Mark Dacascos (Mark Allan Dacascos) born February 26, 1964 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA is an American actor and martial artist. He won numerous karate fights and various styles of kung fu championships between the ages of 7 and 18. Mark Dacascos has several bloodlines in his veins: Chinese, Filipino, Spanish, Japanese and Irish. His father Al Dakaskos (Albert Joseph Dakaskos) is a martial arts instructor and was Mark's first sifu (martial arts instructor). Mark's mother, Moriko McVey, was Al's student. Mark's second sifu was his "second mom" Malia Bernal. She was one of the top ten fighters in the United States and was the first female martial artist for five years. She was also the first woman to be on the cover of the popular magazine "Black Belt" magazine.Al Dacascos created his own style of kung fu, "Wun hop kuen do", which was influenced by the Chinese and Filipino schools. It is a combination of Kajukenbo (KArate), Judo (JUdo), KENpo (KENpo) and Chinese and western boxing (BOxing) styles, which was popular in Hawaii. Al Dacascos teaches his style in Portland, Oregon, USA.
He won his first martial arts tournament at age 9. At 17, Mark went to Taiwan, to enter the training to Sifu Muo-Hui Shen, who then taught styles Qin-na and Shuaijiao ("Chinese judo"), which used the clothes of the opponent for grappling and painful techniques. Mark also became a student of professor Jiang Hao-Quan who taught various Shaolin styles, including Chin Na, Shui Jao and Tai Chi styles, and later studied capoeira under Amen Santo who would later play his teacher in "Only the Strongest".
Martial arts... "...have always been a part of my life," Mark says.
"And I will work hard to keep improving. There have been times when I've 'stomped around,' there have been a few times when I needed a break and did other things. But to be honest, I never thought about leaving martial arts altogether. I was fortunate to have three parents, two of whom, in my humble opinion, are amazing fighters (Al Dacascos and Malia Bernal). I would love to someday teach and teach others what they taught me. Being their student from an early age, I learned what hard work is - it prepared me for the acting profession. The mental and spiritual aspects helped me as much as the physical training. I think they were even more important. Thank you, Dad and Mom!"
Interview with Mark Dacascos from the filming of THE COACH.
THE USUAL PERCEPTION OF MARTIAL ARTISTS AS COOL AND RESERVED IS SHATTERED WHEN YOU TALK TO ACTOR MARK DACASCOS, STAR OF SUCH FILMS AS "BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF" AND "THE CRYING MURDERER". THIS REAL-LIFE PRO OF ALL SORTS OF FIGHTS AND FIGHTS WAS VERY EMOTIONAL AND OPEN. HE WAS HAPPY TO SHARE HIS IMPRESSIONS FROM HIS RECENT FILM "NOMAD".
? In your films you show a brilliant possession of various kinds of cold steel weapons. In "Nomad" you wrestle with swords. Are these weapons familiar to you?
- Indeed, the sword is my favorite weapon. I can talk about it endlessly and show various ways of fighting just as endlessly. And I can use a sword with both hands, right as well as left - there's no difference for me. By the way, on the set of 'Nomad' I had to use a sword without getting off the horse! I know martial arts very well, I've been studying them since I was six years old, but I've never done anything like that before.
? By the way, the weapons in the film looked very authentic. Were the swords really real?
- It was a killer thing! The sword was heavy and sharp. All in all, a real instrument of death. Just imagine: I, not knowing how to hold a saddle, had to gallop my horse and wield a real sword, and managed not to kill myself, nor the horse, nor the actors who surrounded me. Our rehearsals were no different from a real fight This, of course, very hot blood, but also forced to behave very carefully. But my film partners were trying their best! Most of them were not professional actors and so they sometimes forgot that this was a film. How did I survive? Everyone seemed to be trying to stab me with their swords with all their might! So during the fight, I didn't mimic a defensive block, but defended myself for real, for fear of being hacked to pieces. But this also helped me get into character. On the set, we did not want to fight beautifully, and fought as in life. It turned out very realistic: dirty and bloody. Thank God everyone stayed alive!
What determines your choice of film: a decent fee, an exciting story, an interesting role, or the advice of your lovely wife, Julie Kondra?
