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Mark Hamill's Acting In The Machine Made Bert Kreischer Cry - Exclusive

For Bert Kreischer, the stand-up comic whose viral story of his exploits with the Russian mob on a college trip inspired the new movie "The Machine," getting the legendary Mark Hamill to play his dad in the movie was already something of a dream.

"He is so generous, and he never gets tired of it," Bert Kreischer enthuses in Looper's exclusive interview about the man known to generations as Luke Skywalker. "He knows that he's got a responsibility to uphold the hero you looked at as a kid. He's a great ambassador of dreams, in my opinion."

Kreischer plays a version of himself in the movie, a successful but immature comedian dealing with the onset of middle age and dysfunctional relationships with his daughters, his wives, and his father, Albert Sr. All that takes an unexpected turn when Bert and his dad are kidnapped from his daughter's sweet 16 party by the Russian Mafia and flown to Moscow — where Bert must help the gangsters recover an object he helped them steal on a train during that infamous college trip (that latter part is apparently real).

The plot grows more labyrinthine from there, with the movie ricocheting between flashbacks to the trip and the present-day situation. This is where all of Bert's personal crises come to a head, including his longstanding issues with his dad — and that's where Mark Hamill impressed Bert Kreischer with more than just being Luke Skywalker.

How Mark Hamill made Bert Kreischer a better actor

With five comedy specials, numerous TV appearances, and a string of triumphant tours to his name, Bert Kreischer is one of the more successful stand-ups in recent memory. Yet "The Machine" marks not only Kreischer's first leading role in a movie but his motion picture debut, period. Although the film is based loosely on Kreischer's real life, and he's playing himself (more or less), he still had to be able to act to some degree.

That's where his screen dad, Mark Hamill, came into the picture. "This is going to sound crazy, but he's such a talented actor that he could get me to act better," Kreischer explains about his more experienced costar. "In scenes, he'd give me these moments of these fatherly speeches. [In] one scene, I cried, and I wasn't even on camera; I was just reading lines with him."

That's right: Kreischer was apparently so affected by just watching Hamill's performance that it pushed him into new emotional territory — and director Peter Atencio was not about to let the moment slip by.

"It was [Hamill's] solo shot, and I started crying, and the director's like, 'Holy s***, flip it around. Let's get Bert crying,'" Kreischer continues. "I was like, 'I don't know how that happened.' They're like, 'What?' I was like, 'Mark did something with his eyes that made me cry, so I can't do that. You got to get Mark to do the things with his eyes.' Mark's like, 'You mean, act?' And I went, 'Yeah, can you act? Because then that makes me act. I can't act without you acting.'"

There's a "use the Force" joke in there somewhere, but we'll let it slide for now.

"The Machine" is out now in theaters everywhere.