Interview with Dylan McDermott of "Dark Blue" - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Dylan McDermott

Transcript of Interview with Dylan McDermott of "Dark Blue" on TNT 7/19/10

I was a bit nervous talking to Mr. McDermott, since I'm such a big fan of his, and he's so gorgeous! Good thing it was only over the phone, or I would have been giggling like a schoolgirl!  He was very nice on the phone, too. He is clearly a thoughtful and intelligent person, very dedicated to his show.

Moderator: Carmen Davenporte
July 19, 2010
1:40 pm CT

Operator: Good day and welcome to the Dylan McDermott conference call. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Carmen Davenporte. Please go ahead.

Carmen Davenporte: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining the Dylan McDermott conference call. Dylan will be answering your questions today regarding Dark Blue. Operator, please open the lines for questions.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, to ask a question, please press star 1 on your telephone keypad at this time. Please ensure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment. Also, please limit yourself to one question in order to allow time for additional questions. Once your question has been answered, you may reenter the queue by pressing star 1 once again.

And we will take our first question from Fred Topel with Hollywood News.

Fred Topel: Hi, Dylan. Thanks for doing this call. My first question is just very basic. How do you feel going into the second season?

Dylan McDermott: Thanks, Fred. I feel good. I think we look back on season one and decided what worked and what didn't work and wanted to make this show lighter and a little bit more humorous. And we brought in Tricia Helfer as the romantic interest for Carter Shaw and ((inaudible)) as well, and that opened up the show a great deal.

Looking at the show for season two, the show - I mean like it's much more dynamic than it was in season one. And also just selfishly for my character, I think it's so much more interesting to have and do police work and be in a relationship at the same time.

Operator: Thank you for your question, Mr. Topel. We will move next to Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi, Dylan. Thank you so much again for speaking with us. It's good to talk to you again.

Dylan McDermott: Sure. Nice talking to you.

Jamie Steinberg: I know you've mentioned the new changes to the show, and I'm wondering what is it about the show that continues to challenge you in your role as well.

Dylan McDermott: Well anytime you do this kind of - this acting in a police role or undercover role, it's - to me it's fascinating. I love that world. You know I've always been fascinated by Baretta and Donny Brasco and other undercover cops in movies. It's just always been something that's interested me.

So you know I think this is a show if we gather an audience this year that can be on for many years. And with the addition of Tricia, I think that's - you know we have the whole package now. So I just love this character. I love playing him and I love the cases and the danger that the show brings to television.

Jamie Steinberg: Thank you.

Operator: We will next move to Jay Jacobs with

Jay Jacobs: Thanks for talking to us, Dylan. Now at this point, you've played both sides of law and order in a TV series both as a police officer and a lawyer. Which do you think you'd be better at in real life and which one sort of fits your own personality more?

Dylan McDermott: Oh, man. I don't know if I could play any of these guys really you know since this kind of work is - you know to be a lawyer, it's such difficult work and taking on cases. And to be a cop, to do the hours they do and deal with the criminal aspect, I'm so happy I'm an actor to tell you the truth because I don't know if I would want to climb inside their shoes you know for 20, 30 years and do this type of work. It must be so harrowing after a while.

Jay Jacobs: Right.

Dylan McDermott: So I'm grateful that I'm an actor and I can just step into shoes and get out after a while.

Jay Jacobs: Okay, thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Earl Dittman with Wireless Magazine.

Earl Dittman: Hi, Dylan. How are you today?

Dylan McDermott: Hey, how are you doing Earl?

Earl Dittman: Doing great. Doing great. Now I know that in the - to some of your initial research with this that you did a lot of drive-alongs with the LAPD. What were some of the more interesting things that you noticed on those drive-alongs? And is it true that some people recognized you as Bobby Donnell?

Dylan McDermott: Yeah, they did.

Earl Dittman: Did they really?

Dylan McDermott: Some of them wanted me to represent them, which was strange of course. You know going into south central Los Angeles or Compton, you know these are worlds that you know you don't normally go into, so I love this type of work. You know I love this where I can do research, and interview people, and get inside peoples' heads, and look at their behavior and what they don't tell me. Those things are all fascinating to me.

