Dylan McDermott: Miracle Man

Between In the Line of Fire and Steel Magnolias, you could suppose everyone has seen Dylan McDermott in a movie--they just don't blame him or give him credit for any of them.

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"I'm on my 10th movie or so and I've never had the pressure of carrying a movie. It's actually worked out perfectly, because I wouldn't have been able to handle the success early in life."

Few actors are comfortable with a slow, hard climb to fame, but 32-year-old McDermott has been smart enough to pick decent roles in decent films, even if he is out of the spotlight. Although he received industry notice with his debut in 1987's Hamburger Hill, and he gained press attention when he dated Steel Magnolias co-star Julia Roberts, audiences weren't able to get a substantial glimpse of him until 1993 when he played Clint Eastwood's greenhorn Secret Service partner in In the Line of Fire ("I proved I could carry my weight with Clint, which isn't so easy"). Now he's got his first bona fide romantic lead in the remake of that old Yuletide perennial Miracle on 34th Street.

McDermott seems to have had his foot in every door at least once, so I ask him my favorite Movieline question: What's the most deranged thing you've seen in the movie business? "We spent three months in Mexico shooting The Blue Iguana, and we shot in a town that was 40 percent transvestites. During breakfast one morning, I noticed the waiter had one breast: he had one breast implant because he couldn't afford the other one--he was saving his money for the next breast. It didn't affect my tips, no, but it was a very strange town."

Michael Atkinson



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