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Dennis McDonald Went From Extra to Unsung Hero of Bad Boys: Ride or Die

[WORKSHOP]



McDonald was motivated by the stunts in Fast & Furious.


The rising actor began his Bad Boys journey as a punchline, but in this summer’s action blockbuster, he shines in a pivotal action-packed scene. Here's how it happened.


In 2002, [when I was] coming to that door [in Bad Boys II]—I never thought I would be here as an action hero in the fourth movie [of the series]. When I found out, I knew I had to put the work in. I had to train for two months in Atlanta: gun training, martial arts, weights. I had to respect Reggie as a marine.


I was watching Fast & Furious while I was training, and I'm looking, like, "Yo, they gotta respect me and my craft just like they respect these dudes." And I'm new, so it gotta be even better. I was in my hotel training, training off set. I did all my own stunts.


I would watch Martin and Will—before they go into their action scenes, they would just speak to themselves. I like to keep Reggie as a quiet, respectable guy, so I would stay to myself. But the amount of gun work that they had me doing, there was no way I could keep him quiet for long.


Martin and Will were hands-on with how they treated me. “You good? You okay? You need anything?” They’d make sure I'm alright. They’d tell me, “Take your time. Don't be so much in your head. If you can't remember your lines, rap your lines so it's easier to remember.” That was really Will. Will just tells you “Live in the now—don't let all of this get you nervous, don’t feel like you have to be a big star. Just prepare, work hard, practice your craft, and handle your business.”


—As told to Peter A. Berry


 

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