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Dylan McDermott

Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Birthplace: Waterbury, CT.
Occupation: Actor
Quote: "I've tried like hell to make bad movies good, and I can't. Maybe Marlon Brando has been able to do that at times. But even HE has a hard time making The Appaloosa a good movie." --Dylan McDermott in US, April 1997

Claim to Fame: TV series debut, The Practice (ABC)

Significant Other(s):
Julia Roberts, actress; met during filming of Steel Magnolias; briefly engaged 1990
Wife: Shiva Afshar, actress; married 1995

Grandmother: Helped raise McDermott and his sister
Father: Bar owner, bartender; owned New York's West Fourth Street Saloon; was 17 when McDermott was born
Mother: Died 1968; was 15 when she had McDermott
Stepmother: Eve Ensler, playwright; legally adopted McDermott 1983
Sister: Robin McDermott
Daughter: Colette McDermott; born May 1996; mother, Shiva McDermott

Fordham University in New York, NY; majored in drama
Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, NY; studied acting with Sanford Meisner

Dylan McDermott Career in Film, Television, Theater, Voiceovers

Check out his acting bio including these films:
Three to Tango [1999] -- Romantic Comedy. Plays powerful businessman who asks a guy he thinks is gay to look after his lover. Sexy. 4 drools.
Til There Was You [1997] --I liked it, fun romantic comedy. Man, is he hot! 5 drools.
Destiny Turns on the Radio [1995] w/ Quentin Tarentino -- quirky, surrealistic, fun flick. 4 drools.
Home for the Holidays [1995] --I liked it. Friend observes Thanksgiving dysfunctionality. 4 drools.
The Cowboy Way [1994] --Stark, evil sweatshop overseer, naked chest, gorgeous eyes. 3 drools.
Miracle on 34th Street [1994 remake] -- cute holiday film, plays the lawyer Bryan 3 drools.
In the Line of Fire [1993]--with Clint Eastwood, Dylan's character dies :-( 2 drools.
Where Sleeping Dogs Lie [1993] -- excellent spooky thriller w/Sharon Stone. 4 drools.
Jersey Girl [1992] -- Cute romantic comedy. Dialogue is spotty but he looks mahvelous. 4 drools.
Hardware [1990] --scifi material, a bit weird (you could say that) he dies! surreal stuff
Steel Magnolias [1989] --all star cast, plays heroines husband, but sappy ending. 3 drools.
Twister [1989] --not the Tornado film, comedy of eccentric midwesterners
Blue Iguana [1988] -- plays Vince, everyone perishes in this film except him. sigh.
Hamburger Hill [1987] -- Vietnam flick, Dylan as a young Lieutenant. Great acting. Dylan had to physically train at a military base for this film and while filming in the Philippines he lost a lot of weight and endured great physical hardships. 4 drools.

And these Television movies:
The Practice [1997-99] --tv series, lead role as defense lawyer Bobby Donnell. 5 drools.
Love Crash [1992] -- comedy, plays Sal
The Fear Inside [1992] -- movie now available on video, Dylan as criminal w/ psycho girlfriend
Into the Badlands [1991] -- tv movie
The Neon Empire [1989] -- Showtime gangster/Vegas flick, supporting role
Tales from the Crypt [1989] -- series/episode

Career on the Stage/Theater:
Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man [1995] -- written by Eve Ensler
Short Eyes [1994] -- Dylan directed this one
Scooncat [1987]
Biloxi Blues [1985] -- Was listed in Playbill as Mark McDermott (his birth name before he changed it for SAG membership to Dylan)
Believe It, See It, Survival [1977] -- Eve Ensler, his stepmom, wrote this one.


Advertising Voiceovers:
1997 Toyota Camry Ad on Television
1998 Toyota Corolla Ad on Television
1999 Lincoln LS Ad on Television

Friday, October 22, 1999

Not-so-great pretenders

Small-screen stars step up to the big leagues with the romantic comedy Three To Tango

Winnipeg Sun

HOLLYWOOD -- Once upon a time, TV stars were TV stars. Movie stars were movie stars. And TV stars who wanted to be movie stars were given five words of advice: Don't quit your day job.

