Dermot Mulroney goes the TV route in ‘Crisis’ — and likes it

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Fans of Dermot Mulroney have seen the easy on the eyes, Virginia-born actor mostly on the big screen, in more than 65 (!) films including such crowd-pleasers as My Best Friend's Wedding, Young Guns, The Family Stone and The Wedding Date. The 50-year-old Mulroney, most recently seen last year in August: Osage County and Jobs, is tackling television now as the lead in NBC’s hostage drama Crisis, 10 p.m. Sundays. He talked about playing ex-CIA analyst Francis Gibson.

You’re known often as the romantic leading man, but this character is different. What attracted you to this darker role?

There are more hidden elements of the character of Gibson. There are incredible plot twists, and it's what makes this show so fun. I'm so happy to be doing a show like this at this time because it is different than it was even a few years ago in terms of the stories that a major network is willing to tell. To be honest with you, for a long time I thought it would be kind of a grind to play the same character over and over again, so that was one of the things that kept me doing films only. But I was wrong. I didn't expect to be gratified in the way that I was.

Do you always stick to the script?

You’ve always heard [TV] is a writer's medium and so forth, so I came in knowing that I would just be doing the job that I was asked to do. But that's how it's done really. This web of a plot was so intricate that there wasn't anything I could add. I mean, that wasn't my job either. I was reading the scripts like they were a spy novel and then just doing what they said.

What you admire most about Gibson?

Two things: his heart and his mind. I very much admire the reasons that he goes to the lengths that he does and makes the decisions he does, which is an intense and profound love for his daughter and his family. But probably the thing that most impresses me about Gibson is how truly genius he is. It’s fun to play a character that is vastly more intelligent than I am, to be frank. It made me feel really smart.

What’s the most challenging aspect of playing him?

I found it difficult sometimes to contain my evil glee as other stuff takes place later on. My challenge was to play it in a contained and controlled way. Just to be real cool, I guess.

Talk about challenges. Gibson’s pinky gets cut off. How did that work special-effects-wise?

By the sixth month of sort of tying my pinky down to my hand, I was wishing that amputation hadn't happened. I'll be honest with you, it made me a little cranky there. But I wouldn't change it, it was well worth it. It just isn't a slightly everyday [thing] to have the make-up man strap your finger down [laughs].

When you look back now how do you see “Young Guns” as the turning point in your career? Do you keep in touch with anyone from the cast?

Even when I was shooting it, I think I was 23 or 24, I knew it was going to be one of the best experiences of my life. And all these years later, I was right: It's still one of the most amazing things I went through. And the movie's really stood the test of time; it stands on its own still. It doesn't feel dated or anything. Whether I see any of the guys? Yes, we're all still friendly. I saw Charlie [Sheen] not too long ago, and it was like, you know, like seeing someone you went to college with.

Madeleine Marr

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Celebrity roundup

    Mariah and Nick no more?

    Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon calling it quits? Could be.

  • Throwback Thursday

    Prancercise is back

    She’s back ... doing the happy dance.

  • Celebrity birthdays on Aug 21

    Actor-director Melvin Van Peebles is 82. Singer Kenny Rogers is 76. Actor Clarence Williams III is 75. Actress Kim Cattrall is 58. Actress Carrie-Anne Moss is 44. Rock musician Liam Howlett (Prodigy) is 43. Actress Alicia Witt is 39. Singer Kelis is 35. Comedian Brooks Wheelan (“Saturday Night Live”) is 28. Actor Cody Kasch is 27. Actress Hayden Panettiere is 25. Actor RJ Mitte is 22.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category