So when I get to do that and have a bird's eye view into different worlds, that's the most exciting thing for me as an actor. But you know when you are doing that, I never think that anybody is going to recognize me and they did. And that's when you - and my cover as a person is blown. And so that's not always fun because I want to be anonymous when I'm doing research. You know I don't want anybody to recognize me. I want to be the character, you know.

So going into these worlds is you know is - pulling over gangbangers, or going into the projects, or them showing me photos of murder scenes you know. All of that stuff is just - it's gold for an actor. It's horrible for life, but for an actor you know especially for me when I get to see stuff like that, I get to use it for my character and dive deeper into this world.

Earl Dittman: It's tough being an icon I guess.

Dylan McDermott: What's that?

Earl Dittman: It's tough being an icon I guess.

Dylan McDermott: I don't think so.

Earl Dittman: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Suzanne Lenoue with The TV MegaSite.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi. Thanks a lot for taking the call.

Dylan McDermott: Thanks.

Suzanne Lanoue: Big fan and I watched every episode of The Practice and I love your new show.

Dylan McDermott: Oh, wow. Thank you.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yeah, everything - (love it). So I was going to ask you since you worked for network television and now you're on cable, what is the biggest difference? What are the biggest differences for you?

Dylan McDermott: Well you know what? It has changed so radically. I mean network television - I think with the rise of cable, network is clearly floundering because the characters on cable are far more fascinating than they are on network. And network television is trying to figure it out, but network television really relies on story rather than character and I think that cable relies on character. I think that's the biggest difference. You don't have to have a huge number on cable to stay on. I think Damages had like 600,000 people watching it and it was a great show.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yeah.

Dylan McDermott: So you know I think character is key and character is king on cable and on network it's really more about franchise and story.

Suzanne Lanoue: I never thought of that. I was going to ask you if there is a difference for you personally. Like do they give you more time off? Do you have more time off to do other projects?

Dylan McDermott: Well, yeah. You know on cable, we're only doing ten episodes a year. On The Practice, we used to do like 22, 24 episodes, which would take up you know ten months of the year where doing ten episodes is like three, four months at the most. So I get to do other things and it frees me up. And I like that aspect because you know when you're doing 22, 24 episodes, it is grueling. You are there for 16 hours a day sometimes you know for ten months of the year and it really you know takes a big toll on you.

Suzanne Lanoue: All right, thank you very much.

Dylan McDermott: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Erik Meers with

Erik Meers: Hi. Thanks for taking time to talk to us.

Dylan McDermott: Sure.

Erik Meers: My question for you is Jerry - what is Jerry Bruckheimer's involvement in sort of the day-to-day aspect? And do you have any experiences working with him that you could describe?

Dylan McDermott: Well Jerry was - I mean he thought of me initially for the role, so I thank him dearly for that. You know I had known Jerry over the years and you know I was his idea to bring me in for the show. You know Jerry is obviously a very busy man and he's got 1000 projects going at once. I'm always surprised how interested he is.

You know he watches the dailies and he reads the scripts and he's completely involved in the show. So you know that's why he is the mega success that he is because he really pays attention still when he doesn't really have to. You know so I'm really impressed by firstly his work ethic and that you know he really thought of me for this. So you know I'm forever grateful for that.

Erik Meers: Great. Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Lena Lamoray with

Lena Lamoray: Hi, Dylan.

Dylan McDermott: Hey, Lena.

Lena Lamoray: (It's good) to speak with you today.

Dylan McDermott: Nice to speak to you.

Lena Lamoray: Thank you. I would like to hear your take on Dark Blue. How would you describe it to someone that has never seen it.

Dylan McDermott: I think that Dark Blue is - you know it's a gritty crime drama ultimately at it's core. I don't think that's ever going to change. You know it's an undercover cop show with fascinating characters and there is - especially in this particular season, there is a lot of humor and there's a lot of - I think a lot of care between the characters. I think these characters really care for each other and are worried about each and have each other's backs.

