Southern Bad Boy Mark McCullough
When he is told that he wears a handle-bar mustache better than most, Mark McCullough responds, “Say that after you’re in an audition room with 75 other guys wearing the exact-same look.” McCullough speaks with purpose. He is articulate and down to earth. When he talks to you about acting, you can feel his passion for the craft like it’s running through his veins.
McCullough happily munches on his French toast at the Collins Quarter in Savannah, exuding a positive energy that vibrates off of him like a kid after his first roller-coaster ride. He has just wrapped his new film Mena, starring Tom Cruise, and McCullough is excited. He has nothing but praise for the A-list actor. “Cruise is amazing, he is the most impressive actor I’ve ever worked with. That dude is brilliant.” Fresh from Columbia, where the movie was filmed, McCullough explains that his role in Mena as Pete Duboix, was only supposed to include a couple of scenes and a week of shooting. But Cruise and the director took a liking to McCullough and five days of filming turned into 14 weeks and 25 scenes.
McCullough is an actor on the tipping point of stardom. Since January of this year, he’s spent a total of seven weeks in Savannah, where he now lives; the rest of the time he’s shooting, working on projects or teaching young actors the ins and outs of showbiz. “Many of these young guys are trying to be in everything they can, even if it’s just as an extra. But being an extra rarely gets you anywhere. I would rather be in a ‘nothing’ movie showcasing my acting than be an extra in a big-budget film.”