For a big
Bye Bye Indie
(Man oh man. The guy sells out for fame and fortune
only to be overshadowed by Rupert mania.
That's so brutal I can't even revel in it!)
Iggy's conceptualization of Clyde
Dermot's recent romantic comedies have inspired new fans and renewed
old interests. Ray Golden (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends the actor his
Dermot "was our goalie on the Rosemont Spurs soccer team. He may remember me - I hung out with him and Prescott Barbash. I was in music class in the 4th grade playing clarinet when Dermot played cello. Once, when we were behind the Maury School, I found Dermot crying. I approached him to see what was wrong and he told me a dog had been hit. The pain I saw in him inspired me to try becoming a veterinarian!"
Ray wound up changing majors. Drop him a line, Dermot, if you're curious about how he turned out!
Like all good folk of Iowa farm background, the Mulroneys spent summer vacations at their place on Cape Cod.
No, wait. To give modesty credit where it's due, someone who spent time there with the family told me that the kids all slept in a row in a loft. I love it.
My good bud, the Beantown Pittsqueak, put her backside in great peril to bring you this report (Yes, yes, yes, I took out all the identifying stuff and just left the substantial info):
"It's a large, rambling cape-style home [complete with two mean looking Dobermans barking loudly] with grey shingles and shutters in a quiet neighborhood of lovely homes that are surrounded by trees, about a block from one of the nicest beaches on the Cape. I'm sure Derm must have some wonderful memories of summers spent there."
It's possible Beantown got the wrong house, but I doubt it. Salt water. Blech. But I *love* the Dobermans. So...mean! You go, Mike! heh heh
Dermot did his own stunts. And here's a funny blast from the past. Despite what appears to be a liberal slant (note pro-gun control stance mentioned on E! FEATURES COPYCAT) Dermot did once refer to his hairstyle in SURVIVAL QUEST as being "as long as a guy's hair should ever be."
Yeah, yeah, yeah, so you know about the window-washing. Well, I hear he also had a job in a restaurant (bar?) while in college in Illinois and was a newspaper paper delivery boy in Alexandria.
Move over, Kevin Bacon. Dermot has cornered the networking market thanks to recidivism. Here's a short list of the folks who have worked with Derm in some substantial way at least twice (Samantha Mathis and River Phoenix don't count because they didn't share screen time with him in AMERICAN QUILT or SILENT TONGUE) (oh, yeah...Catherine Keener doesn't count, either): Sam Shepard, Tess Harper, Frank Whaley, James LeGros, Steve Buscemi, Sean Astin, Will Patton, Kyle MacLachlan, Tom DiCillo, Anjelica Huston, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jennifer Connelly, Mary Kay Place (nice catch, Vini!), Megan Follows (also in SHATTERED with him), Patricia Arquette and...Bon Jovi (Vinster, you are TOO much). On a lesser note, Vini recently came up with another recidivist... Michael Booker. BASTARD's wedding guest, TRIGGER's Derm-shooter.
In a related trend, Dermot has worked with both partners in the following relationships: Jocelyn Moorhouse and PJ Hogan (directors, AMERICAN QUILT and WEDDING); Danielle Von Zernick and James Fearnley (no way I spelled all that right) (Wandaful Wanda and LSO accordian player); and Julie Cypher and Melissa Etheridge (ARDUOUS MOON, "Place Your Hand").
DERM VS. BRAD
To prove my objectivity and honesty, I hereby publicly acknowledge that Dermot was a coverboy long before William Bradley was. Specifically, in the spring of 1987 Derm and Patricia Arquette graced the cover of People Magazine in conjunction with a story on teen-age pregnancy (the photo was from DADDY, of course...no Derm content in article). A thousand thanks to email@example.com for remembering this cover and to Vini for inspiring this tidbit.
