His name is "Joseph McGinty". And he doesn't want you to forget that. McG has a reputation as North American Uwe Boll. In other words, a hack. Talking with McG on set, it was almost hard to keep up. The man is running back and forth, making sure all his ducks are in a row. The man is also incredibly gracious, and made sure that all the journos had a good view of the monitors when filming a scene. Unfortunately, due to his hectic schedule, we didn't get a solid amount of time with him. What follows are some of his thoughts we managed to capture throughout the day when he had a break in filming.
On Terminator Salvation…
McG: I take it very seriously the responsibility of getting Terminator right. Honoring the mythology but making it new so it doesn’t just feel like a rehash, drek piece. If anybody ever wonders, “why in the f*ck would Christian Bale sign up for a movie that this clown McG’s doing?” Because I talked to him the way I’m talking to you right now. I only got one speed and this is what it is.
Since we can’t see it from here, is the scar on his face now or how does it work with makeup?
McG: We actually do two passes. Then Charlie creates the fusion together so you see it coming in. Not to mention the hand that came from Winston Studios also has to be covered with the molten steel material. It’s that whole theory of ‘I do as much practically as possible’. We could’ve just said ‘get in there and throw it on the green screen and it’ll all look great, trust the tennis ball and the c stand’. I just don’t like that. So I wanted the proper T800 hand scratching it down, giving us that place to emote from.
Was this a sequence that you wanted to do a long time ago? Where you want to know how he got the scar?
McG: Yeah, I wanted to see how Kyle Reese became to be such a proficient fighter and where his loyalty to Connor came from. I wanted to see where Connor got that scar. I wanted to see why Connor indeed became the leader. Imagine you and I jumped out and said “We’re here! We’re ready to lead” They’d go, “get in line. We’re not ready to follow you guys because you say so.” And that would’ve been the Connor track. I mean I’m sure there’s somebody up there in Northern New Mexico saying “I am the second coming. Get with it.” And who’re we to say, “no you’re not.” For all we know, he may be proven right tomorrow. (pause) She.
Talking about the scar on John Connor’s cheek…
McG: The mythology of the scar—do you know the famous John Connor scar? It comes down his left cheek and where did it come from? We’re about to find out. It’s from a T800 that had been after him and is now starting to freeze up after it had been heated up tremendously. [points to monitors] You’ll see it come in and scratch right down the left side of his face. And that’s the nature of the mark.
Talking about Serena…
She is the connection to Dyson in T2.
McG: That’s my understanding. When Dyson and his employees talk about “it”, she showed up to work on Monday. What would you do? If we all went to MIT, worked really hard and studied robotics, artificial intelligence, molecular science, this, that and the other, and you walked to work on Monday and you go “wow, it blew up.” Would you say “I’m going back to the flower shop.”? Or would you see, “wait a minute, we were really close on this Manhattan project and I’m going to see it through.”? And that’s effectively what Serena did since that time. And there may even be a line in the movie where she refers to “after Miles Dyson went insane we decided to…” where we all go “what? He’s great.”
On his nickname and the internet…
McG: I understand how obnoxious it is and people think it’s some Hollywood, hip hop bullshit, I really do get that. But it’s been my name since Kalamazoo, Michigan. My name’s Joseph McGinty Nichol, you know all this shit. And I’ve been called McG since the day I was born, there were three Joes in my house. We were poor, we didn’t have any money, my uncle Joe, my mother’s brother, and my grandfather Joe so they called me McG, short for McGinty, my mother’s middle name. And I go on all your guys’ sites and everyone is like “f*ck this guy. Who calls themselves McG?” And it’s so annoying because that’s my name. That’s my name in first grade.
Fanboys, they get crazy about the weirdest things.
I’m a fanboy though! So f*ck that, why are they eating their own? The only thing that’s frustrating is stop worshiping the past, man. It’s like, people do what’s right on a movie to movie basis. Maybe you gotta be Richie Cunningham before you can be Ron Howard. Maybe you gotta be Spicoli before you can be Sean Penn. And pay your dues. And it’s the privilege to the audience to put people in a box and say “I f*cking hate that guy.” I do it too! And I’m not apologizing. I’m the one standing here saying I won’t operate from a place of fear, f*ck that. I believe in the movie we’re making, people will talk shit, they won’t talk shit.
Imagine the shit Nolan took when he said “let’s go make Batman again, hard nipples, codpieces, Starlight Express.” He said, “I got it, we’re gonna go out there and get it done.” And again, it’s not about this--I’m so sick of my own bullshit, I’ve had it. That’s why I show you the stuff because I’ll stand by the stuff and say “that’s my idea of a kickass Terminator.” I am you! I am the one who wants to see it go on and not raped in some, you know, flog that dead horse and scrape a few more bucks. You know what I mean?
I don’t care about dough. I made the dough from The O.C. getting into syndication or Supernatural going into syndication, I don’t care. My life is lived in a paper cup in the f*cking dirt in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I do it because I love it and I’m a movie fan like all of us, that’s it. It ends there.