Interview With Mr. D’s Mark Forward
Mark Forward has led a reputable career within the Canadian entertainment industry as both a comedian and actor.
The talented actor was born and raised in Oakville. He achieved his first notable success in 2005 when he earned a position as a finalist in the Phil Hartman Awards and a 2005 Canadian Comedy Award-winner for Best Stand-up Newcomer.
Subsequent to his initial success, in 2006 Forward participated in the Just For Laugh Festival where he won the Canadian Homegrown Comic Competition as well as the Halifax Comedy Festival where he recently made his third appearance.
Forward has also earned his reputation from appearances on notable TV programs and commercials including ,Degrassi:The New Generation, The Newsroom and Doc. Furthermore his appearances include series such as TMN’S Living in Your Car and the popular life time series, The Double Wedding.
Mark’s involvement with the on the Jon Dore Television show as writing staff led to him being bestowed the Canadian Comedy Award in 2008 for Writing on a TV Series.
For the past 3 years, Mark has also been working on CBC’S hit sitcom, Mr. D as the peculiar and often hostile and unstable librarian,Mr. Leung.With the show approaching its debut date for season 3 and Mark willing to chat for a brief interview, we discuss a variety of aspects related to his involvement with the series.
Read the complete interview with Mark Forward below.
Abbas Karimjee:Lets start by discussing how you were appointed to the role of Leung. Did you audition or were you contacted? Could you please walk us through this initial process, with reference to your overall reactions?
Mark Forward:Well, I started in the writers room. At first, they were interested in me playing the Role of Dwyer, which Maestro Fresh Wes now plays so well. When that didn’t pan out, I was then offered the role of the Librarian. Which at that point, had none of the crazy and fun stuff that Leung now entails. I’m glad it worked out his way in the end, I mean, who would want to play a cruel and strange slightly Chinese Librarian.
AK:How have you related to the character of the Leung?
MF:I don’t think anyone can relate with Leung.
AK:This season Leung and Lisa had quite a few negative encounters as a result of Leung’s hatred for Lisa as evidenced from various instances including explicit comments expressing his disgust towards her despite her attempts to develop a friendship. Why do you think Leung feels this way and how would you like to see this relationship develop in the coming season?
MF:Well in season two we explored this, and it was revealed that Leung felt thought Lisa might have been in love with him.
AK:With Mr.D approaching its third season, what are you able to reveal about what is in store for the show’s third season as well as for the character of Leung?
MF:Well, it’s a toss up between, One, He purchases a Camel, named Walter. It only has six weeks to live, and he must get it to South America, where a camel doctor has the only medicine that can save him. Or Two, more library stuff and interacting with Gerry.
AK:Since Little Mosque on the Prairie , Mr. D has achieved record breaking ratings for CBC.Why do you think the show resonates with such a large audience?
MF:I think Gerry has a huge following through out his career, and does really well on the show. And I think the writing team (not bias) is really great and care about the project.
AK:Do you think Mr D is reflective of Canadian culture, particularly through the way in which it explores some of its primary themes such as the presence of unqualified teachers within the educational system, relationships amongst staff members as well as how staff relate to students and e.t.c? How exactly do you feel the way these themes are conveyed actually reflect Canadian culture?
MF:I have no idea, nor am I going to pretend I do. I think its a fun show, I have no idea if it reflects anything, or anywhere.
AK:What are your most favorite moments from Mr. D , either on screen or offscreen.
MF:Love working with Jon Torrens, it’s always so fun. One of the nicest people you will ever meet. And so fun to be on set with. When we have scenes together, I rarely can keep a straight face.
AK.What message do you have for fans of Mr D?
MF:Make sure to separate your garbage.
AK:Have you been working on any other projects which you would like to share with readers?
MF:I will be appearing on John Oliver’s New York Stand up Show on Comedy Central. And just finished a movie with Alison Brie, Colin Hanks and Justin Chatwin called “No Stranger than Love” directed by Nick Wernham.