MARK FRANKEL - A PROFILE AND GALLERY
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An America Online interview transcript
Online Host: Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved

INTERVIEW WITH MARK FRANKEL

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EXTRApr: EXTRA Online Welcome's MARK FRANKEL, Star of KINDRED: THE EMBRACED. Mark portrays JULIAN LUNA, the Prince of all Vampires struggling to keep the 5 diverse Vampire Clans under control! Be sure to Catch KINDRED: THE EMBRACED, airing on FOX Wednesday's at 9 ET!

EXTRApr: A question from Nchntd00: Question: What have you learned most about what it takes to be a vampire??

MarkFrankl: Control. As a creature who has existed for centuries in a hostile world, where people who don't understand you consider you as the enemy, you have to learn to be in control of yourself in all circumstances. After all, you have been in the prime of your life, absorbing knowledge for centuries and that gives you a certain mental weight that you need to use to survive.

EXTRApr: From Nch: Question: Is it a different kind of 'seduction' when it's blood you're after.....

MarkFrankl: As Julian and as a vampire that has to survive, like any creature in a jungle, I unfortunately have to say, yes...Regrettably.

EXTRApr: FromSciFiMarci: Question: Why do the Kindred vampires not have elongated fangs? The Masquerade book indicates that the clan vampires do.

MarkFrankl: Can you imagine as a Kindred in the police department? In the fire department? A doctor in a hospital trying to live amongst society and having one inch long fangs. It would be a sure way to draw attention to oneself. And as I've said before, Kindred have adapted themselves, as have humans to survive.

EXTRApr: From LALaw: Question: Is this Your first Foray into Cyberspace, or do vampires use the internet too?

MarkFrankl: We're all around you.

EXTRApr: From DLipper: Question: What is your favorite vampire book?

MarkFrankl: I've read Anne Rice and Bram Stoker. But we have created a new Bible by which the cast abides. It's quite long and goes into great detail about the world of the Kindred, our laws, our faith and, at the moment, this is my favorite nighttime reading material.

EXTRApr: From Td00: Question: What powers are your favorite about being a vampire??? Were you surprised at the *power* and knowledge you are "supposed" to posess?

MarkFrankl: Playing this character is one of the most exciting things I've done. Imagine, which I presume, you are in the prime of your life, you think you know it all, you think you understand human psychology, you think you understand your parents. 20 years from now, I'm sure you will look back and say to yourself, "I really knew so little." Imagine instead of that time being 20 years, but 200. The knowledge you will have gained, the wisdom, the understanding of human psychology. To me, that is probably the most exciting thing about playing Julian.

EXTRApr: From Barbarella: Question: What kind of research did you do to study for your role??

MarkFrankl: I went out every night looking for girls just like you.

EXTRApr: From DonGuy: Question: What makes vampire's so sexy?

MarkFrankl: As a vampire, you have a heightened sense of smell, taste, touch, hearing and, of course, other senses are heightened equally.

EXTRApr: FromTroyBoy: Question: Have you ever played a vampire before this?

MarkFrankl: No.

EXTRApr: From nchn: Question: Are the special effects hard to deal with? The shooting schedule of a 'series' rather than a feature? "Draining..?"

MarkFrankl: Yes. We're shooting approximately the equivalent of half a feature film every seven working days, which would be like shooting a major feature in two weeks. We work anything up to 15 hours a day, and the pace is fast and fierce. Concentration is probably the most important asset an actor can have with this kind of schedule. Shooting a feature is definitely a less grueling experience but, in some ways, not as exciting because at the end of an episode of "Kindred," we have a new script with a whole new storyline and dynamic.

EXTRApr: From Ahdonees: Question: What was it like to play Catherine the Great's lover and do you give any credence to the suspected method of her demise?

MarkFrankl: This reminds me of a question somebody asked me earlier today. "Are vampires afraid of garlic?" And I asked the question, "Do you believe a creature with the powers of a vampire, his knowledge and strength, would be afraid of garlic?" You might as well as be afraid of cauliflower. I don't believe that, just as I don't believe it *possible* that Catherine the Great passed away as has been suggested. Playing her lover was extremely romantic as we shot on location in St. Petersburg.

EXTRApr: FromScFiMarci: Question: Mark, I really appreciate the range of emotion you have put into your character. I know you've done another TV series - have you much stage experience - any Shakespeare?

MarkFrankl: Yes. I studied in England for five years before I did my first professional play. I have done many Shakespearean plays and studied the classics for three years in London. My most ambitious project was a one-man show on Macbeth.

EXTRApr: From Ahdonees: Question: There have been a number of articles written about the homoerotic nature of all vampire lore...can you comment on this?

MarkFrankl: If a vampire needs to feed, in my case, the victim would preferably be female. But vampires must drink blood to survive.

EXTRApr: From J Utah: Question: Why do we never see Julian "feed" on the show?

MarkFrankl: Vampires, in fact, need very little blood to survive. The show isn't really about blood and feeding. It's more about the relationships between the characters.

