Interview with One Night in Bangkok star Mark Dacascos
by Bobby Blakey
Through the years there have been a ton of great martial arts action stars, but few that have crossed so many genres than Mark Dacascos. From his debut feature American Samurai in 1992 to his Capoeria action flick Only The Strong and more recently his turn as Zero in John Wick 3: Parabellum he has been racking up the hits. While known for his martial arts mastery he has also crossed into reality TV as the Chairman in Iron Chef and network TV as the reoccurring villain Wo Fat in Hawaii Five-O. I had the chance to sit down and discuss his latest film One Night In Bangkok, that reteams him with his The Driver director Wych Kaosayanada.
Bobby: How did you get involved with One Night in Bangkok?
Mark: I’ve known the director Wych Kaosayanada for a while and right after John Wick I went over to Thailand to work with him on The Driver. We had such a great time working together that shortly thereafter he sent me another script for One Night In Bangkok and I loved it. Fortunately we were able to get together and do that as well. So it was based on our relationship and joy with working with each other.
Bobby: Without spoiling too much of The Driver, I assume that is how Kane Kosugi got involved with this as well?
Mark: Yes. Wych has been a good friend of Kane’s for a while and already had in mind who we wanted as our antagonist.
Bobby: I know this isn’t a martial arts film and more of a thriller, but did you still have input on the action itself with this guy being a more average guy to want to do more martial arts or keep it more in line with this everyman?
Mark: Both my parents are martial artists and I have been doing martial arts myself for a long time like you. So I have that in my back pocket, but the character is not a professional assassin or even a fighter. He has military training so some experience, but he’s not a sharpened professional like at that. So we the filmmakers have to look at it as what the character can and would do. Not what I could possible do you know. We would shoot it from the characters point of and the sensibilities of it. This is not a martial arts film or hardcore action. This is a character driven thriller with elements of action. We have to tell the truth of the character and get to the heart of the story so that is how we approached it.
Bobby: When you see a tag line cast of Mark Dacascos and Kane Kosugi there is already a preconceived notion to what this film is going to be. Do you feel pressure when you have to iconic martial arts actors like you guys, but it’s not really that kind of movie?
Mark: There is a lot of pressure because you’re right that this is not that kind of movie. The challenge is how do we tell the story as truthful, honest and interestingly enough as we can, but still satisfy some of the fans expectations. So yes, we do feel the pressure and we want to give the audience what they want but hopefully in a way that does not skew the integrity of what we want to tell with the story. So yes we absolutely to feel that pressure.