Ian Anthony Dale was a great guy to interview. He's so
busy! And rightly so. Amazing actor.
Here is the our interview. I hope you
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1. So why three names?
Ian Anthony Dale: Well, those are the names given to me
by my parents when I was born. When I moved to Los Angeles,
and I had to join SAG, they gave me the option of what I
wanted my name to be, and I figured Ian Anthony Dale just
has a better ring to it than only Ian Dale itself. I figured
it's my real name, my full name, I might as well use it.
2. How did your role on the show come about?
Ian Anthony Dale: I auditioned for it. This was a pilot
the season prior, and out of 30 pilots I read, this was one
of the best, and I put it at the top of the list of ones I
would like to get. I was just lucky enough that there was a
role written in the script that was right up my alley, and
fortunately, I had a couple of really good auditions for it,
and this time around, I was the right guy for the job. But I
remember when I walked into the audition, and I saw the back
of Steven Bochco's head for the first time, and he's got
this very distinguished head of white hair, and I'd never
met him prior to this, so I see the back of his head, and
I'm like "Oh, my God. That's Steven Bochco," and immediately
my heart elevated a few beats, and it was kind of a surreal
experience meeting him and reading for him, but I was able
to calm my nerves and give a good reading, and lo and
behold, I got the job. I read for Eric Lodal first, and then
I read for Steven, and I was fortunate enough to get a
straight offer after that. I didn't have to test for it,
which I will take any day. It's so nice when you don't have
to go in and compete for it, when they see you as the guy
for it, and they reward you for it. It's kind of nice.
3. Have you ever had to do a preliminary video audition?
Ian Anthony Dale: Yeah, that's becoming more and more
common in our industry when you have to self-tape, and it's
interesting. It's really kind of streamlining the process. I
know some people who actually just record themselves on
their Facetime computer camera and then send that in. They
literally have their lines written on their computer screen
as they're looking in the camera. It seems like such an
artificial process, but that seems to be the way the
industry's going now. You just kind of have to go with the
flow and try to stay current.
4. What did you like most about the role when you read
Ian Anthony Dale: Oftentimes, I want to know how the
writers came about writing a particular character, and for
mine, I had the opportunity to ask Eric Lodal "How did you
write this character? How did he come about?" He explained
to me that he'd spent quite a bit of time in San Francisco,
at 850 Bryant Street, which is where the police headquarters
are, and saw a lot of young, ambitious, Asian-American men
working there on the police force and in other various law
enforcement departments, and he's like "I just want to be
representative of the environment with the characters that I
write." So, I really appreciate that, and I'm happy that I
can be the representative of the Asian community in San
Francisco with this character. I really love the fact that
the character is so young and ambitious and yet he's the
boss. He's younger than most of his team. He, therefore, has
to walk this fine line between wanting to be their
contemporary and also having to be the authoritarian. So,
it's a character that is built for conflict to happen, and
certainly, as the season unfolds, we'll see some of that
conflict. I'm sure it's not always the easiest when you're
the older better detective to have to take orders from this
young hotshot who hasn't been there as long as you have and
hasn't seen the things you have. So, I was drawn to the
complexity of the character, and it's been a lot of fun.
5. Do you feel there are more and better roles now for
Asian-Americans than there were when you started?
Ian Anthony Dale: Personally, as far as the opportunities
that I've gotten, I would certainly say that, in the last
several years, the roles have gotten better. I think it's a
combination of our industry starting to evolve and also just
me having put the time in and finally being rewarded with
some good material. This is an industry that it takes time.
There are a lot of 20-year overnight successes. I've been
doing this for 13 years, so I've done my fair share of roles
that were very stereotypical, insignificant, and I really
don't have to do those anymore. It's nice to not have to do
those anymore to survive. I can wait around for the Adam
Noshimuris (Hawaii Five-0), the Simon Lees (The Event), the
Jim Kotos (Murder in the First). It's nice to be able to
work on characters that are 3-dimensional.
6. Which other roles have you done that are similar to
Ian Anthony Dale: I've played some detectives in the
past, mostly in a guest-star capacity, so I wasn't able to
really invest in the character as much as I have with Jim,
but I guess, like any character I play, I really gravitate
toward characters who are struggling with something, who
have some sort of complexity to them. With Jim, he kind of
straddles that line between cop and politician, and he has
this ambitious attitude where he always wants to get to that
next rung in the ladder. That type of ambition will lead to
conflict in his work and in his relationships, so I love
playing characters that are dealing with some sort of
internal struggle, and that's what Jim is dealing with. So,
no, I don't think I've ever played a character quite like
7. Will we learn more about Jim Koto this season?
Ian Anthony Dale: We will. As the season unfolds, we'll
start to see the weight of this case start to kind of mount
on his shoulders, and we start to see Jim come unhinged.
Toward the end of the season, my character gets some meatier
episodes, and we get to see the true content of his
8. Have all the episodes been filmed already?
Ian Anthony Dale: They have. Yeah, we finished filming a
little over a month ago. Now we get to sit back and enjoy
9. So your brother is a police officer; does he think the
show is accurate?
