March 9, 2018 Interview – Dylan McTee
With only five years experience under his young belt, Dylan McTee is a new actor with an already impressive resume. Known for his roles as the less than savory characters Nate Griffin, in MTV’s Sweet/Vicious, and Jeff Pittman, in the brand new Indie flick Midnighters, released in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on March 2nd thanks to IFC Midnight, McTee is making a name for himself in Hollywood and proving that he is not afraid to tackle an eclectic spectrum of roles. With his career gaining traction, McTee offered up a moment of his time to sit down with CrypticRock to discuss his latest acting roles, working in film and television, Indie films, and more.
CrypticRock.com – For the past five years, you have been involved in both film and television. What inspired you to pursue a career in entertainment?
Dylan McTee – I’m actually fairly new to this game, this film Midnighters being my first. My mom wouldn’t let me be a child actor. She grew up in Santa Monica and had a lot of friends who were involved in the industry, so I think that sort of showed her the importance of growing up “normal;” although I spent most of it just day-dreaming and making my own scenes in the backyard. Eventually, I decided to study theater in college. So I guess, just recently, I’ve decided to pursue a career, but I’ve always been in pursuit of expression. I think people who show me how freely we can express is what’s always inspired me.
CrypticRock.com – So your career is only just beginning, though your break-out role was as Nate Griffin in the MTV series Sweet/Vicious. How did you get involved in the show and what drew you to working in television?
Dylan McTee – I was given the opportunity by Jennifer Robinson, the creator of Sweet/Vicious, to explore a darker side of humanity. I really think the show was ahead of its time in trying to open up the conversation about sexual assault, especially to younger audiences. I’m very proud of being a part of that change, and playing the “assaulter” or “bad guy” really opened my eyes as to how we are systematically condoning this behavior to persist – but that’s a whole other conversation.
CrypticRock.com – It is a very important conversation that is finally starting to get its due. Absolutely. Now, obviously there are some huge differences between films and television. As an actor who has done both, how does television differ from film, aside from the obvious?
Dylan McTee – It depends on what project you’re working on. The first difference that pops into my head from my experience thus far is that TV is more comfortable; films are more gritty and collaborative.
CrypticRock.com – That in mind, do you have a preference of which you like to work in?
Dylan McTee – I’m in love with Indie films. It’s not so much about the mainstream: it’s an artist trying to explore an idea. It’s so much easier to fail; it’s much more of a vulnerable medium.
CrypticRock.com – Absolutely! The vulnerability of the inherent risks taken in Indie films are what makes some of them so truly successful. That said, in Midnighters you play Jeff Pittman, who is not exactly the most stand-up citizen. Is it fun to play someone who is covertly wicked?
Dylan McTee – Of course it’s fun! I think, especially in preparing for Sweet/Vicious, I’m no longer afraid to delve into the darker side of humanity; but I never accept that I’m wicked. I’m a firm believer that everyone has a heart.
CrypticRock.com – It is important that you maintain that positive view of humanity even while depicting some of the dregs of our society! So, what drew you to the role?
Dylan McTee – I think what drew me in was this fucked up sense of purpose that Jeff realizes after accidentally killing someone. I wanted to see how someone deals with that.
CrypticRock.com – It plays out in an intriguing way, that’s for sure. Now, out of your entire catalogue of work, is there a role that you have portrayed, to date, that you feel really spoke to you above and beyond all the rest and allowed you to pour more of yourself into the character?
Dylan McTee – I worked on a play called Summer Brave by William Inge at USC a couple years ago. I played a down-and-out drifter looking for a home. It’s strange how these lives can become your own: you start dreaming and thinking like them, and it’s no longer about performing; it’s almost more about protecting yourself in not giving away your darkest secrets. I think there’s always at least one moment in any project I’ve worked on where this happens and that’s enough for me, no matter what the editor decides to show you.
CrypticRock.com – It must be a powerful experience to truly embrace a character and take a part of that role into yourself. Now to ask a kind of random question: it seems that the trend in film for quite some time now has been to remake every film that directors can get their hands on. Obviously, that’s both positive and negative and can have very mixed results. Ignoring the outcome and all the minutiae involved with such a production, if you could star in the remake of any film, what would be your dream acting gig?
Dylan McTee – Playing Holden Caulfield in a The Catcher in the Rye film.
CrypticRock.com – That would be a dream role for many actors, for sure. What are some future projects you have coming up?
Dylan McTee – I just finished filming a Western/Thriller set in the 1870s. I play a very different role in this one than in Midnighters; I think I was looking for something different. I’m really excited to share this one.
CrypticRock.com – It is important to branch out and tackle many different roles, it definitely makes for a more well-rounded actor. Okay, last question. At CrypticRock, we cover music as well as films, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi movies. Are you a fan of either of these genres and, if so, do you have any favorite Horror and/or Sci-Fi films?
Dylan McTee – I love Psycho (1960), The Witch (2015), Mama (2013), and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).