Mark Johnson stars in my short film, Abyss, as Eric’s best friend, Manny -- a carefree ladies’ man who tried to help create a winning reality TV contest entry.
I cast Mark for this role because he delivered strong performances at his auditions -- on and off camera. Mark also seemed like he could think quick on his feet if a scene took a different turn than what was laid out in the script, regardless of who he shares his screen time with. His swag, however, gave him an advantage among my casting team and was, ultimately, the defining factor in him being chosen as Manny.
While watching the audition footage, one of the casting team members said she felt like Mark was hitting on her; someone else agreed while adding that his swag was not only about how he delivered Manny’s lines but also what he did while in character....
“I would go with Mark because he fit the role with deceptively smooth facial expressions that spoke just as much as the words”
During the pre-production and production stages, Mark’s good rapport with castmates including Mike Gaudioso and Rodney Benson brought more realistic depictions of his character’s relationships with people, on screen.