Catching up with Christopher McDonald

Catching up with Christopher McDonald

Christopher McDonald has been one of Hollywood’s most dependable character actors for nearly 25 years -- and has been acting for more than 35 years in total. He made audiences hiss as Darryl in Thelma & Louise and Shooter in Happy Gilmore, played Jack Barry in Quiz Show and lightened up to portray Ward Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver. He went mean again for Flubber and has lent his voice – for good guys and villains – to many animated series and made-for-DVD movies. He appeared in the cult fave film Fanboys, recurred on SGU Stargate Universe, and played Billy Flynn on Broadway in Chicago. McDonald recently explored the dark side again as the crooked Harry Daugherty on Boardwalk Empire. And he has a batch of upcoming projects, among them The Squeeze, Daughter of God, Texas Rising and Soul Ties, that display various facets of his acting talent. But to Star Trek fans, McDonald will always remain a favorite for his turn as Lt. Richard Castillo in one of TNG’s finest hours, “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” Many of those same fans know that, well before “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” McDonald actually came oh-so-close to winning the role of Riker. heard that The Squeeze will open on April 17 – tomorrow, both in theaters and video on demand—and reached out to McDonald for an interview. He agreed, and the other day took to the phone to talk about The Squeeze and his other projects, as well as to reminisce about “Yesterday’s Enterprise” and muse about his Riker near-miss. Here’s what he had to say.

You were up for the role of Riker. How close did you come to landing it?


How did you wind up doing “Yesterday’s Enterprise?”

MCDONALD:Death of a SalesmanTNG

What do you remember of the shoot?


Did you have any sense at the time you were making something special, or you just can’t know that kind of thing in the moment, especially on a weekly show?


When was the last time you saw the episode?

The Squeeze casts you as the awesomely named Riverboat, a sharp-dressed gambler who recruits Auggie (Jeremy Sumpter), a talented young golfer, to play for him in increasingly high-stakes matches. What appealed to you most about the project?

Jeremy Sumpter, who plays Auggie, was Peter Pan in the 2003 movie and has been doing interesting work since then. And, Katherine LaNasa is a dynamo who not enough people know about, even though she’s been around a while…

Indie films like this can get lost in the shuffle. How satisfying is it to you that people will get a chance to see The Squeeze thanks to the hybrid theatrical/VOD release it’s getting?


In addition to The Squeeze, your upcoming projects include Daughter of God, The Zipper, The Tank, A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island, Don’t Worry Baby, Texas Rising and Soul Ties. We’d be on for an hour if we went into all of them in detail, but are there one or two of them you’re particularly eager for people to see?

MCDONALD:Texas RisingThe Mission

The Squeeze will open on April 17. Go to to see where the film is playing near you.


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