Actor Mark Hampton Discusses Film Making and His New Film "Unlicensed"


Lights. camera, action, here is our exclusive interview with Actor Mark Hampton.

How old were you when you became interested in filmmaking?

Probably around 13 or 14 years old. We had an old VHS-C video camera and after school, I used to get together with school friends and make our versions of the movies we loved. Years later I won an award for doing the same thing when I re-made Top Gun in sixty seconds.

How do People describe your films, can you elaborate on that?

When I’m making films, they tend to lean into fish-out-of-water scenarios – where the hero is in a new situation and has to navigate his way through a different world to what he’s used to. I say he because I usually play the lead role! I directed my first feature, Unlicensed this year and it’s about a disgraced former city trader who has to deal with life after prison without the money and the lifestyle he’s used to. It’s always about dealing with new, unfamiliar circumstances that challenge the character.

When it’s acting roles, I have carved a bit of a niche as a character actor who does male authority figures well – I have played a lot of lawyers, CIA agents, doctors, things like that. If you put me in a uniform or a suit you can’t go far wrong!

What prompted you to make this film?

Every acting job is an opportunity to help tell a great story. When Ilya (Naishuller, director of Heads of State) told me that he wanted the tone of the movie to be like Midnight Run, I knew exactly what he was going for, and it was really fun to be a part of that.

When I’m making my films like Unlicensed, I like to create characters I want to play and find stories that bring those characters to life. Before Unlicensed I directed a short film called Acceptance where I play a US Senator who receives some tragic news on the night of his election. We get to see how it changes everything for him, and that was fun to play.

You create great films, how long is the process?

It varies, but usually several years. I have a script I wrote called Five Cars that I’ve been developing with a production company for the last 18 months and won’t shoot until the middle of next year. By contrast my feature film Unlicensed went from concept to script to wrapping principal photography all in 3 months. It’s still in post-production but that was an unusually fast turnaround.

Tell me about your most talked about films.

Right now, it’s probably Control, which is an independent thriller that features Kevin Spacey. It’s a fun concept, a self-driving car is commandeered by an unseen assailant (played by Spacey) and used as a weapon to threaten the driver who is the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, played by Lauren Metcalf. I play the Prime Minister who is having an affair with her, which leads to the events in the movie.

Control is released in the US and UK in January 2024.

January will be pretty busy as I also have a Kevin Hart action comedy called Lift coming out on Netflix, and a Scott Adkins action movie called One More Shot being released on Sky Cinema.

Do your films connect to your lifestyle?

I took a long break from acting and worked as an accountant, and a project manager and experienced the corporate world in a way that informs the roles that I play. But I certainly try to bring something of myself to every role, even if that means portraying the unpleasant truth about someone or something.

When an audience watches your films, what do you want to take from that experience?

Like all actors, I hope that audiences come away with a new perspective and that my performances deliver a truth to them that they might not previously have considered.

But what matters most is that they were carried on a journey through the narrative of the story by being engaged with the character. If they believe in the character, that’s enough.

Who inspires you?

Creatives who make brave choices, and who never give up.

What are you working on now?

I’m in post-production on Unlicensed, development on Five Cars and I coach actors as well, helping them to take the actions they need to move ahead with their careers.

Do you have a favorite Actor and filmmaker?

I’m a huge admirer of Christopher McQuarrie. I think he’s a master at creating truly emotionally satisfying blockbuster movies. He and Tom Cruise are a great partnership. They’re both dedicated to their audience.

What is your educational background in filmmaking?

I spent several years working in production as a production assistant, and then as an assistant director. I worked on hundreds of film productions and learned how to shoot from that experience. All of the nuts and bolts of scheduling, and delivering on time and budget, I learned from doing it, and that allows me to be creative.

How can fans connect with you, what are your social media platforms?

On Instagram and Twitter I’m @hammyactor, search for my name on Facebook or Threads or you can check out my website at

Any hobbies?

I love music. I sing and I play piano and guitar, both pretty badly.

What do you do in your spare time?

Spend time with my family and stay in shape.

Do you have any other careers, or interests besides filmmaking?

Actor. Screenwriter. Director… I think three is the magic number.

If you could work with any famous filmmaker or Actor who would it be?

As I said above, I’d love to work with Christopher McQuarrie, especially on Mission: Impossible – I think it would be challenging but super-exciting to be part of their unique approach to making those movies.

Describe life in your City

Cambridge is a beautiful city less than an hour from London so it’s an easy trip to the big smoke. It’s got lovely green spaces and you can get anywhere you need on a bicycle.

Who is the most creative and who is more business-minded

I am. Both. 😊

The interview with Mark Hampton provides readers with a lot of information and answers to many questions that fans had about this well-known actor. We are excited to see what Mark has planned for the future, as it is sure to be both thrilling and full of adventure.

-Anita Johnson-Brown|The Los Angeles News

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