Actor Chi McBride’s childhood foreshadowed his career. The Chicago native spent as much time as he could in front of the television and never missed an episode of “The Carol Burnett Show” on CBS. McBride has worked and become friends with some of the most talented people in Hollywood like Eddie Murphy, Will Smith and Tom Hanks. Yet, the 56-year-old is still humble and grounded. Chi sees the bigger picture in life and the impact of his contribution to society, just like his character Captain Lou Grover on “Hawaii 5-0.”
McBride talked with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith ahead of tonight’s new episode of the show about his career, his friendship with Murphy and why it’s important to talk about topics that don’t get a lot of attention like suicide.
DJ Sixsmith: Who was your biggest influence in your early days as an actor?
Chi McBride: I don’t know, I think it was just the medium itself. I grew up basically a TV kid. I watched TV every chance I got. Of course, my parents being from the Caribbean would always say, “turn off that television boy, it will make your mind dull.” But at the same time, I watched everything. One of the happiest moments I’ve had since being in the business was meeting Carol Burnett. I used to watch “The Carol Burnett Show” every Saturday night on CBS. That whole CBS lineup was indelibly burned into my mind. I wouldn’t say I always wanted to be on television or in pictures, but I always felt like I could do it. There’s a shroud of mystery about how you get into show business, so I didn’t think about it in great detail. I felt like if I ever got an opportunity, I could do it and would do it.
DS: You mentioned meeting Carol Burnett. You’ve met and worked with a lot of talented and special people like Tom Hanks, Will Smith and Eddie Murphy. What have you learned about show business from these people?
CM: I’ve learned many lessons along the way. What show business has taught me more than anything is that in life everything is about perspective. We are capable in show business of making people see a perceived reality. It’s the same in life, everything is about perspective. I’ve had some great times with some great people. I’ve had a lot of wonderful conversations with people. In particular, I’ve had some really good conversations with Eddie Murphy. Eddie is a really good dude. I met him when I did a picture with him and I’ve known him for 25 years now. He’s been a really cool guy and…