EXCLUSIVE: From Officer McHorn to the Hood Shooter: A Conversation with Mark ‘Rhino’ Smith
An ex-special services veteran (Antonio Banderas), down on his luck and desperate for work, takes a job as a security guard at a run-down mall in a rough area of town. On his first night on the job, he opens the doors up to a distraught and desperate young girl who has escaped and fled from a hijacking of the Police motorcade that was transporting her to testify as a trial witness in a briefcase. Hot on her heels is psychopathic hijacker (Ben Kingsley), alongside his resourceful henchmen, who will stop at nothing to extract and eliminate their witness.
The Fan Carpet’s Marc Jason Ali had the pleasure of speaking to Mark ‘Rhino’ Smith who plays the Hood Shooter in Alain Desrochers’ Security alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, he tells Marc about working with Sir Ben Kingsley, working with Yardie Director Idris Elba and what he has coming up…
What was it about Security that made you get involved?
Security, it was obviously an honour and a privilege to work with Sir Ben Kingsley and Antonio Banderas, and it was a good role, it was fun, it was filmed in Europe and yeah I couldn’t wait to do it, it was fun working with artillery and so forth, “boys with their toys” so to speak.
Yeah I was watching it last night, I got a sort of Assault on Precinct 13 vibe…
Oh yeah I know the one you mean.
I got that sort of vibe on it because it was contained into one space and just very small amount of people basically having to survive the night.
In one location.
In one location. It was cool. What can you tell us about your character and where you fit into the story?
Well I’m the Hood Shooter, so my name is Hood I worked under Sir Ben Kingsley and my mission is to take out Antonio Banderas and I’m a sniper, A-Level sniper and it gets very close, I don’t want to give too much away of the story, but it gets very close and I have him in my line of fire and my dot on his head and I’ll leave the rest up to the viewers (laughs).
Absolutely. That kind of feeds into my next question which is, what was it like to work with such an incredible cast?
Oh amazing, just to see the way he works just standing next to Sir Ben Kingsley was a privilege, an honour I learnt a lot by watching him, and Antonio Banderas is very cool as well, great guys really nice guys.
They are they are, they’re great, I’ve had the privilege to meet them both (laughs). One was Enders Game, Sir Ben Kingsley, and with Antonio Banderas it was an animated film that he had produced called Justin and the Knights of Valour.
Oh nice yeah.
Yeah he was over in London for that and obviously Sir Ben is from here.
I will say I bumped into Antonio Banderas a second time last year, I was in Europe doing a film, it’s just been released on Deadline two days ago Rob Cohen was the director of it and was called Category 5 and now it’s been changed to Hurricane Heist, Toby Kebbel was in it, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten… Yeah it’s a big movie and that gets released January/ February next year.
But whilst I was there filming that, and then I did a film called Stoic and Avi Lerner, the producer from The Expendables is the producer for that and Security, so I was in two films at the same time. So I worked with Antonio Banderas again which was a lot of fun to see him again.
I’ll bet. With your background as a Gladiator and a bodybuilder, did the training for the role come easy to you or was it a learning curve for you and do you have a favourite skill that you picked up for Security?
Yeah it was a learning experience again obviously with the sniper, the machine guns and the handguns. I’ve had a bit of artillery training for past films, these are different weapons, so it was an experience.
Is that the skills you would take away from it?
Yes definitely, being able to use those. I’ll tell you weapons training mostly, and also how the boys work up close and personal you know with Sir Ben Kingsley and Antonio Banderas.
Yeah both legends. Do you have any memorable moments from set?
Memorable moments from set was when it was 15 minutes past midnight, it’s December when we filmed on rough terrain, it was very, very cold and Sir Ben Kingsley requests that it needs to be level ground, and he said “one minute one minute, I need a block of wood so I am totally level” where we were standing so they quickly ordered some wood so his feet could be level, he just wanted a firm base.
So they quickly got like an inch and half of wood for one foot, not that one of his legs is shorter than the other, it’s just the terrain, so they levelled him up and he said “okay I’m ready to proceed now thank you ever so much” and then Bang he got straight into character (laughs) that was good and bearing in mind it was really cold.
Class act all the way. You’ve carved out an eclectic career for yourself from voice roles to hard hitting roles like Security, what is on the horizon for you?
I just finished filming Yardie, Idris Elba’s directorial debut and I finished last week in Jamaica that was great, I’m in London now and I fly back to LA in a bit for some auditions. Other than that there’s quite a few films coming luckily this year; Hurricane Heist, Stoic, Security just came out July 3rd.
I think it gets a US release in August and Vital Signs is Apple’s first TV show, that’s Dr Dre’s series and I’m his bodyguard in the show, Day of the Dead gets released this year or the start of next year, that’s a zombie flick and I play a character called Alphonse a big character in the film.
What else can I tell you? I think that’s it, oh yeah Don’t Shoot the Guitar Man which I shot in San Francisco December last year, that’s a prison film based on a true story about a guitar teacher who tries to help people on Death Row learn music and try and change them.
So yeah there’s a few things coming out luckily, other than that just grafting and enjoying family life, training, the same story really.
Cool. What can you tell us about Yardie and working with Luther himself?
Wow Idris, I mean I’ve worked with him before, he’s my boss in Zootropolis he was Chief Bogo, I was the Rhino [Officer McHorn]. And I also worked on No Good Deed in Atlanta, but yeah it’s amazing to work with him, he was great.
I mean he’s smashed it in directing, it was an honour to work with him, such a lovely guy as well, very very talented, and my character is like the head honcho for one of the Mafia guys one of the bad boys that goes against the main guy which is called Dee and his name is Aml Ameen whose the guy playing that character and we go at it, we run into each other, myself and Dee and yeah you got to see this film it’s very good.
Yeah I think it’s out next year isn’t it Yardie?
It’s out next year yeah.
Be looking forward to that!
Some powerful scenes where shot.
Cool. And lastly, we last spoke to you, well Camilla did for Zootropolis, do you see more voice roles in your future?
Yeah I’m hoping to do Zootropolis 2, it’s such a big successful film Zootropolis worldwide that they want to do a number 2, and there’s talks of doing a second one so that’d be great.
Yeah it’s got a different name, it’s called Zootopia over in America.
That’s right yeah. In England I have a habit of saying Zootopia.
(laughs) Yeah but I love that film, I thought it was great.
Nice one, yeah my kids love it.
I suppose that’s why you take on the roles right? So that your kids have got something to watch.
Yeah for them and, I mean I love watching the film myself, it has a positive message.
Absolutely and Disney make really great films, they’ve just had their D23 convention over in America so there’s a lot of good stuff that’s come out of that.
SECURITY IS OUT NOW ON DVD