I also added a cast photo from the 4th season of The Middle:
For actor-writer-director Charlie McDermott, it’s all in a day’s work. At 22, McDermott is a man on a mission, doing more before the sunlight bursts through the morning than most. With a starring role as aloof teenager Axl on ABC’s THE MIDDLE and a directorial debut set for this spring with “ImagiGary,” 2012 is the year of Charlie.
CHILDHOOD MEMORY: There was a swing attached to our deck, and I swung too high and knocked myself out!
FAVE DESIGNER: Anything vintage
FAVE VACATION GETAWAY: Oregon, but I usually just go home to Pennsylvania.
LATEST OBSESSION: The band We Are Augustines.
QUIRKS/ PHOBIAS: I don’t like elevators
GREAT STEAK OR SUSHI: Sushi
BOARKWALK EMPIRE OR MAD MEN: Boardwalk Empire
FAVE DIRECTOR: Tarantino
I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT…a notebook
GUILTY PLEASURE: Reality TV
ACTOR YOU ADMIRE: Daniel Day Lewis
FUNNY MOMENT ON THE MIDDLE SET: Banter with Neil and I is always funny. Also, once I had to throw a bread roll at Eden’s head and threw too hard and it exploded!
BIGGEST INFLUENCE: People in general
HIDDEN PASSION: Music…guitar, piano, drums, and I’m learning the violin.
SATURDAY NIGHT, I’D FIND YOU…in my apartment!
HYDROGEN MAGAZINE: When did the acting bug hit you or is it something you always wanted to do?
CHARLIE MCDERMOTT: It probably started when I was 5. I didn’t fully understand what acting was, I just wanted to do whatever Star Wars was. I would make movies in the backyard and the basement with my friend. The first time I asked if I could get an agent was in 3rd grade. My parents didn’t so much say no, it was more them not knowing what it would involve. I kept on making shorts with friends, focused on writing and directing. In middle-school, I saw signs for a movie that was being filmed in my town and my mom pointed out that the director was also in the movie and she pointed out to me that it was possible to do both. Then in 8th grade, there was a huge casting call for The Village and got called back to be extra and ended up getting lines. From then, I got a manager in New Jersey and an agent in New York and 3 years later I moved to Los Angeles.
HM: How was the leap, moving from the East Coast to Los Angeles?
CM: It was cool because I was moving for something I wanted to do, but it was hard to be away from family and friends, some as far back as kindergarten and for the first time in my life, I had to make friends. My mom and dad would take shifts watching over me and two days before I turned 18, my dad left and I’ve been on my own ever since.
HM: Tell me about your role as Axl on THE MIDDLE. How did the role come to you?
CM: I got it through the normal audition process. They did a pilot once before and I didn’t get it and I was bummed. Two years later, Patricia Heaton had signed on. I auditioned again with the same sides as the original audition – the actual lines that ended up in the pilot. I booked the role two months later. Axl was originally named Elvis actually. Axl is a pretty normal kid. He doesn’t like his parents, eats a lot, he’s lazy but at the end of the day, he loves his family. He’s definitely got a lot of Axl angst.
HM: What’s in store for Axl this season?
CM: Axl’s playing baseball this season, and up to the same Axl antics causing trouble and somehow
getting off scot-free!
HM: Do you see any of yourself in him?
CM: I don’t see much of myself in Axl or vice versa. It is the longest character I’ve ever played though. I put on the clothes of the character or lack of clothes…and I’m pretty much in it.
HM: What is it like on set with Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn?
CM: Pretty awesome, especially with Neil. It feels like hanging out with my friends. They have good advice which is hard to pinpoint, but I learn so much by watching them, and noticing things over the years. 32 months, 12 hours a day, people’s techniques tend to rub off.
HM: Tell me about your upcoming movie project “ImagiGary.” You are the writer, direct or and star, a big feat.
CM: The idea for “ImagiGary” came from my friend Nate Hartley, my co-writer. It stemmed off a short
story, about an imaginary friend he had as a kid. In “ImagiGary,” Henry Peterson goes to college and an imaginary friend comes back to keep him company and hilarity and comedy ensues. We start production in May in Westchester, Pennsylvania after The Middle wraps. I’ve clung to writers and directors like shadows on all the sets I’ve been on. Being my first time doing something like this, I’ll be learning as I go. I’m nervous, but good nerves as expected. The people involved are very confident, and at the end of
the day, we’ll figure it out.
HM: Where do you see your path taking you in the next few years?
CM: I can’t picture it. In this business, it’s hard to assume or plan things out, everything is so spontaneous. Hopefully, I’ll be in a good place doing something that I love creatively.