“Marco’d Man”

Richard Kahan reveals what keeps drawing him back to the embrace of his character, smart but geeky Marco Pacella.

This past summer, The 4400’s Richard Kahan, who plays the show’s resident genius Marco Pacella, and co-star Kaj-Erik Eriksen (Danny Farrell) attended the Timeless Destinations convention in Vancouver. It was their first time at such an event, but they fit right in and were extremely popular, especially with the ladies present.

The latter has also been true for Kahan’s slightly geeky yet charming 4400 alter ego of Marco. He found a friend as well as an admirer in NTAC agent Diana Skouris, and at one point the two were romantically involved.

“I was really pleased when I heard that the writers were developing the relationship between Diana [Jacqueline McKenzie] and my character,” says the actor. “We got the opportunity to step outside of the NTAC office with Marco and see what really matters to him. In doing so, we revealed this whole other side to Marco, a softer, more private side, and acting-wise I knew that would help open up more doors for me.

“To top it off, I got to work more with Jackie, who is fantastic. One of my favourite scenes with her is where are two characters are in the underground parking garage at NTAC. Diana’s daughter Maia [Conchita Campbell] has had a prediction warning her mother not to follow through on the investigation of Jordan Collier’s [Billy Campbell] murder and the person suspected of killing him. Amongst all the chaos in that episode, there was this one really quiet scene with Marco and Diana, and at that point their relationship hadn’t actually developed. They were friends and you knew he cared about her, so the challenge for me as an actor was to reiterate that warning to Diana as her colleague but also as more than that, do you know what I mean? To this day I still enjoy watching that scene.”

Kahan made his début in the first season 4400 episode The New and Improved Carl Morrissey and subsequently appeared in most of the year one and two episodes. Back in late February, along with the rest of the show’s cast and crew, he returned to Vancouver to begin work on Season Three.

“It was neat for me to get back into Marco’s clothes, put on his glasses and then step onto the sets, especially my character’s office, the Theory Room,” enthuses Kahan. “The props and set dec guys do such an amazing job with the sets. You look around and you don’t feel like you’re acting. This is where Marco works, this is where he lives, and this is basically his life, so just returning to that physical space is always a good feeling.

I also watched some old 4400 episodes prior to the start of filming this year in order to get back into what is the key to playing Marco. Luckily for us, our writers are incredible. They’re able to write so specific for our characters, which makes memorizing lines far easier. Each time you receive a new script, the tone as well as story beats and just the rhythm of your character are such that it feels totally natural for you as an actor. You couldn’t ask for a more symbiotic working environment.”

Steven Eramo
(Cult Times #133, October 2006)

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