Dylan McDermott has lost his sex appeal.
The 47-year-old actor's face has been covered with phony gashes, bruises and streams of dripping blood as part of an abduction gone wrong for a scene on TNT's new hardcore undercover police drama, "Dark Blue." The series, which premieres Wednesday, is from Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of the "Pirates of the Caribbean," "National Treasure" and "CSI" franchises.
"I promise I'll be back to normal by the next episode," says McDermott, before flashing his leading-man grin.
McDermott, who starred as Bobby Donnell on "The Practice," has traded his briefcase for a badge on "Dark Blue," where grittiness is favored over sexiness. Not even the show's lone female cast member, Nicki Aycox (who posed for Maxim magazine in a green bra and skull-covered underwear), has been gussied up. Her character is usually clad in jeans; her hair in a ponytail.
"The great thing about TNT and Jerry Bruckheimer is we get to create character, which is really hard to do on network television these days because it's geared toward a case — a police case, a doctor case, a lawyer case," McDermott said during a break from filming. "On TNT, we get to develop these great characters. Lt. Carter Shaw being one of them."
McDermott's Shaw — more Jason Bourne than Joe
Friday — leads a four-person undercover task force charged with taking down Los Angeles' clandestine criminals, no matter what it takes. That includes torture, murder and getting kicked in the face.
Shaw and his squad also struggle to maintain normal lives. McDermott, too.
"It's hard because you're working 15 hours a day," McDermott said. "It's a lot. I do have to drop it on the weekend as much as I can, so it doesn't affect my kids. I don't think they want Carter as their dad. It's a lot of work. It's definitely a big part of my life right now. It's hard to kind of put it down and then pick it back up on Monday."
High jinks help. After a particularly rough day of filming, practical joker Omari Hardwick
, who plays Shaw's recently married and seemingly stable right-hand man, plastered McDermott's Porsche with photocopies of the DVD cover of "The Tenants," a 2005 bomb that starring McDermott — and Snoop Dogg
"There's the off- and on-switch for these undercover cops," said Logan Marshall-Green, the icy cool actor portraying Shaw's unpredictable colleague who goes too deep undercover in the first episode. "We try to do the same thing as actors. I think we take our jobs very seriously, but we're also able to exhale and play together and talk about the Lakers."