Mark Rolston’s been entertaining genre fans for quite some time, with memorably badass appearances in films ranging from Aliens to The Shawshank Redemption. These days, however, he’s probably best known as Dan Erickson, one of the few surviving, continuing characters in the Saw film series. We caught up with Rolston at last weekend’s Sawmania, where he chatted about how he’d like to see Erickson evolve in the next Saw film, Saw VI, and what’s in store for his character on TV’s horror hit Supernatural.
What is it that you like best about your character in the Saw films, and what is it you’d like to see him do in the next film?
I’ve had some ideas. Unfortunately none of those ideas have any bearing on what’s gonna happen in the film. The producers seem to be open about some input, but it’s hard to say, because there’s a team of writers and producers and they’re trying to hatch it out between themselves, so they’d probably prefer actors didn’t get involved. But what I like best about my character is that I wonder if he’s the most insightful character. He’s actually the first character to solve portions of the mystery and get the clues and really start to disseminate and get really close. But Erikson’s very sharp. He’s not a special agent for nothing. But the potential for quirky twists in plot are there so I prefer to say, “Oh yeah, he could be Jigsaw’s brother or something!” I don’t know where they’re gonna go. Certainly they shouldn’t go in that direction, but I would like to see them go in the direction that Erickson’s a good guy and then have it so that I have to make a pact or I’m in cahoots somehow. I mean, you’d have to justify some things, but with a brand-new character I’d rather not plot-line this guy. He’s gotta have the intelligence to get the other characters through. So right now I’m the good guy, but I hope in the next film they work on giving me the depth that all the other characters have.Can you talk about the other projects you’re working on now, like Supernatural?
You can see me Thursday night at 9 o’clock on Supernatural – and I’ve heard rumors that I’ll be back soon. I’ve got a recurring role on that. It’s awesome, I love that show. I just got back from shooting in Vancouver. I play a hard-nosed demon, even though I’m dressed like a psychiatrist. But I created this great character and it was a lot of fun. I was in hell and I teamed up with Dean, and now that Dean has gone astray, I’m back to exact some sort of revenge on him.
Are there any other projects you can talk about right now?
I’m coming out in The Mentalist. Then I’m waiting to see… unfortunately, Saw VI got pushed. They were hoping to start shooting in January. Then it was February, now they’re saying March. So we’ll see. And I’ve got my own shelved project I’m getting off the ground – a buddy road movie. A Marine sergeant gets dishonorable discharge, he goes home to Chicago to try and reconnect with his family – it doesn’t go very well. He’s lost everything. He’s totally disenfranchised. He meets up with an African-American man who enlists his help to go south to New Orleans and help rebuild some stuff in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans. So it’s got an uplifting ending. It’s a movie with a message but a movie for everybody. There’s a lot of comedy in it. We’ve got our first round of financing and we’re hoping to lock down a couple of big names that will push us over that hump on the project. I’m writing, producing, and acting – but I’m not directing. I’m constantly putting the thing together and talking to investors. We have a young director and a production company signed on for the project.
What’s your greatest fear?
Not having enough money. Although I tend to live my life without a lot of worry. I tend to try and not think fearful thoughts.