Mark Atkin, a former policeman, went through a rather dramatic career change.
After being in the police force for several years in England, Mark moved to New Zealand in 2008 to join the force there. When auditions were being held for The Hobbit, a friend of his suggested that he go and audition (Mark thought it was just another jab about his height). Though the audition called for men under 5ft 2in, Mark, being 5ft 4in, went anyway.
When he arrived at auditions, he was turned away for being too tall for the role, but luckily one of the producers went after Mark and said they wanted to see him again. After he went through the audition process, he was chosen out of a group of about 36 to be the scale double and stunt performer for Richard Armitage, who we all know plays the leader of the company, Thorin Oakenshield.
Because filming the trilogy took 18 months, Mark left the force for his new job — a pretty awesome one, I must say! He admits, “It was hard at first not to be a bit starstruck.” And who could blame him?
“You never think this kind of thing is going to happen to you. How often do you get offered to quit your day job and star in a huge film. It’s a dream come true.”
Mark has also performed on-stage in the play, The Mousetrap, in New Zealand. He plans on doing more acting and hopes be able to perform Shakespeare and continue doing work in fantasy films, says Express & Star.