John C. McGinley Talks 'Scrubs,' 'Platoon,' Broadway, & More


On this episode of Fake Doctors, Real Friends, John C. McGinley joins Zach Braff and Donald Faison to talk about episode 10 of season two of Scrubs. Unfortunately, John watched the wrong episode by mistake! Instead of wasting this time with the Dr. Cox, the guys decide to just hear anecdotes and memories from John’s incredible career. He tells stories from the stages of the venerable Public Theater in New York to the swamps of the Philippines shooting Platoon with Oliver Stone, and they all share some of the biggest mistakes they’ve made on- and off-camera that usually turned into the best acting lessons. And they all get to laugh at Zach when he tells everyone how he made a fool of himself in front of David Mamet – twice!

When Oliver Stone offered John the part of Sergeant O’Neill in Platoon, he was a few weeks into rehearsals for Hamlet at the Public Theater with Kevin Kline. He accepted the movie and the play was recast, but then, Platoon was postponed due to a revolution in the Philippines, where they intended to shoot. While they waited, the play opened and was declared “the most important Hamlet ever done on these shores!” John moans. Finally, they started filming, and “there was no shot list, because he had to change things and do things on the fly, which he did brilliantly,” but it also meant that the stars would spend whole days on set not doing anything. So John, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp all asked to stay at the hotel if they weren’t going to be used. Stone agreed, and they all sat by the pool together for a few hours until Forest said, “You ever get the feeling that while we’re here, we’re not in the movie?” He had figured out that Stone was “improvising this movie, and while we’re sitting here, we’re not in it!” They stuck around the set after that. 

They talk a lot about establishing a rhythm as an actor and how much of a difference it makes to the smoothness and believability of a performance; when actors “stop acting and start behaving,” as John puts it. This takes them through a lot of stories, from the set of Scrubs but also Wall Street, Wish I Was Here, Identity, Point Break, and the Clueless TV show, talking about the stress of memorizing last-minute rewrites, one on-camera mistake John made that ended up in the final cut of the movie, the time Donald disappointed the Fonz, and so many more. Hear all these incredible behind-the-scenes memories on this episode of Fake Doctors, Real Friends

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