For that show, he said, "I'm gonna do it in Chicago. Along with director Steven Soderbergh, the documentary includes some Hollywood heavy hitters who were also his co-stars: Samuel L. Full Throttle , to name a few. Tell us about getting them on board for this project. I called some of the celebrities he worked with and it was really great because I got "Yes I want to be involved in that" from everybody--you don't get that every day. Anybody trying to make a film can reach out to these people--I'm not saying they won't participate--but I've never seen people say "yes" so quickly.
Some couldn't make it because of their schedules--I know Spike Lee wanted to do it--and George Clooney and Matt Damon wanted to--but they were in Europe. But we did get a lot of great people who took time out their schedule to sit down with me. It was such a great outpouring of love and respect for him.
You already mentioned Bernie Mac's widow, Rhonda McCullough, and his daughter, Je'Niece, the two people who undoubtedly knew him the most intimately, being part of the project. What was it like collaborating with them?
I had never really done it that way before, but it seemed if they were willing to do it, those were the people who should tell the story, more than me or anyone else. But Je'Niece is quite a talent; she has a future in the business if she wants it. She's smart, she has a sense of humor, she's pretty and charming--she's got the whole package. What do you think it was about Bernie Mac that made him so revered as an entertainer?
I think it's because you knew he loved his family and his city. Even when he was making big movies, he was the same guy; also, the fact that he didn't turn into some "Hollywood darling," remained himself and stayed true to where he was from, people respected him for that.
Bernie and the Bull: one documentary's opening, the other's pending - Chicago Tribune
Does the documentary reveal anything you think we'd be surprised to learn about him? I don't think there's anything revealing if you really knew him, but if you only know who he is from a film or a sitcom, I think you'll learn a lot from this. If there was one thing you'd want folks to take away from this documentary, what would it be?
If you give someone a chance to show you what they can do, you may be surprised. That's all Bernie ever asked for--a chance to do his thing.
And he did just that. Roosevelt Rd. Showtime is 8pm; general seating opens at 7: For more information, call He went onstage and just said, "I ain't terrified of you mother! Congratulations A great film ,,An important documentary indeed Warm , funny ,, and meaningful.
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A Tribute to Bernie Mac By LaShawn Williams Bernie Mac was undoubtedly one of Chicago's most beloved entertainment figures; from a successful stand-up comedy career to his award-winning, self-titled sitcom to his big screen movies, he rose from local cult status to crossover superstardom. How did you become involved with this project?
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Remembering Bernie Mac With a Documentary on Comedy Central
While the weight and resonance of their contributions may occasionally get overlooked, stand-up comedians have played an integral role in shaping the lens we use to view the world. Icons such as Redd Foxx and Bill Cosby and Moms Mabley and Dick Gregory and Richard Pryor and Monique and Chris Rock have used their comedic gifts to provide the types of relatable anecdotes and social commentaries that transcend time and span generations.
A Tribute to Bernie Mac. Hughley, and Samuel L. He drew from where he came from and how he grew up. I believe that is what made him so funny and so relatable to people.
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