- I never agree to do a film without having read the script from first to last page, even if m not to appear in all the scenes. M need not feel the material, to decide how I feel about it, to think about the character, to understand what I feel in relation to him. That is, to decide if it is mine or not. Only after that do I see who will direct and produce the film. As for the money... I've acted in films for a lot of money, but I've also accepted small royalties. For me money is not the most important thing both in film and in life.
And yet, about your wife's attitude to your choice of films... Do you consult with Julie before agreeing to participate in the shooting?
- Naturally! I mean, for me personally, it's natural, I can't speak for the others. I have the greatest respect for her intelligence, her vision of the story and her taste in art. Julie's advice means more to me than a lot of recommendations from the so-called following people.
? It happens in celebrity families that one family member has a more successful career than his or her half. That's often the reason for quarrels. Does that happen in Mark and Julie's family and how do they deal with it?
-I have to admit that I'm a happy man: I'm very lucky to have a wife. And that's because Julie's role as a mother and a wife remains paramount, not as an actress. (Mark and Julie met on the set of the action movie The Crying Murderer. Now Julie continues to make occasional appearances in film and television. She has glimpsed in episodes of the acclaimed series "Who's in Charge?", "Santa Barbara", Married ... With Children," "Cool Walker," and others. - (Editor's note.) In my opinion, this is a completely natural thing for a woman to do. I mean, I want to believe that it is natural! Nowadays you can find families where the man takes on the role of the keeper of the hearth, but it seems to me that it goes against human nature. Julie made her choice in favor of family. And when I do a new movie, Julie is happy to be able to stay home and take care of the household and son (this year, their only son Makoalani Charles Dakaskos turns six years old; he was born, like his father, in one of the Hawaiian islands. - Author's note). However, when I have a window in the creative schedule and no filming - the truth is, it's rare! - Julie is also starring in some project. So we both work so the family doesn't go hungry. (Laughs.)
? Probably precisely so that "the family doesn't " starve," Julie, while passing the time without her husband, graduated from the prestigious and expensive American Culinary Institute.
? Your wife doesn't mind that you have love scenes in your movies?
- By the way, have you noticed that 99 percent of my movies involve me fighting desperately, hitting people with my hands and feet and whatever weapon I can get my hands on? And only one percent of my films show me kissing women. I have to admit that my wife does not like it at all when the script requires me to love another. Julie, after all, prefers that I fight in movies rather than kiss.
As far as fights, bouts, fights and stuff, Mark is beyond competition here. His first teachers were his father and mother, and at the age of seven, Mark first competed in a karate tournament. Then he studied the Northern Shaolin and Black Tiger styles, as well as Capoeiro, Brazilian leg fighting. Fame doesn't come easy: He exhausts himself by training 12 to 14 hours a day. Three to four times a week, Dakaskos practices kung fu, tai chi and wushu with martial arts professor ChangHao Wang, 83. His schedule includes weight lifting and stretching exercises. And his favorite is running on his hands, which Mark considers the perfect way to keep his body in shape.
- It's a very convenient kind of exercise: I can even do it in my hotel room," laughs Mark. - I don't have to lug a ton of sporting equipment around!
? Lately, here and there it has been rumored that actor Mark Dacascos is going to leave the cinema, open a martial arts school and head it. You yourself have said many times that one day you will be a martial arts teacher.
- My father is a kung fu teacher, my mother is a kung fu teacher. I love martial arts, and I love teaching, but there's one "but". Unfortunately, there are good people and bad people in life. A martial arts school, on the other hand, is an inherently commercial enterprise, and I will have to accept all students indiscriminately. I will have to teach everyone who pays, regardless of whether they are bad or good. Of course, people with bad intentions-though there are never one hundred percent bad people-can be taught through the philosophy of martial arts, but I don't want to teach everyone, I want to do it selectively and for free, to teach only those in whom I notice a great desire, who will not use their talent for evil, but only for good and for protection. As for whether or not I'm going to give up cinema for this dream of mine... You know, throughout my life I've thought many times about what else I could do besides cinema. And in my mind, I still come back to cinema. I love the actor's life: the constant moving around, travelling, meeting new people... You could call it an obsession, if you like. It's something you can't give up. With my art I'm trying to reach people's hearts and each and every spectator. That's something I would never trade for anything.