My first TV job was...

playing Tony Barratony, a troubled gangster in the kids series

Amazing Extraordinary Friends



It taught me ... a huge amount about how many people it takes to get what you see on screen on to the screen.

My big break came ... I suppose would have to have been playing Colin Bower in Bloodlines, a Sunday Theatre film. He was a South African psychiatrist in Dunedin, who was accused and found guilty of murdering his wife. I was nearly 40 at the time and it was my first major role and significant because it introduced me into the world of what it takes to play a lead in a movie and because he was also such an unsavoury person. It taught me what it was like to be in a supermarket and berated by people who thought I was "such a bastard!".

The last job I quit was ... Luckily I've never quit a job or been fired, I guess that's one of the perks of my profession. If you audition and finally get the role usually they're pretty clear that it's you they want.

The most famous person I've ever met is ... I did a film called Tracker that had both Tem Morrison and Ray Winston in it. That was quite a headline act. But working with Emma Thompson on our webseries Highroad was close to meeting acting royalty. She is in a relationship with a good friend of mine so she was doing us a favour and was totally amazing.

The best time I've had on set was ... Probably playing Mike Bungay in Dear Murderer. It was certainly the most demanding time I've had on set and I have to say I loved playing Terry Huffer in Highroad because he's such a loveable fool and the writer/director Justin Harwood was such a talent to work with.

But the worst was ... Playing a lawyer in a German TV series where we spoke our lines in English, while the leads spoke to us in German. [It was] ridiculous but quite funny.

My dream role would be ... The baddest bad guy in the new Tarantino movie.

• Mark Mitchinson plays Mike Bungay in the TVNZ1 series Dear Murderer, which screens Thursdays at 8.30pm.