Dylan McDermott goes from 'SVU' criminal to 'Most Wanted' cop: 'time to play someone good again'

Dylan McDermott attends Netflix Hollywood Tastemaker at San Vicente Bungalows on February 23, 2020 in West Hollywood, California
Photo credit Getty Images

Get ready to switch your suspicions about Dylan McDermott.

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​​The actor will be leaping from bad guy to good when he joins CBS’ “FBI: Most Wanted.” McDermott, 60, most recently played the sinister Richard Wheatley on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on NBC, but left that show to join “Most Wanted" to portray the new Fugitive Task Force head, Remy Scott.

It’s an interesting character change considering both series were created and executive produced by crime show maven, Dick Wolf, and exist within the same world.

As Deadline noted, for some fans of that Dick Wolf world, the cognitive switcheroo seems jarring since McDermott just left “SVU” in February.

But during a media junket this week about his new “Most Wanted” role, McDermott looked at the situation as simply an actor’s prerogative.

“I think it’s really interesting,” said the actor. “I’ve been reading comments online and people are saying, ‘It’s too soon. He’s Richard Wheatley, a bad guy.’ I relish in that because it’s amazing that people believe that I’m the character I’m playing. Now they’re going to see me in a completely different light, going from Richard Wheatley to Remy Scott – two wildly different people with wildly different agendas in life.”

Having originally made his name on the ABC legal drama "The Practice" from 1997-2004 as the likable if conflicted lawyer Bobby Donnell, it seems McDermott felt like he was in a mood to play a good guy again.

“I knew instinctively that I had played some questionable people along the way,” he stated, “and now it’s time to play someone good again. Remy Scott is that character.”

The producers of “Most Wanted” pulled a method acting style move by having McDermott first meet the rest of the cast on the first day of shooting to try to replicate the real life awkwardness of such a situation.

“My first day of work was my introduction to the actors,” McDermott told interviewers. “Remy was introduced to them at the same time as Dylan. It was great because I was checking them out and they were checking me out. It was a little awkward but it all worked out beautifully.”

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As far as the unsure feelings of fans who think this move was too soon, McDermott suggests it will all work out soon enough, as things are already settling in for the cast.

“I feel like we really hit the ground running in the first episode,” he said. “I think that because these people are professionals, they are agents, they know we have a job to do. Yes, maybe they have feelings, certainly about who I am and where I came from. But I think that awkwardness really diminishes after the first episode.”

McDermott’s first episode of “FBI: Most Wanted” airs April 12 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

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