Dylan McDermott has played a lot of great characters that have had a lot of terrible things happen to them over the years, often at the hands of TV zeitgiest factories like David E. Kelly and Ryan Murphy. And yet for all the legal battles and murder ghosts he’s had to deal with in the course of his career, we’ve never seen a more drained or haunted look cross the man’s face than in this video, in which McDermott is once again asked about person-with-a-similar-name-to-him Dermot Mulroney, for what we can only assume is the infinitieth time of his life.
In fact, McDermott goes quasi-Kubler-Ross in his response to Variety’s presumably well-meaning soul assassin, beginning at blank-faced denial, then shading into flashes of anger and depression and also intense, soporific tiredness. “It’s been 30 years,” he says, repeatedly, and with the cadence of a man reciting the details of his own prison sentence.
Yes, he likes Mulroney. Yes, they hang out and laugh about the fact that their names are slightly similar. (Shades of the final embrace of their own living hell recently reached by Jacks Black and White.) But—and at this point he turns directly to the camera, in a manner mixing supplication and vague, impotent threat, “It’s been 30 years. The same joke, for 30 years.” The interviewer laughs that, hopefully, there won’t be a 31. But look in Dylan McDermott’s eyes in that moment. He knows.
He fucking knows.