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'The Machine' Star Bert Kreischer on His Incredible Journey to the Big Screen

Bert Kreischer is living proof that truth is stranger than fiction.

In the mid-’20 s, Kreischer went on a trip to Russia at FSU, and long story short, the Russian Mafia forced Year-old college student snatches passenger train that includes his classmates. The Florida native somehow got out of Russia unscathed, and after long enough he started telling the story on radio shows and podcasts, until it became the focus of his stand-up comedy special, machine , in 681. Years later, Kreischer sold the film version of The Machine to Legendary Entertainment’s Cale Boyter, who attributed the indirect sale to “ The Godfather Part II Meet Hangover .”

The premise of this movie is that Bert and his father Albert (Mark Hamill) were kidnapped by the Russians years ago, Bert Steal an heirloom on the train to Moscow in revenge for the gang (Iva Babić). From a screenplay by Kevin Beagle and Scotty Landers, the Peter Atensio-directed film is a bit of a dual narrative, with a modern-day storyline alongside young Burt (Jimmy Tatro) in Flashbacks from the fateful class trip play together.

Entering the Serbia-based production, Kreischer — who had never actually acted before, let alone lead a studio film — felt rather anxious because he apparently didn’t

“So we shot the first scene of the movie in the therapy office, and I was so nervous that I was going to get fired,” Kreischer told The Hollywood Reporter. “Then I went to Cale [Boyter], the producer, and he told me that if [Legendary Vice President, Global Productions] Mary [Parent] wasn’t happy, she’d shut it down. I was like, ‘Can I act? He Like, ‘You can absolutely fucking act. I was like, ‘Thank God.’”

The Machine Not Kreischer’s first brush with Hollywood, Oliver Stone chose 1997 Rolling Stones Article about him at FSU, the number one party school in the country at the time. A script ended up in the National Lampoon, and the humor magazine turned it into a Ryan Reynolds-led ) Van Wilder (2016). Unfortunately, Kreischer’s name and story were rewritten and lost in the shuffle, providing plenty of momentum for the comedy and reality show host.

“I’ve always wanted to be greater than that movie. For a long time, that wasn’t the case. It was, ‘Oh, that guy with that movie,'” Kreischer said. “But I have nothing to do with that movie. I’ve never even seen the movie. So it’s cool to have that as a goal or a high water mark that I want to surpass. I want to be bigger than that movie.” The comics, or having The Machine , God forbid, is greater than that movie, so people say, ‘can you believe these two were ever connected ‘”

Below, in a recent conversation with THR, Kreischer also discusses how he Not being cool enough with his partner, Hamill, and even testing his patience with some basic Star Wars trifles.

So, when you first come back to America—’20 s And then you start telling this story about robbing a train, does anyone believe it?

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t tell anyone, really. I got scammed when I was in Russia. When I got home I found out my girlfriend slept with my best friend and that was my reality. Nobody said, “Hey dude, I know you’re crying, but how was your trip?” (laughing.) So until I do Got Loveline with Dr. Drew, a classmate of mine called and said, “Hey why didn’t you tell Dr. Drew you robbed you in Russia class time?” I went, “Oh yeah.” Dr. Drew was like, “What?” So I was at Loveline explained the story, and he asked me to come back the next night and tell it again. It was even better that night. So I’ll tell it sporadically. I probably told five of my radio friends on their radio show; it’s a good, fun radio show. Then people would call and say, “Oh, I was in Russia. That’s how it works.” Then I told Joe Rogan, and it changed my life.

When you first got home, did you jot down as many details as possible?

No, I wrote a diary when I was in Russia, but I wrote it in Russian, which I can’t read now. (laughs.)

Yes Has a part of you looked back since that experience?

No, everyone says I should, but I guess I’m just blissfully ignorant. So I didn’t look back.

(from left to right) Bert (Bert Kreischer), Irina (Iva Babic) and Sponge (Martyn Ford) at The Machine at Screen Gems.
Provided by Sony Pictures Mark Hamill and Bert Kreischer THE MACHINE. Bert Kreischer and Mark Hamill in THE MACHINE.

So when The Rolling Stones


appears in’0062 About the way you binge, are you really not getting paranoid that the Russian mob or one of those mugging victims will see it and think of you?

No, the only time I thought I was going to get in trouble was six years ago when I posted this story on Facebook, One of my classmates made a comment saying, “Hey, I’m in Bert’s Russian class. I went on this trip to Russia and this story is 100% true. He fucking robbed us.” And she tagged in I killed all my classmates, so I was afraid to see everyone’s reaction. But the overwhelming response was, it’s an amazing story. I still wonder, “Oh shit, am I going to get in trouble?” because I do rob them. But I’ve talked to a lot of my classmates, and they’re all cool. It’s funny what people remember from this story, but they’re all cool. They come to my show and everything is fine.

