Dylan McDermott relishes his role in new soaring comedy 'LA to Vegas'
Dylan McDermott, best known for his small-screen roles in "The Practice," and the first two seasons of "American Horror Story," recently visited BUILD Series for a spirited chat about his new show, "LA to Vegas."
"LA to Vegas," which is co-produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, is about the lives of the pilots and passengers onboard the oxymoronically named Jackpot Airlines, which takes flights on weekends primarily from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
McDermott spoke about why he wanted to star in the sitcom, why he loves his role on the show and a particular guest star that he often gets confused for in real life.
"I knew I had to change [genres]. I had done too many dramas and I needed to mix it up. I started in comedy. I had a show at The Bitter End on Bleecker Street when I was a kid and that was some of the happiest times of my life when I had that show, making people laugh. And I thought you know what, I want to go back to that! I want to go back to comedy."
McDermott picked this role because he "wanted to laugh." It was important for him to do something where he was going to have a good time, to which the star agreed upon after filming for the FOX midseason show commenced.
"We're living in very dark times right now. So it's nice to have a laugh and a chuckle and sort of like, have mindless entertainment which is what this [show] is, it's just fun. I think that's kind of important right now, funny enough," McDermott expressed.
He told the audience that he had conceived preliminary visions of how his character was going to look like in the comedy. At the time, he grew a mustache, so he incorporated that into his transformation to his "LA to Vegas" character.
"I went back to Charlie Chaplin. I was like, 'This guy created such an iconic character in "The Tramp," and I was looking for something like that. I was looking for a character and how to build a character. So I went back to Chaplin because he was one of my favorites. That guy built "The Tramp," and it was so important to people and made people laugh, so that's when the mustache came in."
McDermott said that if you combined Clint Eastwood and Charlie Chaplin, you would get a love child in the form of his character, Captain Dave.
"I wanted him to have this uniform obviously. But the mustache, the sunglasses, the hat, all that was sort of worked out in my mind before we ever began. I wanted a character that was far away from me. I didn't want Dylan. I wanted Captain Dave...there's a freedom to him that I enjoy playing," the star explained.
"LA to Vegas" creator, Lon Zimmet pitched the idea of Mulroney being on the show and McDermott thought "it was a genius idea," and that Mulroney "killed it" in his performance in the third episode, "Two and a Half Pilots."
"I thought he did a great job, [he was] such a good sport to come on, [I'm] so happy to have him, and now we're like friends."
But that wasn't the case many years ago. In the past, things got pretty awkward! Through the years, the two would often cross paths and would stay mum about the attention they would receive.
"The worst [encounter we had] was in the Beverly Hot Springs, a men's spa where you go and relax for the day, you have a hot spring and you're naked. So I was there and all of a sudden, I see him coming towards me. He's like the only one in the spa and I'm like 'Oh no! This can't be happening!,'" McDermott shared.
Fast forward to 2018 and McDermott has finally fully embraced the silly comparisons.
The comparisons between the two commonly confused actors reached its peak when a "SNL" skit back in 2012 hilariously addressed it. Now, McDermott says that things have "come full circle" with Mulroney's guest appearance.