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DERMOT MULRONEY – Journeys From Young Guns To Scream VI

DERMOT MULRONEY – Journeys From Young Guns To Scream VI

“Hey, buddy. It’s been a minute. Let’s catch up over a stick and a drink.”

Most of us have reached out to a friend at some point and thrown that invite out there. Maybe it’s actually been more than a minute. The thought crosses your mind that the effortless rhythm you had with your friend may no longer be there. But when you meet up, there it is: the familiar warmth, easy chatter and natural connection.

Award-winning actor Dermot Mulroney has been able to consistently connect in that same way with his audience, in what now spans more than a thirty-year career. He’s navigated Hollywood’s rough waters and carved out a stellar career, working with iconic stars like Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, and directors like Garry Marshall and Robert Altman.

His diverse acting chops have enabled him to crossover into a variety of genres. He’s starred in Westerns like Young Guns, moving dramas like Longtime Companion and romantic comedies like My Best Friend’s Wedding.

In a bit of a career twist, he most recently appeared as Detective Bailey, starring with Courteney Cox, Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera, in the latest installment of the horror-mystery-thriller film, Scream VI.

Dermot and I had a chance to visit and talk about Scream VI as well as life’s journeys, his career and what the future might hold. The rhythm was effortless.

Cigar & Spirits Magazine: Let’s start with Scream VI. It’s not the first type of film that comes to mind for you.
Dermot Mulroney: Well, I’m thrilled to be in a franchise that I’ve heard is really fun. It’s something I’ve never done before, so I was thrilled when the nice folks at Scream VI called and asked to add me to that cast. It’s an incredible movie coming up on the hit Scream 5 that was a blockbuster hit.

There’s buzz on this one as well.
Yes. It’s incredible to be in a movie where you know going in that it’s probably already a hit.

The cast is kind of old guard, new guard. You see Courteney Cox reprising her role, and then you also have Jenna Ortega coming up fast.
That’s right. Of course, Jenna’s so popular now on Wednesday. The cast is also led by Melissa Barrera in the other lead. In fact, in Scream VI, they make a pretty good case and a really strong emotional story between the sisters. The humor is deeper, and
the horror is deeper. I’m joining a franchise that’s really matured into something.

Scream was a groundbreaking movie in 1996. It brought horror films back. It added humor with horror, and it even did a meta thing where it’s talking about how you make a movie while it’s showing you a movie. Now, a lot of movies do that, but I argue that Scream was one of the first. It’s really gotten good at being “Scream”, so they added me in. It has it all: blood, more action, more emotion, more humor and more horror.

And they had the smart idea to add more of you.
Yes. They had the good sense of adding me as Detective Bailey on the case.[laughter]

Did you work directly with Courteney Cox?
I had the distinct pleasure to work with her in scenes, in groups and so forth. What impressed me the most wasn’t just her game attitude. Of course, she’s done five of these. She was on that set like it was summer camp. She was having a blast. We all were. We’re really good friends.

We’re on part of the investigation. You remember from Scream 5 that her character, Gale Weathers, moved to New York City, so Scream VI takes place there. In other words, the horror came to her.

Those carryover casts. They can be well-oiled machines. There’s a shorthand.
The team that worked together to make Scream 5 are thick as thieves. Courteney had all of the cast, including new cast members, over to her apartment, and put on a dinner right at the beginning.

Courteney’s done so much. On some level, she’ll always be the girl in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” video for me. You and I know the ‘80s.
Right. Remember, that’s how she was discovered.

When The Boss reaches down and pulls her out of the audience, and she dances on stage with him. Iconic.
Right. Remember those things called music videos? [laughter] Anyway, it’s hard to explain. She became the big thing in that moment, and she stayed the big thing for years.

That moment right there. How could you not have a crush on her? You mentioned music videos.
Yes. I remember when MTV actually played music videos.

Speaking of MTV. I know you worked with Winona Ryder again last year.
Yes, Gone In The Night.

