Exclusive interview with Mark Hildreth
July 27, 2012 | Mark Hildreth played Joshua on the science-fiction show "V". In this interview he talks about his character on the show, what the writers had in mind for a possible third season, how he prepared for his role on "The Tudors" and how important his music is in his life.
1. Your character on "V", Joshua, was a freedom fighter who tried to rebel against high commander Anna. Do you think Joshua’s life was 'happier' after Anna took control over him and wiped out his memory of the Fifth Column?
I tried to play Joshua as a character with an enormous struggle – the struggle of a humanitarian who believes in the goodness of human beings and struggles to uphold that in the face of incredible adversity. Someone who is truly noble, and struggling to uphold the value of human life against people for whom human life is not the most important value. To me, this is the most noble thing a character can do, because it is these people who are attacked and maligned the most. I’m not sure that this is so much of a "happy" path to walk, but I never assumed Anna "took control over him" or that "bliss" was ever something that was outside of the control of the people being "blissed". I believe that people (and maybe aliens too!) choose to check out and ignore the reality of a bad situation because they want to, not because some mystical force causes it. So when Joshua lost his memory, I assumed it was due to the gunshot trauma and that in reality he was just a stronger person internally that he didn’t choose to "bliss out" as a way of ignoring the problems of the world.
2. "V" was cancelled much too soon! What do you picture as the end game for your character and for the show?
I believe Joshua was willing to die to uphold the value of human life. Probably this would be his fate, because he really loved people and would give up his own life to stop those who promote fear and hatred over love.
3. Do you know what ideas were discussed for season 3?
There was definitely talk of a relationship between Joshua and Lisa. Laura Vandervoort and I are old friends from Canada and we were disappointed that we didn’t get to work more together, but unfortunately we will never see alien kissing on V!
4. In "V" you find an example for a utopia in which people are surrounded by bliss that costs them their free will. A world where there's only bliss and you don't feel any pain, does sound quite a bit enticing. What's your opinion on that?
Free will, if it exists, is not interchangeable or removable. If we have free will (and there is an ongoing debate about this) then it is only us who can cause our own bliss, and that does sound like a very enticing world. But a world without pain would be less meaningful, and if we didn’t feel any pain, then blissful feelings would lose their value. I think that Joshua was a character who was willing to take on pain, emotional and physical, to uphold what he believed was right – the value of human life above all else. So if there were no pain, there would be no heroes.
5. When and how did you learn of the cancellation? How soon is it possible to get back in the game and look for new jobs?
As soon as a show is cancelled, you are free to look for new offers. I found out through a website, and one of our producers Steve Pearlman who is now working on the popular show "Once Upon a Time" sent an e-mail to the cast saying how much he appreciated our work and the show we created together. It was sad, but that is part of the life of an actor – you create whole new families every project you work on, and then one day the family splits up and you move on.
6. A lot of your scenes were on the visitors' ship. Do you find working with the green screen more difficult in some way?
I worked a lot in the theater before I worked on V, so the Green Screen work was unusual but strangely familiar having worked in so many theater rehearsal spaces before. But it was definitely disorienting when a new director would come in and just look up at the space and go "wow, where am I?"
7. Have you watched the original "V"?
I have watched a few clips on Youtube.
8. You also played Cardinal Reginald Pole on"The Tudors". What was it like to play a part on this impressive historical drama? Were you especially interested in playing a historic figure?
The Tudors was one of the best experiences I have ever had working on television. A truly well written, well directed, well produced and well-watched show, which is a treat as an actor because it’s so rare to have all those elements in the same production. I did a lot of research on Pole because I wanted to pay tribute to him and his family as much as possible. I have played a few true life characters, and this one was a lot of fun. One of my most honored memories will be spending all that time with the incomparable pro Max Von Sydow, undoubtedly one of the most professional actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
9. How did you prepare for this role? Mostly by reading the scripts or did you read up on the real Reginald Pole?
I read up a lot on him, and walked around with him in my heart for many weeks, trying on what it must have been like for him, in that time period, fighting for peace in a time of war. Being so close to Henry but feeling so differently from him. Another character struggling to uphold goodness in the face of incredible brutality and closed mindedness.
10. What was your most challenging role so far?
Hamlet. Because he embodies the struggle of all humans in the most beautiful and challenging way.
11. You also do a lot of voice acting for animated series. In what way is acting and voice acting different?
You can voice-act in your pyjamas!
12. In 2008 you released your first album "Complex State of Attachment". Can you talk a little bit about your music and maybe which artists are your inspiration?
Music is one of the most important things in my life, and until I recently started writing and producing movies, one of the only avenues for me to use my own voice to tell my own stories. I have a sound somewhere in the middle of Elton John and Stevie Wonder, my two biggest influences. If I can do a tenth of what Stevie Wonder has done to bring joy to people through music I will have considered my life truly meaningful. Complex State is a beautiful record, but more importantly, I’m releasing a brand new record this summer! Your readers can check out www.markhildreth.com for all the details!
13. myFanbase is an online magazine about U.S. television shows. Do you have one or more favorite show(s)?
Right now I’m making my way through all 5 seasons of "The Wire", which is an AMAZING show. I also like "Lost", "Six Feet Under", "Family Ties", "Star Trek TNG", "Seinfeld2, and "Family Guy". But mostly I watch ice hockey – Go Vancouver Canucks!
Thank you, Mark, we wish you all the best for your new projects!
Melanie Wolff - myFanbase
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