I was given the opportunity to speak with the very talented stunt performer Chris Mark. He is also starring in the new film Kill Order. Check out our conversation below.
When it comes to stunts, Chris Mark is known for his work on some pretty major films like Star Trek Beyond, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Suicide Squad, Pacific Rim, and The Hunger Games.
Kill Order was written and directed by his fellow stuntman and brother James Mark. The film was released today, Feb. 6, on VOD, Digital HD, and DVD.
RONN!E: So you play David in the new movie, Kill Order. First off, tell us about your character.
Chris Mark: David is a teenaged boy that’s essentially trying to find his purpose in the world, but he was the subject of an experiment when he was younger that turned orphaned kids into mindless killing machines with the ability to harness energy from another dimension and to have superhuman strength and abilities. He escaped from the experiment and is currently on the run. Because of the experiment, he’s developed another identity, which is the killer, the mindless assassin. It comes out when he’s in really dire situations or under a lot of stress.
RONN!E: You’re already very familiar with stunts, as you’re an active stuntman in a lot of films. Is this your first starring role in a film?
Chris Mark: Yes, it’s my first lead feature role.
RONN!E: So was it a lot different? I’m guessing you did most of the stunts for this, also.
Chris Mark: I wanted to do all of them. I made it a point, although, looking back, it might not have been the best idea, to get smashed through a picnic table during filming. But it worked out and I didn’t hurt myself, so, yeah. It was different in the sense that it’s a lot of work. Not only was the rehearsal and site design a lot of work, but David himself goes through a lot of different traumatic experiences through the film and goes through a lot of different emotions. I knew I had to bring that element of his character into the fight scenes, but at the same time it was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done, because when I’m fighting as David, or even when I’m fighting as Blue David, there’s so much more meaning to it, there’s a purpose, there’s an objective, there are consequences if you lose, concerns, doubts, and growth during the fights. So I found that part of it really fun to play, really fun to perform.
RONN!E: Did you get hurt at all?
Chris Mark: No, just minor things. My definition of “hurt is “seriously hurt”. *laughs* But, you know, a pulled groin muscle, tweaked back, little things like that you can kind of get a massage in between takes and you can continue to do it. But nothing that totally debilitated myself. But this was the hardest of any sort of stunts or action that I’ve ever done in my career.
RONN!E: There are a lot of stunts in this. What would you say the level is, percentage-wise, how many stunts you’ve done in this compared to others, because you have a LOT of stunts in this film.
Chris Mark: Yeah, I know. It was crazy the amount. I think the hardest ones were the wire moves–I had a lot of different wire gag, where they pulled me into a tree, or, I think I went into a tree, a picnic table, through a wall, a fridge… Into a garbage can. It didn’t stop. Into a door. It’s very rare. I’ve never been on a project with this many stunts, and I worked on Scott Pilgrim Versus the World for like seven months, doubling Michael Cera, and it was like nowhere near as hard as this movie. So everything after it is super easy now. *laughs*
RONN!E: You’ve gained some experience with this one.
Chris Mark: Yeah, with the next movie I do, I just hope, if my brother’s directing, he doesn’t go, “You know, we need to smash Chris more in this movie. We need to up it.”
RONN!E: Speaking of your brother, James, who directed and wrote this movie, I was wondering, were you involved with any of that process?
Chris Mark: No, I wasn’t involved in any of the writing of it. I was only involved in the fight choreography. I left [the writing] to him. I just wanted to approach this project as a performer. There’s so much to do in terms of action, and acting, so all I did was focus on developing the character, developing the action, and getting to that standard that we need to showcase something unique and different for people to see. All the creative stuff, the writing and directing, filming the fight scenes, I left to James to do, and he did a really good job with that. It’s kind of how we really work well together. We both have our strengths and we trust each other to do different jobs on the movie, as well as other people on the team.
RONN!E: Did James do any stunts in this movie?
Chris Mark: He was in it. He plays the Ying character, but he didn’t have any stunts. He just kind of kills some people at the end. If they do a Kill Order 2 I’m going to pitch that he gets bashed around a lot. Just for a little payback. *laughs*
RONN!E: I’m hoping they do a Kill Order 2 because it was a fun film. Are there any other projects that you have coming up that you want people to know about?
Chris Mark: Right now I’m the fight choreographer for a show called “Titans”, based on the comic book series Teen Titans, so that’s looking really cool. And there’s a project we’re going to do in the summer, it’s untitled right now, but hopefully, we’re looking for a new action film. Not a Kill Order 2, it’s a separate thing, but it’s a new action film from our team and our company for next year.
RONN!E: Nice. One question I like to ask everyone, is there anything out there that you really want to do?
Chris Mark: I really want to do guns. Like, lots of guns. I really want to do some sort of tactical agent, some S.W.A.T. or task force character.
RONN!E: Like a Hitman: Agent 47 thing?
Chris Mark: I like assassin kind of stuff, but it’s so much fun to use guns with action. Kind of like John Wick, which uses a lot of gun work combined with martial arts. I’d love to do something like that.
RONN!E: Well, thank you so much for speaking with me. I appreciate it. Best of luck, I did enjoy the movie.
Chris Mark: Thanks for the interview!