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John C. McGinley interview - career overview (A.V. Club)
April 22, 2013 5:10 PM   Subscribe

"Welcome to Random Roles, wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about." McGinley discusses his roles in 42, Platoon, Wall Street, Point Break, Car 54, Where Are You?, Office Space, Seven, Mother and Scrubs.
posted by paleyellowwithorange (33 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is one of the best Random Roles since Bronson Pinchot told that story about Tom Cruise.
posted by The Whelk at 5:14 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think one of the favorite things I've read about McGinley as Dr. Cox was - remember that thing where he always called J.D. by a random woman's name? John C. McGinley gave them that idea, because he does the exact same thing to one of his own friends: John Cusack.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:29 PM on April 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Look who's having the last laugh, jumptheshark.com.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:30 PM on April 22, 2013


Different McGinley.
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dr Cox!!!!


I LOOOOVE SCRUBS!!!! When I broke up with my ex and was beached on the couch crying and feeling half dead like my heart was being slowly and strongly squeezed by a bony, icy hand for most of January, watching all seasons of Scrubs in a row really, really helped me. Dunno why, dunno how, but man it was good medicine for a rough time:-)
posted by discopolo at 5:44 PM on April 22, 2013


He has a son Max with Down syndrome, and he has been pretty active with family support groups outside of acting. Seems like a pretty decent human being, all around.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:48 PM on April 22, 2013


A guy I know worked on the set of Wall Street and stole the ashtray from Gordon Gecko's office. It is crystal.Years later, well after the NYC smoking ban, I was leaving a restaurant with his sister and she handed me something, it was an ashtray. Why was she handing me an ashtray? I hoped against hope it was somehow the Gordon Gecko ashtray. Turns out it was an astray from the restaurant, which was even better, how did she even find one with the smoking ban? They were like a family of expert ashtray thieves.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:55 PM on April 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


He's a real blue flame special, isn't he?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:04 PM on April 22, 2013


The best interviews -- and definitely the best Random Roles -- leave you with a bit of a crush on the subjects after reading them. This certainly fits that standard.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:16 PM on April 22, 2013


If the only thing he ever did was the final Brendan Fraser episode of Scrubs, he'd be one of the great television actors. Yet he's done so much more!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:20 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


You JERK. I've never read Random Roles before and now it's TWO HOURS LATER and I'm still going through them. I'm suing you when I get fired from my job and forget to pay my rent.
posted by chrominance at 6:35 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


So great.

"It was very Big Boy. It was without parasites, without pilot fish."

Can someone please explain this line to me? Is this slang, or something to do with the film?
posted by atlantica at 6:36 PM on April 22, 2013


"It was very Big Boy. It was without parasites, without pilot fish."

Can someone please explain this line to me? Is this slang, or something to do with the film?


He means there weren't a ton of (to his thinking) extraneous people in the room -- e.g, casting agents, producers, studio executives -- watching him audition.

Some of my best friends are "extraneous people" in Hollywood. I love JMcG to death, but actors tend to forget that it takes more to make a good movie than a couple of good actors and a good director.
posted by Etrigan at 6:52 PM on April 22, 2013


Huh. Thanks, had really never heard that before.
posted by atlantica at 6:59 PM on April 22, 2013


Different McGinley!
posted by padraigin at 7:01 PM on April 22, 2013


The most memorable television ever was watching some odd MTV show back in the late 80s where I think Andy Warhol was interviewing John McGinley while McGinley was on swing. I think this was right after Platoon. In the same show, McGinley showed how conditioned he was by doing a one-leg squat.

I swear this is an actual memory and not the result of an accidental Robitussin DM overdose.
posted by zippy at 7:32 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Different McGinley.

Ach, the Ted McGinley curse strikes again!
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:35 PM on April 22, 2013


I swear this is an actual memory and not the result of an accidental Robitussin DM overdose.

My friend, you are vindicated.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was Episode 2 of Andy Warhol's 15 Minutes of Fame on MTV. Someone, please find this interview.
posted by zippy at 7:39 PM on April 22, 2013


(On non-preview: thank you, Empress!)
posted by zippy at 7:41 PM on April 22, 2013


(don't thank me yet, apparently the Warhol estate made them take down the video. But at least there is a descriptor.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 PM on April 22, 2013


I saw this in my feeds earlier today and was glad I stopped and read it. Love him. Envious of his whistling abilities.

Bronson Pinchot and Tom Cruise? I must see this.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:48 PM on April 22, 2013


There were three people I wanted to be when I grew up:

- Dr. Emmett Brown
- The Doctor
- Dr. Cox

Only one of those was remotely achievable. But I could never quite get the hatred of Hugh Jackman down.
posted by greenland at 7:58 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've never read Random Roles before and now it's TWO HOURS LATER and I'm still going through them. I'm suing you when I get fired from my job and forget to pay my rent.

You might save some time by reading Charles Napier's RR first, against which all others are measured.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:01 PM on April 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


You might save some time by reading Charles Napier's RR first, against which all others are measured.

I say this with no exaggeration: Holy shit.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:19 PM on April 22, 2013


Charles Napier's RR first

ALL IS DUKE

DUKE IS LIFE
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


And let's not forget his work voicing The Atom, which produced one of my all-time favorite moments in Justice League Unlimited.
posted by MrBadExample at 10:10 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


McGinley skipped the Oscars the year of Platoon to watch the NCAA tournament final, which is cool. Even cooler is that was the year that Indiana beat Syracuse on a last second jump shot from Keith Smart.

Sorry, John!

The other takeaway is that as a baseball fanatic, living across the street from the 42 director, he walked across the street and said he wanted the part, was told he would need to have the voice down and it was his.
posted by C.A.S. at 12:43 AM on April 23, 2013


Nice one with Donal Logue in the previously link. Before Terriers he was one of those people who I was dimly aware of but easily confused with someone else, like say Denis Leary. It's crazy to think of him in Sneakers and going back to work as a janitor by day and telemarketer by night or whichever. Or a truck driver. (I was reminded of Fiona Apple, who said she was thinking of selling shoes for a living before making Extraordinary Machine.) Anyway, you see them in things and figure they're living off of royalties the whole time, but surely not always.
posted by dhartung at 3:11 AM on April 23, 2013


I was reminded of Fiona Apple, who said she was thinking of selling shoes for a living
And Nigel Tufnel was prepared to open a chapeau shop . . .
posted by Man-Thing at 3:58 AM on April 23, 2013


Metafilter: nothing happened there except losing whatever else I had.

That Charles Napier piece was fantastic.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:13 AM on April 23, 2013


Nice post, Susan.
posted by stenseng at 12:44 PM on April 23, 2013


I worked on the set of Scrubs for two days right when I moved to Los Angeles. I didn't say one word to John McGinley because he just seemed so focused and into his role, which was essentially an asshole. I didn't want to bother him foremost, but also it seemed like he was really struggling internally to be that asshole doctor. Like he was really having trouble being a jerk to everybody, when he knew it was wrong and just wanted to be nice. But the only way to do it justice was to commit all the way.

Don't know if that's true or not, but the few times I watched that show it really made his acting stand out to me. Because that doctor totally loved being a dick.
posted by dogwalker at 4:35 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


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