The unassuming York-born actor is recognised worldwide from his roles in film and on TV. His breakthrough role came 21 years ago, when he played Dave Horsefall, one of the motley crew of steelworkers-become-strippers who turned their lives around while keeping their hats on in one of the best British comedies of all time, The Full Monty.
Since then, he’s headlined in Hollywood, including portraying lovable caveman Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones 2; fronted a US sitcom, Still Standing; and donned sandals and sword to play Hercules in the BBC Saturday night drama Atlantis, and warrior-gone-to-seed Robert Baratheon in the wildly popular Game of Thrones.
And there may be Pantry readers who remember him in one of his very earliest roles as Don in the comedy One Over the Eight at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in 1992, alongside another future star, David Harewood.
It sounds like a life full of glitz and glamour, but Mark is happy to enjoy a simple life in East Yorkshire with his wife, Kelly, and children Ruby, Charlie and Oscar.
“My wife and I first came to the Pipe and Glass the day we went to view the house we now live in, just outside Market Weighton,” he recalls. “This was about seven years ago now, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect our decision to buy! The idea of having such a great restaurant practically on our doorstep was too good to resist.”
And the actor who has achieved such lofty heights while still staying true to his roots appreciates similar qualities in his favourite restaurant:
“We love the fact that although it’s a Michelin-starred establishment, it has remained down to earth and friendly, whilst keeping very high standards.
“Also, I’m delighted, as a Yorkshireman, that the portion sizes are for real people!
“It’s impossible to choose a favourite dish, and I generally vary my choice via the specials board. But I do remember a beef bourguignon which was heaven!”
So what does 2018 hold for the busy star?
He’s just finished the New York transfer of Martin McDonagh’s hilarious and harrowing Hangmen for the Atlantic Theater Company, in which he played the ‘second best hangman in the land’ Harry Wade, alongside Maxwell Caulfield and Johnny Flynn (and says: “As much as I’m enjoying the food here, I’m looking forward to my first meal back at the Pipe and Glass!”).
And he has three films due out this year: Lies We Tell with Gabriel Byrne, which was shot in and around Bradford; The More You Ignore Me with Sheridan Smith, based on a novel by Jo Brand; and The Runaways, with Tara Fitzgerald and fellow Full Monty alumnus Steve Huison, the principal photography for which took place on the North York Moors.