Interview with Mark Jackson | Forging My Own Way

We often let ourselves be influenced by others, which can be good when someone wants to uplift us, or it can be the opposite when someone sees what we desire from a limited perspective. 

Either way, when we predominantly hold beliefs that support the emotions of prosperity, success, well-being, passion, appreciation, love, enthusiasm and hope, we will always be in the process of manifesting the life we want. What others think about you has nothing to do with what you should think of yourself. Whatever you think about yourself has everything to do with you, as that is what will set your way to who you want to be, and how you want to experience life.

“Forge your own way otherwise others will do it for you,” says British actor Mark Jackson, who can be seen as Isaac, an artificial lifeform, on FOX’s series “The Orville.”


Introduction

  • Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Mark Jackson? 

He’s a Brit abroad, an actor in space and somewhat uncomfortable talking about himself in the third person.

  • Originally from the UK, you are currently based in Los Angeles. What inspires you most about LA? About your hometown? 

LA has this sort of ‘yes can do’ attitude which is very inspiring. Since I’ve been here, I’ve started writing and brainstorming ideas for movies and screenplays. It’s the sort of town where you create work for yourself. I never did that back in London. Mind you, there’s a lot more to distract you back there. In London, you can walk out of your door and have an adventure happen to you every day. In LA you get in your car and plan your route on Google Maps.

Entertainment Industry 

  • You acted extensively on the stage before transitioning to TV. How do both experiences nourish your growth as an actor?

Until I made the transition properly, I really hadn’t realized the sheer difference between the two. In theatre, everything is instant; your performance and the audience’s reaction is one and the same. With film work, your performance sometimes isn’t seen by the audience for months, often a couple of years for movies. So, when working on camera, you can’t feed on that audience for your performance, and you’re heavily reliant on your fellow actors and the director. The joy of camera work is doing a scene over and over again with a set of 90 strong crew until you nail the minutiae of your performance. In theatre, you get out there, you’re on your own and you get one chance to get it right. It’s the opposing diversity of these two mediums that are so nourishing for an actor.

  • An actor might audition many times before he/she gets a major role. What is your mindset when it comes to keeping a positive perspective during the process of auditioning?

Try to remember that the panel of people waiting for you as you walk into that room really do want you to be the one they’re looking for.

Acting

  • On FOX’s series “The Orville,” which will premiere its Season 2, December 30th, you portray Isaac, an artificial lifeform. Your body is fully covered, which must have been a challenge. How did you convert the costume into your second skin? 

Isaac’s become more fluid this season. And that’s down to my growing confidence as a puppeteer, but also Isaac’s character developing into something more than just an AI. Season one felt like I was getting a conversation going with the costume, season two feels more like a double act.

  • “The Orville” is both a satire and comedy. What is the parody behind your character, and how much fun is to play Isaac?

I don’t think Isaac’s a parody of anyone really. He’d certainly hate to be thought of as one. And that’s probably why he’s so fun to play. He just doesn’t get comedy at all.

  • How do you connect personally with Isaac?

That way madness lies.

  • Do you think “The Orville” represents in some way subjects related to our society? If so, please elaborate. 

Absolutely. It’s one of the best aspects of the sci-fi genre. Place current societal issues in a distant time and space and look at them from fresh angles. I think “The Orville” is going to go farther with that than most people think.

  • We’ve heard you were always a big sci-fi fan. What attracts you most to this genre?

Totally what I’ve said above. But also, the hope it can give us lowly late-modern apes scratching around in the early 21st century. As a species, we have so much potential, a long way to evolve, and that’s what sci-fi is given the golden key to explore.

  • Are there any new projects you are currently working on?

I’ll be shooting a film in the UK this winter with a vibrant young production company and there’re a couple of scripts I’m doodling as we speak.

Good Soul

  • Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause that you would like to mention?

I’ve been fortunate to get involved with My Friend’s Place in LA. They’re a charity that does excellent work getting the city’s homeless youth off the streets and into secure housing. I highly recommend people to check them out.

Life 

  • You were born in the Netherlands and mostly worked in England before moving to the United States. How has this multicultural exposure shaped your identity?

It’s certainly given me the travel bug- to work and see new places at the same time has to be one of my greatest pleasures.

Close Up 

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is “The Essence of a Joyful Living.” How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?

The greatest joy I’ve had in my career has come from the families that I’ve been part of backstage and on set. Theatre, in particular, is such an intensely creative process that you forge deep friendships with the people you share that experience with. I’m just thinking about it.

  • When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks.  What is your take on such a statement?

Forge your own way otherwise others will do it for you.


Instagram.com/TheMarkJackson/
Photographer: Benny Haddad | Groomer: Emily Zempel | Stylist: Evan Simonitsch