John C. McGinley may call Los Angeles home, but spending time in Miami for his guest stint in USA Network’s Burn Notice wasn’t a hardship.
The former Scrubs star, 52, lived here for a few months while filming Oliver Stone’s 1999’s football movie Any Given Sunday.
“I lived right above the News Cafe in South Beach back then, and now I’m in Coconut Grove. It’s fantastic,’’ he says over a plate of wings on the terrace of Mike’s at the Venetia Condo. “Look at the moon. I mean, c’mon!”
McGinley explains his newly introduced character Tom Card, whom Michael teams up with to help bust his girlfriend Fiona ( Gabrielle Anwar) out of prison before she gets a shank.
“Tom was an CIA operative, and now he’s more of an administrative guy,’’ McGinley explains. “Earlier he trained Michael how to be a spy and in fact went over to Ireland when Michael got burned to come and extract him.”
His character is so far looking to be a good ally.
“They have a really pretty rock solid past which will be tested now,’’ adds McGinley, who was born in New York and raised in New Jersey.
How did McGinley get involved with Burn Notice? The story goes the show’s casting agent was looking for a “John McGinley type.” When the veteran character actor heard this, he made sure to get on the horn. “You’re looking for me? I’m right here!”
Fortunate thing. McGinley, also seen in the cubicle classic Office Space and Stone’s Platoon and Wall Street, had no problem stepping onto the Burn Notice set as a guest star in its sixth season.
“Joining a show that’s been on six years is much easier than joining a new show,’’ he says. “It’s a well oiled machine right now. The writing is getting tighter and tighter. They’ve really found their groove and to come into that is as good as it gets. You don’t have to pull a rabbit out of a hat.”
Next up, McGinley will travel to Georgia to join Harrison Ford in 42, a big-screen biopic on baseball legend Jackie Robinson (the title comes from his jersey number). John will play colorful radio announcer Walter “Red” Barber, who gave play by play coverage of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ games. Ford is the executive who signs Jackie.
McGinley, a diehard New York Yankees fan, can’t wait to start. “I’m a baseball freak,’’ he admits.
Then it’s back to his wife Nichole and two girls, 2 and 4. He also has a 14-year-old son from a previous relationship. Max was born with Down Syndrome, and McGinley is a major supporter of the special needs community. One of his big goals right now is making sure the word “retard” is retired from the English language.
“I’m a homebody. If I’m not working I’m with my family being a dad.”
Being a father in your 50s to two adorable tykes can be exhausting. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that he and his wife don’t get Me Time at night.
“I make sure to run them hard. I’ve got them on the trampoline, I’ve got them on bikes, we’re down at the beach, on the swings,’’ he says of the little girls’ active schedule. “’Coz after dinner, you’re going down!”