Mark Hamill Tells ‘The Music’ Why He Agreed To Bert Kreischer's Wild Action-Comedy 'The Machine'

25 May 2023 | 10:54 am | Dan Cribb

“I lose my mind and go crazy with prostitutes, alcohol and drugs. What an opportunity for me.”

Mark Hamill and Bert Kreischer in 'The Machine'

Mark Hamill and Bert Kreischer in 'The Machine' (Source: Supplied)

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When pop culture legend Mark Hamill first met comedian Bert Kreischer via Zoom to discuss his potential inclusion in the comedian's new film, The Machine, the first thing he said was, “Why don’t you wear a shirt on stage?”

Anyone who knows Kreischer’s stand-up will instantly know what Hamill is referring to, and they’ll probably also be familiar with his viral stand-up routine from 2016 which recounts his true experience with Russian mobsters while on a booze-soaked college trip.

That story culminates in Kreischer literally robbing his classmates on a train and the new film sees that trip come back to haunt him 23 years later; of course, the modern-day story we’re told sees him play a fictitious version of himself alongside Hamill, who portrays his estranged father (“I lose my mind and go crazy with prostitutes, alcohol and drugs. What an opportunity for me.”)

So, how did Kreischer convince Star Wars legend Hamill to sign on for the wild ride? Especially given the comedian has previously noted that Hamill seemed somewhat ‘hesitant’ in that initial meeting, as he noted in an interview with The Rich Eisen Show.

“Well, listen, it wasn't the hesitation as much as I was just trying to understand what it was about Bert that made him Bert,” Hamill told us during a brief pre-release chat.

“There's no off switch. He's so genuine and so authentic. It's not like he created a character and he's very much different on stage. What you see is what you get. And I think that that's what's so appealing about it. He just has an exuberance that's infectious.”

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During that same interview with Rich Eisen, Kreischer described what it was like working with Hamill in Serbia for three months.

“My favourite part of hanging out with Mark Hamill is – first of all, he’s a very, very generous man. With someone like Mark Hamill, you think, maybe if you bring up Star Wars, he’s heard these questions a million times, but he delivers it to you like he’s never been asked that question before; he gives you everything you’d want and then the fun stuff, like, ‘Let me tell you what I love about Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford,’” Kreischer said.

“My co-lead in the film [Iva Babić] is from Eastern Bloc and she never saw Star Wars, so she says to me, ‘I’ve never seen Star Wars, please don’t bring it up.’ And I go, ‘Really?’ And she goes, ‘I don’t want to be embarrassed.’ So, we sit down for dinner and I go, ‘Iva, you’re a big Star Wars fan, right?’ And she goes, ‘I love it, it’s such a wonderful film, Mark.’ And Mark goes, ‘What did you like about it?’ And she goes, ‘Oh, you know, typical good guy, bad guy thing.’ And then I go, ‘Iva, who’s your favourite character in Star Wars?’ She goes, ‘Um, probably Chewbacca.’ 

“Mark goes to change the subject and I go, ‘Hold on, Mark… Iva, can you do an impression of Chewbacca?’ And she goes, ‘Oh.. of course: *weird gravely voice* Hi, I’m Chewbecca.’ Mark goes, ‘You’ve never seen the movie, have you?’”

The Machine is in cinemas now