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Exclusive NIKITA Dillon Casey Interview

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I spoke with Dillon Casey about Nikita, The Vow, Creature, being featured on a billboard in his underwear in Times Square, Living in LA with Dillon Casey, and so much more.  It was such an honor to speak with Dillon.  He was hilarious, and I highly recommend that you check out his feature, Living in LA with Dillon Casey on Funny or Die.  Dillon also plays the intriguing and resident badass, Sean Pierce, in Nikita every Friday night on The CW.

Lena:  Your character in Nikita (Sean Pierce) is an intense and interesting one, so you must love playing him.

Dillon Casey:  Yeah, he’s a great character, and I get to play a total badass.  I’ve never shot a gun before this show, and now I’ve shot four or five different types in the last three weeks.  It’s pretty cool.  I’ve shot with big sniper rifles, Berettas and it’s pretty amazing.

Lena:  I figured you had some weapons training already.

Dillon Casey:  They taught me on the spot.  I got the part and a few days later I came in to shoot and when they teach you they just come up to you ten minutes before we were supposed to shoot the scene and they would just say, “Here’s how you load it, shoot it, the safety…” and ten minutes later you are supposed to look like a pro.

Lena:  I’m glad you were promoted to a series regular so we get to see more of you.

Dillon Casey:  Yeah, that is cool for sure, thank you.   It’s good to have a little job security.  That is very rare in this business.

Lena:  Yes, I know what you mean.  They cancel so many good shows and leave on things that I have no idea who is watching.   All the reality TV shows kill me.

Dillon Casey:  It’s true, I know.  The amount of shows that get cancelled sometimes is just unbelievable.

Lena:  What was your audition like for Nikita?

Dillon Casey:  I was supposed to be auditioning for it in L.A. but I had to come back from Toronto because I was supposed to be going on a trip with my family.  When you are an actor it is hard to plan things because you are kind of paralyzed by the uncertainty of it all.  You are never sure when you can take time off because you might miss out on something, but my dad booked this trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro, and there was no way that I was missing it.  I had this audition as the last thing before I left and I was thinking I don’t even care about this part because I’m going to go on this trip either way.  I was relaxed going in there and the audition ended up being in Toronto, and I felt really good about it.  I felt that it was the best audition I did in a while, and I kind of knew walking out that I was going to get the part and that I wasn’t going to be going on that trip.  That’s not really a bad problem to have.  I ended up getting the part and didn’t go on the trip with my dad, but it turned into something amazing.

Lena:  Instead of that, you get to bring Sean Pierce to life.

Dillon Casey:  Exactly!

Lena:  I can only imagine how stressful auditions are.

Dillon Casey:  Yeah, they can be, especially if you care too much.  If you really need the job, you are never going to get the job.

Lena:  Maggie Q is an incredible action star, so it must be great to work with her.  I love how she rescues dogs, and speaks up for human and animal rights.  What is it like working with her and the rest of the cast?

Dillon Casey:  Maggie is great, and she knows a lot of things.  She has been in this business so long and especially around the action world.  She knows all of the little things that you wouldn’t expect her to know, like the other day I was on set setting up a sniper shot and she came running in and fixed my feet.  She said, “You are supposed to have your feet like this, you have it all wrong,” and then she disappeared into the dark.   She’s great.  She knows all of these things.  We haven’t done a fight scene together, yet.  We were supposed to but she injured herself.  I’m looking forward to that.  Everyone else is really cool.  They are all nice and professionals.  It has been really amazing.

Lena:  She is amazing, and she does all of her own stunts.  Do you do your own stunts?

Dillon Casey:  I do as much as they’ll let me do.  If you are doing your own stunts and you hurt yourself, then they have to stop production until you get better.  They will let you do a lot of stuff, but there are things that they would rather have the stunt guys do, and you don’t argue with them.  They look better doing it anyway, so…

Lena:  Does your martial arts background help out with the fight scenes?

Dillon Casey:  Yes it does, but there is an exaggerated martial arts background on Wikipedia.  I don’t have a black belt in kung fu or anything like that.  I have been doing martial arts in Los Angeles for about three years and it does help me.  I can’t choreograph anything but I can pick up the moves that the stunt guys give me and make it look like I know what I am doing.

