"I Really Appreciate What You Guys Do"
CB: Did they tell you anything about Duncan's character before you went in, or was it just going in and taking a look at the sides?
JD: Well, I read the breakdown ["a detailed listing of roles available for casting in a particular production" -- CB] and then I went in and Mark Piznarski, who directed the pilot, and Rob were there, and I read, and then they wanted me to read for Logan, and I was like, "Fuck, I spent so much time on this other one!"
CB: So at the time, would you have preferred being cast as Duncan rather than Logan?
JD: No way. It's funny -- I always get these characters that I'm so afraid of -- I so feel like I can't...I'm like, this is not me. With Logan, I thought, "Why me? I'm a nice guy." I get these roles -- like, I did this Disney movie [Ready To Run] and it was like, there was this really wild guy, kind of very funny and quirky, and I went in for this straitlaced guy that they finally cut out of the movie, and gave me this other role. But I thought, "There's no way I could get this!" and those are the parts that I wind up with more than any other part that I think I'm "right" for. But those roles are a challenge, and a lot more fun -- you have a lot more to create.
CB: Did they tell you anything specific about Logan before you read for him?
JD: We chatted a little bit, but I think Rob's pretty good about letting you do your thing first, because I don't want to go into an audition and somebody tells me all these notes before I've even done what I want to do -- it's maybe destabilizing, a little bit. So he didn't give me any notes, but as I said, it was all, "Fun, fun, fun, fun! You gotta like this!" And it's funny, people that are like Logan, they're dark and nasty and treat people badly, it's like, they do it because they like it. You can't ever think of a character as away from you, or think, "Oh, I don't like that," because then how are you gonna be that guy?
CB: Yeah, and I think one of the lessons drilled into screenwriters is that no character can think of himself as bad or evil, that they have to be doing what they think is right.
JD: Absolutely. And that can be a challenge -- sometimes I'll get a script in and think, "God, that seems so nasty!" And then it's like, finding a way to say those lines and color them in such a way that seems halfway decent.