Malibu local and actor John C. McGinley, known for his roles as Perry Cox in “Scrubs” and Bob Slydell in “Office Space,” has been staying busy with upcoming projects. He recently wrapped up filming “Rounding Third” and “Belko Experiment.” He also finished a stint on Broadway with a role in “Glengarry Glen Ross” alongside Al Pacino, which he described as “glorious” and “bucket list.” This is in addition to filming “Get a Job,” a movie about Millennials entering and adjusting to the working world.
But throughout all of his work, McGinley insists on staying close to his family, which can be somewhat of a challenge when his work has him in places like Bogota and Nashville.
“I usually move them with me,” McGinley explained to The Malibu Times. “I didn’t to Bogota because I didn’t know how dangerous it was and it turned out it was fine.” When he was on Broadway for a few months, McGinley moved his family from Malibu to New York so they could be by him.
“Nichole and I have a three-week limit on when you’re allowed to be away from the other person,” McGinley said about his wife. “That’s what works for us.” Even when working in Bogota, McGinley returned home to visit every two or three weeks.
Although his work takes him around the world, McGinley, who has lived in Malibu for 23 years, doesn’t sound like he will be leaving anytime soon. When asked what his favorite part of living here is, he responded with “Aside from everything?” He went on and explained, “I mean I’m a surfer junkie and I like — a lot of people can’t handle this — but I like how isolated you can get out here, but still have everything you need.”
McGinley described his time in Malibu as filled with “gymnastics and pottery and dance, soccer and doing what I do in between gigs,” but another thing that McGinley dedicates a portion of his time toward is the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GDSF), a nonprofit organization based in Denver, Colo. McGinley’s son, Max, 18, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and so McGinley has spent many years involved with Down syndrome-based foundations.
He described one foundation that he worked with before the GDSF as “not an aggressive enough of a place for me.” That was when he met with Michelle Sie Whitten, the founder and director of GDSF, for lunch in Santa Monica, and the rest is history.
“She got her talons in me — deep,” McGinley described. Whitten talked with him about the work the GDSF was doing, including the fact that they had two or three lobbyists working in Washington, D.C. to provide funds, research and opportunity for human dignity for people with special needs.
“And that’s what I wanted to hear,” McGinley shared. “I wanted to hear people stop apologizing for our population.”
McGinley insisted he take a role on the board.
“You’re just a parrot otherwise — you feel like a parrot — and that’s fine but not for me, not the way I feel about the special needs community,” McGinley said.
He described his experience working with the GDSF for the past five years as “pretty stunning.”
On Saturday, Oct. 24, McGinley will be in Denver at the “Be Beautiful Be Yourself” annual fundraising fashion show for the GDSF, benefiting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. The event’s date is purposely selected to take place in October, which has been designated Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
“We invite celebrities to walk the runways with our models — all of whom were born with Down syndrome, mostly young adults and some children,” McGinley described. “It’s a night of empowerment and fundraising.”
Celebrities who will walk down the runway with models at this year’s event include Beau Bridges, Minka Kelly, Terrence Howard, Carlos Gonzalez, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson and McGinley himself.
After the show, it’s back to work.
“I just got offered to do a film in Indiana in January and I’m not sure I’m going to do it yet, but it would be very great if I do,” McGinley shared of an upcoming potential project.
And as for his son Max?
“He’s just killing it, off the chart,” McGinley said. He shared that Max’s primary go-to interests are “Star Wars” and the Mario brothers, but, the love of family runs deep in the McGinley household.
“I guess more than anything else he likes to play with his sisters Kate and Billie Grace.”
For more information about the GDSF, visit globaldownsyndrome.org.