Dylan McDermott Remembers Getting Cast in His First Film, ‘Hamburger Hill’

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“It was an open call. They were searching for new talent, and I just kept going back. I think they called me back seven times.” – Dylan McDermott

Golden Globe-winning actor Dylan McDermott is up for an Emmy Award for his performance in the Netflix series Hollywood. It’s McDermott’s second Emmy nomination (he was previously nominated for his 1997-2004 series The Practice), and although McDermott has had a variety of television roles throughout his career, he made his on screen debut in a Vietnam War film — and it certainly was not glamorous, though it was such a huge accomplishment for him.

McDermott recalls to Netflix Queue, “The first film I did was called Hamburger Hill. That was rough. There were no trailers. You had one costume. It was a Vietnam movie where they had to hose you down if you got muddy. I was like, Oh, s—, this is making a movie.

Not only was McDermott cast in the film, he was cast in the lead role. As he remembers, it was an incredible opportunity for his very first feature film:

“It was an open call. They were searching for new talent, and I just kept going back. I think they called me back seven times. I didn’t think twice about it. I was like, I don’t know how you ever get to be in a movie. Then suddenly I was cast, and I was shooting the film in the Philippines — in 1986, during a coup attempt against President Corazon Aquino — with Courtney B. Vance and Don Cheadle and Steven Weber. I still think it was one of the happiest moments of my life. Your first movie, it seems so far away, it doesn’t seem real. I got the phone call that I was cast as the lead, and I was just like, What? Are you kidding me?

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