Mark Lester Poster

Quotes (10)

  • Jack was like a brother to me during the making of the film and was always very protective. I gained a lot. The chemistry between us was just something very, very special, which lasted throughout our lives. [Remarks following the death of Jack Wild]
  • We were together in Miami when he saw it. Michael was just dumbstruck. He didn't shout. I never heard him once raise his voice his whole life but he was very upset. Most of all he just seemed confused by it all. That was Michael. He didn't see a problem with it. He just loved children. He saw himself as the Pied Piper. At Neverland he had an enormous oil painting covering one wall and it was Michael as the Pied Piper leading hundreds of children of all colours, races, sizes. Some were in wheelchairs. Michael was dancing and these kids were in a huge crocodile line behind him. He always told me he wrote his songs for the age group of ten to fourteen. He would never do anything to hurt anyone and I don't believe that anything ever happened with Gavin Arvizo. When I thought about what Michael did for that family, it made me sick to think that they could do that to him. The experience did make him more withdrawn. He took himself away and hid from everyone.
  • Michael loved junk food. In March 2007 he came back to Cheltenham with us. It was the first time he'd been here. We watched DVDs and the kids played computer games. I think we had pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch and in the evening we had fish and chips from the local shop. Michael loved fish, chips and mushy peas with lots of ketchup. It was his favourite thing. Wherever we were, whatever restaurant, he'd have to have fish and chips. Everyone imagines he'd have some kind of weird macrobiotic diet, but he wasn't like that. The thing people never understood about Michael was that he was very clever at illusions. The thing with the veils was just an act. He used to say to me, 'I do it to create an illusion. I'm an illusionist.' We saw Billy Elliot and he was quite shocked at the language. He said he wouldn't have taken the children if he had known. He was very firm with his own children. They weren't spoilt. He was much more normal than people realised. We'd go out for dinner or a coffee and he would notice women walking past and say, 'She's so cute, she's got a nice tush,' but then he would be very apologetic. In many ways Michael was asexual, but he had an eye for beauty.
  • On meeting Michael Jackson in 1982: I was with my sister at the time and she nearly fell off the chair. A few days later we went to see him at the Montcalm Hotel in Park Lane. He came over, gave me a hug and said, 'Mark, it's so nice to meet you.' I was very nervous but we had tea and then ordered up burgers and chatted. We shared a common baseline. He was much more famous than me but we had both been child stars and we were the same age. He said that in the teeny mags in America it would be him on one page, me on another and David Cassidy on another. He always used to say we were like the positive and negative, the black and white.
  • Michael was absolutely sharp as a razor, really focused. It's the best I've known him in a long time. He said he couldn't wait to get back on stage and that his kids were going to see him perform - it was one of the main reasons for him doing the shows. That's why the whole thing is such a shock. I've never seen him taking anything or any evidence that he was on something. I'm an acupuncturist. One time he got a bad spider bite that wasn't healing. I offered to treat it but he said, 'No, I hate needles, hate them.' That's why I find it so bizarre that he was supposed to be having these injections. We were on the phone for about an hour and all of the kids spoke to him. We were talking about the show. He said he'd been rehearsing and he'd just done a Pop Idol-type competition with the dancers. We wanted to sit at the front and he said we could have the whole front row. He was supposed to be coming over next week for rehearsals. People have said he was suffering from stage fright but I don't think Michael ever had stage fright. Performing was what charged him. He told Harriet he wanted her to come on stage with him when he sang his song Dirty Diana. He was really fired up. I asked him what was in the show but he didn't want to tell us too much. He said, 'I want it to be a surprise. You're going to be amazed by it.' He was so excited. His children had never seen him perform and he wanted them to see Daddy at what Daddy did best. That's what Michael does. He loved the attention. He loved being 'Michael Jackson'. He was driven by it. I was with him in the car on the way and he was really relaxed. Afterwards the whole family went to stay with him at The Lanesborough hotel. We went out to see Oliver! at the Theatre Royal and spent the whole weekend with him. He did not look like a person who would drop dead a couple of months later. He wasn't unfit. He showed no signs of being unwell.
  • I've no regrets, you live and learn from your mistakes and I've had opportunities to travel and meet people that I might not otherwise have had. Obviously it was more glamorous then, but I certainly prefer what I do now.
  • I tried everything that was going - drink, dope, acid, whatever was on offer. Coke was selling at £60 a gram and I was buying it for myself and my house guests at the rate of four grams a day. I abused it mercilessly.
  • Child actors going on to become adult actors never really works, apart from a few. Jodie Foster was the exception.
  • I blew about 70,000 pounds on stupid things - a very expensive car which got written off, and nightclubs. I'd always pick up the bill. It's very easy to spend a lot of money in a short space of time, going out. I put it down to an irresponsible 18-year-old, which I think I was at the time, being given a lot of money. I took drugs at parties and things. But no more than anybody else at that time. I had a puff on a joint once in a while, but that's about it, really. I had one or two harder drugs occasionally, but I never really liked them. I probably would have done exactly the same again. I can't say I regretted it - I don't. I never did.
  • I was 28 - the oldest student at the college. There were kids doing three A-levels. These kids were in their teens, and they learn really fast. Of course I had to slog away a lot harder.