Mark OConnell: My first question (Laughs as Mac places a piece of chewing gum on his forehead). You are best known for your role in Red Dwarf. How did you originally get the part? Mac McDonald: I slept with Doug Naylor. We didnt have sex or anything; we just slept together for two or three nights. Mark OConnell: Thats nice just held each other? Mac McDonald: Held each other and wept. Mark OConnell: Are any characteristics of Captain Hollister found in your own personality? Mac McDonald: Yeah, the way that were really different is that he really likes to eat, and I cant stand it. I have a neurotic aversion to food. I have to be force-fed. People usually try to press the food through my forehead. Mark OConnell: Its a good thing you have that barrier there or it would all go in. Mac McDonald: Somebody tried to do that with gum earlier. No, um, were exactly alike. Mark OConnell: Excellent. What are your thoughts on the American series that never got off the ground? Mac McDonald: Erm, lets see. Well first of all it was total crap. Mark OConnell: Right. Mac McDonald: Second of all, they tried to do it in kind of an American way like, Ive noticed that whenever, you know, they have an American movie or American TV show and theyre trying to show like a tramp, or somebody whos filthy in the street, they give them like old clothes. But the clothes are spotlessly clean. If they have two or three days growth its trimmed and everything, you know. They have a real, total fear of showing anything dirty. Like when you turn over a garbage can in America, its all like paper and cardboard, and empty tin cans. You know, theres never really any horrible stuff. And thats what they did to Red Dwarf. It was like; they took the Lister character and made him into an 18-year-old glamour boy. So it defeats the purpose, you know, so it was doomed to failure. And I was played by a black woman, which was kind of a good take I think. Mark OConnell: Thats a different approach. Mac McDonald: A good way to go. Very like the English one. What else it was too Americanified. It was doomed to failure. But you know who, well you probably do know this, the guy that was adapting it and was behind it was, his names Boomer something. But anyway, he was the guy behind Malcolm in the Middle, which is one of my favourite American comedies. This gum feels awful on my head. (Shouts) Stop making me wear it! (Throws gum along the table) Oh, I rolled a six! Mark OConnell: What was your favourite episode overall, and which series do you think was the best? Mac McDonald: I think series 8 was the best because I was in it the most. My favourite episode was the T-Rex thing where Do you know how many quarts of orange soda and all that stuff? I cant even remember it now. But I do remember how hard it was to learn that. But I think that that actually came out quite funny. Mark OConnell: You said briefly when I was speaking to Danny (John Jules), but what are your thoughts on the special effects in the later series, as opposed to the old model work? Mac McDonald: I really did like it when everything was made out of cardboard, and, you know You kind of, you could see somebodys hand moving it towards the camera to make it bigger. That type of thing, you know. Yeah, much better. Mark OConnell: And the ships would fly out sideways. Mac McDonald: (Laughs) Thats right. Mark OConnell: Do you know anything about the movie that has been talked about for years? Mac McDonald: We just made that movie. Didnt you know? Mark OConnell: You just made it? Mac McDonald: Its getting released next week. Mark OConnell: Awesome. Is it straight to DVD or Mac McDonald: Yeah (Laughs), straight to DVD. Nah - that aint never going to happen, sadly. I dont think so. Mark OConnell: What about the 9th series? Mac McDonald: well Doug always said that he wasnt going to make another series until after we made the movie. So thats like, never after never. Mark OConnell: Who was your favourite Holly? Mac McDonald: Oh, you aint pinning me down on that! I liked them equally. Id like to see Normans head on Hatties body. Mark OConnell: That would be interesting. Mac McDonald: Im sure that you could do it. CGI do it. Itd be nice. Mark OConnell: If the crew ever made it back to Earth, what would they find there? Mac McDonald: if the crew made it back to Earth? Mark OConnell: Yeah, three million years later. Mac McDonald: They would just land in Fuchal, and everything would be lovely and warm, and pineapples, and coconuts. Mark OConnell: Apart from the DVDs that have come out, do you ever watch the series in your own time, or any of your other past work? Mac McDonald: Er, not really. Nah Mark OConnell: Do you prefer working in front of a live audience? Mac McDonald: No. Actually I like filming better then doing live stuff. In some ways, its so different really. Its like, you know, its two totally different things. Its not kind of one is a variation on the other. But I really prefer film work. Mark OConnell: What have you been working on since Red Dwarf? Mac McDonald: Oh God, erm I did a play last summer with Val Kilmer called The Postman Always Rings Twice. I just did a movie called Tara Road with Andy McDowell, which should be, that may go straight to DVD actually. But it may get released here. Its a Rom-Com. And another film called Flyboys, which should be out soon. You know, Ive been working straight on. My Family, I think was in between Black Books. All the kind of English comedies. Mark OConnell: How would you like to be remembered? Mac McDonald: As the man that they never forgot. Mark OConnell: And finally, have you got any messages for your fans? Mac McDonald: Yeah, piss off and dont bother me. Stop bugging me. I know youre there, and stop sending me money. Its really ridiculous. Ive got a big enough house already. Mark OConnell: That makes sense. Do you want me to stop hanging around outside your house every day now? Mac McDonald: Yeah, thats right. And you in the red coat - stop it! Mark OConnell: OK, well that was fantastic. Thank you very much for your time. Mac McDonald: my pleasure! Mark OConnell: Appreciate it. (Mac reattaches chewing gum to his head and gets it stuck in his eyebrow).
This exclusive interview with Red Dwarf's Mac McDonald was conducted by Film-Reviews.net's webmaster Mark O'Connell. The interview took place at the Memorabilia Show in Birmingham on Sunday 26th March 2006.
Any information taken from this interview MUST be credited soley to www.Film-Reviews.net and may not be duplicated without permission.
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Mac McDonald and Mark O'Connell
A whole new way to chew gum...
Discussing the Red Dwarf Movie
All Images copyright 2006 Mark O'Connell, and may not be reproduced without permission.
The end of a great interview!