Dylan McDermott has an uncanny way of playing a character that can be interpreted several ways.
On CBS’ “Stalker” premiering Wednesday, Oct. 1, McDermott is LAPD Det. Jack Larsen, working in the unit that investigates stalkers. Larsen, though on the force for good, could be quite bad.
He appears to be a stalker himself, as he lurks in the bushes, trailing his estranged wife and son. In his most recent starring role before this, in “Hostages,” McDermott was also a rogue agent, and no one was quite sure what to make of him.
“I just finished a movie where I am an agent for the U.N.,” he says.
So many of his roles have been as cops, “especially on television,” he says, “I have been doctors, lawyers and cops.”
“Stalker,” which shows women meeting gruesome deaths, is crafted to ignite strong reactions. McDermott’s hope is that it sparks discussion.
“We are not so mature in how we talk to other people,” he says.
McDermott, soft-spoken during an interview with Zap2it in Beverly Hills, Calif., considers the roles he’s played and which shows resonated with audiences. His projects have taken him from stage to film and TV.
“With ‘Hostages,’ everyone said, ‘How do you sustain it?’ ” McDermott says, “You don’t want everything to run seven years. That’s not success for me. Mine is based on character. I had a homerun with ‘The Practice.’ I like to create different projects.”
In “American Horror Story,” “the poster, the subject matter, all that stuff grabbed attention very quickly,” he says. “This will be another one that grabs attention.”
“Stalker” McDermott acknowledges, is bound to trigger strong reactions.
“It’s evocative,” he says. “I’d rather have people have feelings than have people be blase. It’s a lightning rod. Sometimes you become involved in projects that become that.”