In "The Mighty Macs," Carla Gugino stars as Cathy Rush, a tough-talking basketball coach who rouses a bunch of misfit Catholic school girls to victory. David Boreanaz plays her husband Ed, an FBI ref and wearer of awesome '70s outfits who is occasionally frustrated -- but ultimately supportive -- of his wife's dedication to her job, in a time back before it was cool for ladies to work after they got married.
In real life, they're a friendly pair of folks eager to talk about the issues "The Mighty Macs" raises, and, of course, joke around about us still-rabid "Buffy" fans.
I keep reading this film being described as "'Hoosiers' meets 'Sister Act.'" What are your favorite sports movies?
David Boreanaz: Being from Philadelphia, I always gravitated towards "Rocky." For me, it was pretty big. And then I have to say "The Fighter"... I'm a really big fan of that film, just on all levels.
Carla Gugino: It's an extraordinary film.
DB: It's so good, just to be able to be someone watching it and actually rooting for these specific characters and feeling such empathy for them as well, to me, is such a mark of a great sports film. Really, it is. ... "Slap Shot," Paul Newman. Another good one. I mean, classic.
CG: "Bull Durham." Another great movie.
DB: "Color of Money." Put in all the old-school stuff, too.
CG: When a sports movie really works, it gets you on all levels, because the stakes are high. It's black and white. It's win or lose. It brings up every kind of human emotion that we all have, and ultimately, it's almost in those contexts, like you were just saying with "The Fighter" -- that it's not that the sport isn't incredibly important, but they're almost interchangeable because the journey is what you care about more than the technicalities of it. And yet, in this particular case, obviously we're dealing with something where women's basketball was absolutely changed from that moment on, so it's very specific to this sport. But they all do have a sense of a certain triumph of spirit.
I thought it was really interesting that a movie with such a powerful feminist message was written and directed and produced almost entirely by men. Do you guys know the story behind that? Was it a personal connection?
CG: He [director Tim Chambers] is from Philly, and I know that he knew the story very well and was really passionate about telling it. He also has young girls, and this to him was very important -- that young women, and I think also to Tim's wife, that girls have something that they can look at and go, "Oh, look what I can accomplish," because there are more of those opportunities in film for men, those kind of movies.
DB: I know that he's from the Philadelphia area, and he had such passion for the film and the story. Writing for female characters from a male's perspective, you know, not to go off-gear here, but Joss Whedon was great at it. I mean, he empowers the female character.
I checked out the website for "The Mighty Macs," and it's partnered with a lot of faith-based organizations. One of the marketing groups, The Maximus Group, did a lot of grassroots marketing for "The Passion of the Christ." Is that something you guys knew going in, or was of any interest or concern?
DB: From my perspective, it was always about the story, about the script. Reading it for face value, first and foremost, whatever comes across, and [to] understand what the line of the story is, where the characters are -- that's what's important and that's what I took on, as far as being involved in something I thought was very special and was a great story, and that's where I left it at.
CG: Yeah, I guess I'm not a particularly religious person, but I do really believe strongly that we all need to believe in something, and that's very personal to each one of us ... I don’t think we were part of that process with it, because it was really just about telling the story, which obviously takes place at a Catholic girls' school, so there is innately a certain aspect of that. But I also think it's something they're probably standing behind, because it is just a really great story that people of all ages can see and actually really enjoy and come out with probably a stronger sense of faith in whatever -- in ourselves, even. So yeah, I don't know a lot about that aspect of that either, other than I could understand why it's certainly a great movie for anybody to be able to see.
Let's switch gears a little bit. Carla, you are in "New Year's Eve," and David, you were in "Valentine." What if you guys did a mash-up? A holiday mash-up? What holiday would you guys choose, and who would play the serial killer?
CG: That is very, very funny.
The next Garry Marshall ensemble movie. Which holiday?
DB: Which holiday? Well, that's such a Hallmark holiday, isn't it? Valentine's, it's so Hallmark… It's like, St. Patrick's Day.
CG: Do we go for Thanksgiving?
DB: Groundhog's Day! That's not a holiday, is it?
It's a holiday!
DB: Is that considered a holiday?
We don't get time off, but ...
DB: Columbus Day?
Columbus Day! Definitely a bloody holiday, fits with the serial killer aspect.
DB: There you go!
Speaking of Joss Whedon, the "Buffy" rumors will not die.
DB: Trust me, I don't have any answers for you.
What's your take on that, and given the choice, who would you want to play Angel?
DB: Oh, whoever's [the] best fit for the role. You know what, I really don't have much to say about it, to be really honest with you, no. I was very fortunate to be part of something in 1997 that became something [with] a very cult following, and these two characters that were just kind of like these Romeo and Juliet characters, and I enjoyed it and I loved it. I don't look to see who should play what or [who] should do anything. It's all energy for me, so good luck. [laughs] That's it.
You guys probably haven't seen this, but there's this really funny website called Angel Does Stuff [taking out iPad to show them].
CG: Oh, my gosh ...
Someone has a cutout of you and she poses it doing different things around her apartment.
DB: Oh, wow. Look at that. That's amazing.
CG: You're life-size and everything!
You're life-size. You do a lot of stuff.
DB: I just can't change my coat.
Is this supremely weird? Or awesome? Here you are; here's a life-size Spike ...
DB: God, I don't look too happy in that poster shot. It's very dark.
Is that really weird?
DB: No, I think this is the perfect example of today's media and how things get out of ... It doesn't do much to me as long as she's responsible, fine. It doesn't bother me. [laughs]
You visited the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.
DB: That's exciting.
CG: And while you're working so hard, it's nice that at least your alter ego is taking trips and things.