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Dennis McDonald: The Unsung MVP of 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

This article does include spoilers.

The fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise smashed its opening weekend, earning $56 million domestically and a total of $104.6 million globally.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Bad Boys: Ride or Die continued the series' theme of laughter, brotherhood and high-octane action. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returned, proving they are still the Bad Boys of Miami. Mike Lowery's (Smith) son, Armando Aretas, played by Jacob Scipio, also cements his place as a true member of the Lowery bloodline.

But there was one scene in particular for which the audience wasn't prepared. As the bad guys were searching for Mike and Marcus (Lawrence), they went to Marcus' house to attempt to take his family hostage. What they didn’t know was that Marcus' Marine son-in-law Reggie, played by Dennis McDonald, was in the house and adamant about protecting his family.

McDonald was first introduced to us in Bad Boys II (2003), where Mike and Marcus antagonized him when he came to pick up Marcus' daughter for a date. He was timid, respectful and just a teenager. "I was like 15 years old. I was a nervous kid just getting into the swing of things," McDonald recounted in an interview with The Quintessential Gentleman. Now, after starring in three Bad Boys films, he has grown as an actor, and his character has evolved from a side figure to a pivotal hero.

"I've just came to play," McDonald shared. And play he did. In the scene that will go down in Bad Boys history, Reggie protects his wife, son and mother-in-law from an army of men in a full-out action sequence. Mike and Marcus watched in awe as the events unfolded on a video feed.

For the scene, which was shot over three days, McDonald had two months of military training. "There were times where they would have the special effects, and the blood had got in my eye, and I'm still working through the scene," he reveals to Entertainment Weekly. "I'm elbowing the guy and taking his clip out of his gun; that whole scene, I can't even see. I'm just doing that off of just me remembering the [moves]. That was intense."

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

McDonald was teetering between reality and fantasy while filming. He recounted in an interview, "As we were doing it and I got tired, I went into the kitchen to try to turn the faucet on to get some water. Then I was like, 'Oh shoot, it's fake. I forgot.' That's how real it looks."

Ultimately, Reggie has earned Mike and Marcus' approval. In the final scene, which wasn’t in the original script, the duo bickers over who should man the grill at the family barbecue. As they argue, Reggie approaches with a platter of chicken, waiting for his turn on the grill. Initially, Mike and Marcus laugh at the idea of Reggie touching the grill, but then they relent, allowing him to grill whatever he wants after recalling how he single-handedly killed 15 trained men to protect their family.

"That wasn't in the script at all," McDonald reveals about the grill sequence in an interview. "That was kind of crazy — I was in Miami filming, and then I flew back home, and then they called me like three or four days later to come back to Miami to shoot another scene."

As for McDonald's future, he is excited to continue acting and explore more diverse roles. "I want to do a lot of action roles. I want to do a lot of comedy roles. I want to play Kobe Bryant in a documentary," McDonald tells The Quintessential Gentleman.

We look forward to seeing where he ends up next—perhaps as part of the Miami Police Department in Bad Boys 5?

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures

1 Comment

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