Notorious Bad Guy Actor M C Gainey By Jamie O’Quinn
It’s all just an act. A notorious bad guy on the television and big screen, actor M C Gainey is really a big sweetheart. Born in Jackson, Miss. and named Mike Connor Gainey after the state’s first Irish governor, Gainey has acted in over 200 television shows and between 70 and 100 movies.
After attending Jackson’s Murrah High School, Gainey moved with his mom to Tylertown, where he graduated. Upon taking theatre classes at the University of Southern Mississippi, he went to the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Calif., before making his move to Hollywood. He debuted in television when he played a mean oil field worker on the first season of “Dynasty” and then hit the movie scene in “Time After Time”.
I recently chatted with Gainey at his home in Monrovia, Calif., as he and his wife, Kim, were enjoying the sunny breeze by their backyard pool.
Q: You’ve been in Hollywood since the 1970s. What inspired you to become an actor?
A: I have always been a big movie freak. I was very fortunate because I broke into television when shows such as “The Dukes of Hazard”, “T J Hooker“, and “The A Team” were popular because they needed bad guys every week. They took one look at my face and said “Ooooh hoooo…give him a gun!”
Q: You are in quite a number of movies due for release soon. Tell me about them.
A: I just finished Taylor Hackford’s new movie “Love Ranch” with Joe Pesci. I’m also in the upcoming “All About Steve” with Sandra Bullock, “Trim” with Ed Asner, “Crossing Over” with Harrison Ford and “The Pardon” which was filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana.
I’m always throwing in television parts too. I just did both a “Cold Case” and “Bones” episode.
Q: Do you always play the part of a bad guy?
A: Yeah, pretty much. As I get older and my hair gets grayer, there is a natural thing in this business that happens. A lot of bad guys wind up being more loveable by the third act.
Q: Due to the financial incentives Louisiana has set up for film producers to shoot there, you’ve been able to return close to home and work some haven’t you?
A: It’s good to come back South to do a movie. I was in “Dukes of Hazard” filmed in Baton Rouge, “The Pardon” in Shreveport, and “At Last” in New Orleans. I would love for Mississippi to do something similar so I could move back home.
Q: You and your wife have special ties with the South for another reason, don’t you?
A: We got married at the Jazzfest in New Orleans. There were 65,000 people at our wedding. Everybody had plenty to eat and Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan serenaded us.
Q: Any advice you’d like to share with someone thinking about acting?
A: Acting is a great profession and some of the best come from Mississippi. Don’t think it’s unreachable. It is a dream that can be achieved.
Hollywood South is a syndicated column.
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