Dylan McDermott: Scared Straight
BY Brandon Voss
November 16 2011 5:00 AM ET
Ryan Murphy has a reputation of being a very exacting director. Whatâ€™s he like as a boss on American Horror Story?
I believe that Ryan Murphy is a genius. His instincts remind me of Andy Warhol. I recently went to the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, and you can see a lot of echoes of Andy in Ryanâ€™s work. Like Andy, Ryanâ€™s finger is so on the pulse of culture that heâ€™s ahead of culture. Their aesthetic and their vision of the world are very similar. Ryan is also so unafraid. Most people in show business are so afraid to fail that they donâ€™t take any risks, but all Ryan does is take risks. He puts himself out there all the time, and itâ€™s his bravery that really separates him from everybody else. When I first heard about American Horror Story, even before I read the script, I was so intrigued by it. I was looking for someone to take me to a different place, and I needed someone like Ryan, someone with a vision who was brave enough to take me there. A lot of times you end up doing something thatâ€™s middle of the road, and I didnâ€™t want to do that. I wanted to do something controversial, and I certainly got that with Ryan. I was really happy when I got the role.
And you get to work with openly gay actors like Denis Oâ€™Hare and Zachary Quinto.
Yeah. Certainly, when I was first coming up in the business, I worked with gay actors who were in the closet and had to remain so, but from the Rock Hudson years to where we are now, it seems like more and more actors are comfortable being out, and thatâ€™s great. I think weâ€™ll get to the point eventually where it doesnâ€™t matter at all, but it just needs more time. Peopleâ€™s tolerance is still questionable out there in the world, but I feel like itâ€™s getting better. James Lecesne, who cofounded the Trevor Project, is a friend of mine, and Iâ€™m happy to be involved with that wonderful organization.
You and Denis Oâ€™Hare in particular have remarkable chemistry.
Oh, I canâ€™t say enough good things about Denis Oâ€™Hare. I love the guy. Every time I do a scene with him, Iâ€™m completely blown away. I was a fan of his way before we worked together, and working with him has taught me so much. Heâ€™s such a huge talent, but heâ€™s also a beautiful person. Heâ€™s loving, kind, and generous â€” the whole package. I hope he gets everything he deserves in life.
You also worked with gay filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato when you played nightclub impresario Peter Gatien in Party Monster.
I love those guys and think they did a great job. Iâ€™d seen the chilling documentary on the subject that they did before the movie, and I thought they were terrific directors, so I immediately signed on. Iâ€™d gone to the Limelight, and I remember that murder happening and all the drugs like Special K. That whole scene fascinated me, so I really wanted to be a part of that film. I remember there was a mural of Peter Gatien on St. Markâ€™s Place when I was a kid, and then I ended up playing him with his eye patch and all.
Did you ever hear from Peter about your performance?
Yeah, a couple of friends actually told me that Peter was really happy that I had played him and that he liked my performance.
- New Antigay Children's Book Teaches Kids to Hate LGBT Families
- The 'Undetectable' Paradox
- The Brains Behind Husbands
- WATCH: What Happens When a Gay Boy Scout Comes Out to His Camp Leader
- We Love Liberace Now Even More Than 30 Years Ago
- Transgender High School Senior Skips Graduation Over School's Transphobic Policy
Sign Up For Email Updates
- The End of Bullying Could Video Games Be a Cure for Anti-LGBT Bullying? 2 hours 17 min ago
- Television The Brains Behind Husbands 6:03 AM
- Tyler Curry The 'Undetectable' Paradox in Talking About HIV 6:00 AM
- Current Issue Meet the New Voice for Dallas 4:00 AM
- Books New Antigay Children's Book Teaches Kids to Hate LGBT Families May 23 2013 8:17 PM
- Commentary Op-ed: Boy Scouts Must Complete the Inclusion Process May 23 2013 7:32 PM
- Sports Gay Athletes Hop Aboard the Condom Mobile May 23 2013 7:15 PM