After a memorable turn as vicious mobster Richard Wheatley on “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” Dylan McDermott is enjoying playing someone on the right side of the law in “FBI: Most Wanted.” His character, Remy Scott, takes over as team leader in the April 12 episode of the CBS series, which is also from prolific producer Dick Wolf.
“I’ve played some questionable people along the way. It’s time to play someone good again and Remy Scott is that character,” McDermott said during a virtual panel on Wednesday. He’s aware that after playing the villainous “OC” character — who killed Elliot Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni’s) wife and tried to have his own wife killed — audiences might have a hard time accepting him as a good guy.
“People are saying, ‘It’s too soon, he’s Richard Wheatley. He’s a bad guy,’ and I relish it. I think it’s amazing that people believe I’m him. Now they’re gonna see me in a completely different light. People will quickly forget about Richard Wheatley by the end of [my first episode on ‘FBI: Most Wanted’]. It’s exciting to me as an actor to go from a wildly-bad bad guy to a noble character.”
Showrunner David Hudgins agrees it’s hard to forget Wheatley, referring to the mobster as “a f—ing great character,” but says McDermott brings “an absolute jolt of energy” to the series. “We weren’t concerned with the Richard Wheatley of it all,” he said of writing the new character, who can go dark but also brings a welcome lightness and sense of humor.
McDermott joins the show midway into the third season following the exit of original cast member Julian McMahon, whose character, Jess LaCroix was killed off in the March 8 episode “Shattered.” Remy hits the ground running on his first day with the team as they investigate a brutal double murder and a potential abduction with a quickly rising body count. By the end of the episode, Remy’s already bonded with his teammates.
The camaraderie continues to gel over the first three episodes, says Hudgins of the team’s dynamic under Scott’s command: “He can give them s— and they can give him s— in return, all within reason.”
We find out that the reason Remy joined the FBI was because of the long-ago murder of his younger brother, as he reveals to his team over beers. “I love that scene. I loved working on it. I had time to let it marinate over a couple weeks. I do some of my best acting in my bathtub, incredible performances no one ever gets to see,” McDermott laughed.
“Remy is such a great character to play because he’s complex. He has a sense of humor, at the end of it, he says, ‘That’s enough of the sad stories.’ I love that quality of him, he bounces back very quickly from any situation. The loss of his brother looms large for Remy in every single way, but at the same time, because he’s on this journey, he can only go so far. It’s a wonderful thing to play as he deepens over time. I want this guy to evolve over time and to find out the secrets inside himself that he maybe doesn’t know. I want to unveil who he is [over the next few years].”