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Bernie Mac Talks About "Mr. 3000"

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Bernie Mac Chris Noth Mr 3000

Chris Noth and Bernie Mac in "Mr. 3000"

© Touchstone Pictures
Only 25 baseball players have ever crossed the 3,000 hit barrier. Entering the exclusive world of 3,000 hitters guarantees a spot in history and a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In “Mr. 3000,” Bernie Mac plays Stan Ross, a major leaguer who crosses the barrier, quits his team, and capitalizes on the 3,000 landmark by creating a ‘Mr. 3000’ shopping empire only to discover a decade later that three of his hits don’t count. Forced out of retirement with his reputation and spot in baseball history on the line, Ross has to stage an unlikely comeback in order to preserve his reputation – and his business empire.

Mixing romance, comedy, sports, and drama, “Mr. 3000” is really Bernie Mac’s first good chance to show what he’s capable of accomplishing as the centerpiece of a feature film. Director Charles Stone III knew the role matched perfectly with Mac’s style of comedy. “This role is about a larger than life figure who displays raw candor and humor – and nobody exudes those like Bernie,” says Stone.

INTERVIEW WITH BERNIE MAC ('Stan Ross'):

Have you ever had a nightmare moment in the gym like Stan Ross?
No, I made Stan Ross have some nightmares. That was funny because Stan Ross, he wasn’t a really dedicated individual. He had so much talent and he was a hell of a hitter. DH would have been great for him. But I took all the hitting of Stan Ross, my man number 21, Roberto Clemente and Rod Carew. That was the hitting. The attitude of Stan Ross was my brother. I used my brother.

Which group has the bigger egos, actors or athletes?
I think it’s all the individual. I think actors want to be sports athletes, and the sports players want to be actors. But I think it’s an individual call. I think today with all these young guys, I watched the Olympics this week and I watched the track. And when they got to the finish line, how they coast, gyrating.

How comfortable were you playing the Mr. Smooth romantic type?
I’m that, man. You have to understand, I came up in the ‘70s with love and park and walk and romance and beach, and all that kind of stuff was in my era. The ‘60s and the holding hands and the kiss and the slow dance and all that kind of stuff is my era. That’s my generation. We dated. They don’t date now. They don’t even respect the women. They don’t even know how to hold them. They don’t even know how to look you all in the eye and talk to you.

See, I used to court. With my wife, I went over to her house, we sat on the couch. We sat on the couch, we went to the story, we held hands, we walked downtown, we had boat rides. That was really a part of my MO. Today, they just don’t have that. I tell my daughter all the time, she’s lucky she’s married now, she found a good guy. But I used to always tell her I feel sorry for you all. It’s just awful. So that was easy for me. That was really fun because that’s my generation. I watched my grandmother in her ‘70s and ‘80s, how they walked through the store together holding hands.

Do you get it on to Marvin Gaye?
Marvin Gaye, man, see, we had music. Even before that, you had Fats Domino, you had the big band, you had the ‘50s. You had to sit at the black and white television with Cagney and them when they wore the suit, the double breasts… You watch Susan Hayward. I was talking about the other day how magnificent [it was]. The waists were small and the dress flowered out, and they went by the patio and they opened the door and the wind hit the hair and the dress. It was class. Now they have tattoos every doggone where, their booty hanging out. It’s so unattractive now. It was class, and that’s the era I come from.

So the romance was… I told Charles, I said, “When we have the love scene, I didn’t want to be over the top.” I didn’t want a ‘Wesley Snipes’. I didn’t want you all see us in the bed. It’s so taboo. It’s so done. I went back old school. And what I meant by that was by this being my first leading role, I had all this stuff in my head. I remember as a small boy how they had a love scene, and then they went to a commercial. And they came back and she was putting her clothes on. It was, “Boy, they was doing it, they was doing it, they was doing it, they was doing it.” Me and my brother, “They was doing it, he got it, he got it.” My mom, “Shut up, shut up. We don’t' need to hear you taking about that. Shut up.” You use your imagination. And when Angie and I [were] in the bed and she was close to me, and we both were expressing how much we enjoyed each other, mm, mm, mm. Mm, mm, mm, “Ooh, I gotta go.” You saw her, then you saw me with the cover and chasing her downstairs. I wanted you to use your imagination. Because in every movie, it’s always skin. Now everything is skin, explosion, soundtrack.

So we see just a little butt crack?
You see mine. You see mine. You were supposed to, because I rushed downstairs. I was trying to get my woman. But that’s all I let you see. And I know you all probably expected me to drop the towel. No, I ain’t doing that.

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