Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mark Bernier on the set of the film!

Our new favourite actor has taken time out from his busy schedule to give us an all access areas look at the making of the Zodiac film. Here's what Mark Bernier had to write about his experiences on the set of the film:

You’d asked for more, well I’ve searched my memory bank and it is now officially empty. I’d like to start with a couple guys who were the nicest I’ve had the pleasure to meet and work with. Their names were Paul and Bill. Paul and Bill were the 2 guys who were doing Background work on the film and I believe had been with the shoot for quite awhile and often were asked to sit in for Adam Trese/Det 1 and myself, when we were “turning around”, or re-setting for a new shot etc. They were 2 of the coolest and always had something good to say. Thanks Paul and Bill, I wish for you both continued success.

On or about January 4th 2006, I was asked to the office of the casting director, Laray Mayfield. Strangely enough, her office was across the street from my first digs in Hollywood, when I’d first gotten to town in July 2001, a motor lodge called the Hollywood Downtowner. (I don’t know why it’s called the Downtowner, it’s actually in east Hollywood. “Downtown” Hollywood, come to think of it… I don’t think there really is a Downtown. Enough already, back to auditioning for Ms Mayfield. I had wanted to meet her since I'd arrived in town, so here was my shot. Lucky me. She was very cool and welcoming and she had me read both roles, which she put on tape. Then I promptly “forgot” that I’d even been there. It’s the best policy, if you ask me. Let it go. If the “role has your name on it”, then you’re getting the job. If not, there ain’t nothing you’re going to do to change that. So a couple weeks go by and I get the call from my rep. I actually said “what film?” I always figure that if I don’t hear something by the following day, then “game over”. It’s just the way I handle it. So getting called direct from my initial read was extremely groovy. (Do people still say

They offer me one day and we’ll shoot early in Feb. Then within a week it changed to 2 days in early Feb. I thought wow, “If I sit still long enough, maybe I will get “hit by that bus”.

I reported to set/location my first day, the corner of 4th and Spring. I checked in with Alison Troy, one of the AD’s. She watched out for me everyday thereafter. We’re both from New England, so perhaps there was a “connection”. She’d always ask me if I wanted to get something from catering and then she’d take me into Hair and Make-up. Speaking of which, those guys were the “stuff”. Felicity Bowring took care of my make-up, Trish Almeida, Lauren Upshaw and Kelvin Trahan took care of my hair, or rather “the lack thereof”. Kind of funny, that with my ever increasingly receding hairline, that I had 3 people taking care of my pate. "Less is more".

A couple of the other guys that were the “best” to be around were Sally Sue Beisel, another 2nd AD and Casey Storm, the costumer. Sally Sue was, I believe the one who came to me after my first day and told me that David would like to see more of me. (Thanks again Sally Sue)Casey’s eye for wardrobe and his attention to detail are incredible. He chose the best “threads” for me to wear. (There was this one shirt…I put it back. I put it back…)

I want to make mention too of Harris Savides/Cinematographer and that before seeing him work (Zodiac) he has been one of my favorite cinematographers, especially since his work on the Turturro film; Illuminata. That film is so rich and full; that I can just imagine what his “eye” will have brought us on Zodiac. Yiassou Kirios Savides! Sto Kalo! Bravo! (Strange though it is, I speak Greek and can’t help but to always find the Greeks in every town I’ve ever been in, this one just happens to be one of the masters)

You want to know about the food? If I told you, you’d want to punch me in the mouth.

Oh yeah and Adam Trese Det 1, besides being naturally funny. His “Walken” impersonation is beyond reproach and unparalleled. I know there are “others” out there who do Walken, but no one and I mean no one does Walken like Trese. Period. (Adam, I’m still rehearsing it, but once you’ve heard the master,…)

Besides the “name” actors whom you already know, I was privileged to watch the work of a couple of guys during part of one of the days; Geoff Callan as patrolman Zelms and Peter Quataroli as patrolman Fouke. This was some work. “Right in the pocket”.

That this would be the last set I would call my Dad from(he died a month and a half later). I'd call him, he was in the hospital and I'd tell him what was going on. He'd say; "Oh yeah, I like that guy, he was on..." or "Yes, I saw him in a picture last month." He knew all the actors and knew David's work as well. I called him, the very first day, right after I'd gotten out of hair and make-up and they'd put these 60's-70's style "sideburns" on me and it reminded me of him, when he was going to the company back then and he'd grown the exact same sideburns. He laughed and said something typically New England. (wicked smaaaart ass) I hope he was proud.

Again it is without reservation I will state that I was “over the moon” when I went to the audition. I was “jazzed” beyond belief to have gotten the job and totally out of my mind with joy and gratitude to have been asked to remain for those additional days, to being made to feel fully a part of the cast by Mark, Tony, Dermot and David. That from the moment I’d wrapped, till about a month after, I found myself still “intoxicated” from all that I’d experienced. Simply, the bonus was and is, that I'd been invited to “the table”. This was confirmation that “I was home”.

mark bernier

Whoa - what an insight! Once again I'd like to thank Mark for taking precious time to write this out. It gives us a real life look at what an every day actor goes through on set. Mark has been very humble throughout the process and I thank him for this, he has asked not to be called a star and remained very humble - if only more Hollywood folk were like this. All the best Mark and we hope to see you on the big screen come January when the movie is released!


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