Mark Hildreth plays Pastor Tom Hale in ABC's Resurrection. Season 2 premieres September 28. Mark's Twitter: @hildrethmark , Website: http://www.mark-hildreth.com . Photo by Marc Labrie.
Don't let the baby face and acting gig fool you! Mark Hildreth, who stars in ABC's Resurrection, is also an accomplished musician. Plus, as you can see from the above photo, he has some gymnastics ability built into him. And oh, Mark has such a soothing voice, let me tell you!
From an actor's point of view, what differences have you noticed in your character as the series progressed?
Tom is a very flawed person who has this deep moral need to do the right thing. In the story of Resurrection, this puts him into a kind of Hamlet situation, where he isn't sure what to do because doing the right thing is a very difficult thing. From the beginning, we wanted to make Tom very human, and not some mystic or just a nice "pastor" guy who gives good advice to people. I met with the writers before season one and told them about some of the backstory I had been developing for Tom with my wonderful friend Deborah Aquila - that Tom had a darker past, that maybe he wasn't always a good Christian boy, maybe he had a rocky relationship in his past, maybe that girl died and that's what sent him to search for answers in the Bible. A lot of those ideas ended up in our show. To me, Tom represents what's best about being human - he's an ordinary guy trying his best to do the right thing against the adversity of those around him who would use fear and violence to get what they want.
How did you feel when you were waiting to hear if Resurrection was picked up for a second season? How'd you find out it was renewed?
I found out like everybody else... on Deadline Hollywood! Of course I was thrilled because I love this character and have invested more in creating him than any other character I've ever played. I was very sensitive about representing Tom's religious faith in a way that was respectful and accurate. I spent many hours in the homes of Christian pastors in Atlanta, playing golf together, discussing and questioning the nature of belief and the deeply personal meaning of faith. Because there is so much fervor over religious beliefs in our world, I felt uniquely qualified to play Tom because I don't personally subscribe to any particular religious faith. I find meaning and truth in many different perspectives, religious and non-religious. Because of this, I felt I could approach the role without a vested interest in making one religion right or another wrong. I hope that one of the things people get from Resurrection is that, religious or not, nobody has all the answers. And that no matter our religious or spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof), in times of crisis we must all learn to come together as a human team and struggle through it together.
Tell us about your CD's, what your music means to you and how you think it should affect the listeners.
I taught myself to play Beethoven when I was 10 years old and have always felt music is like a part of who I am. One of the greatest things in the world is to sing a song to someone and change their life with just one simple melody. Music is about how we are all the same - you can hear a love song in any language in the world and you'll still know what it means, what that feels like. I've released two full-length albums of my own music, my own stories, that are available on Itunes and on my website at http://www.mark-hildreth.com
What's it like working with young performers?
I started acting when I was five years old so I feel very protective of young performers. As soon as I met Landon Gimenez, I felt like a dad! He and I have a lot in common, and growing up in this industry is a very strange experience to have. So I want the kids I work with to have as much fun and feel as little pressure as possible. Because they should only do it because they love it. If you're doing something and it ever stops making you happy, you can quit and do something else. You don't have to feel like a slave to that thing.
What type of feedback did you get from fans regarding your character in "V"?
People LOVED V, and it's such an honor to hear when someone tells me how much they enjoyed the show. My character on V was another one that I got to help in creating. It was originally meant to be a two-episode guest star that showed up to kill Alan Tudyk's character. But based on what we got, the role got expanded into this wonderful double-agent who was fighting for the human side and was in many ways the most humanitarian character on the show. I love those kinds of roles, and I think we need to see more of them on TV. We've got so many shows now giving us a blue print of how to be a sociopathic, violent criminal. I think we need more blue prints for how to be a compassionate humanitarian.
What pet peeves do you have?
My french bulldog throws up after almost every meal. It really kills me.
What's your workout routine?
I work out 3-5 times a week, mostly in the gym with weights. I have to stretch before and after every work out otherwise my body hates me. Also, core work while you use weights is vital. I drink a lot of high calorie protein shakes. My usual is frozen banana, protein powder, almond milk, Greek yogurt, flax oil and almond butter. Other than that, just eat reasonably healthy food and you should survive!
Anything else you'd like to say?
A big shout out to all the Resurrection fans out there. We're really going to KILL it this season!