Opening this Friday in theatres is the film OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. It tells the story of the White House being taken over by unsavory types who want to hurt the United States. This action film filled with twists stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckert, Morgan Freeman and Dylan McDermott.
McDermott is not an unknown face to television or films. One of his most famous roles was that of Bobby Donnell who started on the show THE PRACTICE that lasted for over seven seasons. When not on television, he starred in such films as HAMBURGER HILL, IN THE LINE OF FIRE and THE CAMPAIGN with Will Ferrell.
It was pretty sweet to have a chance to chat with him today about his role in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN along with the big question I was asked about AMERICAN HORROR STORY.
Hi Dylan, how are you?
Hi Jeri, I’m good, how are you doing?
Pretty good actually, very sunny so you can’t ask for more right?
There you go!
I appreciate your time today Dylan.
I know your busy so I’m going to jump right in, what peaked your interested about wanting to do the film?
Really I liked the whole concept of the movie of the White House being taken over. I also wanted to work with Antoine Fuqua; I am a big fan of his. Plus, as an actor I believe you’re only as good as your director. I’m really making an effort to work with great directors and I believe Antoine is one of those. That was it initially and I’ve worked with Millennium Films before and have a relationship with them. I thought this would be a pretty cool role and Antoine able to let me to improve a lot with the role. I had fun with it.
What did you like best about playing Forbes?
For me it was the improving of his political background and the whole speech about globalization, buying of the presidency. I wrote that a couple of days before and Antoine let me put it into the film. It was fun to put in “there was a reason I never voted for you” and I wrote it myself and it ends up in the film. That was kind of a thrill for me.
Have you ever gotten to do that before?
Not really. I mean there was a little bit on THE CAMPAIGN because it is Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis and they were improving quite a bit. Its nice to hear your own words sometimes you know?
Doing improv with Will and Zach sounds more like pure insanity when they do it.
The storyline was a tad scary; didn’t you think that while reading the script?
I guess that was the whole point really, playing on our fears. We live in that world now and it’s our every day reality. The idea that the White House being under attack is one of the scariest things as Americans we can deal with. It’s a mix of fantasy and reality and I think that’s what makes the movie kind of cool.
You also work with a huge cast but mainly with Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart. I’ve talked with Aaron before and he is such a gentle person so for him to play this kind of role was harsh. How was it working with both of these guys?
It was great. I think everybody was on the same page and in the same movie and it was a very intense shoot. Everyone was really high strung on this movie. That was a lot of fun to be in that kind of tension and walk into that set – I love working with that kind of tension.
From start to finish there isn’t much time for the nerves to relax.
No, there isn’t, there certainly isn’t.
I didn’t even know! I watched a screening in New York recently and I had no idea it was going to be that intense. I choked up a couple of times, especially when Morgan Freeman says about the White House “it has been taken”. I was surprised to tell you the truth.
Your getting extremely good at being bad you realize that right?
Well, there is that but also AMERICAN HORROR STORY.
Oh gawd yes, that was bad!
Are you kidding me? You have gotten so many people so riled up and they love it so that’s always a good thing. But come on Dylan, you really are good at bad!
It’s enjoyable! The movie is only as good as the bad guy in it. You have to have something to fight against.
You have to be finding some enjoyment in playing all this badness.
I have to tell you there is some enjoyment in it, there really is. You don’t get arrested, they don’t put you away, there’s no consequences…
You don’t end up in the paper, or your mug shot on TMZ.
Yes exactly, you have got to unleash something in yourself that lays dormant with no repercussions from it.
When you’re being bad you have a gleam in your eye you know.
Every close up there was that gleam and I thought ‘you know, he’s really have a good time with this’.
When your making a film that is this epic in scope and you can’t tell them what’s happening, how do you avoid it during interviews?
Its hard, like you say you don’t want to give it away so you have to figure out a way to tell some of the story. You walk a tight rope.
You did get to spare a little bit with Gerard Butler; did you have to do a lot of training for the fight scenes?
Yea, we rehearsed it a couple of times and choreographed it with the stunt coordinator but by the time Antoine calls action that all goes out the window and it’s like a real fight.
You know it’s an action movie and people get hurt and the only person you can’t get is Morgan Freeman.
Hey, you can’t hit God!
Nope, you definitely can’t hit God!
Well, you are smacking Gerard Butler, did someone get hurt? Be honest now.
Oh yes, we both got hurt. You can’t do an action movie and not get hurt, that’s impossible.
Then you have to look at each other and apologize.
Yea, it comes with a dinner.
Part of you has to be thinking ‘I smacked Gerard Butler’
What are you working on now, any more bad boy to look forward to?
Yes, I have a film coming out called BEHAVING BADLY with Selene Gomez coming out later in the fall. That’s a really, really bad character too so I have finished my quote yet but I promise I will let you know when I do.
Okay, now you know I have to ask this – are you coming back for Season Three of AMERICAN HORROR STORY?
There has been talk. We haven’t figured it out yet and it’s sitting at a strong maybe.
You know you have to; I’m telling you you have to!
I love the show, I really love the show. I love Ryan and it’s a tremendous show and anything I can do for AMERICAN HORROR STORY, I’m there!
You freaked me out pretty good last season.
I hope so!
Thank you for talking to us today, it was truly a pleasure to talk to the baddest bad boy I know.
I love that!
Ladies, and gentlemen if you are interested, that is what talking to Dylan McDermott is like. A casual conversation about OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN and hopefully a tidbit of info for a return to AMERICAN HORROR STORY and a sense of humor about being an awesome bad boy.
This Friday in theatres OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN – get ready for non-stop action because when our flag falls our nation will rise!
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