Lena:  So you are not a master but you know what you are doing (laughing).  It was listed on IMDB that you had a black belt.

Dillon Casey:  (Laughing) No, I’m not a master.  Yeah, I know.

Lena:  Sometimes that might work in your favor or against you.  No one will try to mug you (laughing).

Dillon Casey:  (Laughing) I’m sure that there are a lot of people on IMDB dying to mug me.

Lena:  Hey, I don’t know what kind of fans you have (laughing).

Dillon Casey:  (Laughing) Yeah, neither do I.

Lena:  Canada is pretty rough, so….

Dillon Casey:  Canada is really rough, definitely (laughing).

Lena:  Maggie teased in a recent interview that you get naked and tied to a chair in an upcoming episode, so what can you tell me about that?

Dillon Casey:  I think she pretty much summed it up right there.  I am actually wearing a bathing suit (laughing).  It’s a turning point episode.  Sean finally hears Nikita’s side of the story, and he has to be tied down and naked in order to listen.

Lena:  Well, I guess we have all had those days (laughing).

Dillon Casey:  Yeah, it was all her idea.  It was all Maggie’s idea.  She insisted (laughing).

Lena:  Well, I would take that as an honor.  Is that going to be the episode on January 6th when it comes back?

Dillon Casey:  Yes, the half season premiere.

Lena:  I love that they moved you guys to Friday nights, right before Supernatural.

Dillon Casey:  Supernatural is good, right?

Lena:  Yeah, do you watch it?

Dillon Casey: No, I don’t but I’ve heard good things.  Friday is a tough time slot, but the fans have been so loyal that they followed it to Friday.

Lena:  How would you describe Sean and his motivations?

Dillon Casey: Sean was brought on by his mother and everything that he has done, has been done to help his mother.  That has slowly been unraveling as the show has gone on.  As we have been discovering more about Division and how dirty it is.  The problem is that even though he was brought in there originally to clean up Division, he has found out that his mother might be a little corrupt as well.  That leaves him at this crossroads where he has to decide if he is going to protect his mother he has to support Division.  He is really conflicted, and I think that what he is doing now is trying to put it out of his mind that this group that he is working for could be corrupt but the bottom line is that he just needs to protect a member of his family.  After he sees to that he can either separate himself from Division and Oversight and hopefully forget about it all and hopefully take it down.  He doesn’t understand or know right now that Nikita might actually have good intentions.  He just knows that she is trying to kill his mom and that is all he cares about.

Lena:  It’s funny that they had you in your underwear in Nikita and you did M.V.P. where you had your billboard…I saw the pictures (laughing).  They had a giant billboard of you in your underwear in Times Square.

Dillon Casey:  I know I figured it was just a matter of time, and when they told me I was like, “What took you so long?”  (Laughing)

Lena:  I that a clause that you sign in your contracts?

Dillon Casey:  Yeah, I want to be in at least ten episodes with clothes on this time (laughing).

Lena:  What was it like having a billboard up (of you in your underwear) in Times Square?  Not too many people get to experience that.

Dillon Casey:  It was cool.  When I was being asked about it at the time, I didn’t even know how to explain it.  My mom and dad got way more excited about it than I did.  My dad was like, we have to go down to New York and see that.  We went down there and just seeing it was surreal.

Lena:  Did you stand in front of it waiting for people to recognize you (laughing)?

Dillon Casey:  There was a moment where we stood in front of it and my dad was taking a picture and these girls walked by, that were obviously tourists, and they pointed at it and said, “Oh, look at that.”  My dad looked at them and said, “Oh, that’s my son, that’s Dillon,” and he pointed at me.   They looked at me and looked at the billboard and said, “No.”

Lena:  (Laughing) Oh no.  Did you take off your clothes and show them that it was you?

Dillon Casey:  I was just about to.

Lena:  Oh, maybe Naked Cowboy was around and you would have been in trouble (turf war).

Dillon Casey:  I noticed something when I looked at that billboard picture recently.   There is this look in my eyes that says I have no idea what I am getting myself into (laughing).

Lena:  (Laughing) That is awesome.  How much did your friends bust on you?

