Heroes appear in a variety of forms. They can be cowboys who ride horses in the West, ready to draw their guns in a battle with bad guys. Or, they can be a group of four wrongfully convicted men who escaped from prison and help citizens regain their lives from bad guys while attempting to clear their names.
In MacGyver's case, this hero is an intelligent man who avoids violence and uses science to capture individuals instead. It's what actor Richard Dean Anderson loved the most about his mid-1980s role.
"I'm happy with MacGyver; he is a relatively nonviolent character that uses his brain and not his brawn to solve problems," the actor said during an interview with the Carroll County Times in 1987. "Anytime MacGyver makes a bomb, it's a diversionary tactic. If he does blow up some bad guys, you'll see them getting up, dusting themselves off. Nobody dies at the hand of MacGyver."
Anderson also revealed that the process of snagging the role was pretty comfortable. That's something all actors hope for when auditioning for parts.
"I met the producers, Henry Winkler (The Fonz) and John Rich. Henry is an actor first, so he put his arm around me and calmed me down. He has an enormous heart and makes you feel comfortable. He handed me a script, and I couldn't read it because I have terrible eyes. I put on my glasses and that's when he decided I was right for the part. He said I was unpretentious and down to earth, and that's what they wanted," he added.
Because of that, and fans' love for Anderson and the series, people associated him with the character wherever he appeared.
"Most of the guys who recognize me in New York are the cabbies and construction workers. They'll yell out, 'Yo, MacGyver, make me a bomb."
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