McGill speaks to students

Bruce McGill chats with students at a recent visit to the university’s Cheever Downstage II Theatre.

Actor Bruce McGill is a San Antonio native who has performed in movies such as “Animal House,” “The Legend of Bagger Vance” and most recently “Law Abiding Citizen.” He appeared in his first paid acting gig at Incarnate Word in the 1960s, in the production “The Lady’s Not for Burning” by Christopher Fry. This February, he returned to visit with UIW’s Verbum Society and attend a production of the same play.

The following day, McGill spent an hour talking with students from UIW’s theatre arts program, advising them to take every opportunity to perform in front of an audience, to be willing to work for free and to gain a well-rounded education so their characters will always feel authentic.

The students sat captivated by the stories of his experiences in the industry, his theories on his craft and the differences between stage and screen. He answered their questions about starting off in the industry and what to expect. He left all in the audience of 50 with hope that anything is possible with a passion and the willingness to work hard.

McGill Family

McGill and his mother, Adriel “Squeaky” McGill, visited UIW in February to attend a theatre performance by UIW students.

“I was inspired by what he said about what an actor needs is ‘the soul of a baby and the skin of a rhino’ ” to handle the pressure of the acting industry, said Andrew Barcus, a theatre arts major in attendance who graduated in May.

McGill can be seen in a new TV series on TNT this summer called “Rizzoli and Isles.” The show is based on Tess Gerritsen’s popular mystery novels featuring Jane Rizzoli. McGill plays Detective Vince Korsak, Rizzoli’s seasoned ex-partner.

McGill is not the only member of his family who is a friend to the university. His mother, Adriel “Squeaky” McGill, is a local artist who donated several of her paintings to the Swing-In Auction Party in April.