Dillon Casey:  They definitely made fun of me, but they thought it was cool.

Lena:  How many traffic accidents did you have to apologize for?

Dillon Casey:  (Laughing) Yeah, there were eight.  I was a little disappointed.

Lena:  That’s a shame.   You want at least double digits.

Dillon Casey:  I actually made a Christmas card out of it and sent it out to all of my friends.

Lena:  Are you serious?

Dillon Casey:  No (laughing).

Lena:  Oh, come on.  That would take balls and would be awesome.

Dillon Casey:  It was actually a pop-up Christmas card.

Lena:  You could sell those and make a fortune.

Lena:  I want to see Creature.

Dillon Casey:  You should see Creature.  It was a misunderstood movie.  Did you read anything about it?

Lena:  I know it was one of the biggest flops.

Dillon Casey:  Yeah, it didn’t do well in the box office.  It was marketed wrong, and it was judged beyond what it was supposed to be.

Lena:  It just looked like a fun movie.

Dillon Casey:  That is all it was.  It was a low budget movie that got distributed and marketed as something that it wasn’t.  It’s no one’s fault.  It just sort of missed its mark.

Lena:  I think it’s coming out in March on DVD.  I missed it in the theaters.

Dillon Casey:  Good, I hope they can make some money back (laughing).

Lena:  I like Sid Haig and Mehcad Brooks.

Dillon Casey:  The movie itself is an entertaining horror movie, and if you are not expecting Shakespeare, you will have a really good time watching it.  Sid is amazing in it.  Mehcad is amazing in it, and he is shirtless in it the whole time.  He made sure of that (laughing).

Lena:  What is the movie about?

Dillon Casey:  It’s set up like your typical horror movie, a bunch of kids going off to New Orleans to party one last time before their buddy has to go off to Iraq.  They stop at the wrong place to go to the bathroom and get excited about this local legend called Lockjaw.  They decide to stay the night and Lockjaw ends up being real.  It’s just a fun horror movie, but there are twists and turns.  There is lesbianism, incest, drugs, nudity and a guy in a rubber suit is running around killing people.

Lena:  You hit all the right marks.  What type of character did you play?  Were you the brave guy?

Dillon Casey:  Oh no, I was the wild card.  I went the Charlie Day route, if you watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Lena:  Yes, I do watch that show.  This season started out really strong and then got a little slow.  I loved “Frank’s Pretty Woman.”

Dillon Casey:  This show has been half and half with me, too.  That was my favorite episode.  I like Dennis this season.  I think it is his season.  The one with the board game was terrible.

Lena:  Yes, I didn’t even make it through that episode.  Have you watched The League?

Dillon Casey:  Yes, I was going to say The League is one of my favorite shows.

Lena:  That show is amazing.  The “Thanksgiving” episode with Jeff Goldblum and Sarah Silverman was incredible.

Dillon Casey:  Yes, he was amazing.  I loved his face when he was having sex with Sarah Silverman, and how he refused to call Ruxin, Ruxin (laughing).

Lena:  Oh, he had his mannerisms down perfectly.

Dillon Casey:  The Walking Dead is amazing.  What do you think about the new Arrested Development season coming out?

Lena:  Honestly, I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of the show.

Dillon Casey:  You have to go out and get the DVDs and watch that all in one sitting.  You have to watch that show from start to finish.  If you are going to be in this business, you have to see Arrested Development.

Lena:  You’ve played a lot of different characters, so if you had to live as one of them in real life which one would you pick and why?

Dillon Casey:  That is an interesting question.  It would be a toss-up between Trevor Lemonde in M.V.P. because he was a professional athlete and Sean Pierce.  I always wanted to be a professional tennis player growing up.  I always thought that was the coolest thing.  I guess Trevor Lemonde was the closest thing to that, a professional athlete.  Sean Pierce is one of the biggest badasses on the planet, so it wouldn’t be bad to be that guy either.

Lena:  A tennis player, that is just funny.  Was it the headband that drew you in?

Dillon Casey:  It was the tight white shorts and the wristbands actually, not the headbands.

Lena:  I see.

Lena:  You are also in The Vow.  Did you finish filming that?

