Opening in theaters on May 26th is the new comedy from stand-up comedian Bert Kreischer entitled ‘The Machine,’ which is loosely based on his own life and his famous stand-up routine.

What is the plot of ‘The Machine?’

Directed by Peter Atencio (‘Keanu’), ‘The Machine’ is loosely based on comedian Bert Kreischer’s own life and an event that actually happened to him in Russia with the mafia when he was in college in the ‘90s, which has famously been chronicled in his own stand-up routine. In the new movie, Bert Kreischer (played by himself) and his father Albert (Mark Hamill) are kidnapped by those Bert wronged 20 years earlier while drunk on a college semester abroad in Russia.

The Machine

"To be a hero, it takes a lot of gut."
R1 hr 52 minMay 26th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

Who is in the cast of ‘The Machine?’

‘The Machine’ stars stand-up comedian Bert Kreischer as himself, Jimmy Tatro ('Grown Ups 2') as young Bert Kreischer, Mark Hamill ('Star Wars: The Last Jedi') as Albert Kreischer, Sr., Jessica Gabor ('Confessional') as Georgia Kreischer, Iva Babić ('The Last Serb in Croatia') as Irina, Stephanie Kurtzuba ('The Irishman'), Nikola Đuričko ('World War Z'), Oleg Taktarov ('Predators'), and Brian Caspe ('Hellboy').

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Bert Kreischer about his work on ‘The Machine,’ adapting his real life story, how it is really a sequel to his stand-up routine, playing an exaggerated version of himself, and having Mark Hamill play his father.

Bert Kreischer stars in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.'

Bert Kreischer stars in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.'

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch the interview.

Moviefone: To begin with, can you talk about the challenges of taking this real life story that happened to you in the past, that you've already put into your standup routine, and now translating it to a feature film?

Bert Kreischer: I mean, I got to be honest with you, I didn't really have any challenges. The writers did, the writers and the producers. The coolest thing is I worked with legit straight-up gangsters. Everyone's a pro top to bottom; the writers, the producers, our director, the actors, everyone was amazing. I mean, Mark Hamill plays my dad! So I got to be honest with you, I got my hand held through this entire process and I got shepherded through a great movie. So all I had to do really was play myself, which wasn't much of a stretch. You'd be shocked. I tried to lose weight to play myself, and it turns out I'm better fat.

MF: What was it like playing an exaggerated version of yourself on screen?

BK: Well, even in the shortcomings, I don't fight people, I'm not a big fighter. So even in the fight scenes, when I sucked, it was okay because Bert would suck. The biggest stretch for me is I was really embarrassed, because I didn't know I had a kissing scene. I don't read the action in scripts, I just read the dialogue. If I read the action, it's going to take me a day and a half. So my wife comes out to Serbia and she says, "You know, you have a kissing scene tomorrow." I was like, "Wait, what?" She goes, "Yeah, you have to kiss your wife." I'm like, "Hold on, are you being serious?" She was like, "Yeah." I was so uncomfortable. I haven't kissed another woman in 20 years. So that was like that because I'm not good at kissing people. I'm not the best kisser and I don't like it. I didn't like first kisses ever. So now I got to have a first kiss with someone in front of all these people. That made me uncomfortable.

Iva Babic and Bert Kreischer in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.'

(L to R) Iva Babic and Bert Kreischer in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.' Photo by: Aleksandar Letic. Copyright: © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MF: Do you see the movie as a sequel to your stand-up routine in a sense, and how did you come up with the idea of having your character and his father forced to go back to Russia and face Bert’s past?

BK: Yeah, well I feel like it's sort of a re-imagining of that story. And yes, it is in fact, I think that's a great way to put it. It's a sequel of the original story. It happened on accident. I didn't even pitch this movie. I pitched two other movies to this guy over at Legendary. He's like, "Ah, I'll make one.' I was like, "What?" He goes, "I'll make a movie with you. I want to make a movie with you. Which one do you want to make?" I was like, "Well, if you're telling me I get to make a movie, I want to make ‘The Machine.’" He's like, "Yeah, why didn't you pitch that?" I go, "I don't know. Maybe part of me is like, what if it's big and it's a hit, and then I get kidnapped by the Russian Mafia." He just looked at me and he goes, "Sold." I go, "What?" He says, "That's your movie. It's ‘The Godfather Part II’ meets ‘The Hangover.’ I love it." I was like, "Huh?" Then like I said, great writers, wrote an awesome script. They brought in another writer who changed one little thing in it because initially it was me and Tom Segura going over to Russia. Then the new writer came on and he goes, "What about his dad?" Both Peter, the director and I have dads that got sons that they maybe wouldn't have chosen. They would've chosen a little more straight-laced sons. So it really changed the energy of the story and it was just a home run from that point on.

Mark Hamill and Bert Kreischer star in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.'

(L to R) Mark Hamill and Bert Kreischer star in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.' Photo by: Aleksandar Letic. Copyright: © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MF: Finally, what was it like working with Mark Hamill and having Luke Skywalker play your dad?

BK: Darth Vader is my grandfather! It was awesome. Mark's awesome. He's the coolest dude, and he is the most generous dude. He's just generous with his time and he allows people to have the moment they need to have with him. He's not like an jerk. It's almost like you're meeting a regular dude who understands the weight of his responsibility of being your childhood hero. He was awesome and he's a fantastic actor. He'd show up to parties. We'd throw parties with the cast and crew, him and Marilou (his wife) would show up with Chelsea (his daughter). They'd all show up. I remember I was like, "You eat pizza? I got pizza. I didn't know you were coming. I would've gotten something nicer." He goes, "I love pizza." Then he took pizza home with him.

Bert Kreischer, Iva Babic and Sponge Martyn Ford in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.'

(L to R) Bert Kreischer, Iva Babic and Sponge Martyn Ford in Screen Gems’ 'The Machine.' Photo by: Aleksandar Letic. Copyright: © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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‘The Machine’ is produced by Shaken, Not Stirred Productions, Balkanic Media, Legendary Pictures, Uh Hundred Percent, Levity Productions, and Screen Gems. It is set to release in theaters on May 26th, 2023.