‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’: What Dylan McDermott Says Makes His Character a ‘Formidable Foe’

by Madison Miller

Dylan McDermott is no stranger to portraying some intensely dark and terrifying characters on the screen. The “Law & Order: Organized Crime” star also appeared in the popular “American Horror Story” franchise.

In the ninth season of the show, McDermott played Bruce, a hitchhiking serial killer that is looking to murder two other characters.

‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Villain

Meanwhile, his character in “Law & Order: Organized Crime” has an eerily more realistic creepy and murderous side to him. He plays Richard Wheatley, a son of a gangster that creates an illicit business. He even murders his own father on top of the Coney Island Ferris wheel.

He’s also involved with crime in Italy, which viewers find out is related to the death of Detective Elliott Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni) wife.

Clearly, McDermott’s character has done more than enough to place himself as the ultimate villain for Stabler. Some could argue he even did too much. In an interview with TV Line in April 2021, McDermott explains that the show needed an ultimate foe.

“Stabler definitely needs a foe, a formidable foe. Otherwise, the show wouldn’t work. Because that kind of conflict, that standoff is so necessary on a show like this. So, you have to have somebody who can take him on, and I think that Richard can take on Stabler. In fact, he looks forward to it. That’s what turns him on. You know what I mean? He’s one of these criminals that like to leave a note to let you know he was there. There’s something about it that turns him on, the getting away with it. I think he looks forward to this challenge, you know?” McDermott said.

Throughout the first season, the two bump heads as murder, moles, and crime are at the forefront. Eventually, Wheatley ends up behind bars. However, it’s clear that he has access to people everywhere, meaning he can still do damage even while locked away on “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

While Wheatley and Stabler far from trust each other on the show, Meloni and McDermott have managed to bond together.

“Well you know, it’s about trust. I think that certainly Chris and I trust each other and we trust the whole cast too, it’s a great cast … it’s so nice to come to work and be supported,” McDermott said in an interview with The Knockturnal.

Christopher Meloni and Dylan McDermott

Christopher Meloni had been a part of the “Law & Order” franchise long before “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

He played Stabler from 1999 to 2011 before leaving the show after 12 seasons. This was Dylan McDermott’s first time in the franchise.

In an interview with Goldderby.com, Meloni talked about how much he was enjoying working with the cast. Specifically working with McDermott, who had a similar acting technique.

“He and I had quite a few long discussions because we both came out of the same acting technique (Meisner) and we’re of the same years. And I have found that when I work with someone who has done the Meisner technique, there’s a shorthand. It’s that much easier and you share certain instincts. For me, it becomes a richer experience.”

The chemistry between the two is unmatchable, even though it is filled with absolute, personal, and deep hatred and vengeance on “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”