Mark Dacascos is the son of Al Dacascos, Moriko McVey, and his stepmother, Malia Bernal. His father is of Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese ancestry. His mother is half-Irish and half-Japanese. Mark’s cosmopolitan mixture makes him, in his own words, a typical Hawaiian “”local boy.”” His parents ran a Martial Arts school.Many people may not know his name or even recognize the face of the Mark Dacascos, but this hot young star has starred in several projects that have garnered him rabid cult followings. Editor’s Note – Because of Mark’s recent appearance in Cradle To The Grave, I thought it’d be fun to rerun this exclusive interview that I did.
Those projects include “”The Crow: A Stairway to Heaven”” which was quickly building a huge fan base in syndication, when due to corporate politics the show was inexplicably cancelled. While his films include, the overseas cult classic “”Crying Freeman”” and now his latest film “”Brotherhood of the Wolf””, an international hit that is now coming to these shores. He’s built himself quite an impressive list of credits and his future looks bright. Mark is a man who seems to be both content with his career and his family life. Not bad for a man who had no ambitions on becoming an actor and was actually discovered while walking down a street in China Town. Ironically enough the man who discovered him was Chris Lee, who then went on to run Tri-Star Pictures and produce the film Final Fantasy. You can actually read an interview that I did with Chris last year. I recently conducted an interview with Mark, who called me from his California home. The interview went a little something like this:EMOk, let me start by asking you my standard, overly broad question, who are you and tell us why we’re here?MDMy name is Mark Dacascos, and I play the character of Mani in a new film called “”The Brotherhood of The Wolf””. Mani is a “”mythical”” warrior who fights for what he believes in and he represents the balance between man and nature. EMYour life and background, much like this film seems to defy categorization. How would you describe this film?MD It’s a mix of a lot of different genres, including Mystery, Suspense, Horror, 17th Century French Period drama. Director Christopher Gans has created a film that is truly originaland is a visionary masterpiece. What’s even more amazing is, the basic premise of the film is based on real life events. Their really was a “”Beast of Gevaudan”” that scared the King and caused political unrest in 17th Century France.EMWhat was your impression when you first read the script?MDI signed on to this project before I Christopher Gans even wrote the script. We went out to dinner one night and he told me about this idea that he had for this movie. Through the course of a 2 1/2 hour meal he laid out the entire story for me and what my character would be doing I was blown away by it. It seemed to work so well at blending all these various genres. He did such a great job of selling me on this film that I signed on, even before he started the script. When I finally read it, I couldn’t put it down and the ending was a real surprise to me. EMYou were the spiritual heart of the film. Yet you didn’t really say that much in it. How difficult was it to play a part like this?MDWhen you are not working with much verbal dialog, it forces you as an actor, to become more in tune with every other part of your physical body. How you move, your facial expressions, everything. The slightest gesture or look that you make ends up speaking volumes. I worked with someone from the Indian Tribe and she [Editor’s note, I don’t want to butcher the name of Mark’s Trainer, so forgive me for not mentioning it here] taught me a lot about their beliefs and how they feel about the nature and interact with their surroundings. I really felt like I became part of their culture.EMHow did you end up meeting her?MDI met her through my agent.EMDid you get a chance to visit any real reservations? What were your impressions?MDNo, I didn’t. But I would certainly like to visit one someday.EMWhat kind of performance do you find harder? One like you had in “”The Crow: Stairway to Heaven””, where you were the star and had a lot of dialog, or a film like this where you are not the star, but the spiritual heart of it?MDI think they both have their strengths and weaknesses. When playing a part like Mani, you are forced to pay more attention to the nuances of your performance than you do when play a part like Eric Draven [The lead character in “”The Crow””.] The fun thing about doing “”The Crow”” was learning how to play the guitar, working with a large cast, learning new lines, etc.EMDo you think doing a role like this improves your acting?MDYes, definitely. EMHow would you compare this experience with Christopher Gans to the last time you worked with him?MDThey were both the same. The only real difference was the larger budget, our editor was from Holland, our fight choreographer was from Japan, etc…We had a large international crew working with us. EMWould you categorize him as more of an Actor’s Director or a Technical Director?MDHe’s definitely both. He works really well with the technical crew, and knows how to handle actors. He’s the type of guy who loves to have fun on the set and loves what he’s doing.EMIn a recent interview with Christopher Gans, he said that he wrote this part specifically for you. Why do you think he did that?MDI don’t know, we worked well together in his first film “”Crying Freeman”” and I think there are lots of similarities between myself and Mani. EMTo me the character of Eric Draven in “”The Crow””, and Mani are similar yet different. In terms of how they view life it’s from completely different perspectives, but in their interactions with people it seems the same. Would you say this is true? If so, are you like this in real life?MDI would say there are similarities. Both characters are extremely spiritual beings. When Mani takes off his clothes and only uses a knife, while others are putting on heavy armor, he’s trying to become one with nature because he feels that it’ll make him a better warrior. He has a deep connection with a higher being. I’m someone who loves nature and would like to think that the best parts of each of these characters personalities, are reflected in me as well. I like to believe that, I do bring a little something of myself to each character that I play. Both characters are also Martial Artist.EMHow long have you practiced Martial Arts?MDMy parents ran a Martial Arts school, so I’ve been training since I was a young boy.EMTime flies when you’re having fun, looks like it’s time to end the interview, let me ask you two really quick questions. What happened to the television show? Are there plans to bring it back? What are your future plans? Ok, it’s actually three.MDI don’t know what happened with the show. Our ratings really started to go up when there was a shakeup in the Network. The new brass wanted to have a clean slate, so our show got unexpectedly pulled at the end of the first season. There was talk a few years ago about possibly bringing it back, at the time I was interested in such a prospect. Recently I heard rumors that it may come back yet again; unfortunately it’ll have to be without me, as I’m pretty content with the direction that my life is going right now. I wish them well, and hope they succeed in bringing it back. EMI hope so too, I thought it was just hitting its stride when it was cancelled. What are you going to be doing for the next few years?MDI currently don’t have any immediate plans, just waiting to see what the reaction is to Brotherhood and looking for other fun and interesting projects to do.EMLet me squeeze in one more question before you have to leave. Brotherhood is starting to generate some really good buzz. What are your expectations for this film?MDI really don’t know, it’s such a strange mix of genres, that I’m curious myself to see what the American reaction is.by Michelle AlexandriaJanuary 23, 2002