Dashing blond character actor Mark Pellegrino may not be a household name yet, but his TV roles certainly are: There’s the supernatural man with a plan, Jacob, heavily dissected by the millions of fans of ABC’s Lost, as well as the original biblical bad boy, Lucifer, on the CW network’s mainstay hit Supernatural. When he isn’t playing epic characters on TV (or appearing in films, notably Capote), the native Angeleno enjoys the sweet life in Valencia with his family. Pellegrino teaches acting classes and is a dedicated martial arts student—he’s well versed in judo, karate and jujitsu, not to mention Thai boxing and kickboxing. But when he’s not on the set or sparring at the gym, you might just find the 45-year-old thespian on Space Mountain.
When did you realize your character was so central to Lost’s story? And have you figured out the mystery behind Jacob yet?
I realized it about a day after I got on the set, actually, and everybody said, “Ah, so you’re our Jacob.” And I was told at that point how significant the character was in terms of how he’d been built up over the last couple of years. So, quite a surprise! I have my theories. But I hesitate to say anything for fear that I may be right and may be throwing a spoiler out there. I think you’re going to have all of your questions answered, whatever those may be. And soon.
What’s the vibe on the Lost set in Hawaii? Have you spent time with any of your cast mates offscreen?
I’ve gotten together with some of the folks off the set. I did some stuff with Nestor [Carbonell] and we talked a lot, and turned out to be old classmates from a theater company that we both studied at, Playhouse West. It’s a great group of folks over there. The mosquitoes kind of suck, to be honest with you. Oh my god, I don’t know why they don’t bite anyone else but me. They zero in on me for some reason, and I’ve got 50 bites by the end of every night.
So why do you think you were cast as Satan in Supernatural?
I don’t know, I’m a little paranoid about that. [Laughs.] Do they see something really evil in me? You know, I think they wanted to go in an entirely different direction than the usual way of Lucifer, and they wanted to make him a kind of down-to-earth, blue-collar guy. So for some reason they saw that in me, something accessible and hopefully sincere, because that’s the way I like to play him—as the most honest guy in the room, actually.
What do you enjoy about the L.A. lifestyle?
I love the sunshine. I love the accessibility of everything. I can go to Vasquez Rocks and go hiking if I want to. I can go to the mountains, I can go to the beach. Everything’s kind of within a stone’s throw of you, and I dig that a lot. And there’s actually a big cultural life here that’s totally underrated, too.
What are some of your go-to spots in L.A.?
I love going to the Norton Simon Museum. We’ve got a nice jazz wine bar out by my place called Wine 661 that’s really kind of cool. I love listening to music there and having a glass of wine with my wife. I love rock ‘n’ roll, too. The Whisky is great, and The Roxy. I love The Little Door for a little French cuisine, it’s my wife’s favorite stuff. The Fish Grill is awesome. They make the best fish tacos on the planet.
And what do you and the family enjoy doing together?
We’re a big movie family. And I’m a big Disneyland guy, too, so I take everybody to Disneyland whenever I can. I get down there by myself and go on a few rides and do lunch. There’s not a bad ride. I mean, I love everything, even in Fantasyland. I’ll go on Alice in Wonderland and Dumbo, even. For me, everything rocks at Disneyland.
So has ABC hooked you up with a lifetime pass, or what?
I didn’t get one from them. I have to look into that, man, check things out. Yeah! I think they do give out Silver Passports. Not only do you get in for free, but you get in 15 people for half price, you get a guided tour and you get to go to the front of every line.
You’re Jacob! Demand it!
That’s what I’m gonna do! That’s what I’m gonna do!
Disneyland 1600 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714.781.4565 / Fish Grill 7226 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323.937.7162 / The Little Door 8164 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323.951.1210 / Norton Simon Museum 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626.449.6840 / The Roxy 9009 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.276.2222 / Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce, 661.268.0840 / Whisky a Go Go 8901 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.652.4202 / Wine 661 24268 Valencia Blvd., Valencia, 661.288.2980