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From soaps to superheroes, Patrick is making his mark

Kam Williams

Born in Bath, England on June 5, 1974, Marcus Patrick is an international community unto himself. The multitalented hard-body claims Cherokee, Jamaican, Cuban, English, Irish and French descent.

He’s also got more than enough firepower to provide for his own defense; he holds a second-degree black belt and is a former British tae kwon do national heavyweight champion. And as if good looks, a worldly demeanor and a nasty fight game weren’t enough, at the age of 17 Patrick was discovered by pop kingmaker and “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, who signed the promising talent on as a member of the international boy band Worlds Apart.

Gentlemen, start your hating.

After touring for several years, Marcus turned his attention to acting, a move toward fulfilling his dream of following in the footsteps of his childhood idol, Bruce Lee. He moved to America to study acting in New York, then headed west for Hollywood.

Patrick soon encountered success on screens large and small, appearing in a number of commercials, sitcoms and soaps, and eventually theatrically released films as well. Following guest spots on “CSI: Miami” and “My Wife and Kids,” Patrick shined in a critically acclaimed stint as bad boy Jamal Cudahy on the long-running popular daytime soap “All My Children.”

On the big screen, Patrick had a big 2007, starring opposite Rosario Dawson in the psychological suspense thriller “Descent” and appearing in “Dirty Laundry,” “Love and Other Four Letter Words,” “I Do… I Did,” and “I’m Through With White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks),” which opened and won the audience award at last year’s Roxbury Film Festival. Patrick plans to keep the momentum rolling, and has been tapped by world-renowned Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee to star as his first black superhero in an upcoming and as-yet-untitled feature.

Patrick recently took a few moments to speak with the Banner about all of that, and more. If you’re interested in getting in touch with him, visit www.marcus-patrick.com or www.myspace.com/marcuspatrick — he swears he answers all of his own e-mail.

You have such a diverse ethnic background. How do you think of yourself? As British? Black? A “comblinasian,” as Tiger Woods says? All of the above?

I think of myself as a being on Earth. We all came from Africa, according to the most credible research, so we are all one.

You were discovered at 17 by Simon Cowell. Is he that mean in real life?

He was cool to me. He had a lot of faith in me. But he can be pretty harsh on other people. I once saw him cuss out a fellow band member with his upper crust British accent and I had to laugh.

What was it like suddenly being famous as a teenager and touring the world?

It was a bizarre experience, with so many stories. It was a good training ground for the future that lay ahead for me. I knew the band and the music wasn’t for me, but I saw it as a good apprentice vehicle. Now the music I write comes from my heart. If I don’t feel it, I don’t sing it.

How did you find enough time to train at tae kwon do to become heavyweight champ?

My father was a karate teacher, so I trained since I was 5 years old with him. He made me do gymnastics, piano, swimming and karate. Every day, I had an after-school activity; he didn’t want me to end up in a gang. I appreciate him more than he knows. So when I was 15, I became junior champion and British champion. When I was 16, I became the men’s heavyweight champion. I had a big advantage because, from starting so young, I was a natural fighter.

The irony of it all was that I began to feel remorse for those who I had hurt during competition, and I realized I no longer wished to hurt other men for my ego’s needs. I wished to instead help empower men the way Ghandi and Martin Luther King would have. That’s when I knew the fight game was no longer for me.

What made you give up singing for acting?

The business in music can be a rough one, especially if you come from a small town, as I did. I found the business to lack integrity and I had no idea how to handle that at such a young age. So, I quit for a while and decided I would only do things for my own pleasure. Years later, I felt inspired to write songs again and do it the right way — this time out … I’m a man now who’s seen the world, not a little boy from a small village. Acting is a fun passion of mine. I will tell many stories in the future to help awaken the world to issues we need to tackle as a race on earth. And I plan to have fun with it too!

You’ve had recurring roles on three soap operas: “Passions,” “All My Children” and “Days of Our Lives.” Do you feel in danger of being typecast as a soap opera actor?

Not at all. My four films releasing this year are very different, not at all that soapy-style writing. I had fun with the soaps, met the fans; now they can follow me into the TV and film world.

You recently starred in “Descent,” which just came out on DVD. The movie didn’t do that well at the box office, despite critical acclaim. How would you describe your role in the film?

The movie was given a limited release in theaters due to its graphic sexual content. It’s a shocking movie, and my role is the big shocker. I really believed it [would] be a hit on DVD, and that people will talk about it. The content is so graphic and shocking, how can they not?

How was it working with Rosario Dawson?

Rosario was a pleasure. She is a free being … very focused on her work and very nice to all. She likes to explore everything and has little fear for anything.

What’s up next for you?

My focus is getting the Stan Lee film green-lit so I can star in my first action film. And I have just been offered my own Web TV show called “The Marcus Patrick Show.” Good title, huh? (laughs)

You’re a handsome guy. Have you ever tried modeling?

I tried it when I was younger. I just couldn’t wait around for designers to pick me. So I focused on my talent and passions. Of course, if campaigns come along now, that would be great. They can use me as a celebrity model.

Are you happy?

I always feel great! Life is too short for anything else other than happiness. That’s why I want to share my lifestyle with others — so they can feel as great as I do.

What question do you always wish someone would ask you, but no one ever asks it?

“How do we create heaven on Earth?”

OK: How do we create heaven on Earth?

Everyone needs to know someone from a different culture, creed, age, gender and country, so we can finally end this insane behavior with some goal to survive and start granting each other the respect of our spiritual being.