‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Star Dylan McDermott Calls Wheatley an ‘Instinctual Animal’

by Jacklyn Krol
Bauer-Griffin, Filmmagic, Getty Images

Law & Order: Organized Crime character Dylan McDermott is nothing short of an animal. Actor Dylan McDermott believes that his role is of an “instinctual animal.”

In an interview with E! News, McDermott discussed how he gets into such a villainous character’s mindset. His acting teacher advised him to just “stop thinking” when getting into a role.

“Then you’re instinctual,” McDermott explained. “I think Richard Wheatley is an instinctual animal.”

Despite currently being behind bars, McDermott teased that there is going to be more chaos for Law & Order: Organized Crime.

“Richard Wheatley is an agent of chaos,” he added. “No matter where he goes or what he does, he’s creating chaos all around him.”

When asked if he would consider a Richard Wheatley spin-off in the franchise, he would be up for the challenge. However, he believes that people couldn’t handle it.

“It’ll probably have to be half-hour, I think an hour will be like, ‘Oh man,'” he concluded.

Why Did Dylan Join ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’

Not many people could say that they were able to take on a dream acting role. For McDermott, Wheatley was the perfect fit. Several things made him immediately want to take the role. The first of which is the admiration of unsavory gangsters. It’s actually all in the family for McDermott, but he was never actually involved in illegal activity.

“My mother’s boyfriend was a bank robber,” he revealed to Parade. “My uncles had dabbled in this and that. I had grown up with my dad in the Village, Little Italy, and had been around when Joey Gallo [Colombo crime family] got killed, and Paul Castellano [was shot dead] at Sparks Steak House. I had waited on these guys as a bartender, as a waiter and as a busboy, so I knew the lay of the land.”

The other big advantage to joining the Law & Order: Organized Crime universe was the fact that it was based in New York. He grew up in the city and has always admired the street style. He also just enjoys the city life and what the town brings to life.

“I had always watched,” he said of his fellow New Yorkers. “I’ve always been a great watcher and observer. So I think that the combination of having grown up that way, the clothes, the look, I think that all fell into place for me. And, certainly, the psychosis of this character being a malignant narcissist, I think all that stuff is really appealing to me. So it was an easy yes because I knew exactly who the guy was. By the time I stepped on set, I was more than ready.”

Law & Order: Organized Crime airs on Thursdays at 10 PM ET on NBC.