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Interview With Mark Oliver (2001)

The character of Tony was the sole male survivor of Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland, and Angela probably has him to thank for stopping Marcia from cutting her up every which way but loose. Tony was also a stereotype that rose above it, thanks to careful scripting, and of course, the actor himself, Mark Oliver. Now in his first current interview about the role, Oliver discusses his mark, pun intended, on the late 80's cult treasure. Mark says: "I think it is wonderful that SC movies have such a loyal fan base!"

Sleepaway Camp Films: How'd you land the Tony role and what had you been doing up until then?

Mark Oliver: I had to audition for the role of Tony, and subsequently got a callback for it where I read for Michael Simpson, the director. I think they had it narrowed down to three guys at the callback, and I REALLY wanted the job. I felt good about my read, and was thrilled to hear that I got the part. I still remember the excitement I felt when I heard I got the job. Up until that, I had been studying acting and going on auditions sporadically. I had worked on a film project and some local television shows and commercials, all the while maintaining a 'real' job at UPS.

SCF: Did you bond with anyone during the shoot?

Oliver: Tracy Griffith and I became close during the shoot, as a direct result of most of our scenes being together! She is a very talented actor, as well as friendly and personable. We kept in touch for a short while after filming was competed. Pamela was also nice, but a little distant. Perhaps she was getting into character. I do remember that she was very professional. One of the moments that stands out regarding Pamela was during a campfire scene where she, myself, and "Greg" (character name) were sitting around the fire between takes and Greg asked Pamela "Are you really Bruce Springsteen's sister?". I wanted to crawl under the nearest rock. Pam took it in stride, as I'm sure she is hit with that quite frequently. Greg and I spent a lot of time together as well. He was a very nice kid. I still see Kim Wall at auditions on occasion. What SC3 doesn't show you, is the sense of humor that Kim possesses. She is a lot of fun to be around.

SCF: How cool was the fight scene between you and King Detroit?

Oliver: The fight scene with Riff and I is probably my favorite scene in the movie. Both Daryl and I wanted it to be as believable as possible, so the testosterone was very high that day! He was really great to work with. We both gave it our all during that scene, and had an absolute blast doing it. Daryl is a very talented actor. The scene where he hits Kim in the face with the oatmeal still cracks me up.

SCF: More importantly, how hot was Tracy Griffith? And Kim Wall?

Oliver: I would classify both Tracy and Kim as definite Hotties. One thing that SC3 did not lack, were attractive ladies!

SCF: Let's not even get into the hair but wasn't that hankerchief a bit too much?

Oliver: Haha! The hair, oh yes, the hair. What can I say? It was the 80's. There is NO excuse though, for the handkerchief. Don't ask me what was going on with that John, 'cause I don't know. It was done on a whim, and no one said anything about it to the contrary so it stuck. For some reason, my fashion statement didn't translate to any of the actual L. A. gangs. Go figure.

SCF: Are you really Mexican?

Oliver: No, I'm actually Italian. My real last name is Olivieri.

SCF: What was most difficult duty about the gig?

Oliver: This is a tough one. I truly didn't mind working at night or in the cold. I would have worked every day if they wanted me to. No prima donnas here. All I asked was that all of the brown M&M's be removed from Craft Services. Seriously, the toughest part of the gig would have to have been the commute each day from Atlanta to the set, which was a good hour+ each way.

SCF: Who were the best of the bunch in your book, acting wise?

Oliver: The standouts as far as acting in my opinion were in no particular order, Tracy, Pamela, Daryl, Haynes, and Kyle.

SCF: Were you ever contacted about appearing in an SC4?

Oliver: No, but I would love to be involved with it. After all, I am a survivor right? How many people in SC movies can say THAT?

SCF: You turned up in Scream 2, which was a fun cameo. What's the story there? They shot in Atlanta if I'm correct?

Oliver: I played a reporter in Scream 2, and it was also a very pleasant experience. Wes Craven was a true gentleman. My scene was with Courteney Cox and Liev Schriber about 3/4 through the film. Liev is a very intelligent and talented actor. They filmed most of the exteriors here in Atlanta at Agnes Scott College.

SCF: Have you bumped into any of your Teenage Wasteland cohorts over the years?

Oliver: Yeah, as I said earlier I still see Kim Wall probably more than anyone else. Sandra Dorsey still teaches acting here in Atlanta, I believe. Michael is staying pretty busy these days. I do run into some of the production folks quite often on other gigs. I just worked with Randi Layne on another film where she was a stunt double for Candis Bergen.

SCF: What have you been doing since? I know you've done some voice work...

Oliver: Well, I've been fortunate enough to do this (acting) for a living now. I work a great deal as a spokesperson in corporate videos, voice-overs, and commercials. What I do now is pretty far removed from 'Tony Deherrera'! I can honestly say that working on SC3 was the most fun I've ever had on a project. Most of the crew were musicians, and every night after filming we would all have this massive jam session/party. Speaking of the crew, SC2 & 3 had an awesome crew. Top notch, true professionals. I just finished working on a film that will be released this fall entitled "Sweet Home Alabama". It stars Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, Candis Bergen, and Fred Ward. I had a very small part in it as a high profile security guard at a wedding. It was a lot of fun to work on.

Thanks for dropping by, Mark. Glad to see you're free of bad hair days!



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