“Bad Boys: Ride or Die ”star Dennis McDonald reveals Reggie's big final scene wasn't in the script

"I flew back home, and then they called me like three or four days later to come back to Miami to shoot another scene," the actor says.

Warning: this article contains spoilers about Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

It's okay if you call Dennis McDonald "Reggie." Ever since his iconic breakout role in Bad Boys II as the reserved teenager who gets bullied by Mike (Will Smith) and Marcus (Martin Lawrence) for wanting to take Marcus' daughter on a date, the actor has fully accepted that his name is no longer Dennis.

"My name is Reggie," McDonald tells Entertainment Weekly. "Since 2003, my name has been Reggie to everybody — family, friends, people that know me forever, fans that come up to me, 'Hey, Reggie!' All right, my name is Reggie, then. I wonder, when I do another movie, I think they're always going to call me Reggie."

<p>Sony Pictures</p> Dennis McDonald in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Sony Pictures

Dennis McDonald in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Related: What to remember from Bad Boys for Life before you see Bad Boys: Ride or Die

But while Reggie was the butt of the joke in that fan-favorite Bad Boys II scene, he finally gets his redemption in Bad Boys: Ride or Die (out now). The fourth installment in Smith and Lawrence's long-running film franchise brings back Marcus' now son-in-law to save the day when the bad boys are on the run, trying to clear their names and the late Capt. Howard's (Joe Pantoliano) reputation after being framed in a conspiracy linking them to cartel crimes.

While Mike and Marcus can only watch helplessly via video feeds, Reggie, a Marine staff sergeant, saves Marcus' wife, daughter, and grandson from an army of men infiltrating their home. In a true hero moment, he makes quick work of killing every single attacker in the film's best action sequence and gets the family to safety, shocking Mike and Marcus with how capably and efficiently he handled the crisis.

"This is a blessing," the actor says. "When I got the script and I found out what I was doing, I already knew that this might be something real, real big. He's finally in the family, [Marcus and Mike] finally accepted him, he's finally getting his due, so I'm just happy about that."

But when McDonald realized just how much of the movie was resting on Reggie's — and his — shoulders, he immediately got to work.

"I had to get on real military mode," he says. "I went online and looked up a lot of the things that had to do with military training and stuff like that. So before I even went to military training, I was one step ahead of the curve."

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McDonald had three months of training to prepare for Reggie's big moment, but, he says, shooting it over three days was still "crazy."

"There were times where they would have the special effects, and the blood had got in my eye, and I'm still working through the scene," he reveals. "I'm elbowing the guy and taking his clip out of his gun; that whole scene, I can't even see. I'm just doing that off of just me remembering the [moves]. That was intense."

It felt so real in the moment that McDonald forgot he was on a movie set and not in an actual house with working plumbing: "As we are doing it and I get tired, I go in the kitchen and try to turn the faucet on to get some water. And I'm like, 'Oh s---, it's fake. I forgot.' That's how real it looks."

<p>Frank Masi/Sony</p> Martin Lawrence (L) and Will Smith in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Frank Masi/Sony

Martin Lawrence (L) and Will Smith in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Related: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence promise Bad Boys: Ride or Die is 'what a summer movie is supposed to be'

Reggie's heroics save the whole family, and Mike and Marcus show their respect and gratitude for him in the movie's final scene. As the duo argue over who gets the honor of manning the grill at the family barbecue, Reggie steps up with a platter of chicken, hoping to take over the grill himself. At first, Mike and Marcus laugh over Reggie's assumption that he'll get to even touch the grill — until they remember how he methodically killed 15 highly trained soldiers to save their loved ones. That's when they begrudgingly step aside and let Reggie become the man of the grill (and family). The movie ends with a close-up of Reggie smiling, knowing he's finally gotten the last laugh. Justice for Reggie!

"That wasn't in the script at all," McDonald reveals about the grill sequence. "That was kind of crazy — I was in Miami filming, and then I flew back home, and then they called me like three or four days later to come back to Miami to shoot another scene."

He had no idea that he was being brought back to film such a big moment either.

"They just told me they wanted me back, so I'm thinking I had to do something over [again]," McDonald says. "But I had lines and everything, and it was the whole end of the movie. They're like, 'Yeah, you end the whole movie. It ends with your face.' And I'm like, 'Are you serious?' I was just overwhelmed."

Just like Reggie, McDonald is "not a big smiler," so he really had to go outside his comfort zone to film that moment, but he's proud to see how it all turned out. "When I saw it all play out together, I was like, 'Yeah, I did that!'" he says.

<p>Frank Masi/Sony</p> Will Smith (L) and Martin Lawrence in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Frank Masi/Sony

Will Smith (L) and Martin Lawrence in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Related: Bad Boys turns 25: Looking back on the film that proved Will Smith was a movie star

McDonald was shocked to see how they were "building up Reggie's character to be the leading man," but he was more than happy to roll with it. "I'm just working hard, continuing to work on my craft to be ready for that," he says. "You never know, you might see Bad Boys 5 and see Reggie a lot more."

He also has some ideas for how the franchise could continue with a new generation taking over for Smith and Lawrence. "I can see Martin and Will actually retiring and just playing the back end while they give Reggie the things to do," McDonald says. "Me and [Mike's son] Armando [played by Jacob Scipio], I could see both of us getting together and handling things. That can give you eight more Bad Boys movies, we keep the torch going and Will and Martin will always be there, telling us, 'These are the people you have to get,' and we get insight from them."

<p>Columbia Pictures /Courtesy Everett</p> Martin Lawrence (L) and Will Smith in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Columbia Pictures /Courtesy Everett

Martin Lawrence (L) and Will Smith in 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

Related: Martin Lawrence addresses health concerns after Bad Boys 4 premiere: 'Stop the rumors'

Smith previously told EW that Reggie has "two of the best scenes in the movie," and hearing that is something that McDonald will never take for granted. "That's just a blessing, a great guy like that, that's in the business, at the top of his craft, to say something like that about me," he says.

It's also not something McDonald ever imagined was possible. He was a massive fan of the first Bad Boys movie when it came out in 1995, so when casting began for the sequel, he "took a shot" to play Reggie. He was working for the Boys & Girls Club of America, and Hall of Fame basketball player John Isaacs presented him with the opportunity to audition for the role.

"He's one of the first Black Harlem Renaissance basketball players, and he had a flyer that said, 'If you want to be in Bad Boys II, call that number,'" McDonald remembers. "So I called it, and I actually got the part like that."

But he had no idea that he would go on to become a fan favorite and return for two more movies.

"I didn't think it was going to be that big," he says. "I was just thinking it's going to be a two-minute thing that people would forget about. It is just overwhelming, but you never know what you can do with just a little push."

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.