Bert Kreischer on ‘The Machine’ and Why He Can’t Do a Shirtless Interview



Machine jumps between today and 1999, when Bert Kreischer goes on a college trip to Russia and befriends a group of Russian mobsters. Two decades later, Bert is a family man, and the days of “The Machine” are long gone. Now, instead of robbing trains with the Russian mafia while drunk on vodka, he is constantly at odds with his father (Hamill), who finds his antics unentertaining. As fate would have it, he and his father are kidnapped by a woman who claims “The Machine” was involved in a robbery that involved them with a sociopathic family, bringing them back to Russia. Machine also stars Jimmy Tattoo as young Bert, Iva Babik, Martin FordAnd Stephanie Kurtzuba.

Before embarking on this wild train journey, check out Kreischer’s interview with Weintraub in the video and transcript below, and find out what he learned in his Star Wars “deep dive” with Hamill, how he put it to use himself. Daniel Day-Lewis on set, and what about film productions which he finds “the most boring”. Kreischer also shared what he loves most for his fans to see and the hidden Easter eggs planted in the film for audiences to catch.

COLLIDER: I’m 50/50 on whether or not you’ll do a shirtless interview.

BERT KREISCHER: [Laughs] I wish I could! I hate wearing shirts, and I’ve put on so much weight that no shirt fits me right now.

Image via Netflix

Does the studio or publicist say, “Yeah, you’re wearing a shirt today?”

KREISCHER: Oh yeah. Oh, they had shirts for everything I had to do, and I was so fat I couldn’t wear them, so I ended up taking them off in the middle of the interview because my buttons were just bulging.

So what you’re trying to say is the publicity it has a number of control, but not all control.

KREISCHER: PR and my wife; my wife chose a shirt as well.

So you’ve done a lot in terms of comedy specials, podcasts, you’ve done a lot. If someone has never actually heard of or seen you before, what is the first thing you want them to watch?

KREISCHER: That’s the biggest question! I want them to watch– Hell, if someone hasn’t seen me before, I think I want them to see “The Machine” story, I think I want them to see “The Machine” story. I’d say 2 Bears 1 Cave because I feel like I share a lot of who I am on that podcast, but then you have to meet Tom [Seguar]too, and he snoozefest, so that would be “The Machine” story.

You have to have Mark Hamill play your dad in this movie, and I wonder, how long will that take you before you start peppering him with Star Wars questions because you’re the age you grew up on Star Wars.

KREISCHER: Oh yeah, I saw it in the movies, I saw it Return of the Jedi at the movies, and on my way home, I was trying to pick up my Chewbacca doll [mimes using the Force]. Me first obsessed with Star Wars, I’m obsessed with Star Wars.

In practice I ask him questions. Like, right when I first met him, I hit him for every– and I asked him, like, “Did Harrison Ford smoke weed?” I also asked him adult questions. I am obsessed with Carrie Fisher’s energy, just like in life, so I love her, so I have to dive into it all! And I wanted to know, like, who were the people who were supposed to play the roles, and he had all of those. I didn’t know that Harrison Ford was just helping to read other people’s sides, I thought Tom Selleck should have played Han Solo, and then– it was amazing. He’s amazing, and he takes the time to tell you everything, like, he’s gotten your dream weight and hopes he’s cold to you. There are many celebrities who ignore that, and Mark Hamill is not.

Bert Kreischer and Mark Hamill see something surprising in The Machine.
Image via Sony Images

This is your first time, I believe, to be number one on the call sheet, and you are the main character of a Hollywood movie. What really surprises you about shooting a movie like this and keeping your energy up every day? Because, as far as I know, it’s like a marathon during shooting.