EXTRApr: From Ntd00: Question: Have you found that the public is more 'scared' of you since the show has been on air?

MarkFrankl: On the contrary. Remember, Julian is a protector.

EXTRApr: To visit the KINDRED on the World Wide Web...visit EXTRA at http://www.extratv.com

EXTRApr: From ScFiMarci: Question: Have you ever seen the series "Forever Knight"? And if so, do you think Kindred will attract any of that series fans? And what did you think of it?

MarkFrankl: Unfortunately, I haven't seen the series. I've certainly heard of it and would like to see it. So I can't comment.

EXTRApr: From Kindred Fan: Question: How else did you prepare for the role -- mentally/physically? How much time did you have before you started shooting to think about the role?

MarkFrankl: One dreams of having months to prepare for a role, but unfortunately this almost never happens. I tried to think about what it would be like to be a immortal, where time means nothing. Unlike humans, the clock isn't ticking, which can be daunting and could deplete your energy rather than enhance it. The positive side is that having lived for so long, one has a fantastic understanding of human psychology. I tried to think about this to give Julian the weight he needed. Whereas Sean Connery, an actor in his 60's, that weight would exist. As an actor of my age, playing a character 200 years old was not only a challenge but quite strangely all-encompassing. The more I thought about this during my preparation, the more centered, dignified and powerful I felt.

EXTRApr: From DonGuy: Question: If you drink the blood of a drunk, do you get inebriated too?

MarkFrankl: I don't think so.

EXTRApr: From Nchntd: Question: What do you do as a vampire to compensate for the lack of actual 'intercourse'?

MarkFrankl: Kindred were humans before they were embraced. Why would embracing somebody into the Kindred, which gives them immortality, heightened senses, mental powers, physical powers, prevent them from having intercourse? Wait for episode 8 called "Cabin in the Woods," where Caitlin takes me to get away from the City for a weekend. All will be explained.

EXTRApr: From J Utah: Question: What else does Julian desire besides being the Prince? BTW--If you were looking for girls like me you didn't look hard enough--I'm still here!!!

MarkFrankl: He desires companionship, somebody to share his life and his knowledge. Julian is desperate to have a human relationship, to be in love, to grow old and die. But at the same time, he has a responsibility as Prince of the City to the five clans. They need his guidance. I'll keep looking for you.

EXTRApr: From El Masser: Question: What nationality are you?

MarkFrankl: I'm English.

EXTRApr: From MarkLan: Question: What movies and TV shows catch your interest when you aren't shooting?

MarkFrankl: I love movies like "Apocalypse Now," "The Godfather" trilogy, "Streetcar Named Desire" with Marlon Brando, and although I do see quite a few movies, it's tough to compare them to those. I enjoy the "The X Files," "Married With Children" and "ER," because a friend of mine is in it.

EXTRApr: And one last Question from Freyja: Question: Do you feel that this is a role you were meant to play?

MarkFrankl: Yes.

EXTRApr: Any last words for the fans, Mark?

MarkFrankl: I think the world of The Kindred is fascinating. As an actor, it has drawn me in and all but engulfed me. The show has some very exciting episodes coming up. My relationship with Caitlin heats up and creates a very exciting love triangle with Lily that has been fascinating to play. I hope you all stick with it and ome as hooked as I am. Keep well and be as good a person as you can.

Sincerely, Mark.

EXTRApr: Be sure to Catch KINDRED: THE EMBRACED, airing on FOX Wednesday's at 9 ET! If you want to see Mark back online, email us at EXTRApr!

Online Host: Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved


An America Online interview transcript - 06/28/96
OnlineHost: Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

INTERVIEW WITH MARK FRANKEL, JOHN LEEKLEY, AND P.K.SIMONDS

AOLiveMC7: Welcome to AOLive Mr. Mark Frankel, Mr. John Leekly and Mr. P.K.Simonds!
Question: How big did you think Kindred would be when it started?

JLeekley: When we began Kindred, we knew, because it was a world, it would take a while for the audience to embrace to the show. Every week, the number of viewers increased. We have more than 6 million TV sets weekly.

Question: If Kindred gets renewed, do you foresee greater continuity from one script to the next?

JLeekley: Yes, very much. It took a while for us to find the show, but I believe that after the episode of Romeo and Juliet, I believe we found the right tonality. PK wrote on his own, the last episode, called cabin in the woods. That was a really great story.

Question: Who is/was that Groth character? What did he do to make himself an outcast? That was never brought out in the show.

PKSimonds: He was a member of the Nosferatu clan, a rival of Daedalus, who had to be overthrown to protect the Masquerade. To be more specific, Goth held the position of Primogen before Daedalus. He performed ancient blood rites to gain power, but those rites were too dangerous, and put the Kindred at risk of exposure to the humans. Especially in this modern age of advanced forensics and far-reaching media.

Question: What do you want to do with the show next season?

