Charlie McDermott: It's Awkward Wearing Clothes on Set
After the jump, McDermott chats about his TV role, his big move to L.A. and his upcoming film with John Cusack and Chevy Chase.
Tell me about your role in ABC's 'The Middle' and what episode you're currently filming.
"We just started filming the Christmas episode and finished the Thanksgiving episode last week. I play Axl who is the oldest kid in the family. He is the epitome of the American teenager. He wonders around the house and is not happy with his family. And he refuses to wear clothes a lot." *laughs*
That has to be awkward on set, right?
"Yeah. It was for a while. But now we're two months in, and it's actually more awkward now when I'm wearing clothes."
When you auditioned, did you have any hesitations about having to act in your underwear all day?
"When I auditioned, the whole script scene said I would only be in my underwear. I think it's funny and honestly, I was not at any stage to be picky with work."
So what is it's like working with your 'Middle' co-stars like Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn?
"It's great. Everyone is really awesome. I'm very fortunate because there are always horror stories about people on TV shows that aren't the nicest people to work with. I have yet to run into one bad apple on the set so far. It's a fun environment. I enjoy going to work."
So let's back track a bit on how you got here. Your first role was in M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Village.' How did you go from living in Pennsylvania to landing a role in the film?
"Actually, my dad saw an opening casting call flier in the newspaper, so I went out and auditioned on my own. I didn't even have an agent... I was fortunate enough to get cast. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't be anywhere right now. I'd still be in Pennsylvania. That movie opened up every single door for me. It was the catalyst for everything that has happened since."
How did you even decide you wanted to get into acting?
"My parents weren't in the business or anything. I saw 'Star Wars' when I was five and knew right then I wanted to be an actor. I can't remember wanting to do anything else. One of my youngest memories is me wanting to be an actor, so it's been in me since the beginning."
You moved to L.A. soon after. How did your friends and family react?
"It was strange. A lot of people didn't believe me because it happened so quickly. Fortunately, the longer I've been out here, the less of a big deal it seems. I left my junior year of high school, but two years later, all my friends went off to other colleges. I don't see my move as much different than going off to college. It was tough in the beginning with my family and definitely financially, but we stuck it out, and it all worked out."
Now you've also done some small roles on 'The Office.' How was that?
"Those were great to film. 'The Office' has been my favorite show since the first season, so I've always had it in the back of my head that if I moved to L.A., I wanted to be on the show. I hate saying it, but dreams do come true. Being on set was so surreal but awesome."
Are there other upcoming projects you'll be working on?
"Yeah. I did a film with John Cusack and Chevy Chase called 'Hot Tub Time Machine.' It is an absurd comedy. It's coming out in March 2010. And then, I have an independent film called 'Morning' that will be making the rounds in festivals. That's about it for now... I'm hoping to work with the 'Sex Drive' directors on a project, if it gets green lit. And I'll probably be doing something with the writers of 'Hot Tub.' But right now, it's definitely too early to tell."
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