The Emmerdale star appeared on Monday’s instalment of This Morning to discuss his character’s upcoming heartbreaking storyline. The 53-year-old actor revealed he asked the crew to cover up the dressing room mirrors so his genuine reaction to when his character saw his face for the first time following a massive stroke would be captured on screen. Mark explained the reaction ITV viewers will see is “real”.
Mark, who has played Emmerdale’s chef Marlon for almost 26 years, does not normally embrace “method” acting but he has decided to change his approach in heartwrenching scenes yet to air.
Speaking about wearing prosthetics on set following his character’s stroke, the actor told The Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Josie Gibson: “I’m not a method actor at all, but I asked them to cover all the mirrors up in makeup when they put it on.
“I wanted, when we shot it, what the viewers will see tonight is when I see it, the first time I’d seen it.
“It had an impact on me. The reaction viewers will see tonight is real, you know?”
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ITV soap viewers will soon see Marlon fall drastically ill after he and Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) propose to each other as their moment of bliss turns into heartbreak.
His face is one of the first tell-tale signs he has suffered a stroke and the storyline will run for months as Marlon and his new fiancée come to terms with his condition.
To ensure the scenes are as true as real stroke survivors’ experiences, Mark has worked closely with the Stroke Association.
He also had the help of a real-life stroke survivor, called Nick Hounsfield, as he navigated the scenes.
“The light is where the hope is for the future and the recovery.”
Marlon’s daughter April Windsor’s (Amelia Flanagan) quick-thinking actions ultimately help save his life.
The character has to be given an emergency thrombectomy, one of two options available to those who have a stroke.
Mark added: “Time is important and the crucial thing is the acronym FAST – which is so important if someone is having a stroke.