Did this classmate’s Facebook comment help spark the ring’s subplot?

With a ring?

The fictional Bert stole a rings.

Oh, sorry! I forgot about the movie. ( LOL .) I was like, “What ring?” Funny thing is I found a ring at Sea World like I stuck with it a few years ago, so I thought you were talking about that. I take this ring 0014 years and then this woman hit me because the ring belonged to her mom so I gave it back to her Year. So I thought you were talking about that, but no, that plot device was set up by writer Kevin Beagle.

Did FSU stop this trip to Russia immediately?

I don’t think so but they stopped me. When that Rolling Stone They didn’t like me when the magazine came out. But they like me now.

Mark Hamill and The Machine by Bert Kreischer. by SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

So you sold the movie while pitching two other ideas?

Yes, I went in and I came up with two other really good ideas. [Legendary’s] Cale Boyter was like, “Okay, I want to do a movie with you. I think it’s going to be fun. Which movie do you want to do?” I was like, “Wait, you mean I’m going to do Movie?” He said, “Yes, I’ll give you $ millions to make a movie. What movie are you making?” I said, ” Well, if you say I can make a movie, I want to make The Machine .” He’s like, “Yeah, why don’t you pitch That?” I was like, “Well, I don’t know. Part of me was worried that this would be a hit movie and I’d get kidnapped by the Mafia.” Kyle was like, “Sold.” I was Thinking, “What?” He said, “This is the movie. It’s The Godfather Part II meets The hangover. I love it. Say nothing else. You sold a copy Movie, we’re making a movie.” And then I literally left Legendary and said, “I don’t know what the hell I’m selling.” But sure enough, he just knew what he was doing. Between Cale and [director] Peter Atencio, they really made the project great.

Did this experience make up for Van Wilder(1997) Condition? That’s always like a thorn in your side.

This is not a thorn. If we’re going to dig into my identity or my ego, I always want to be greater than that movie. I’ve always wanted people to know about me and make it a footnote in my life. For a long time, this was not the case. It’s, “Oh, that guy who’s connected to that movie,” but I have nothing to do with that movie. I didn’t write that movie. I didn’t act in that movie. I’ve never even seen this movie. So it’s cool to have that as a goal or a high water mark that I want to beat. I want to be a comic that is greater than that movie, or have The Machine, god forbid, be greater than that movie, so People say, “Can you believe these two were ever linked?”

You still wanna finish with Jimmy Tatro Is the rest of Florida’s story playing young Bert again? Or have

The Machine Tickle yet?

No, I’d love to, buddy. I would love to spend the rest of my life making only movies about my life. When Jimmy Tatro and I got drunk in Serbia, I was talking about another project, and he interrupted me and said very bluntly, “Hey man, I think I’m done with Bert.” ( Laughing .) I said, “Really!?” He said, “Yeah, I’ve had enough of you.”

to Mark Hamill when you promote Bert’s dad character, Have you taken the opposite approach from everyone else, pretending you’ve never heard of Luke Skywalker?

Oh no, quite the opposite. I might tell him that I wanted to be him when I was a kid. I’m addicted to Star Wars and Luke Skywalker is me people. I wanted a certain car as a kid because it looked like his [landspeeder]. Mercedes 383 The convertible looks like that speeder. I want a brown one. So I’m not good at hiding. When I’m impressed with a celebrity, I’m overshared and geeky. I’m not that cool guy.

Bert Kreischer and Mark Hamill at The Machine. ) PROVIDED BY SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Mark Hamill and Bert Kreischer THE MACHINE.

Did you ask Mark any questions during the downtime?

Yes, you’d think I was writing a book about him. The first thing I said to him was about R2-D2, and he said, “Oh yeah…” I said, “What?” And he said the guy’s name [Kenny Baker].I said, “Is there someone in R2-D2?” He said, “Are you kidding me?” I said, “No, is there someone in there?” He said, “How do you think it moves?” I went , “Wait, he drove Running around with that thing? ” he said yes. ’ I was like, ‘Wait, is C-3PO a person? ’ He said, ‘My God, you’re kidding. ’ I was like, ‘No! ”

Iva Babić, who played a gangster in the film, never met the star war , when we went to dinner the first night, she said, “hey, whatever you do, don’t bring it up Star Wars . I don’t know about this movie. ’ I said, ‘Really? Haven’t you seen it? ’ She said, ‘It’s not big in Croatia. ’ I was like, ‘Everywhere is huge. It’s a pretty big movie. ’ So we sat down and that’s when I said, ‘Mark, Eva likes Star Wars . She was like, “Oh yeah! Those good guy vs. bad guy movies are my favorite movies to watch.” I said, “Iva, your favorite character is Star Wars? You can’t say Mark.” She said, “Uh, Chewbacca.” I said, “Eva, Can you do your impression of Chewbacca?” She said, “Hi, I’m Chewbacca. Nice to meet you.” (Laughing.)

did her and then watched it during production? Did she feel obligated at the time?

