RED CARPET REPORT: ‘The Arrangement’

Exclusive interview with Mark Gantt from the new series “The Arrangement” + Watch the Series Pilot

It’s that all-to-well-known Hollywood story about a struggling actress who gets discovered while waitressing… Okay, this may not be THAT story, but in “The Arrangement” from creator, Jonathan Abrahams, struggling actress, Megan Morrison lands an audition opposite Kyle West, the hottest Hollywood action star and she gets more out of it, an offer for a contract marriage worth $10 million dollars.

Oh, and because we think you’ll want a head start on joining the conversation about this series, we’ve embedded the first episode for you to watch after our interview below… “The Arrangement” is one of those buzzed about series with a very Hollywood-style storyline and some very talented actors Christine Evangelista, Josh Henderson, Michael Vartan, Lexa Doig, Autumn Reeser and Mark Gantt, who is an award-winning writer, director AND actor.

We have followed Mark’s work since his award-winning work as a writer, actor for the movie “The Bannen Way” for Crackle and Sony Pictures, with a dream cast including Academy Award nominees Robert Forster and Michael Lerner. Okay, to be truthful, we first fell in love with that face when he played opposite Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven and met him the night he won a Streamy Award for “The Bannen Way”. Gantt also recently directed Lifetime’s “Murder In Mexico: The Bruce Beresford-Redman Story” and has a host of other projects from pilots to commercials in front of and behind the camera to his credit and more coming. 

Check out our interview with Mark Gantt and find out more about the series, his character and what’s next.

QUESTION: We’re excited to see you in this new series on E!, can you share how you were cast as Adam Westfeldt?

Mark Gantt told us… “Thank you, I’m very excited to be a part of this series, it’s smartly written and directed. The audition process was pretty traditional in the sense that I’ve gone in several times for the casting directors Sara Isaacson and Eric Souliere and the appointment came through my agent Gwenn Pepper at Concept Talent. The one thing that was slightly different was, when I got the call that I had a ‘pin’ in me (on hold) for the role, they asked if I was available for certain days and would I shave, since I had facial hair for the audition. They had in mind for this guy to be clean shaven and polished. I said yes, of course I would. But I don’t really have any great clean shaven headshots, and my agent said she hadn’t seen me clean shaven before. I sent over a shot from AMERICAN HORROR STORY and she forwarded it to casting, who forwarded it to the producers. Apparently it was between a clean shaven guy and me and my photo helped seal the deal!”

QUESTION: This is the second scripted series for E!, how did you find working with the production and writing team? Did you have any input on your character?

Mark Gantt told us… “I didn’t have any say in the writing, but I did talk with Jonathan Abrahams the Creator and Showrunner of the series about what he wanted from the character and how it came about. Jonathan is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet and was so clear about the vision he had for the series and set the tone for the rest of us. Everybody on the crew were excellent at their jobs; Costume Designer Mandi Line (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS) had picked out these incredible suits and ties for me and Props had the perfect watch. Episode three was directed by Liz Allen and episode five was directed by a friend of mine, Carol Banker. These ladies brought a clear vision and really understood how best to tell the story. Episode eight was directed by Lukas Ettlin, a former cinematographer, so it was interesting to have him tell stories that started with light and framing.”

QUESTION: You’re in three episodes in the first season of the series, without spoiling the upcoming episodes, what can you tell us about your character?

Mark Gantt told us… “Well, I guess what I can say about Adam Westfeldt is that he’s a young, dynamic studio head who is doing his best to hitch his wagon to this big superstar — realizing that’s where the money is — and yet is loathe to give up control of the product. Adam’s relationship with Kyle definitely motivates Kyle to re-evaluate his place in the industry and how he does business in it.”

QUESTION: As you are a multi-talented, in front and behind the camera artist, how did you prepare for your character, do you have any rituals?

Mark Gantt told us… “I’ve always said that my experience behind the camera as a property master and art director have given me keen insights on the filmmaking process. But for this role specifically, I couldn’t have been more prepared. Little over a year ago I did Mamet’s play SPEED THE PLOW as Bobby Gould, who’s recently been promoted to head of production of a studio. When I first was approached about the play and the role, I didn’t quite see myself in the role, but once we started to rehearse, I found it not only challenging but extremely satisfying to play. I think the work that I did on that play over the six months of rehearsal, set me up to play Adam Westfeldt.”

QUESTION: What was the most fun about shooting this series?

Mark Gantt told us… “We shot up in Vancouver for all but a week of exteriors here in Los Angeles. I loved that city and had a blast walking around, taking day trips up the coast and exploring art and culture there. We shot the opening sequence of episode three over a few days and it was a huge party scene, it was great hanging with Michael Vartan, Josh, Lexa and Christine over the time and we all had a blast. There’s nothing worse than having to do the same action around fifty different times while the shoot the same sequence from different areas of the party. But had a blast.”

QUESTION: How close does this series follow the life of an up and coming actor and hollywood?

Mark Gantt told us… “From my experience and those of my friends, I’d say it’s spot on. We follow Megan as she starts out as so many actors in coming to LA living their dream; working as a waiter, dealing with relationship issues and the drive for fame and fortune. It can be pretty brutal at times and I’ve think they’ve done a great job of capturing that.”

QUESTION: What do you like the best about this story?

Mark Gantt told us… “You get to see so many sides of the business, from the journey man actor, to movie star, to private lives of the elite, to the deal making of the agents and studios. It really shines a light on this like we’ve never seen it before. I think people are going to be hooked and be routing for all of these characters, even the ‘bad guys’.”

QUESTION: What else can we see you in? Mark Gantt told us… “I recently shot the indie feature, AMBER ALERT opposite Sunny Mabre and Trevor Donovan, HIDDEN IN THE WOODS opposite William Forsythe this summer and I produced and act in the second feature my wife Brianne Davis directed, PSYCHOPHONIA, which is being released in April by Sony and eOne.”

Be sure to catch Mark’s character in “The Arrangement” episodes 3, 6 and 8 for season 1 and watch the premiere episode here below or when the series airs on E! Sunday, March 5th at 10 PM Connect with The Arrangement on E!

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