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

“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.” –

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?

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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