PANTOMIME INTERVIEW: Mark ‘Rhino” Smith, in Aladdin at Worthing Pavilion Theatre

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MARK “Rhino” Smith comes to pantomime in Worthing hot off the set of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Aladdin at the Pavilion Theatre until Sunday, January 2, promises plenty of exoticism – not least from Mark himself.

Born in London, Mark, who made his name as Gladiator Rhino, has a hugely colourful heritage – Cherokee Indian, Jamaican, Ghanaian, Chinese and European.

It’s a mix which stands him in good stead to be the keeper of the ring in panto. It was also pretty useful as a pirate.

“We worked at Universal Studios in LA and also at Pinewood over here. I was one of the core pirates,” Mark says.

“It was amazing. It was so much fun. It was just a great experience.

“Johnny Depp is such a lovely guy. He’s just very humble.

“You can see why he is so well respected and what makes him such a great actor.

“I would say it is his relaxation – the way that he relaxes into a role and makes it his very own. He is a character actor to the maximum.

“The film is his journey to find the jewels of ever-lasting life. There are a lot of fight scenes and a lot of swimming scenes. There are mermaids. I mustn’t say too much, but the mermaids do have an ulterior motive.”

The film should come out in May. In the meantime, Mark is delighted to return to Worthing where he did his very first pantomime in 1995.

Home for Mark is Los Angeles and has been for the past couple of years, but it’s great to be back in this country to see family and friends. How long he will remain in the States, he doesn’t know.

“I wouldn’t like to say what the future holds. London is great, and I miss the British sense of humour and the roast dinners! But in LA the weather is great and there are great opportunities for work.

“There are lots of British actors out there. There are actors from all over the world, all pursuing their career in LA.”

Tickets on 01903 206206.