KREISCHER: Oh, so I never really understood actors had to be in character and stuff. Like, I don’t understand, I never act. And for most of this film, I was just playing myself, so I was in character every day when I showed up for work. Then there was one scene where, in rehearsal, we did in rehearsal, and I accessed some emotions and I started crying, and the actress, Iva Babic, was like, “That’s so good, you have to do that in that,” and I said , “I don’t know if I can.” He told me, he said, “Go alone and don’t lose this energy, and bring it back and we’ll do it, and we’ll catch you,” and the director was cool. I have not been there. That was the coolest thing about acting, like, I was all of a sudden in this tent, thinking about my daughter, and our relationship was a little bit rocky, and I accessed it, and I was like, “This is so cool,” and then I was like, “Yeah gosh, I want to see what Daniel Day-Lewis is up to.” Suddenly, you’re like, “This is amazing!” So, yeah, that’s kind of the challenge, I would say.

When Legendary acquires the rights to create your story Machine, movie studios are acquiring rights all the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s moving forward. When did you realize, “Oh shit, this is really going to happen?”

KREISCHER: [Laughs] Dude, Peter Atencio came to my house with a bottle of Blanton’s – and we’ve been given the green light, I still don’t know what that means, I’m serious, I don’t know what that means – and he opened a bottle from Blanton’s, and he was like, “So we made this film.” But people say that all the time, “Yeah, we’re making a movie. We’re making a movie.” And I said, “Yes, yes, yes,” and he said, “No, I’m going to Serbia tomorrow,” and I said, “What are you going to Serbia for?” He said, “Start looking for a location.” I go, “Wait, like, do you get paid?” And he was like, “Dude, my deal is closed,” he said, “Get ready, we’re doing a movie in a month,” and I was like, “Close the f–” I really didn’t know until we opened that bottle of Blanton.

Bert Kreisher holding an empty bottle at The Machine
Image via Sony Images

It happens all the time! Making a movie, getting the green light, is really hard.

KREISCHER: Yeah, that’s impossible. I mean, I can’t believe it– I feel so lucky. Have you ever seen those videos on Instagram where the woman is walking in traffic and a bus misses her by a minute? That’s how I feel, I feel like a bunch of buses just missed me and I’m just standing here saying, “How did I get here? It’s crazy.” Yeah, I’m very, very, very, very lucky. I’m lucky, and I’m lucky to be surrounded by people like that – and I know people say this and they don’t mean it, but only talented people crazy who knows what they’re doing.

100%. What are you most looking forward to seeing your fans in movies?

KREISCHER: There are lots of things; there are like deep-dives. I’m glad they’re going to see things that weren’t in the trailer. That’s what gets me excited. I had a friend who saw the screener, a guy on a radio show, and his comment was, “You don’t put all the funny bits in the trailer. This movie is amazing!” And I was like, “Yeah! That’s it.” I have a little Easter egg in the movie, like I squirt some painted Thomas fat, like there’s little things like that. Like, the guy we ripped his head off is a UFC champion, good friends with Rogan. I love people find little things like Easter eggs.

Was there a day where you thought something was going to be so simple to film and it ended up being really annoying?

KREISCHER: No, no, no, I have to be honest with you, I absolutely loved every second of it. I really feel like every day is a first date, so everything we did was a blast. One thing that is boring for me, I have a touch problem, like in America we are a little more sensitive to people’s mental health, and I don’t like it when they shed blood on me and I have to bleed for me. half movie. It’s sticky, it’s uncomfortable, and it has to be in my hand, and it’s the most tedious. They’d be like, “Put it on,” and I’d be like, “Okay, can we wait till I eat?” Then as soon as it turns on, I’m like this [gestures with discomfort] all day because I’m sticky. So, that’s the only part of the movie where I was like, “Ehh.” I could never be one of them– Like Eddie Murphy would do Klumps, and do all that makeup. I could never do that, I would lose my mind.

Image via Legendary Image

Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t realize, you’re right on point. Especially if you’re making a movie like a zombie movie and you have to do that makeup.

KREISCHER: Impossible. Impossible.

On that note, I have to go, I’m just going to say congratulations on the movie. I really hope it’s a big hit for you.

KREISCHER: Brother, thank you very much. From your mouth to God’s ears.

Machine opens in theaters May 26.


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