And I think Dark Blue looks like a movie. Every episode that I've seen looks like a little mini movie, and again I go back to character. It has fascinating characters. And in season two, you're going to see every character have their shining moment.

Lena Lamoray: Very good. Thank you very much.

Dylan McDermott: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Danielle Turchiano with LA Examiner.

Danielle Turchiano: Hey, Dylan. Thanks for taking the call.

Dylan McDermott: Thanks, Danielle.

Danielle Turchiano: So I was actually just wondering if you could talk a little bit about your working dynamic with Tricia and what her character will bring to challenge Carter this season.

Dylan McDermott: Yeah, I mean you know this is exactly what I thought this show should have - you know a love interest for Carter. I think it's just much more dynamic to have him in a relationship. I think Tricia is a beautiful woman, and she's really talented, and she can stand toe to toe with Carter you know, which is not an easy thing because he is brooding at times. He is difficult and you need someone who can come in and go toe to toe with him.

So I think that she's going to challenge him in ways that I don't think he was actually prepared for. You know he's been - in season one, he was sort of closed down and not willing, and we find him in season two in a garden, which is really a metaphor for him that he is attempting to change, and he is attempting grow, and she is a big part of that. You know she is going to open him up in ways that - I think that something had died in him long ago and he had given up on himself somewhere, and I think that she brings all of that back to life.

Danielle Turchiano: Great. Thank you so much.

Dylan McDermott: Thank you.

Operator: We have a follow up question with Jay Jacobs with

Jay Jacobs: You've been talking about how important the character is. I was wondering how much input you have with the - if the writers (bowed out) Carter's character. And also, do you have an ideal storyline that you'd love to see Carter involved in?

Dylan McDermott: Well yeah, I mean you know in the first season, I sort of trusted the writers to take me on this little journey, and then you know luckily we had the luxury to look back on season one and say, "Well okay, what worked and what didn't work," and you know I sat down with them and told them what I thought. And certainly the number one thing was to have a love interest because it's - you forgive a character a lot more when he can you know go home and talk to someone.

And in terms of a storyline, I think that you know season two accomplishes a lot of what I dreamt for for the character. I mean we're going to see him go through everything he can possibly go through and he's going to be a character within a character at times. He's going to be undercover in really dangerous situations. He's going to fall in love. And there's going to be a cliffhanger at the end in the finale, so everything I thought that the show should be - it finds its voice in this season. So I was really pleased that the show - we just graduated to a whole different level this year, and I was more pleased by that than anything else.

Jay Jacobs: Terrific. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the season then.

Operator: And we will take our final question. It is a follow up from Fred Topel with Hollywood News.

Fred Topel: Hi again. I want to ask what drives you to succeed, and literally what kind of car do you drive?

Dylan McDermott: What drives me to succeed? I don't know. I suppose that I still love it, Fred. I still love acting. You know I loved it when I began when I was 15 years old (in HDC) in New York and when I first walked on that stage, and there was something about it that I felt like I needed to do. You know I always felt like I needed to act. Not that I wanted to act, but I needed to and I kind of feel that same way too.

There's an expression that I get to have in acting that I don't normally have in my life - that I can't consciously express in my life. So I (use that) somewhere. To me it's (hard) because I need to ((inaudible)). It has always defined me and it always will.

In terms of cars that I drive, I have a 1988 911 (in the classics) - black. And then I have a ((inaudible)).

Fred Topel: (Well the '88) - that's hung in there.

Dylan McDermott: Yeah, I love that car. It's still the car I drive all the time.

Fred Topel: Cool. Well thank you.

Dylan McDermott: Thank you.

Carmen Davenporte: Well thank you for joining our conference call today. As a reminder, the second season of Dark Blue premieres with back-to-back episodes on August 4 at 9:00 pm. Thank you so much Dylan for your time.

Dylan McDermott: Absolutely. Thank you guys.

My review of this season's "Dark Blue"

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