Interview with Charlie McDermott

Charlie McDermott plays Axl Heck on ABC’s new hit series “The Middle.” He has also been in movies such as “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “”Sex Drive” Adam Lawton had a chance recently to speak with Charlie his role on the hit show and some of his film projects.

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Adam Lawton: What made you want to get into acting?
Charlie McDermott: My neighbor had showed me “Star Wars” when I was about 5 years old. Ever since then I knew it was something I wanted to do. I wanted to be involved in not only acting but movies in general. Even though I was so young I knew it was something that I wanted to do.

AL: How did your role on “The Middle” come about?
CM: I had moved to Los Angeles about four years ago from Philadelphia. When I first got out there I auditioned for the original pilot. After a few auditions I didn’t end up getting the part. The original pilot went on to be shot however it was never picked up. Two years later I auditioned for the same role and show. It was a little weird. I went in and auditioned knowing that Patricia Heaton was attached to the project, so I really wanted the role. I did about five or six auditions before I got the part and was very fortunate that everything worked out and that the show got picked up.

AL: How is it working with such a great cast which includes actors like Chris Katan?
CM: Awesome! It’s really cool.  Chris was always one of my favorite SNL guys growing up so getting to work with him was really great. Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn are such great people.  They have both been in the business so long that working on the show is really a fun time.

AL: How well do you get along with your brother and sister on the show played by Atticus Shaffer and Eden Sher?
CM: Great! Eden is actually my neighbor as we live in the same apartment complex. We share a wall (Laughs).  Atticus is like having a little brother. For seven months out of the year we spend twelve hours a day with each other shooting. We have gotten pretty close and have some of the same interests.

AL: Do you have a favorite episode so far?
CM: I really liked the Christmas episode. However we did just finish filming an episode where my character Axl starts a band. It’s a good possibility that I may like that one the most!

AL: Are we going to get to see another season?
CM: Hopefully. We haven’t heard anything yet but the show has been doing progressively better in the ratings, so I really hope so.

AL: You have some classics lines in the film “Sex Drive” were those all scripted or did you get to improvise
CM: It was actually a little bit of both. They had given us some scripted lines but then we were allowed to go from there. Each take would just start with the scripted section and then add our own lines in. Usually they would just keep rolling until we ran out of material (Laughs).  That has been one of the most fun times I have had on set. Playing that character was really great.

AL: Any funny behind the scene stories from that shoot?
CM: I was there for about two weeks in this really weird section of Florida which is a story to itself but the whole cast was just really funny to be around. There’s a bunch of really great stuff on the bonus section of the DVD.

AL: Do you have any upcoming projects?
CM: Right now I am booked through March doing “The Middle.”  I have been attached to a few projects that are awaiting a green light. I really hope everything comes together as both I think are going to be really good.

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