In Chris and Ben's latest movie, celebrated comedian Bernie Mac plays the role of Zuba, king of the lions. On July 24, 2008, Bernie passed away from complications from pneumonia. He died before the film was finished but not before making an impact on his co-stars.
Although they only met in passing, Ben says he felt a connection with Bernie because he played the father to Ben's character. "Because of the way we do the voices, you're alone, but I would hear these scenes, and I was just so impressed ... he brings so much to the movie," Ben says. "There's a real father-son relationship there, so you have that connection. I felt that connection with him, not knowing him at all and was looking forward to getting to hang out with him doing the press for the movie."
Chris says he and Bernie were friends for more than 20 years. "Whenever I would play Chicago, in these little clubs, Bernie would come," he says.
Wherever they were, Chris says Bernie lit up the room. "It's like if you're in a room with Bernie Mac, he's funniest guy," Chris says. "Let's not waste our time trying to get a laugh."