Nfld. & Labrador

Mark O'Brien makes Hollywood Arrival in new sci-fi flick

Mark O'Brien isn't giving much away about his latest sci-fi blockbuster, Arrival — but is opening up about his first-ever Hollywood red carpet.

St. John's actor shows no signs of slowing down with upcoming projects

Mark O'Brien makes a brief appearance in the trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s new film, Arrival. The star-studded blockbuster is getting rave reviews. (YouTube)

Despite rave reviews, Mark O'Brien isn't giving much away about his latest sci-fi blockbuster, Arrival.

But the St. John's actor is happy to open up about his first-ever Hollywood red carpet experience.

"I've never actually been to an L.A. premiere of anything, so it was cool to go to something you're really proud of," O'Brien told the St. John's Morning Show.

"Like, J.J. Abrams was sitting in front of me, which was really, really wacky to me because I'm a massive fan. And Christopher Nolan walked by at one point."

Mark O'Brien, seen here with his fellow Republic of Doyle stars, says his first-ever Hollywood red carpet was 'wacky.' (CBC)

Arrival, directed by French-Canadian Denis Villeneuve, stars Hollywood heavyweights Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

Adams plays a renowned linguist who is recruited by the military after several alien ships touch down across the globe.

O'Brien plays Capt. Marks, a military man working with Adams's character to determine if the extraterrestrials have come in peace or pose a threat.

Mark O'Brien is shooting simultaneous films in Vancouver and Toronto this month — both are upcoming sci-fi flicks. (CBC)

O'Brien said Villeneuve took a common sci-fi storyline and created a work of art. 

"What he did is he took a spin on a normal sci-fi movie and made something different and heartfelt with a lot of emotion behind it … to be a part of anything like that is just a huge thrill — especially when it's one of your heroes."

'They're like well-oiled machines'

Working alongside such accomplished actors was surreal at first, but O'Brien said he quickly learned his costars were there to work.

"The thing I respect the most is that they're professionals," he said.

"There's a lot of money at stake, there's a lot of time at stake, there's a lot of people who invested in this either personally or financially. I think it's like any job — I really value professionalism so I just liked seeing that. 

I'm getting to do what I want to do and I'm really lucky to be in that situation.- Mark O'Brien

"I was like, 'Wow. They're like well-oiled machines.'"

And O'Brien isn't slowing down anytime soon. The Newfoundlander is now shooting Parallel in Vancouver, another American sci-fi from Mexican director Isaac Ezban.

When he's not there, O'Brien is flying to Toronto to shoot Kin, an independent sci-fi action-thriller starring James Franco and Dennis Quaid.

In January, O'Brien is expected to begin shooting a new series for Amazon called The Last Tycoon

"So I'll get a quick break for Christmas and then I'll go right into that for four or five months," he said.

"I'm enjoying it, I'm just really enjoying it. I'm getting to do what I want to do and I'm really lucky to be in that situation so I'm not taking any of that for granted."

With files from Krissy Holmes