March 18, 1995
FEATURES; Pg. 4
FRANKEL, MY DEAR;
SEX TARGET MARK DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN;
MARK FRANKEL TALKS ABOUT HIS ROLE IN RUTH RENDELL MYSTERIES
The Ruth Rendell Mysteries: Vanity Dies Hard
(Friday, ITV, 9pm)
HANDSOME Mark Frankel knows the dangers of being led astray by adoring female fans or clinches with a sexy co-star.
His love scenes with Amanda Pays in Solitaire For Two were so red-hot that he talked it over with his wife Caroline before he did the movie.
Luckily for him, she was very understanding about it.
Mark says: “I’d never done that sort of stuff before, and I admit I was worried what Caroline would think. We talked about it at great length and she was OK in the end, but it still wasn’t easy to do.
“I expected her to feel a bit jealous – just like I did when she was a model and had men fawning all over her. She’s a stunning woman.
“But Caroline realised I’d get this sort of attention from the start and she’s been very understanding.
“Besides, she knows I’m too committed to be led astray by love scenes or besotted fans. Our relationship is too strong for that.”
At 28, Mark already has an army of women admirers after his appearances in Solitaire For Two and another British movie, Leon The Pig Farmer.
Now he’s set to make more hearts miss a beat in Vanity Dies Hard, the latest Ruth Rendell mystery.
He stars as young teacher Andrew Fielding, who marries a wealthy and slightly older woman played by actress Eleanor David.
But the pair grow apart when her best friend Nesta (Jane Gurnett) disappears.
“At first, you’re not sure if Andrew is a baddie who marries for money or whether he is really in love,” says Eleanor.
“And if he is a bad guy, did he have anything to do with Nesta’s disappearance? That’s the beauty of the part – it’s so ambivalent and I hope I played it well enough to keep the viewers guessing.”
TV looks sure to boost Mark’s blossoming career, but filming a series for the small screen last year meant that he had to miss the birth of their first child. “I’m thrilled that things have taken off like this, but I wish it hadn’t happened when my son Fabien was born,” he says.
“I desperately wanted to be there.”
The role meant working in America and when he was first offered it he told Caroline he would turn it down because it would keep them apart for six months. He explains: “Caroline and I have been apart a lot ever since we met five years ago. But she didn’t want me to miss such a brilliant opportunity but I felt guilty about leaving her.
“She and Fabien came to see me at weekends and we had some very emotional farewells. It was then that I vowed never to be apart from them for that length of time again.”