Mike McLaren on Guarding Pistol Pete and Measuring Up to Tom Cruise

Last year we interviewed Memphis litigator Mike McLaren of Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee for a Q&A in Mid-South Super Lawyers magazine. In this excerpt, McLaren discusses how he got his first movie role.

When they were filming The Firm in Memphis, they put a sign up on the door of the YMCA and it said that if you're over 40 and can play basketball and can act, come down to the Y tomorrow. I played basketball in college--in fact, I held "Pistol Pete" Maravich to 34 points one game and we beat LSU [Editor's note: Maravich averaged nearly 45 points-per-game in college]--and I knew I looked 40, always have; I knew I could play basketball, but I didn't know if I could act at all. Tom Cruise was doing the auditions and I was the shortest guy trying out. And he's got some height challenges so he picked me and said, "Can you get two other guys your size?" I called a couple friends of mine and we ended up shooting the first scene of The Firm. I'm actually the very first person you see in The Firm. In fact, I'm still getting royalties. I think I got $6 last month.

Read the full Q&A here.