tells one story, while the other medium offers different stories. Only the source material changes. The work is basically the same. Shooting days for cinema films are long and slow. Television is fast and frenetic. It should always be subtle in terms of the way it is acted.


SF) One of my absolute favourite films is ALIENS (1986) in which you played Drake. You also made some genre films with ROBOCOP 2 (1990), SCANNER COP(1994), HARD RAIN (1998) or ERASER (1996). Do you like these genres and what is easier to play: Action, science fiction, comedy or drama?


MR) Comedy is by far the most difficult. Drama is the most exhausting. Action and science fiction are the most fun.


SF) CGI can be both a curse and a blessing these days. What do you think about this technique compared to the "old school" movies of past decades?


MR) "Old School" for me means to tell a story about people. The current trend of CGI in movies is dominated by fantasy and comics. And this is based on the current demographic orientation of the audience. For CGI films, that means men between 18 and 42 years old who like explosions and fights.


SF) Is there something you always wanted to do? What can we expect from you in the future?


MR) I always wanted to play Hamlet, but currently I'm working on a project of my own called THE NEIGHBOR. A true story about me and a homeless man. I'm also working on a film called FRANK AND PENELOPE and I'm involved in a new game.


SF) Thank you Mr. Rolston for taking the time for this interview. I wish you all the best for the future.



MR) Thank you very much and have a good time.