Mac and Me premiered in the 80s, and plenty of actors appeared in the film, but have you wondered where they are now? While most of the film’s actors haven’t acted much since the movie premiered, it did have an appearance by a then-unknown Jennifer Aniston, who certainly doesn’t require an update.
Interestingly enough, Kim Basinger and Angelica Huston both turned down the role of the lead female character. Basinger, instead, starred in Batman, and Huston snagged a role in the T.V. mini-series, Lonesome Dove.
Mac and Me had a budget of $13 million but grossed under $6.5 million and received several negative nominations, including worst director and worst new star. Credit is due to the film because they donated box office proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This organization houses families so they can be close to their hospitalized children.
So, what made it have less than stellar box office sales? Keep reading to learn more about the plot of the film.
What Was The Movie About?
Mac and Me was a 1988 science-fiction film centered around an alien that escapes from NASA agents and becomes friends with the main character, Eric, a child who uses a wheelchair. The unlikely duo becomes friends after the alien saves Eric from drowning in a lake.
Eric called his new friend Mac, which stood for “Mysterious Alien Creature.” In the film, fast-food mecca Mcdonald’s had numerous product placements, so it might not be a coincidence that the star was called Mac.
With his family in denial of his new alien friend, Eric works to reunite Mac with his alien family, all while the F.B.I is trying to track him down. Eric attempts to hide Mac by dressing him as a teddy bear and taking him to, where else, McDonald’s.
Once Eric’s friends believe he has an alien friend, they begin helping locate Mac’s family. They find the dying alien family, who is miraculously brought back to life with Coca-Cola. The movie ends with an intense scene in a convenience store, where the alien family surprises customers, a shootout and explosion occur, and (spoiler alert!) a stray bullet kills Eric.
Thankfully, Mac and his family revive Eric, and the government grants Mac’s family American citizenship. While the movie ended with a teaser for a sequel, saying, “We’ll be back,” the creators never made a second one.
The film flopped at the box office, and the Razzies listed Mac and Me as one of the 100 most amusingly bad movies ever. Many critics pointed out the similarities to the hit movie E.T., where a boy befriended an alien while the government tried to hunt him down.
Like E.T. enjoyed his Reese’s Pieces, Mac quenched his thirst with Coca-Cola. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, Mac and Me didn’t have as much success as the loveable E.T.
While the film had its criticisms, it appeared as one of six movies in the twelfth season of Netflix’s Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Mac and Me has a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of right now, and as critic Peter Travers remarks, the movie is “A blatant commercial for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola disguised as an E.T. rip-off.”
Despite receiving negative ratings, Mac and Me became a cult classic. The movie often makes some of the best of the worst lists and is ranked 52 on the “The 100 Best ‘B Movies’ of All Time” in Paste Magazine.
Many people have turned the movie into a drinking game, where you must drink every time you see a product placement. For the record, we aren’t condoning such shenanigans.
However, actor Paul Rudd has taken it further and has a running joke with late-night king Conan O’Brien. When Rudd appears on the show with a preview of his next project, he always shows the scene where Eric’s wheelchair falls off the cliff.
Where are they now:
So, where are the Mac and Me cast now? Keep reading to find out what some of your favorite stars are up to today.
‘Eric’ – Jade Calegory
Actor Jade Calegory was born with spina bifida and was a wheelchair user in reality when he starred in Mac and Me.
In the 80s, the actor played several roles for disabled characters and received a nomination for Best Young Actor in 1989, but lost to then-teen stars Corey Feldman and Corey Haim.
While he did have a role in the T.V. movie Alien Nation, he retired soon after; today, Calegory is an marketing director living in Arizona.
‘Janet’ – Christine Ebersole
Ebersole was born on February 21, 1953, and has appeared in numerous film, television, and stage productions. Since starring in Mac and Me, the actress has succeeded on stage in performances like Going Hollywood, Paper Moon, Talking Heads, Three Sisters, and War Paint. Ebersole also had more recent roles in Richie Rich and The Wolf of Wall Street but mainly sticks to Broadway and has won several Tony awards.
‘Michael’ – Jonathan Ward
Jonathan Ward helped co-star in Mac and Me as Michael Cruise, the brother of the protagonist.
Ward retired from acting in 2016 after starring in a few brief roles. Since 1994, Ward and his wife have co-owned ICON, an automotive shop that restores and modifies Broncos, Land Cruisers and many other vehicles.
He currently lives in California with his wife and two sons.
‘Courtney’ – Tina Caspary
Tina Caspary portrayed the character of Courtney, the older sister of Courtney.
Tina hasn’t acted much in the past few decades. In addition to Mac and Me, Caspary had a minor role in the cult hit, Can’t Buy Me Love. Directors considered Caspary for the role of Kelly Bundy on Married…With Children, but was replaced by Christina Applegate. Ebersole retired from acting in 1994, has a line of activewear, and is married with two children, twins.
‘Mitford’ – Vinnie Torrente
Vinnie Torrente played the part of FBI agent, Mitford in Mac and Me.
Vinnie only starred in one other movie, Death House, a year after Mac and Me premiered. According to Torrente’s Linkedin, he currently works as a bartender at a California ski resort.
The actor has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild for 25 years and has since caught up with the YouTube channel Booze Dudes to chat about his time on the Mac and Me set.
‘Wickett’ – Martin West
In Mac And Me, Martin West played the character of Wickett, an FBI agent who searches for Mac throughout the movie
Unfortunately, West died at the age of 82 in 2019 and is survived by his three children and wife, Ann Chernow.
Before starring in the cult classic, West starred in the iconic soap operas General Hospital and As The World Turns and went on to have roles in Matlock, Perry Mason, and The Invaders.
‘Zimmerman’ – Ivan J. Rado
Ivan J. Rado played “Zimmerman”, the government scientist in charge of studying Mac.
Ivan continued to act and direct before his death in 2018. Rado is known for roles in The Wild Bunch, Mask, and Santo vs. Blue Demon in Atlantis. The Mexican-born actor has over 40 credits to his name and last performed in the television series Tarzán in 1994.
‘Jack Jr’ – Danny Cooksey
Danny Cooksey played the character of Jack Jr. in Mac and Me and has played roles in numerous television and movies since.
He would go on the play the part of ‘Budnick’ in Nickelodeon’s Salute Your Shorts in 1991 and he would lend his voice to numerous cartoons including Tiny Toons, Hey Arnold!, Phineas and Ferb and The Wild Thornberrys.
These days, Cooksey is still voice acting and is living in Los Angeles with his son and daughter.
‘Debbie’ – Lauren Stanley
Lauren Stanley played “Debbie” in Mac and Me, but she hasn’t been on screen since the 80s. Not much is known of the actress today, as she doesn’t appear active on social media.
Is Jennifer Aniston in Mac And Me?
Jennifer Aniston is indeed in Mac And Me. She has an uncredited role as an a specator during the dance scene in the McDonald’s parking lot. This would be her first apperance in a movie. 2 years later she would star in the TV show ‘Molloy’.
Really cool article!