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Mark “Rhino” Smith talks to Live for Films about Day of the Dead & more


I don’t know if you know, but former 90’s Gladiator Mark “Rhino” Smith is now a Hollywood actor, and currently shooting a zombie film called Day of the Dead!

On my first whistle, I recently caught up with Mark to chat about zombies, working with Danny Trejo, and being killed by a Terminator. On my second whistle, Mark also tells me about his voice work on the excellent Zootropolis, appearing in Creed alongside Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, being thrown through a kebab shop window by Kevin Costner in Criminal, and playing Dr. Dre’s bodyguard in forthcoming TV show: Vital Signs.

Mark has some great celebrity anecdotes and is definitely the only Gladiator with a Hollywood career!

Hello, Mark. I’m Alan from Live for Films. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer some questions for us today. What can you tell us about Day of the Dead?

What I can tell you about Day of the Dead..? It’s about a group of survivalists who seek shelter from a world overrun with zombies, so it has the conflict, crisis and crossroads which make for a hopefully great zombie flick. It’s a great cast and crew.


Were you already a fan of zombie movies going into this one? What are some of your favourites?

Yes, I was a fan in my teens of zombie movies, which was just a few years ago (laughs).

Growing up I watched loads of zombie movie which were written and directed by George A. Romero. My favourites were Night Of The Living Dead and the Dawn of the Dead remake. Michael’s death in Dawn Of The Dead and them partying – playing around in the shopping mall, and all the Zombies outside going crazy… eeeek.


What was your training regime like to prepare for your role?

My training regime consisted of a 3 to 6 mile run a day, squats, deadlifts, pull ups, press ups, hanging leg raises and boxing to keep me sharp and quick, which I had to be. Those zombies ain’t playing!


imagegladiatorsHow did you go from bodybuilding to Gladiators?

I went from bodybuilding to Gladiators in 1995. After winning the Junior British Championships, and then the London and Northerns mens Heavyweights in bodybuilding, I got asked by LWT to come in for an interview.


Are you ever recognised as a Gladiator still?

Yes I get recognized quite a lot in the UK. People say “Hey! Are you Rhino from the Gladiators?” They say its my green eyes (laughs).


Do you have any funny stories from your time on the show?

My funniest time I have from the shows, was a live show and me sitting down to a loud fart. Someone had put a whoopee cushion on my chair in front of a live audience! (laughs)


Who inspires you?

People who inspired me are Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and my children Brodie, Stirling and Chloe.


What prompted your move to Hollywood?

What prompted me to move to Hollywood was a film part, which can you believe didn’t materialize, but my wife and I decided to give it a shot anyway.


You were in the Danny Trejo movie Bad Ass, and we are massive fans of Danny at Live for Films – what can you tell us about working with him?

It was a privilege working with Danny Trejo in Bad Ass. He was fun and very cool. He had fun him knocking me out, literally…


FullSizeRenderWhat was the scene where Danny knocked you out? Was it an accident? What happened?

No, he didn’t knock me out for real. The stunt team staged that for us. Danny said “How the fuck can I knock out Rhino, man?!”, when the camera wasn’t rolling.


You did voice work for Zootropolis – great film – how did you find acting with nothing but your voice?

Acting with just my voice in Zootopia/Zootropolis was an amazing experience, it was different, imaginative and exciting to use just my voice as the character.


Can you tell us about working on Creed?

Creed was an amazing personal experience to work on for me. I grew up hardcore on all the Rocky films and was inspired for bodybuilding competitions, marathons, boxing and Gladiators, with the music and most of all the “never give up” mentality.

To be right there with Sly, Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler was a great experience. Tony Bellew did an amazing job.


What was it like working on Criminal with Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds and Gary Oldman?

Working with Kevin Costner on Criminal was so much fun! He smashes my head into a van window, punches me, and then throws me into the kebab shop window in Bethnal Green, literally around the corner from the gym I have trained in for the last twenty five years. Muscleworks Gym.


What is Vital Signs, and did you spend any time with Dr. Dre?

Vital Signs was a very cool job to work on, it is Apple’s first show produced by and starring Dre. I am his bodyguard in the show called Langley, he is a legend in the hip hop world and now as a business man.


What else have you got coming up?

Coming up I have Category 5, which is a heist movie directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, XXX). I play the role of Deputy Baldwin. It’s a good cast (Ryan Kwanten, Maggie Grace, Toby Kebbell) check it out on IMDb.


If you could star in the remake of any film, which one would it be and what part would you like to play?

Rocky III for me, I absolutely love it. Would love to play Mr. T’s role…


Clubber Lang? Awesome. III and IV are my favourites.

Yep, Clubber Lang was a great role. I loved Rocky III, yep, and Rocky IV like you too. Ivan Drago!


If you were to be killed by any movie monster, which one would it be and what would your last words be?

The Terminator and I would say “I’ll be back”. (laughs)


Massive thanks to Mark “Rhino” Smith for taking time out to answer our questions. Day of the Dead is released in 2017, and Vital Signs airs in the UK this Autumn.


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