Actor Dylan McDermott chats about starring in Netflix dramedy The Politician, what he enjoys about working with director Ryan Murphy and more.
Congrats on joining Ryan Murphy’s The Politician. What was it like working with such a stellar cast like Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Platt?
DYLAN MCDERMOTT: Jessica and I worked together on American Horror Story. We don’t have any scenes in this project together though. My role [as Theo Sloan] is great; there’s such a payoff with this character. The relationship with his daughter, [played by] Lucy Boynton, is so great and unexpected. January Jones was my escort I end up marrying. It’s just twisted. That’s what [creators] Ryan [Murphy] and Brad [Falchuk] do best: a twisted reality.
Tell us more about your role on the show.
DM: He’s a guy who has everything seemingly on the outside. It’s a metaphor for Hollywood. He’s got a beautiful wife and daughter, the right house, the right car, the job, everything. The money is fake. He has no money; he’s in debt up to his ass, he’s breaking the law. It’s only a matter of time before he gets caught, but man, he’s having a great time. He’s living on the edge and the clock is ticking. It was fun to play because it’s all external; everything’s external with this guy. He’s right at the edge of being busted. The show is for everyone, young and old. It’s such a crowd-pleaser. I told Ryan, this might be his biggest hit.
Why are you drawn to collaborating with Ryan Murphy? What’s his style as a leader and what do you think sets him apart?
DM: I think Ryan Murphy is the Andy Warhol of our time. He has his finger on pop culture. He’s ahead of the curve, as Andy was. There’s no one else who has that ability to see the future the way Ryan does. He understands what is successful—what will or won’t work. He understands things no one else does. I love his world. It’s always a bit twisted with a dark component to it.
There’s a funny component to it, too. I love being a player in his troupe because he sees his actors so well. You know that when you work with him, you’re going to be full as an artist. I keep going back to him because I know I’ll be fulfilled. It’s hard to get that anywhere else. He has a personal relationship with his actors. He has an ongoing relationship with all of his actors. You want to work for him because it’s personal.
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
DM: Right now, this is what I’m concentrating on. I have some things I can’t really talk about yet. It’s all about The Politician …. Every episode is just a barn-burner. I’m really excited about my character.
Photography by: Photo by Mike Pont