Ian Anthony Dale: He's the best barometer I know for
informing me whether or not something is authentic. I've
been on shows in the past where he's like, "Man, that show
is ridiculous. Stuff never happens like that. You don't call
this item that or this." So, he's very critical, and I'm
happy for that. So, with "Murder in the First," we spoke
after he watched the premiere episode, and he's like, "I
really like it, and it feels authentic." So, it was nice to
hear that from him.
10. Some other shows focus on one case all season long,
and then they don't catch the killer at the end of the first
season. Can you tell us whether "Murder in the First" will
be catching the killer this season or not?
Ian Anthony Dale: We will be.
11. Anything you can tell us at all about upcoming
Ian Anthony Dale: I really can't, other than we'll
continue to peel back the layers, and we'll kind of
introduce some more theories of who possibly could have
killed Cindy Strauss, so the suspect pool will widen a bit.
12. Congratulations on your other role on "Hart of Dixie"
as well. What can you tell us about the role of Henry
Ian Anthony Dale: Well, he's this southern gentleman who
comes from a very wealthy family. He's a doctor who works
for Doctors Without Borders. He's kind of described as this
too-good-to-be-true guy, and he will be the love interest of
one of the regulars on the show. I don't know how much I can
share at this point in time. I really haven't spoken to the
right people about what can be revealed and what can't, but
I know I can share that much. It's the first time I've ever
played a southerner. I was on set the other day, and shot
our first scene, and I had to go to the director and ask,
"Hey, man. How does my southern accent sound? Does it sound
okay?" And he's like, "Yeah, it sounds great." So, I'm
having a lot of fun. It's definitely a little outside the
box from what I've been playing the last few years, so it's
always good to have a little fun with a character, and I'm
certainly getting to do so with this guy. I am more used to
drama, so being on a set where people are just loose, and
it's kind of more light-hearted fare, it's fun. I like it. I
could get used to that.
13. Did you do anything to work on the accent?
Ian Anthony Dale: I did. There's this really great
dialect coach here in Los Angeles. His name is Michael
Buster. He's kind of the go-to guy for just about every
dialect you can imagine. I'd worked with him in the past
preparing a British accent, so he's the first person I
called when I got the job, and I worked with him over the
weekend before I started work on "Hart of Dixie."
14. Do you know how many episodes you'll be in?
Ian Anthony Dale: I'm doing a couple to start the season,
and that's all I know for sure for now.
15. Are there any problems juggling the two roles?
Ian Anthony Dale: No, we're not filming "Murder in the
First" right now, so I'm free and available to work on other
things. I'm just fortunate that TNT is kind enough to let me
work during our hiatus.
16. Will there be a second season of "Murder in the
Ian Anthony Dale: Not that I know of. I'm still waiting
to hear, but I've got my fingers crossed. I remain hopeful.
17. You're very busy as an actor. Do you plan to write or
direct as well?
Ian Anthony Dale: I do. I know that that's kind of the
next step for me. It's the natural evolution for me in this
business, and I have some ideas. Oftentimes when as an actor
you feel unsatisfied with the opportunities that you're
getting, the only way to change that is to create the
opportunities for yourself. So, I have some ideas and some
characters that I'd like to play that I may be the only one
who ultimately writes that. Yeah, that's definitely in my
future. I went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, for
my college, and I studied film with an emphasis on
directing, so I think I'd very much enjoy that
18. Anything else you'd like to tell your fans?
Ian Anthony Dale: I'd like to let them know that I can
finally say that I will be back working on "Hawaii Five-0,"
and I'll be returning for work on the island at the end of
this month for next season's episodes. It's become one of my
favorite places and certainly feels like a home away from
home, for sure. I get a warm welcome every time I'm there,
and I'm really grateful for that.
MURDER IN THE FIRST, Ian plays Lieutenant Jim Koto – an
all-business lieutenant with movie-star good looks and a
Stanford degree. He’s no-nonsense, clear-thinking and never
one to jump to conclusions. Koto is always diplomatic and
the ultimate professional, but he possesses a caring heart.
THE FIRST premiered on Monday, June 9th at
10:00pm/9:00pm ET/PT on TNT. Premiere night was #1 new
series launch on basic cable this year.
brother is a homicide detective for the Minneapolis Police
Department. Anytime he has a question about authenticity, or
anything technical, he’s the first person Ian calls because
he has experienced it.
for his recurring role as Adam Noshimuni on CBS’s “Hawaii
Five-0”, Dale’s past projects also include “Criminal Minds”,
“24”, “THE HANGOVER”, “American Horror Story,” “The
Mentalist,” “Burn Notice,” to name a few.
booked a recurring role on Season 4 of the CW’s “Hart of
Dixie”, set to premiere in 2015. http://tvline.com/2014/06/30/hart-of-dixie-ian-anthony-dale-season-4-cast/
Ian purchased a new home in Los Angeles. In his free time,
Ian enjoys designing and creating custom furniture out of
his home. When he first moved to LA, he was a carpenter for
television and film sets.
raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ian’s favorite MLB team is
the Minnesota Twins.
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Page updated 11/14/14