With The Fighter continuing to impress audiences in theatres, and with awards season getting underway, a season in which The Fighter will be showing up a lot, we thought we would take some time to talk to one of the film’s stars, Jack McGee, who plays George Ward, Micky Ward’s father.
Hailing from South Bronx, New York, Mr. McGee is not only an actor, but also a colon cancer survivor and in 1977, he joined the New York City Fire Department. His first major role came in 1985 in the film Turk 182. Since then, he has made many notable appearances in both film and television. You may know him from a number of roles, including but not limited to, Chief Jerry Reilly in FX’s Rescue Me, the gun store owner in Crash, Terry from 21 and of course, George Ward in The Fighter.
Jack is also up for a SAG Award this year for Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture (The Fighter).
Check out the interview below.
We Got This Covered: How did you first come across the script for The Fighter?
Jack McGee: The script came through my managers at Semler Entertainment.
WGTC: Were you familiar with the story of Micky Ward before reading the script?
JM: I knew of the Wards as fighters and from highlights but wasn’t familiar with their story.
WGTC: What drew you to the role?
JM: The cast and David O. Russell.
WGTC: Did you need to do any preparation for the role? If so, how did you prepare?
JM: Never having studied acting, I always draw from my own life experience.
WGTC: David O. Russell and Christian Bale have been known for having some ‘interesting’ moments on set, anything notable happen during the shoot? How was it working with them?
JM: David is funny…giving, innovative, trusting and he just lets you go with what is working for you. Christian was as brilliant off camera as he was on. We would be singing Doo Woop one minute and I’d be tearing him off a fence the next …Magic…
WGTC: You worked opposite the very talented Melissa Leo, there was one great scene in particular where she starts throwing plates, pots and pans at you, how was it working with her?
JM: When you come to work in the morning be ready for anything and everything. When “Alice” is around you gotta fight just to keep your eyes off her.
WGTC: What types of roles are you usually attracted to as an actor?
JM: The ones that pay! And I don’t always mean money wise, either. If it stretches me …I’m in
WGTC: What do you prefer, TV or film, and why?
JM: I like it all…there is a bond with all the players on a set…actors, grips, directors, craft service, the PA’s…that’s where the stuff happens. You put over two hundred people together, some who have never met before and after a few hours, you don’t want to leave them.
WGTC: Mark Wahlberg has been trying to get this picture made for a number of years, his passion for the film is tremendous, how did this come through on set?
JM: Mark’s passion and quiet influence was evident before, during and after we shot the film. He’s terrific and I’m thrilled to know him.
WGTC: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and good luck with your future projects!