Band of Brothers not only gifted us great television, but it also handed great actors too. Many of todays exceptional actors can be seen in Band of Brothers. One of those is Mark Lawrence, who graciously allowed me to send him some questions for an interview….
For anyone who does not know Mark Lawrence, how would you describe yourself?
I grew up in the UK. I was one of those kids who never did exceptionally well at school. I was always goofing around. I suppose you would say, I was a bit of a clown.
Goofing off and messing around took me away mentally from things that were going on at home at the time. My childhood was a bit disjointed. I was a bit of an attention seeker from an early age.
How did you get the acting bug?
My Grandfather was a stand-up comedian, so I guess that there was an element of it in me from him. I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I was a child of the American TV shows like Starskey and Hutch, Hill Street Blues and more. Of course, there were the great 70s movies. Jaws, The Godfather, Paper Moon. I used to look up where all these actors studied. It was mostly at Lee Strasberg or Stella Adler. I couldn’t afford Stella Adler!!!
I heard a little rumour that you went for an audition for Saving Private Ryan? Can I be so bold as to ask which part you went for?
You can ask of course but the answer is simple. It was a general audition. One where you read for all different parts. I remember being nervous and didn’t nail it at all.
How did you prepare for Band of Brothers?
Research, research and research. I was desperate to be seen so badgered the casting director until he saw me. I was very focused and prepared. I`ll admit, I was desperate for this role!
What can you tell me about the Boot Camp?
I didn’t get to go to the Boot Camp as I was cast just before shooting. I had 4 auditions and had heard nothing, so I took a theatre job. I got the call saying I had got Band of Brothers on the Thursday and would start filming on the Monday. I went for my costume fitting on the Friday and asked if I could take my boots home. I wanted to get used to them. When I got home, I went for a run in them. My feet were bleeding when I got home. Those boots killed everyone!!!
Going to the Premiere
When I went to the premiere, I got to meet with the men who served with Dukeman. I had met. couple before while filming. I met Johnny Martin (played by Dexter Fletcher in the mini-series). Mr Martin teared up when talking about Dukeman. He was remembered as a young man who never grew old. Heartbreaking but also eye opening at the same time.
Co-incidences in Life
I have just moved with my family from Colorado to New York. My wife is from Colorado, which is where Dukeman was born. There are lots of little co-incidences in our life. My grandmother grew up near Aldbourne, where Easy were stationed in the UK. She drove the buses at the weekend that used to take the soldiers into town so they could go to the dances and have a drink. It’s very possible that she met Dukeman. I like to think so.
I understand you worked with Julie Walters.
Working with Ms Walters was amazing. She is a legend. I remember that I asked her for a kiss after I had finished my last day. She said Yes!!!
I am so lucky to have worked with amazing people and been to amazing places through my acting life.
Is there anyone that you wish you could have worked with?
That is an easy one.
Orson Welles. His creativity and genius was an inspiration to me. It still is.
I have one final question. I read bout your role in a short film called “The Man who fell in love with a watermelon”.
How do you prepare for something like that, especially the scene that you had to do in broad daylight in Washington Square Park?
The watermelon thing was a short film that I was part of when I was studying in New York. When you are young, you’re just desperate to do anything, desperate to get the dog!
I will say, I don’t get embarrassed by much. Just ask my kids!
Thank you Mark Lawrence.
Thank you for your time and your performance in Band of Brothers.
The history of Easy Company will continue to be honoured.