Mark Lutz plays Cordelia's recent love interest, The Groosalugg,
in Angel. With the 3.2 VHS boxset due to be launched
by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on 19 August 2002 Keri
Allan caught up with him when he attended the Caritas convention...
Allan: How long are you in London for and are you going to
get some free time to see some of the sights?
Lutz: That's a good question. That changes by the hour, but
I think we're here till tomorrow night then we're off to Glasgow
and then Leeds and then back to Glasgow its all very confusing!
I got to go to Stonehenge yesterday which was something I
wanted to do so I got to do that, and that was very cool.
I have a friend of mine that lives in London and my brother
lives in London so we just headed out there.
How did you get the part of the Groosalugg?
Well I got a call one day and I guess they were having a little
bit of trouble finding the exact fit in terms of what they
were looking for for the character of this guy for angel.
SO I guess I just went in and had literally 3 auditions that
day and I went and read for the casting director, then came
back and read for Tim Minear and David Greenwalt, and then
later that day I read for Joss and I got the job that way.
I hear you had to go through some changes before they got
your look right. What did that involve?
Originally I think the Groosalugg was supposed to be gold
in colour - not unlike an Oscar statuette. I had to go through
a series of make-up tests. Originally they painted me gold
from head to toe which was dreadful.
took about an hour and a half maybe a little longer, but they
didn't like it. When they did a film test for that the gold
looked green on camera and so then they tried silver. With
silver the only thing they could get that would work was this
terrible stuff that would rub off on anything you touched
so that was useless.
then they decided that they would try making him blue. They
made me up and I was ready to go on and shoot and the director
for that episode, Tim Minear, turned around and looked at
me and he said: "Mark, go home". And I couldn't
believe it and I said: "Aren't I in the next scene?"
To which he replied: "No, go home. You like you've were
buried under a frozen lake for 10 years. You look terrible!
I want you to just come back tomorrow with no make up".
I was so happy (Laughs). That was the evolution of the Groosalugg.
Gold to silver, to blue, to skin tone.
What's the atmosphere like on set? How long do your days last?
I'd say they probably average about 15 hour days, certainly
for the crew. They are there a little bit earlier and a little
bit later than for me. Probably between 12-15 hour days as
a general rule.
on average we get the scripts about a week, five days before
we shoot. But some mornings you come in and they've changed
whole scenes. So you'll get there first thing in the morning
and the pages you thought you were shooting aren't going to
be the pages you are shooting.
How well do you guys all get on there?
I was really lucky because I had only been in Los Angeles
for about two months when I got the role in Angel,
so I knew a handful of people at best and I made some great,
great friends on the show. I mean Andy [Hallet] is now my
next door neighbour, I got a house right next to him. And
J, [J. August Richards] is just a great, great guy. We also
play hockey with David. So I've been fortunate in Angel,
it has provided me with some really great work, but also
a friend base, so its been a blessing on many levels.
There is a certain amount of high jinx on set, and I think
part of the reason for that is that everyone gets on so well,
so there's quite a lot of fun on the set, much to the chagrin
of some of the producers. Alexis
did a scene without his pants on once. Of course the camera
doesn't see that, but everyone else does.
thing I was joking about with Andy recently was when we were
doing a scene where I had to carry Amy through to the lobby
to meet Gunn. Right before the take Andy whispered some very
nasty things in my ear and there was "Action" right
afterwards. I was laughing so hard I first put my head down
and then turned around because I was leading the group into
the hotel lobby, so I had to turn around and look back at
him like my character was looking back to make sure they were
alright, but in reality I was looking back because I couldn't
keep a straight face because I was laughing so hard!
You've been travelling around the World doing conventions
recently. What have been the high points for you?
When we were in Sydney we went go see a concert at the Sydney
Opera House, a tribute concert for the Dali Lama and I was
sitting not two feet away from him. That was a huge highlight.
We also got to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and went scuba
diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
I was over here the in the UK the first convention we did
was right by Tower Bridge, and I got to go to the Tower of
London and I got to go Stonehenge yesterday, which is very
cool for me. I'm very much into history and all that so it
was fascinating. The people would also be one of the highlights.
We've met some amazing people.
What have you found the UK fans to be like?
Very friendly, very vocal (laughs), very dedicated to the
show. I mean they ask some great questions. Sometimes you
get the same questions over and over again, so the questions
they were coming up with made us go ah well, Ill have to think
about that one. So very well informed, and delightful.
of them shocked me the other day One of the questions they
asked me was: "If you were a bird..." I was waiting
for "what kind of bird would you be" or something,
but they said: "who would be the first person you'd crap
on?" That was an interesting question! But yeah questions
are mostly on the realm of the show, so questions that really
stand out are the ones that make you do a double take.
Are you back for the next series of Angel?
ML: I cant comment on that..
Ok then, have you got other work lined up for when you get
Yeah actually my brother and I have formed a production company.
He's a lawyer here in London. We've got the rights to the
story of a Canadian swimmer, basically his life story.
Is it true that you used to be a swimmer yourself?
Yes, me and my brother swam for many years and competed for
Olympic trials and nationals and world cups and things like
that so the project is one very close to our hearts. The guy
who is at the centre of the movie was a very flamboyant swimmer
and died very tragically at the age of 25 after setting a
world record that wasn't beaten for like 12 years after he
died. It's very close to our hearts and I will be playing
the main character, as I seem to have an uncanny resemblance
to him, so it should be good.
So how did you make the move from swimmer to actor, did you
always plan to act?
It was always absolutely the plan since I was a little kid.
I swam competitively since the age of seven so I obviously
wanted to take that as far as I could, but there was no way
I was going to go to university and swim for four hours a
day and be in the weight room an hour a day and try and pursue
any kind of acting career, but being at school and working
that way was a good way to combine the two. So I went to university
and got a degree in political science that I never use, (laughs).
So is there anyone you'd really like to work with, or anything
you'd like to do next if the opportunity arose?
Oh there's a list - I could and tell you all day the people
I would love to work with, probably at the moment there's
this guy, Jean Reno a French actor I think he's awesome. Him
and Steve Martin would be two of my big ones, I've been a
big fan of his since being a kid. I'd love to o
do a comedy.
started off in comedy in Toronto and that's one of the reasons
I got the role of the Groosalugg because I was the only actor
they had seen going in there.
KA: What would you most like to see
your character do next?...
I don't know, that's a great question. Maybe he'll head over
to Sunnydale, hang with Buffy for a while, move onto Buffy!
Thank you for your time.
will be more conventions later this year, including events
in October with first confirmed guests being Adam Busch (Warren),
Danny Strong (Jonathan) and Tom Lenk, (Andrew). These are
being held in both London and Glasgow. For more details check
thanks to Paula Cope at DSA