JLeekley: I talk about this episode called "Skull" at our Kindred web sight, under the section called the creator. WWW.KindredEMary.Com

PKSimonds: Actually, that's WWW.KINDREDEMB.COM.

JLeekley: In "Skull", all of the characters including Julian are exposed to a skull that has been found in Ethiopia, found by a biologist to be a missing link between man and apes. But the skull turns out to be the missing link between man and kindred, the first Nosferatu. Along with the other characters, Julian is nearly driven mad, because he reverts to the far more savaged apes. He wakes up in the morning with Kateland, and blood on his pillow, fearing he will harm her. Thus begins the second season, he goes back to Lilly.

Unfortunately, the new the boss of the Primogen, Brujah. The second season begins with a umber of conflicts. Kateland is also aware of the existence vampires, but still doesn't know Julian is one of them.

PKSimonds: In short, we want to dig deeper into the past and the dark nature of the Kindred.

Question: I play the RPG that the show is based on. Did you research the game for the characters?

JLeekley: The book that the game is based on, which is called "Vampire of the Masquerade," written by Mark Rein-Hagen, was used as the source for the show. For the Klan and the Masqurade. But the visual style of the show, and the world of the Kindred was completely different from the book. The style of the book was punk Gothic, while the world of the Kindred, very sophisticated and elegant, and was inspired by the Godfather film.

The Godfather film presents a subculture of the Mafia, as a world apart from ours, existing along ours, but separate, complete unto itself. The Kindred world is more passionate than ours, more loyal, more erotic, more savage. A world we want to be in.

MFrankel: All together a lot more fun!

Question: Why does the cop get to know about the Kindred, but not Caitlin?

PKSimonds: Frank learns about the Kindred through his relationship with one of them. He has long been close to their world thanks to his partnership with Sonny. Caitlin will begin to suspect more and more that something supernatural exists, but she's blinded by her reporter's trust only in what she can see and understand. Her love affair with Julian opens her to a whole new world, erotic, mystical, powerful. And tragically, the more she is able to believe, the closer she comes to the day when she must either die for her knowledge or be embraced.

MFrankel: The reason why Caitlin is being exposed to the world of the Kindred by a relationship to Julian, but not knowing of their existence, is because Julian must protect the secret, because he is Prince of the city. He does this in a number of ways - one by finally erasing her memory of the one time she discovers their existence.

Question: Where can we write to support the series?

PKSimonds: Write to Fox TV at 10201 W. Pico Blvd., LA, CA 90035.

Question: Mark, why did you choose to do this show?

MFrankel: When I read the pilot for the Kindred, I was immediately drawn into a world that was more exciting than ours. It fascinated me, and I felt like I was being sucked into a vortex the more I read. Julian is also one of the most complex and exciting characters I have ever played. This is was something that I was compelled to be involved in.

Question: Mark, what other projects are you working on?

MFrankel: I have just finished a movie called ROSEANNE'S GRAVE with Jean Reno and Mercedes Reul - shot in Italy. I play an Italian lawyer. It will be released in America around Christmas - possible January. It's a satirical black romantic comedy.

Comment: I like the show and it keeps moving along.

PKSimonds: Thanks.

JLeekley: Thanks

Question: The big question - Will Kindred be renewed for the coming season? Some of us have already written to FOX tv advocating this very thing!

JLeekley: We don't know if it will be renewed on the fall schedule, or as a mid-season replacement. We need all the help we can get from our fellow Kindred.

Question: You probably get asked this a lot, but what's your take on the aspect of the vampire phenom? It's not what we're traditionally used to.

JLeekley: The Victorian Gothic Mythology of Vampires, has been tired and worn out, it is starting to lose it's power; vampires have become camp. The Vampire mythology in Kindred has been changed from that of Bram Stoker. In our show we say that Stoker was hired by the Kindred, to make up all that stuff about garlic to ward off vampires, sleeping in dirt, funny vampires from Transylvania.

This classic ruse is a part of what we call the Masquerade. It has kept mankind looking for the signs, when in fact the Kindred could be sitting on the park bench next to us. Joseph Campbell taught that that myth is the collective dream of mankind. When the myth loses it's power to evoke us to make us dream, then its of no use. Mark and PK, I and the other writers have made the show, have attempted to reinvigorate the mythology, and put the myths, and put them in an urban American setting.

The original myth of vampires revolves around what we as humans fear in ourselves, we fear the release of the id set free. Our darkest impulses have always been repressed. So we have created the creatures of the night. We the writers have told stories about them. If our characters are story provoked, then the myth has power.

PKSimonds: Of course, if you believe any of this, you have to wonder about John Leekley himself. Blood on his teeth?

AOLiveMC7: Thanks everyone for coming in to AOLive tonight! We are completely out of time!

JLeekley: Thank you.

AOLiveMC7: Gentlemen, you were excellent guests, and the audience was terrific! Ladies and Gentlemen, it been a real pleasure! Goodnight!

OnlineHost: Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Transmitted: 06/28/96 13:06

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