 But not any more. These days, with every Saturday Night Live sketch being turned into a movie and film stars such as Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe and Kathleen Quinlan in fall TV series, the line between the small screen and the big screen has become pretty blurry.

 "Actually, I don't think that line is blurred, I think that line is gone," contends Friends star Matthew Perry. "I don't think that line exists anymore. We have the Michael J. Foxes and the Bruce Willises of the world to thank for that."

 By "we," Perry could easily be referring to the cast of his new romantic slapstick Three To Tango. The comedy of errors, in which Perry plays a Chicago architect who ends up being mistaken for gay, also features two other stars familiar to couch potatoes: Party Of Five's Neve Campbell and The Practice's Dylan McDermott.

 Not only were their TV careers no barrier to making the film -- in some ways they were a benefit.

 "The nice thing about Three To Tango is that everybody was just really experienced," says Perry, who was born in the U.S. but grew up in Ottawa. "Dylan has been working for years; Neve has been on her show for five years; I've been on Friends now for six. So we definitely know what we're doing."

 McDermott certainly does; he has been on both sides of the situation. He actually started off in films, appearing in more than a dozen movies including Hamburger Hill, Home For The Holidays and the recent remake of Miracle On 34th St. When he signed on to The Practice, people thought it was a step down.

 "It was an issue when I first came on to the show," he says. "I was really nervous about it. People would say, 'Wow, you don't go from movies to television. Is there trouble in careerland?' "

 But it ended up being the best thing he could have done for his career, he says -- and the popularity of the award-winning lawyer drama is only part of the reason.

 "There's a good reason why it's called The Practice. I needed the practice," he quips. "It's no pun that it's been tremendous practice for me to be in front of the camera every day and to learn what that's like."

 Each of the three actors brought something different to the table in terms of experience, Perry says.

 "My upbringing is totally in comedy," he says. "If you ask me to trip and fall and knock over that lamp, I'll do it in a heartbeat. But if you ask me to cry over the death of my mother, I'm going to need to go outside and think about that and listen to sad music and all that stuff.

 "But if you ask Neve to do that, it's, 'Oh, OK,' and there's tears already. I hate that!" he laughs. "Scenes that I would have a sleepless night over, she didn't give a moment's thought. But some of the scenes where she had to be funny, that's when she got nervous."

 Even though comedy may be tougher, drama ends up being more rewarding, Perry discovered.

 "The compliments you get are better. If you kick ass in a dramatic scene, people just rush toward you and tell you how great you are."

 Despite the rigours of comedy and the grind of film work -- Perry jokes he worked such long hours, "I would come home and start to unbutton my shirt and by the time I got to the bottom of it, the car would be coming to pick me up to take me back to the set" -- it still doesn't compare to the grind of network TV.

 "Making a television show in a week is hard work," says McDermott. "I think it's the hardest job in show business. Because you constantly have to learn 52 pages a week and you have to be there nine months out of the year and keep the bar where it is. It's a very difficult job."

 But so far, it's a job neither man is eager to leave.

 "I think, creatively, we're right at the top of our game," says Perry of Friends. "We had a lot of fun this year with the apartment swapping and the lovely Elle MacPherson has joined the cast for a few episodes, so that's fun. We're having a really good time. I know that I want to keep going. It's just a really nice place to be."

 And while McDermott -- who landed in hot water recently for comments he made about small-town Alberta -- is leaning more toward a return to films, he isn't about to pull a David Caruso and jump ship.

 "Anytime in show business something works, you want to stick with it. I'm a firm believer in that," he says. I'll just keeping making movies until one of them works and stay on the show. I think that's the smart thing to do. If something doesn't work, the show is always there."

 In other words, don't quit your day job -- because you don't have to.

On the pluse side

Dylan McDermott may be persona non grata in Calgary, but otherwise things are going really well

Calgary Sun

HOLLYWOOD -- Dylan McDermott is definitely feeling the pressures of fame.

 When he met with journalists in L.A. last weekend to promote his new romantic comedy Three to Tango, McDermott was noticeably thinner than usual.

