William H. Macy based priest character on cool clergyman who married him

The actor admits he was reluctant to meet with his wife-to-be’s Catholic mentor before they wed in 1997, but he actually had a very pleasant experience – and the priest helped him create his latest film character.

Macy states, “When I got married, my wife wanted to do a Pre-Cana which is the Catholic thing where you go talk to the priest and he tells you about marriage and he guides you. I put my foot down and wouldn’t do it. But I acquiesced and agreed to do it one time and this guy was so cool we went seven times.

“I daresay he changed the course of our marriage because I wanted to know, ‘What’s the ceremony gonna be like and what are you gonna say as a priest?’ I didn’t want him to say anything that was not true like we were born in sin or needed forgiveness.

“You could only say things that were true. When he asked, ‘What kind of marriage do you want?’ I was sort of put back on my heels and we were there seven sessions later. One time we went and we didn’t even talk about marriage. We talked about him killing a bear in Alaska. He was a cool guy.”