TC Williams High School Class of 1981. In a thoroughly-integrated school (roughly 50/50 ratio of black to white), the skinny little white cello player got elected senior class president. And he appeared in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, accompanied the ski club on a trip to Canada, attended Boys State (incredibly competitive academic/leadership function), and helped decorate the winning senior class float. He might have some interesting stories to tell about non-functional water fountains and a flu epidemic that devastated attendance. Also, TC Williams had recently added 10th graders to its roster and the yearbook mentions the strife this caused. Kieran Mulroney was a 10th grader the year Dermot was a senior so he might have been called on to protect little brother a time or two. Then again, maybe Kieran was already taller.
was created by Vini Wronski in April 1997. And there was much rejoicing.
The Mulroney children are named Sean, Conor, Dermot, Kieran and Moira. Begorrah! Parents are Michael and Ellen. Mike, Sean and Moira are lawyers (heavy family attendance at Harvard Law School). Mike is a tax attorney of some significance (see "Who's Who in America) and once chaired the school board in Alexandria.
So Brad Pitt used to have three dogs, Deacon and Maggie and Earl. Later he speaks of having only Deacon left after a location shoot...he says he left one of the other dogs with a couple, people he thought were responsible, and they seemed to have lost the dog. Outrage. And now DERMOT has a dog named Earl. How odd. Vini's theory: What if Derm and Cat did lose Brad's dog Earl.. so Derm got another dog Earl, to give back to Pitt, who then said stuff it. .. hence the 2 dogs of Earl, but now Derm's dog. arf arf.
Works for me.
Update - is Earl history? Current dogs seem to be Addie and Trooper. Earl? Earl? Here, boy!
If you're in the habit of popping in to sip beers with the Brothers Mulroney, say "Hi" to Dr. Davis for me. "I'm a haute sexy dominatrix..." (I think PME should open for LSO if they ever play Mike's stomping grounds in Iowa.)
GRAILS OF DERMDOM
The following are probably the hardest Derm vehicles to get your hands on:
SOMETIMES THE TRUTH IS ALL YOU GET. What can I tell you? Either the folks in the national company of RENT are vastly superior to the boys of the Low and Sweet Orchestra, or someone at Interscope is a crummy thief. Ummmmmmm. Nut Goodies. But I digress. Bless ACCESS HOLLYWOOD for running the clips of LSO's first video, and a pox on that guy from that San Francisco alternative music video program (SUBCULTURE? Something like that) for not coming through for me. The question that looms large, of course, is, just how much is Derm IN that video? If it's a lot...someone is truly exploiting someone else.
FAMILY PICTURES (miniseries starring Anjelica Huston). In light of ABC's broadcast on July 6&7 (1997), I've appealed to LIFETIME (the Derm champs) to compete with their own rebroadcast of UNCONQUERED.
TOMA: THE DRUG KNOT (aired as a CBS Schoolbreak Special). Copyright date is 1986, Dermot has a featured role but most sources will list only David Toma and Tracey Nelson. I suspect this project gives "those who knew him when" the willies. Behold, the creature from the spineless lagoon oozing out of the charm pores. Yours for $100 from Disney's educational division.
Julie Cypher's short, ARDUOUS MOON (keep an eye on Bravo, the Sundance Channel, or the Independent Film Channel).
CANCELLED LIVES: LETTERS FROM THE INSIDE is officially removed from the grail list as of 5/2/97. Kudos to Her Majesty Mary the Magnificent for coming up with a copy.
GREAT MOMENTS IN DERMDOM
THE ACTOR AT HIS BEST
LIVING IN OBLIVION - Kudos to Tom DiCillo, who I'm thinking is the second-best fimmaker out there (right after Todd Haynes) when I'm not thinking he's a jerk, for one of those incredible moments of cinema - the Masked Tear. Wandaful wandaful wandaful.
