Most people that watched “The Practice” would recognize Dylan McDermott. Some might remember him as the hunk that married Julia Roberts in “Steel Magnolias,” and younger generations know him from the television show, “American Horror Story,” or the film, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
And others might confuse him with David Duchovny or Dermot Mulroney or that one guy from “Friends” — which he says happens frequently.
He came to Ringling College of Art and Design thanks to David Shapiro and Sam Logan of Future Films LLC and spoke about his career, but he gave The Observer the inside scoop.
Dylan McDermott took a tour, watched some animation projects and even sat in on a class. He developed a quick appreciation for what the students at Ringling do — he’s a creative guy himself.
People don’t typically think of him as a writer or photographer. In fact, he’s pretty withdrawn when he’s asked the same boring questions every reporter asks — yes, he’s got a new movie “Olympus Has Fallen,” yeah he plays a bad guy.
He says acting is his first love, but when he actually gets into an interview, is when you ask him about his photography exhibit opening on May 10, in Montreal. He’s been taking photos since 1986, and it’s the only thing that made him light up in an interview — he’s been to Congo, India, and the Philippines to photograph people in their natural environments.
“Sometimes I’m able to express myself with a picture or words that I’m not able to articulate vocally and I think that intrigues me,” he says. “Stuff that maybe psychologically I’m not always aware of but then I’ll take a picture or try to translate it in writing and I like that aspect.”
His stuff can be hard-hitting, such as his upcoming exhibit and first-ever show. The photos document a trip to Congo where he photographed the women who were raped.
“I like to get in there with real people and sort of document maybe some of their sorrow, heartbreak and certainly I do that with this exhibition,” he says.
He’s also a writer that has written a couple of screenplays, television shows, one comedy he really likes, and 100 pages of a fiction novel about a little boy’s relationship with a junkyard dog. He started writing around 1993 when he was in “In the Line Of Fire,” a film where he played a secret service agent much like in “Olympus has Fallen.”
“I went to director Antoine Fuqua and asked him if I could pretty much rewrite my lines for the role and he said, ‘Sure.’” So he wrote it, and he plays the bad guy for once in this film.
As far as being a bad guy in real life, he laughs and says: “I can’t talk about that right now.”
He’s got a few projects in the works. He just filmed a pilot written by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (writer of The Day After Tomorrow) called “Hostages” with actress Toni Collette. He is waiting to see if it gets picked up before he can say he will be in Season 3 of “American Horror Story: Coven,” but if the scheduling works out, he’d like to do both.