You and Winona were nominated for an MTV Award For Best Kiss in How to Make an American Quilt in 1996. You both peaked right there, so young. You could never top that, of course.[laughter] Yes. That was a peak for me. [laughs] Maybe for Winona Ryder it was her two Academy Award nominations. I’m not sure. [laughs] But, we were honored and touched to have been nominated for “Best Kiss.”

I know some people who’ve kissed both of you, and rumor has it that you’re the better kisser.[laughter] Of the two of us? That’s recently been determined?

Oh, that’s so cool. Funny. [laughs]

You know, social media and all that.
Social media, right. It makes the old, young. It restarts old embers and turns them into flames.

Undoubtedly. I know you have a busy 2023, and there a couple of things on the horizon you can’t quite mention yet.
Just to tease a lead, I play a high-profile coach in a movie that takes place in the ’90s. Some of the reasons I can’t tell you what’s coming up in 2023 is I’m now gettingm these shows where there are spoilers. They’re having me play the bad guy now, too.

Wait. Men of a certain age like us can still be leading men. Well, maybe you more than me, I hate to admit.[laughs] The parts keep coming. I’m so blessed and lucky. You’re right, the variety of roles that I’ve been asked to play when people have extended themselves to give you the opportunity to play. I can’t even believe it some days.

The women I’ve spoken to in advance of our interview, they automatically go to My Best Friend’s Wedding. You make them swoon. And not just that one.
Thank you. Now, I’m back in rom-coms because I can be the dad. [laughs] Then 20 years after that I’ll be the guy on oxygen in the hospice care scene. [laughter]

We talked about My Best Friend’s Wedding. The different notes you’ve hit in your career is impressive. What are your thoughts about Longtime Companion now? It was groundbreaking.
Thank you. That one lives on. I ran into Bruce Davison who was nominated for an Academy Award for that scene with Mark Lamos, as he said, “You can let go.” That scene still kills me.

Bruce Davison is so underrated.
There are many that I’ve worked with that are somewhat unsung. He’s probably tops on that list.

It’s such a beautifully written film.
Yes. Craig Lucas and Norman René who directed the movie. There were many incredible moments.

You’ve probably talked about this ad nauseam, but you’re a highly lauded cellist.
Becoming a professional cellist and how it actually happened is its own tale that would take too long to tell. A couple of key people came in at key moments, and it allowed me to continue doing something I was already good at. I studied hard as a student, was a top student, expert cellist and then it just came back to me in multiple ways and even different types of music. Even now, I have two dates this month while I’m in town where I get to
record for [composer and director] Michael Giacchino.

How wonderful.
He’s an incredible maestro who’s one of our best American scoring composers right now.

You’ve played in orchestras for several films now.
There are a couple of movies I’ve played on that I’m actually in. I just did one recently. That’s where I play the coach. Then I was called in by Mark Irwin, the great composer, to play a day on that. That’s happened a couple of times, but the big movie scores that I played on that were the most exciting, that’s for Michael Giacchino in his orchestra. Planet of the Apes, Mission Impossible 3, 4, and 5. I played that famous Mission Impossible theme on cello in a five-four.

The Incredibles 2 was probably the last big one that I did. It’s been a couple of years with the shutdown and stuff. That one blew my mind because it’s that big band horn section. They had about 100 horns in that room and a small string section that I was included in. That was mind-blowing to hear musicians of that caliber.

It’s such a gift to be able to share one talent. Two must be a blessing for you.
I’m so humbled that I’m still here to even answer your questions with gratitude. This is where I’m at. You brought up My Best Friend’s Wedding, and other movies, but that movie in particular has matured on the vine, it’s aged on the shelf. It’s incredible what people bring to me when they see me from that movie and come up to me. It means something to them.

I feel it already coming at me. Other actors could tell you they know what movie they’re going to bring up when they come out to talk. You have a sense of where the person is coming from even before it because we’ve tapped wires for people over the years. That won’t be alone if it was only that movie. It’s just made me more and more grateful. I can’t quite define it. I’m sure other performers have trouble too, but it’s a real feeling and it pervades my day.

Thank you, Dermot, for being so forthcoming.
My pleasure, Randy. Thanks a ton for having me. Appreciate it.

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