 He was also wary of most questions -- except for those, of course, that concerned his recent stay in Calgary.

 On that subject, it was no-holds barred and the actor's comments that a stint in the city was like boot camp earned national headlines.

 McDermott, who is riding high on the popularity of his legal series The Practice, spent his summer filming the western Texas Rangers in Calgary and surrounding towns.

 He did not like what he considered the isolation of Calgary or being away from L.A.

 "Calgary's a tough place,'' said McDermott. "There's no food and nothing to do and we spent most of our time filming in and around small towns that offered even less."

 Maybe it was just the pressure of his first big-budget, feature-film lead role.

 "I've made 15 movies. I know what it's like to fail. That's what's kept me humble. It's not about being a prima donna. It's just about the work for me."

 With his dark, handsome looks and positive reviews for his early work in such films as Hamburger Hill and Steel Magnolias, it looked as if McDermott was headed for stardom.

 But he soon got sidetracked with box-office disappointments such as Home for the Holidays, Destiny Turns on the Radio and the remake of Miracle on 34th Street.

 In the past three years, he's put most of the bad karma behind him.

 He signed a five-year contract to play philandering lawyer Bobby Donnell on The Practice, got married to actress Shiva Afshar and had a daughter, Colette.

 "Falling in love proved very healing for me and becoming a father has taught me to focus on the things that are really important in life."

 McDermott says he became an actor "to search for a sense of self. I had to become other people for that to begin to happen."

 McDermott's mother was barely 16 and his father only 17 when Dylan was born. His mother died five years later. His father ran several bars and by the time he was 14, Dylan was working as a busboy and waiter for his dad.

 "I graduated to being a bartender myself and was really quite good. I had quite a bit of flash and flair. I think Tom Cruise stole my moves for Cocktail."

 It was Dylan's second stepmother, actress and playwright Eve Ensler, who encouraged the moody 16-year-old to pursue acting.

 "Eve could see I needed to be taken out of myself. I studied acting for seven years before I made my first movie.

 "If I'd been a huge success at 20, I'd probably be dead by now.

 "Power and fame are hard to handle when you're young. The business is getting younger and younger every year.

 "(At 39) Randy Travis and I were just about the oldest guys on Texas Rangers. That was pretty sobering."

 Last summer, McDermott was in Toronto filming Three to Tango with Neve Campbell and Matthew Perry.

 "I play a funny bad guy and that was a relief because I don't get offered much comedy," says McDermott. "Three to Tango is a real popcorn movie. Just a lot of good, frivolous fun."

 Texas Rangers is scheduled for release in the summer of 2000.

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

Calgary roasts turkey

One back at ya, Dylan

By BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun

CALGARY - Hollywood actor Dylan McDermott was the biggest Thanksgiving turkey among Calgarians who yesterday carved up the thespian for ridiculing their city.

Calgary was compared to a boot camp where there's nothing to eat or do by McDermott, who was in the city last summer to film the western film Texas Rangers.

Calgarians were quick to knock McDermott off his high horse by giving him both barrels.

"I hate to admit I don't even know who he is," said Ald. David Bronconnier of McDermott, who stars in the courtroom drama TV show The Practice.

"I haven't heard of his show, either."

In an open letter to McDermott, a local man who served as the actor's horse-riding double in Texas Rangers recalled a moping, distant star on the set.

"I noticed you never seemed to be having fun, you never seemed to try to have fun," said Shane Eklund, 20, of Cochrane.

"I seldom ever saw you visiting with people like us Rangers or anyone else like some of the other actors were doing."

He recalled McDermott being treated like a king by Stampede officials and squired around Calgary to various nightclubs.

"He seemed to be having some fun off the set -- I guess he just doesn't appreciate what we've got," said Eklund.

In comments made to reporters across North America, McDermott said: "Just being in Calgary was boot camp enough. There was nothing to eat or do. It's in the middle of nowhere."

Calgary's U.S. consul general was stunned by McDermott's criticism of the Calgary area as an isolated, boring land of hicks.

