'Blood and Treasure' actor Mark Gagliardi says Catholic upbringing helped prepare for role as Father Chuck
In this exclusive interview with MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) about his role in the CBS show, Mark Gagliardi clues us into everything he enjoyed about the show and why he considers working with the 'Blood and Treasure' team equivalent to working with the Avengers or the X-Men.
Actor Mark Gagliardi, who plays the role of Father Chuck aka Monseigneur Chuck Donnelly in 'Blood and Treasure' is a funny man. In this exclusive interview with MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) about his role in the CBS show, he clues us into everything he enjoyed about the show and why he considers working with the 'Blood and Treasure' team equivalent to working with the Avengers or the X-Men. 'Blood and Treasure,' which was renewed for season 2, also stars Matt Barr, Sofia Pernas and Katia Winter and is created by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia.
Following are excerpts from the interview
What about your role in ‘Blood and Treasure’ excited you most?
In my role as a supporting part on a summer adventure series, I was excited to join a wonderful cast as a fun sidekick character on my favorite kind of adventure show. In my role as Father Chuck, I was most excited to present a version of a priest that was hopefully funny, real and as cool and kind as some of the priests I knew growing up.
I’m not going to lie, I have been busting my a** as an actor for a very long time, so the role I was most excited about was “series regular.” It was the first time I ever had that distinction on a show and the first time I really had ownership and a stake in a series at this level, so yes, as an actor, it is a real privilege to both watch, and help a character grow and evolve. That’s the most fulfilling thing, but the most exciting thing? That first phone call. “You’re a series regular on CBS, pack a bag for Montreal.”
How was it to work with the team of ‘Blood and Treasure’?
It was like working with the Avengers or the X-Men. Everyone has their superpower that fits perfectly into the endeavor. Matt (Matthew Federman) writes beautiful dialogue. Stephen (Scaia) writes killer action scenes, so together, they’ve created a high-octane adventure with believable characters.
Matt (Barr) is the quarterback and the heart of the team, Sofia (Pernas) is brilliant and is the brain of the team, so together they’ve created a Voltron of TV-star leadership. Katia’s river runs deep, so she’s the soul of the team. Michael’s joy is infectious, so he’s the smile of the team. James is suave and elegant, so he’s the strut of the team and it goes on and on. I’m probably, I don’t know... if this is the Avengers… maybe Ant-Man? I’m just mouthy and happy to be there.
You play the role of Monseigneur Chuck Donnelly in the series, how did you prepare for the role?
I grew up Catholic, so luckily I already knew what was involved in saying a Mass. Hell, I was an altar boy for about three years. I knew that there were different orders of priest who filled different functions in society, but I didn’t know a whole lot about the Jesuits. Turns out they are the coolest! I got to chat with CBS’s chaplain Father Jim Martin, who also happens to be the Bill Nye the Science Guy of Catholic theology.
From our conversation and my reading, I learned all about the history of the Jesuits and the process for joining the order, but I think the thing that sticks deepest in my bones is their motto, a phrase that I would use to help create Chuck’s point-of-view: “Be a contemplative in action.” I just love that. It means that God is all around you in all things, always be considerate, and all beings are worthy of love, respect, and consideration.
Do you find similarities between yourself and the character that you play?
Yes, I do. We both love National Treasure movies and Italian food. We both love our friends fiercely, even when they drive us crazy. We both love baseball and ancient architecture and history.
What is your takeaway from the show?
Close friends and network money. Honestly, what I have taken away from this entire experience is immeasurable. I got to visit places on my bucket list. I got to work with artists at the top of their game, and I got to be involved in the creation of, to quote our director Steve Boyum, some “big movie sh*t.” One of the takeaways that hit me the warmest was the realization that what I thought was an impenetrable monolith called Television, has actually all along been a loose collection of flawed and perfect clowns and wizards, all wonderfully human, who have spent decades sweating, hustling, and cobbling together most of the entertainments that have shaped who I am.