November 2003
Bad Santa: An Interview with Bernie Mac

Interviewed by Wilson Morales

BAD SANTA An Interview with Bernie Mac

Bernie Mac is having a great time being on the big screen this year. Earlier this year, he starred along with Chris Rock in “Head of State”, played the brother of Bosley in “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”, and now’s he back again to give us more reasons to laugh. Coming out on Nov.26 is “Bad Santa”, in which Bernie Mac is featured along with Billy Bob Thornton, John Ritter, and Tony Cox. Bernie Mac plays a detective hired by a mall manager, played by Ritter, to investigate Santa and his Elf. In a brief discussion with, Bernie talks about working with the late John Ritter.

WM: Can you describe your character, Gin Slagel, in the film?

BM: Gin is a wannabe. Gin is someone who was poverty stricken. Gin is someone who thinks he’s bigger than the game. Gin is someone who wants control. He’s a bully in his own little world. He’s a lot of people who have that kind of thought. I took a lot of my brother’s character and I mixed it with Gin.

WM: What was it like working with Billy Bob Thornton and John Ritter?

BM: It was great. With John Ritter, I was a fan of his work and my heart goes out to his family. By being a fan, I was impressed with John. I learned a lot. Working with was a treat. I learned so much from him. I’m really impressed with Billy. I was impressed from the beginning. I like his style and I like his approach cause it’s similar to myself. He’s very secure with who he is and I like that in anybody. But when I was up close and personal, and I saw how knowledgeable he was with everything around him, I really dug that. That’s the way it’s supposed to be and my hat goes off to him.

WM: There’s one particular scene that you have with John Ritter that is so funny. Can you talk about the shoot was on that particular day?

BM: I think John took his dedication to that character and made it humble. I played the straight guy and made that mixture go so well. That was the first time in a long time for me where I got the opportunity to laid back and let comedy come to me , and then greet it with open arms versus where I’m doing who’s throwing the first punch. This time I got John into it. I had the chance to sit back and support it. That made the scene appreciative. By working with John, I was pleased with the end result.

WM: Why so, because you’re no stranger to comedy.

BM: It’s a pleasure to work with someone who is just as strong as you are. It’s add much more fun.

WM: How would describe “Bad Santa” and what do you think the audiences is going to take away with it?

BM: I think the audience will take the reality that comes with this film. I think they will sit there and lie to themselves and try not to be enjoyed as much as they want to admit that they were. I think they will sit there and find out that we are all hypocrites. I think they will sit there and laugh their asses off cause the film is funny.