"How he can say a city nestled next to the Rocky Mountains is horrible and isolated is difficult to understand," said Lisa Bobbie Schreiber Hughes, whose three-year posting ends in a year.

"(U.S. diplomats) are simply lining up, licking their chops looking for my job here."

Schreiber Hughes said Calgarians shouldn't consider the actor's comments a slight by an American on their country, "but rather an attack from somebody who lives on a coast."

McDermott's critique carries little heft considering the praise Calgary's garnered from Hollywood heavyweights such as Clint Eastwood and Sir Anthony Hopkins, said Murray Ord, the president of the Alberta Film Commission.

"We've had many films done here with major stars and from all accounts, they've had great times," said Ord.

He was also puzzled by McDermott's complaint that Calgary -- with direct air links to Los Angeles -- was difficult for his family to access.

"I've never heard that from other (Hollywood) projects before," said Ord.

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

Saucy rebuke from 'hicks'

By BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun

A TV star's portrayal of them as ketchup-gobbling hicks from the sticks didn't sit well with leaders of the southern Alberta towns that drew Dylan McDermott's wrath.

"I have a feeling we know how to use our ketchup," said Brooks Mayor Don Weisbeck, who happens to own a McDonald's restaurant in the town 185 km southeast of Calgary.

"The nice thing about living in Alberta is we don't have egotistical wimps (like McDermott) to put up with."

McDermott, who filmed portions of the movie Texas Rangers in Brooks and Claresholm, described them as "the kinds of towns where they have ketchup for tomato sauce."

He also complained of having to "stay on a horse, say my lines and shoot a gun all at the same time."

Said Weisbeck, who once visited the film set north of Brooks: "I wonder if he tried riding his horse and chewing gum at the same time."

He said the Texas Rangers crew were a blessing during their four-weeks of filming in the nearby badlands.

"Both the local crew and outsiders had a great time here," he said.

A town counsellor for Claresholm said it's possible McDermott mistook tomato sauce for ketchup.

"It's probably the same. They have different names for things (in Los Angeles) I think," said Shirley Isaacson.

Monday, October 11, 1999

Calgary slammed

Actor likens city to boot camp

By LOUIS B. HOBSON -- Calgary Sun

HOLLYWOOD -- One of Hollywood's hottest actors has launched a blistering attack on Calgary.

After filming a movie in the area, Dylan McDermott, the Emmy-award winning star of The Practice, described Calgary as a "boot camp" and said areas around the city are "hick towns."

McDermott made the comments to reporters from across North America as he promoted his latest movie in Hollywood over the weekend.

The actor had spent the summer in southern Alberta filming the western Texas Rangers.

Before filming started, director Steve Miner promised he was going to put McDermott and co-stars James Van Der Beek, Randy Travis and Ashton Kutcher through a boot camp to toughen them up.

"Just being in Calgary was boot camp enough. There was nothing to eat and nothing to do. It's in the middle of nowhere," said McDermott.

"It was really hard for my wife and daughter to come up there to visit me.

"We shot outside of Calgary in hick towns like Brooks and Claresholm. You know the kind of towns where they have ketchup for tomato sauce," he said.

McDermott did concede he "wasn't used to such expanse. It's such huge, sprawling country up there."

It wasn't just the lack of amenities that took their toll on McDermott.

"I spent 85 per cent of the film on a horse and I'd never ridden one before I got up there. I had to stay on the horse, say my lines and shoot a gun all at the same time," he said.

"Most of the other guys fell off their horses a couple of times, but I never did. At the end of the shoot, the crew presented me with the golden cup award.

"Filming Texas Rangers took a lot out of me, so I might wait until next year to direct another episode of The Practice again."

With Texas Rangers, McDermott is making a second bid at becoming a movie star.

The closest he's come in his career was being engaged to Julia Roberts when she became a mega star with Pretty Woman.

Roberts and McDermott had met a year earlier while filming Steel Magnolias.

McDermott's other films include Hamburger Hill, Home for the Holidays, In the Line of Fire and the remake of Miracle on 34th Street.

On Oct. 22, he stars opposite Neve Campbell and Matthew Perry in the comedy Three to Tango.