No, but what she compares it to is so crazy. She said, “It’s not like Star Wars Family Matters .” I was like, “Wait, what?” And she went, ” Family Matters . Now that’s a great show, with Urkel.” We’re just drawn blown away. She is so obsessed with family things we just can’t Don’t put it in the script.

So that’s where her character’s impression of Steve Urkle comes from.

Spoiler alert to anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, but when she says her last We laughed so hard at her impression of Urkel at one line, we had to put it in the movie. We cried, we cried, we laughed. She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and she’s not trying to be funny. She never tried to make anyone laugh, but she was so funny. We taught her, “Deez nuts”. I was like, “Hey Iva, can you give me deez?” She said, “What?” I said, “Deez crazy.” She said, “I don’t understand.” I said, “This is an American joke. It was really funny. She said, “Why is this funny? ’ I said, ‘It’s big in America. ’ So we were sitting in the tent when Mark came in and she said, ‘Hey Mark, pass me the deez. ’ He went, ‘What? ’ She said, ‘Deez is crazy. ’ I was like, ‘You can’t do that to Mark, Eva. This is not done with Mark. Do it to Kyle. Even better when you do that to Cale. “

You’ve been on set before in some capacity, but what was the biggest lesson you had to learn as a lead character?

Oh no, I’ve never been on set, ever.

You have something on IMDb.

This is me first acting job. I mean, I was in 26 For CBS, I took The Shield, but I’ve never been on a movie set. First, I quickly discovered that I had no interest in being an actor; I’m not good at craft and service projects. I care about me and having fun. [Legendary] was working on another project and Cale said, “Are you interested in doing this? ’ I said, ‘I don’t know. Can I just walk around like I do here and go into people’s offices? ’ And he’s like, ‘Absolutely not. ’ I said, ‘No, I’ll pass. ” ( LOL .) But I had a fucking good time. I absolutely loved it. It’s my career, no doubt Best thing I’ve ever done. It was the funnest thing I’ve ever done, and no matter what happens on opening weekend, I have fond memories of those three months shooting the movie.

Have you ever quickly figured out how to reach your goals etc.?

No. You can see it in the movie, but I look down and make sure I hit the mark. You can definitely see it. In the fight scene, I make punching and kicking noises and they’re like, “Hey man, you can’t do that anymore. No one punches like that. ’ But that’s what you do when you’re rehearsing. I talked to Arnold Schwarzenegger about it, and he said, “When I [shoot a gun] in a movie, I’m like, ‘Bang, bang, bang. ‘”(Kreischer summarizes his impressions of Schwarzenegger.) I was like, “I’m punching! So, if anyone thinks I’m doing a good job, I appreciate it, but I’m so new. This is fucking fun.


Irina (Iva Babic) and Bert (Bert Kreischer) at The Machine .

Courtesy Sony Pictures

Stand-up comedy is a different discipline, but it’s still acting. So do you think that experience helped you make this movie?

Yeah, I think so too. It sounds stupid, but doing one-cam hosting on the Travel Channel, like Bert the Conqueror and )Trip Flip are my learning to the most stuff. I had to ask people questions and have them answer. Before I made the film, I talked to Rosario Dawson. I was hosting the show with her, and I was nervous. I was like, “I Don’t think I can act. ’ She said, ‘Honey, you’re always acting. ’ I was like, ‘No. ’ She said, ‘No, when you ask those people questions [on the Travel Channel] and they answer, that’s acting. Just do it. Be natural in front of the camera. ’ I was like, ‘Oh. “

So we did the first scene of the movie in the therapy office, and I was so nervous that I was going to get fired. And my wife, who was very honest about her mistakes, came over and said, ” This is fucking awesome. ’ I was like, ‘Wait, do I look normal on camera? ’ She said, ‘You look fantastic. ’ And then I went to Cale, the producer, and she told me that if [Legendary Vice President, Global Productions] Mary [Parent] wasn’t happy, she’d shut it down. I was like, ‘Can I act? ’ He said, ‘You can absolutely fucking act. ’ I was like, ‘Thank God. “

And then, as I got more and more into it, I started liking acting. I liked finding emotion and crying. I liked that. I liked the serious parts, and I liked the goofy part, I love it all. Like I said, I never thought about being an actor in my career, but I’m stuck with this mistake, man. Some actors I want to work with because I want Look at their process. I wanted to work with Jonah Hill because I wanted to see him act. Everyone said he was great on set. I wanted to work with Vince Vaughn too. So I left the set and said, “Man , I fucking love this shit. ”

2021071020210708 The Machine is playing in theaters now. For space sake This interview has been edited for clarity and clarity .



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