Press > Escape From L.A. > Exclusive Interviews > Mark Thompson (Uncredited Guard)

How did radio personalities Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps from The Mark & Brian Show ended up having minor roles in about 40 movies and TV shows?

We were invited to be a part of A Very Brady Christmas. We had Florence Henderson on the show and they were just about to shoot that movie and she said, "You guys should come and be in it." and we thought, Sure. So we did it. We were standing right beside Florence in a role and our listeners just loved it. In that particular show on the script our part was called Concerned Onlookers so that was what that series became. The series of Concerned Onlookers. We appeared in 40 or 50 movies and television shows as Concerned Onlookers.

How did you and Brian Phelps get cast as guards in the submarine launch area? The Final Shooting Script doesn't feature these guards. Also, is it true that the scene was done on the very last day of shooting which was a day shoot due to Kurt Russell (Snake Plissken/Producer/Co-Writer) wanting to book your appearance for weeks and filming taking place at night which interfered with your early job? 

No, I don't think it was in the script. Kurt Russell was a friend of the show and he knew about the thing that we do with Concerned Onlookers and he was about to shoot Escape From L.A. and he said, "Why don't you guys come down and be in it?" We said, "Great." and so we went down and I think they just created a part for us when Kurt was coming down the ladder in the submarine. We're playing guards with guns and we're making sure he's behaving himself as he comes down. We did it because we love Kurt and we were happy to be in the film.

I don't know. I'm not sure. We showed up on the day we were suppose to so I don't know the answer to that.

How did you prepare for the role and how was the experience filming your scenes? Was your line "Nice and easy now." written, improvised or dubbed, how long did the filming take, how many takes did you do and was Snake Plissken entering the sub also filmed?

Well, there wasn't really much to prepare for. You know, we got there and they gave us our wardrobe and we put it on and we hung out with Kurt for a little while. When it was time to shoot it they just said, "Ok, Kurt's gonna come down the ladder and when he does point your gun at him and make sure that he is a good boy and continue to go where he's suppose to go." That was kind of it. There wasn't much preparation for it.

I don't remember but I think we had the freedom to say a little something. It wasn't in the script. I do think that somebody just said, "Feel free to say a little something to him as he comes down." and that came out.

The actual filming was maybe two hours total but we spent the entire day there with Kurt. We ate on the set with Kurt.

I don't remember but probably three or four. Just to make sure because we did it from different angles. You know, to the left and to the right and did a master shot so three or four angles.

I wasn't there for that. We were just there for when he comes down the ladder inside the submarine. It was a set. A set that was built to look like a submarine. We were on a sound stage.

How was the experience working with the cast and crew such and what went on behind the scenes? Is it true that Kurt Russell had you wash his car for instance and if so why?

Well, I mean obviously working with Kurt was great because he's a buddy and we love being around him. It was a great honor for me to meet John Carpenter
(Director/Co-Writer/Co-Composer) who directed two of my favorite movies of all time which is the first Halloween and of course The Thing with Kurt. So to meet him and speak with him was a great honor.

I don't have any memory of that.

What's your favorite memory or memories of working on the movie?

Hanging out with Kurt in his trailer.
After we had shot our scene with Kurt he asked us to hang around for a bit but didn't say why. So, hung in Kurt's trailer watching old baseball games. At that time he was addicted to watching old baseball games from the 1950s and we sat around in his trailer while he watched that and we watched him watch old baseball. I went to take off my soldier uniform and Kurt asked me to keep it on not saying why. Kurt kept looking at the sky and when the moment was right he said, "Let's go." We walked to the top of a nearby hill, me, Brian, Kurt and a photographer. Kurt had been waiting for dusk for what they call "magic hour" where the sun has set but it's not yet dark. There the three of us stood, us in our soldier uniforms and Kurt dressed as Snake Plissken. The photographer took a ton of pictures and told us, "These will turn out great." We hugged Kurt goodbye, changed and left. What I hate is that I never saw the pictures. I'm sure they look awesome and I will never know.

What do you think of the movie personally?

I thought it was good. I liked Escape From New York I think better but you know it's still Snake Plissken. It's still Kurt. I enjoyed it

What are you currently doing and what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Well, these days I've been painting a lot. When I'm not doing anything constructive I just put a bunch of paint on the canvas and see what happens.

Thank you for your time, Mark.

More about Mark Thompson here: