Chat with Bernie Mac
Mac plays Elston, a janitor who, alongside Terence Howard's former competitive swimmer Jim Ellis, decides to save a group of troubled young teens by making them into the city's first all-African-American swim team.
The film chronicles the team's struggle for acceptance, along with Ellis' and Elston's attempt to mentor the newly-skilled swimmers.
Send in your questions for Bernie now and join The Show at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday!
Buzzmaster (2:02 PM)
Hey gang, we were just informed that Bernie Mac is running about 5-10 minutes late. But the keep the questions coming, as he should be here soon!
Buzzmaster (2:06 PM)
Okay we have Bernie here so let's get started!
Jordan (Pittsburgh, PA)
Hey Bernie, how did you get to be an actor? What was your first movie?
Bernie Mac (2:08 PM)
My first movie was called the "Shaman" and it was out of Chicago and it was the worst movie of my life. And that was in 1987. I played a guy in the pen who knew all about this magical ruby. And I was giving this guy, who was getting out of prison, information about this ruby so he could find it.
Brian (Enfield, CT)
Bernie, you've obviously been known for your comedy roles and this is a definite change from that. What was it that drew you to this part in particular?
Bernie Mac (2:10 PM)
Well the story telling was great, and it was something I wanted to do in terms of my career. People want to always keep you somewhere, and I wanted to show myself in a different light. That is what you have to do in this business. You have to show people you can do different things. If not, they will always keep you in one pocket.
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)
Aloha Bernie! What kind of sports did you play growing up? What sport do you wish you played but maybe never had the opportunity to?
Bernie Mac (2:11 PM)
I wish I started playing golf earlier. But I played baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, and I boxed. In high school I played baseball, but I wished I had played golf in high school.
In the movie trailer your character claims to swim naked...how bout it Bernie do you swim naked in real life?
Bernie Mac (2:12 PM)
I did in high school because you could not wear trunks (for sanitary reasons), that's how it was. So you had to swim naked. That is where I got that line from. But swimming naked would be a pleasure depending on who I'm swimming with!
Who is your favorite athlete to watch, past or present? Your all-time favortie sports team?
Bernie Mac (2:14 PM)
Wow, for basketball I would have to say MJ, for baseball Roberto Clemente, golf Adam Scott and Tiger, football Gale Sayers. And I loved the '75 Reds and the Cardinals with Gibson and Flood, for basketball I loved those '80s Celtics teams with Bird and the Chief, for football, I always loved the Raiders of the '70s, and for boxing Ali, of course.
Bernie was this the first time you worked with Terence Howard? What do you think of him as an actor?
Bernie Mac (2:15 PM)
I think he has the potential to be as good as anyone. He did a super job in this film, and I worked with him in the Players Club and we spent a lot of time together when we were working together on that. So I think Terrence can go as far as he wants to go.
Bernie do you have anymore comedy tours coming up?
Bernie Mac (2:17 PM)
Yeah I am getting ready to go on tour soon (maybe sometime in May), after I promote Pride. In the fall I will be doing a comedy movie called "The Whole Truth, Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me Mac ", and then I will retire from stand-up. I started in the clubs in '77 and that's enough, I just became a grandpa and I want to enjoy this life a little. Thirty years is a long time.
You've done a lot of sports movies (I'm a big fan of "Mr. 3000" - how do you prepare for a role where you play an athlete?
Bernie Mac (2:20 PM)
Well, when you play an athlete you try and get some authenticity about you. I don't want to insult the players I am portraying, so for Mr. 3000 I was in training with the Cubs for a while. Willie Mays, in fact, complemented me on how real I looked in that film. Too many times actors do not look like the athletes they are trying to portray on film. So you have to do a lot of training and homework to make sure things look right.
Bernie Mac (2:22 PM)
That is all the time I have. Thank you for the questions, I wish I had time to do more. Bye!