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MR. 3000

The Supporting Cast And Training
Adding to the fun of MR. 3000 is a supporting cast of comics, rising actors and sports veterans – as well as media personalities in cameo roles. With Bernie Mac and Angela Basset cast in the lead roles, the filmmakers next turned their focus to casting an ensemble who could ratchet up the tension and the comedy as Bernie's new teammates on the Milwaukee Brewers. It would be no easy task, requiring a group of actors with equal parts sports savvy and comedy talent.

One of the key supporting roles of the film is that of Boca, Stan Ross' sweat-suitsporting best friend from the old days who has stuck loyally by his side, despite Stan's self-obsessed shenanigans. Playing Boca – whose refrain "That's why I love you, man” becomes a running gag throughout the movie –is veteran actor Michael Rispoli, who found the role a great send-up of male relationships.

"I liked the way the script really captured the cryptic communication that goes on in male friendships,” says Rispoli. "It's amazing how much can be expressed between two guys with no words at all! I also like that Boca is just the perfect stalwart friend. He stands by Stan, but he's always gently pointing out the folly of Stan's ways – hoping that one day, finally, Stan is going to get it! Which, at long last, he does.”

On the other side of Stan Ross is his new-found rival, T-Rex Pennebaker, the Milwaukee Brewers' latest star hitter and over-the- top egomaniac, played by actor Brian White – himself a former pro football player. T-Rex is the consummate New School ball player, as interested in his video game sales and his TV sound-bites as his batting average, and a kid who goes for towering home runs instead of measly single hits. Director Stone sees T-Rex as the second coming of Stan Ross, who reveals to Stan in his outrageousness the error of his own ways.

"T-Rex and Stan mirror each other in almost every way, except that T-Rex is taking it one step further, getting thrills from playing with his own character on his video game,” says Stone. "But when Stan sees this, it's like encountering himself, and he's able to see much more clearly into his own past.”

Says Brian White of the role: "Even though T-Rex and Stan can't stand each other in the beginning, TRex is clearly a lot like Stan when he was a young player: outspoken, brash and a guy who just hates to lose. T-Rex wants all the attention for himself, so in the beginning he resents Stan, but then, when Stan turns around, he can't help but see him as a mentor. The fun part about playing T- Rex is that he just doesn't care about what comes out of his mouth. His talent is undeniable – but his comments are unbearable!”

White continues: "It was also interesting to play a symbol of how sports has changed, because when Bernie Mac comes into the Brewers locker room, he discovers a whole new world. Suddenly, you've got all kinds of electronics and video games and Fantasy Baseball League – and all Bernie's character ever thought about was hitting the ball. It's a culture shock situation and it makes for a lot of laughs in the film. And eventually, through Stan Ross, T-Rex comes to see that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to get a little of that Old School spirit back into the game.”

The Brewers lineup is further rounded out by the shortstop Skillet (Dondré T. Whitfield), the second baseman Minadeo (Amaury Nolasco), the catcher Fryman (Evan Jones) and the under-pressure pitcher, fresh from Japan, Fukuda (Ian Anthony Dale).

Behind the scenes are besieged manager Gus Panas who is still bitter over Stan's rapid departure from the team a decade ago, played by award-winning actor Paul Sorvino; wise-cracking Coach Koran played by Earl Billings; and Chris Noth in the role of General Manager Sche

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