WHERE THE DAY TAKES YOU
King. Yay, hurray! God, I love indie filmmaking. The good parts include King calling Crasher on the carpet (no small task in a public restroom), the deepseated, gently-rendered morality in his response to Little J's inquiry about sleeping with Heather, his perfect touch when rejecting unwanted sexual advances. What's thrilling about watching WHERE THE DAY TAKES YOU is the heartwarming sense it imparts of how hard some folks are willing to work to serve your soul. And there's humor, too. "Can you yell a little louder? YELL A LITTLE LOUDER!" (And how tempting it is to add Melissa Etheridge to the recidivist category)
Yes yes yes, we're all very impressed by the jump from the stairs. And Melinda Dillon is definitely our generation's Maureen O'Hara ("Get out of my sight. GET BACK HERE AND CLEAN UP THIS MESS!"). But the best part of STAYING TOGETHER, frankly, is the sex. As destructive as gratuitous sex in films is, that's how enriching sex done right is. STAYING TOGETHER has two great sexual moments, and Dermot's is the better one (the other one features Tim Quill and Stockard Channing on a kitchen floor). oh man oh man oh man.
HEART OF JUSTICE
Behold the psychotic, musical son of a prominent Irish lawyer in a family where siblings are, um...close. The Mulroney clan must have eaten Elliott Burgess up with a spoon. This is one of those performances that tickles you to death and makes you want to sing out from the pile where you've collapsed in giggles, "Thank you, thank you...that was GREAT!" Elliott is a well-groomed preppie darling with just a tad too much intensity in those deep dark eyes, a graceful product of good-breeding whose supple movements occasionally jerk with the twitch of the tightly-wound, a sweet but diabolical smoothie whose decreasing grip on his own calm leads to instant mood swings so hilarious they can make you snort soda right out your nose. We all had a wonderful time.
This tale of teenage pregnancy includes two fabulous deliveries of wonderfully-written scenes. "If you're thinking of having a baby because you're lonely, why don't you try making some friends, Stacy! WHY DON'T YOU TRY MAKING SOME FRIENDS!" Later, when Bobby visits the ostracized Stacy in her squalid apartment, her mood swings and general immaturity lead to yet another confrontation between them. Stacy escalates the tension by injecting hostile physical contact. Dermot's repeated "Don't!", combining threat with warning, is one of the best portraits ever of a male struggling to control his own violent tendencies.
And on a lighter note, the nightmare sequence is a hoot. Look, it's Nestor Pyle! And of course, Dermot makes LOTS of music in this movie.
Alas, Martha blows Derm right out of the water. (and the recidivism thing, geez! The guy playing the musician Dermot grabs the violin from at the last moment has the same name as a producer on ROSEANNE where James LeGros made a guest appearance during the 1995-96 season. Kinda scary to think just how many people I may have pissed off). The significant thing about SAMANTHA is the soundtrack which boasts Dermot playing cello in a quartet. Ah, Schtumer's Fifth. There's a four-bar solo in the middle, no less (8 if it's cut-time).
The Brothers Mulroney are unceasingly hilarious, particularly the slide off the horsey ride, but the film's best moment belongs to Kieran, a touching dab of pain in reaction to a particularly nasty "shut up." For even better work by Mulroney recidivist Frank Whaley, check out UNCONQUERED or the Craig Sheffer vehicle, DESPERATE TRAIL.
THERE GOES MY BABY
He walks, he talks, he sings! Forget THING CALLED LOVE (swell though it is), the place to hear Dermot play and sing is right here, where Pirate shares a verse of "Reason to Believe" with girlfriend Sunny. It's sad, the idiotic desire actors have to abandon juvenile roles. The window of opportunity for playing such roles is short enough as it is, though it should be larger, like it used to be. The modern insistence on having actors be so close in age to the characters they play is shallow and short-sighted, particularly in youths. Older performers bring richess to character development whereas younger performers simply substitute precociousness, which sustains a character for about two minutes. Anyway, the majority of the best roles are about high-schoolers, and the ensemble work by the cast of THERE GOES MY BABY is a wonderous and rare thing...a group effort that feels inclusive rather than exclusive. This is AMERICAN GRAFFITI with substance (the "last night of summer" plot is crossed with the WATTS riots).
