- "Goon on, Mac."
- ―Jack Nicholson[src]
For reasons unknown, McDonald was not interviewed for the 2005 Shadows of the Bat documentary.
I did Batman for the money. I didn't actually start off doing it for the money, but as time went by I realised that was the only reason I was doing it. In Tim Burton's first Batman movie I played one of the Joker's goons.
We were told by Burton that we would be working with Jack Nicholson, who would really be into improvising. Burton told me: "You're a great improviser, Mac and you're just going to be great with Jack - he's gonna love you. You guy's are going to make these great scenes up. I know there's not a lot of words on the page, but you'll make up a whole lot more". And in the end what actually happened was: "Alright Mac, run over to your mark over there and fire your machine gun." It was so boring. It was all night shoots and it was just such a depressing experience - although the money was fabulous. I'd get picked up at my house at four in the afternoon, drive down to Pinewood for a nights shoot and get home by about 3.30 in the afternoon.
Some nights we wouldn't even be needed on set, so we just sat around playing scrabble till the small hours. Jack Nicholson was only on the set for about 11 days. Most of the shots you see of him are distant shots, or filmed over his shoulder and you can bet your arse that's one of his many doubles. We were supposed to be introduced to him on the first day and they brought us up to the sound stage all dressed in our goon costumes. There were about 25 of us and only three of us had lines. Jack came out and walked down the lines, surveyed the troups and said: "Yes, very nice". And that was it! Then we went and shot a scene and I'm thinking 'that was crazy!" They could have at least introduced us to him personally and told him that we were actors and not stuntmen or general background goons, but they didn't.
While they were setting up the next scene I found myself sitting about ten feet away from Jack and I thought I'd go and introduce myself to him. So I got up, I went over to him and I said "Hi Jack, I'm Mac I'm gonna be gooning for you for the next seven weeks." He looked up just marginally, raised his eyebrows and said "Goon on, Mac." So I stood there like a lemon for about 30 seconds and then I walked away. He never spoke to me again, although he talked to everybody else. People said to me later that you really shouldn't introduce yourself to the stars in LA. So, excuse me for living, you know. Anyway, that was my experience with Jack.
"I'll tell you a good one. On BATMAN, I played one of the Joker's goons. And Tim Burton said, "This is going to be so far out, Mac. You're going to have such a brilliant time - because Jack loves to improvise and he's gonna love you."
So on the first day of filming they said, "Come on up, we'll introduce you to Jack." So I went up with these two other speaking goons. On the soundstage were something like 40 goons - stunt goons, background goons, stand in goons, goon goons - so we were just part of this general morass of goons. And Jack came out and surveyed the goons, like a general surveying his troops - and that was it.
So I thought, "Well, there must be some way to turn this to my advantage." And in-between set-ups for one scene and another, I saw that he was sitting about 10 feet away from me - on his own. So I went over to him, he was all dressed-up in his Joker gear, and I said, "Hi Jack, I'm Mac and I'm gonna be gooning for you for the next six weeks." And he kind of, very minimally, raised his eyes, just kind of clocked my face, and then looked down again and went, "Goon on, Mac." And he never spoke to me again.