Interview : Blake Clark

You’ll know the face, but chances are you won’t automatically recognize the name Blake Clark. A veteran of both TV and film, Clark’s making somewhat of a semi-comeback at the moment, nabbing a string of plum roles in both film and TV. His latest part is playing Marlin, the father of Drew Barrymore’s character, Lucy, in the hit comedy “50 first Dates”.

In the film, Blake’s character has come to terms with the fact that his daughter suffers from short-term memory less and each day has to help keep up the facade for her that it’s the same day. When Henry (Adam Sandler) enters his daughter’s life though – things start to take a turbulent turn.

“Being Drew’s father was a great experience”, says a joyous Clark from his Hollywood home.” She is such a wonderful person with a great charm and warmth. Heck, I wish I was her father!”

Clark hadn’t met Barrymore before and said he was a little skeptical about the part at first. “I was somewhat concerned about it at first, not knowing her and the first scene I filmed was a very intense scene when she has discovered that we are deluding her about the date”, he says. “I was nervous but she put me at ease and was very easy to work with. I adore her.

“Adam and Drew are very much like the characters in this movie. Real down to earth, very decent people who are fond of each other and fun loving, joking around with each other and the other actors on the set. They realize that they are big stars but don’t let it affect the way they treat others.”

Clark says Sander is probably responsible for him having a part in the film at all. “Adam and I did a movie together about 15 years ago entitled Shakes The Clown. It’s a weird little independent written directed and starring Bobcat Goldthwait. We became friends then and Adam has been very good to me using me in 4 of his films”, he says, claiming The Waterboy as the best time he and Sandler have worked together.

TV viewers might recognize Clark for his roles in hit series Boy Meets World and Home Improvement. “Home Improvement was a great experience. It was going to work every day – on the weeks that I was on the show – and laughing all week and then getting paid. We would tape the show on Friday and the whole cast, crew and producers would have a party after each show”, he says of the latter. “Boy Meets World was somewhat different, but I became very good friends with the creator and executive producer, Michael Jacobs and we play golf together almost every week.”

At the moment, Clark is “touring the comedy circuit doing stand up” but always available if roles come up – which he’s far from picky about. “Roles I chase? Whatever pays”, he laughs.

Clark’s genuinely happy that 50 first dates has been a success but says he wasn’t aware of any pressure for Sandler and Barrymore to have another Wedding Singer like success. “I wasn’t aware of any pressure, but of course I was but a supporting player with no pressure. I assume that there is always pressure on Adam and Drew to produce. I don’t envy them that kind of responsibility, but they handled it with grace. We never felt any sense of desperation on the set. Just a lot of fun and laughs. Also, Adam’s father had been diagnosed with cancer and I am sure that was ever in his mind but he handled it like a champion”.

And a favourite scene from the film? “My absolute favorite scene is when Marlin comes to say good bye to Henry. We see that he genuinely likes Henry and will miss him”.

And such a scene wouldn’t have been credible had it not been performed by such a gifted actor.

50 FIRST DATES commences thursday around Australia


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