Jackson: It's weird Mac didn't see 'Soul Men'

LOS ANGELES (AP) - November 5, 2008 In the movie, which opens Friday, Jackson and Mac play former bandmates who embark on a zany cross-country road trip to perform at the memorial concert for their deceased lead singer. Mac died of complications from pneumonia in August after production on the film ended.

"It's even weirder that he never saw the movie," Jackson said.

The "Lakeview Terrace" and "Snakes on a Plane" star called Mac a friend and said the "Ocean's 11" co-star would attend and perform comedy at Jackson's golf tournament in Bermuda. Outside of filming "Soul Men," Jackson said he didn't get to spend much time with Mac, who starred "The Bernie Mac Show," the Fox comedy series that aired from 2001 to 2006.

"We used to talk about blowing up and being famous and doing all this stuff and all of that," said Jackson. "Then, when he got famous, he was here in L.A., and I never saw him because he was too busy doing his TV show every day. I didn't go by and bother him, but I would run into him at functions, and we got to get together."

The end of "Soul Men" features a dedication to Mac and Isaac Hayes - "two real soul men." The singer, who died in August after suffering a stroke, appears in the film as himself. Among the footage is Mac cracking up extras with an impromptu standup routine and an interview with Mac discussing his career in which the comedian says he cherishes "each doggone moment" of his life.

"I haven't quite processed that Bernie is gone," said "Soul Men" director Malcolm D. Lee. "I see the movie. I know in my head that he is gone, but it will probably hit me most at the premiere when everyone is around. Right now, I have just been concentrating on making the best film possible on top of that paying homage to him and Isaac (Hayes) at the end of the movie. When it's all finished and said and done, and I get it out to the public, I think that's when I will realize he is gone."

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