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
Claim to Fame: TV series debut, The Practice (ABC)
Julia Roberts, actress; met during filming of Steel Magnolias; briefly engaged
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,
Check out his acting bio including these films:
|Three to Tango  -- 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  --I liked it, fun
romantic comedy. Man, is he hot! 5 drools.
|Destiny Turns on the Radio  w/
Quentin Tarentino -- quirky, surrealistic, fun flick. 4 drools.
|Home for the Holidays  --I liked it.
Friend observes Thanksgiving dysfunctionality. 4 drools.
|The Cowboy Way  --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 --with Clint
Eastwood, Dylan's character dies :-( 2 drools.
|Where Sleeping Dogs Lie  -- excellent
spooky thriller w/Sharon Stone. 4 drools.
|Jersey Girl  -- Cute romantic comedy.
Dialogue is spotty but he looks mahvelous. 4 drools.
|Hardware  --scifi material, a bit
weird (you could say that) he dies! surreal stuff
|Steel Magnolias  --all star cast,
plays heroines husband, but sappy ending. 3 drools.
|Twister  --not the Tornado film,
comedy of eccentric midwesterners
|Blue Iguana  -- plays Vince, everyone
perishes in this film except him. sigh.
|Hamburger Hill  -- 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  -- comedy, plays Sal
|The Fear Inside  -- movie now
available on video, Dylan as criminal w/ psycho girlfriend
|Into the Badlands  -- tv movie
|The Neon Empire  -- Showtime
gangster/Vegas flick, supporting role
|Tales from the Crypt  --
Career on the Stage/Theater:
|Floating Rhoda and the Glue Man  --
written by Eve Ensler
|Short Eyes  -- Dylan directed this
|Biloxi Blues  -- Was listed in
Playbill as Mark McDermott (his birth name before he changed it for SAG
membership to Dylan)
|Believe It, See It, Survival  -- Eve
Ensler, his stepmom, wrote this one.|
|1997 Toyota Camry Ad on Television
|1998 Toyota Corolla Ad on Television
|1999 Lincoln LS Ad on Television|
Friday, October 22, 1999
Small-screen stars step up to the big leagues
with the romantic comedy Three To Tango
By DARRYL STERDAN
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
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
"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
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,
"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
"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
By LOUIS B. HOBSON
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
He did not like what he considered the isolation of Calgary or being away
"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
"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
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
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,
"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
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
Calgarians were quick to knock McDermott off his high horse by giving him both
"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
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
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
"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
Actor likens city to boot camp
By LOUIS B. HOBSON -- Calgary Sun
HOLLYWOOD -- One of Hollywood's hottest actors has launched a blistering attack
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
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
"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.