SIN OF INNOCENCE
Dermot does a wonderful job of bursting into tears in his parents' bedroom ("Why does it feel like I'm being punished?") and there's nothing wrong with Megan Follow's work, either...so why do the performances feel kinda strange?
Because the roles are reversed.
Dermot is playing a girl and Megan is playing a boy (though I doubt they were aware of it). Think it over.
Anyway, Dermot's really great moment in this flick is also really simple. He finds a fresh spin for a bit of throw-away humor (a mock horror reaction to the size of the art lab fee). Enjoy.
"That paint! That paint was worth a hundred dollars!" My, but sister-love is a common theme in Derm's movies.
Okay, that's it. Three would have been coincidence, but four? FOUR films where Derm's character is so...attached...to a sister that other characters comment unfavorably? It's freaking me out. Also of interest...the younger Mack is, the better Dermot's performance.
CANCELLED LIVES: LETTERS FROM THE INSIDE
Can there be a more valid past-time than problem-solving games? You work your body, I'll work my mind. As I've mentioned before, it's a bit of a challenge to figure out which voice is Dermot's (yes yes yes, we're all very impressed. Yo, MM! If they're all the same, why can't we find him here? Little help?)
Anyway, here's Vini's best guess:
" How about the one around 0:09:37 with the 'I fought the law' music in the background? It's higher than Derm normally talks, but the key here is to listen to syllable pronunciations. Note in particular 'Sooner or later, you're gonna end up being with them.' Later is pronounced late - urr .. very characteristic of Dermot's rrrrrs. There's a very typical wide vowel in there too, reminiscent of King, but most of it sounds too young."
Vini wipes the floor with me. I simply cannot compete.
How do I explain this melt-you-into-your-socks performance from a big-budget piece of Hollywood schlock? I figure he was competing with James (who was also espsecially stupendous).
CHRONICLING THE GLORY YEARS
ARTICLES AND PHOTO OPS
January 1994 Interview. Steve Buscemi interviews Dermot.
Jan 14, 1989 TV Guide. Article on UNCONQUERED includes a couple of Derm pix.
September 28, 1992 People. Review of WHERE THE DAY TAKES YOU includes Derm photo.
October 1992 US. Cute pic (and nice Catherine praising) on page 11 from JOHNNY SUEDE premiere.
July 1995 Vogue. Nice article on the Lio Trio (keep reading) with a handsome pic of Derm.
July 1995 Elle. Article on Dermot and Catherine with a to-die-for pic of Derm and Cat (the hand on the leg...I'm dying, I'm dying). (Unceasing thanks to Cheryl Suzuki, Louis-lover extraordinaire and a darn helpful friend).
A tune about the good old days. The following was inspired by those clever Denny's commercials and the article in Vogue on the stars of LIVING IN OBLIVION (Steve Buscemi, James LeGros and Dermot Mulroney). Sung to the tune of "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?"
THE LIO TRIO LAMENT (or Ode to the Indie Heroes)
(with apologies to the Lovin' Spoonful)
Did you ever have to make up your mind
And choose between three guys that most folks can't find?
To favor just Dermot or Steven or James
How could anybody make up her mind?
Yet I really have to finally decide
To watch only one and let the other two ride
The price of their videos is so very high
That I just can't like them all at one time.
Sometimes I think I like James best
He's so versatile
Just watch John and Skippy,
Then Chad Palomino
And just when I think the musician's the one
Buscemi's going nose to nose with Harvey gun to gun
It makes it
Really hard to make up your mind
To like only one and leave the others behind
Three treasures at one time is almost unkind
How could anybody make up his mind?
INSERT CHARMING LITLE MUSICAL BRIDGE HERE
I think of all they do for me
Ed tugs my heartstrings
Crasher really slays me
I'd sell it all for King
And that brings up something
That adds to my woes
They keep turing up in the very same shows!
It makes it
Really hard to make up your mind
To watch only one and let the others' work slide
I guess I'll ask Catherine, Christina and Jo
Won't you help me please to finally decide?
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