Dillon Casey:  We finished filming that last summer in Toronto.  Would you like to know more about the story (laughing)?

Lena:  Why yes I would.

Dillon Casey:  It’s a love story in the vein of The Notebook.  I guess Channing Tatum would be the Ryan Gosling role in this one, and Rachel McAdams would be the Rachel McAdams role.  The girl gets amnesia and doesn’t remember falling in love with Channing Tatum’s character.  She remembers falling in love and almost marrying a guy before him.  When she meets Channing Tatum’s character and gets married to him they get into a car accident, and she gets a head injury that makes her forget all about him.  He needs to win her back.  I play her sister’s finance and she sees that her sister is marrying this guy and the guy that I’m playing is the guy that she was about to marry before she married Channing Tatum’s character.  I’m mirroring the life that she could have if she makes that decision.

Lena:  You also have Jessica Lange from American Horror Story in the film.

Dillon Casey:  Yes, it was amazing.  At one point, I was sitting at the table and I looked over and saw Jessica Lange, Sam Neill, Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, and that was a pretty sweet moment.

Lena:  Do you watch American Horror Story?

Dillon Casey:  I tried to watch it once but it just stressed me out.  It was just too much, too much yelling and I couldn’t take it.  I watched a little bit of it while my roommate was watching it, and then I was trying to go to sleep and all I could hear was Dylan McDermott yelling.

Lena:  Were you awake long enough to see Dylan’s crying masturbation scene?

Dillon Casey:  No, I was asleep long before that.

Lena:  It was pretty funny, and a lot of people were disturbed by that.  It is kind of one of those shows that you either love or hate.

Dillon Casey:  I’m sure it’s an okay show, it just stressed me out.

Lena:  You own a production company with your brothers.

Dillon Casey:  We are all doing our own different things right now, but when we have time we get together and are writing and are always work on different projects.  The company is called Taryn Leigh Films, which is my sister’s name.  We named it after our sister because she isn’t in it, not because we wouldn’t let her be in it, she was just too young.  You should check out TarynLeighFilms.com.

Lena:  I did but I only saw stuff from last year, so I wasn’t sure if you were continuing with it.

Dillon Casey:  Most of our short films are there.  We did a film called Captain Coulier that was in Sundance in 2009.  We were trying to make a show out of that for a while.  My ultimate goal is to get a film off the ground with my brothers.  It’s been a long process.  I also do a web series called Living in LA with Dillon Casey.   I don’t know if you have seen it.

Lena:  No.  (I checked it out after I got off the phone with Dillon, and it is hilarious.  I highly recommend that you do the same and watch it.)

Dillon Casey:  It’s on Funny or Die and YouTube.  It’s ridiculous.  It is half reality based and every time something shitty happens in my acting career I make this video for the show.  It’s about what it’s really like to be an actor in LA, how much free time you have, and how everything has spun out of control.

Lena:  So you take all of the glamour out of it.

Dillon Casey:  Pretty much.

Lena:  What do you have coming up besides Nikita and The Vow?

Dillon Casey:  Nikita and The Vow, isn’t that enough (laughing)?

Lena:  (Laughing) Yeah, well I was giving you an opening to talk about what you want.

Dillon Casey:  I think I am going to spend some time in Maui.  I don’t know.  I’m just going to enjoy being on the show because you don’t know how long any job is going to last when you are acting.  You can’t try to think too hard in the future or you will drive yourself crazy.

Lena:  Hopefully, they will not kill your character off.

Dillon Casey:  I think I’m safe.  I don’t want to get too comfortable but I think I’m safe for at least a season.

Lena:  Did you see the finale of Boardwalk Empire?

Dillon Casey:  Did everybody just die?

Lena:  No, but my favorite (leading) character did.

Dillon Casey:  That could easily happen to me, but I don’t know where they are going.  They are always making jokes about how I shouldn’t sign a lease in Toronto.

Lena:  Oh no.  Do they give you fake scripts where you get shot?

Dillon Casey:  One time when they gave me a script they asked if I had a chance to look at it, and when I said no, they said that they really fought for me.  I was like, “oh shit.”   I looked at the script and I wasn’t even in it.

Dillon Casey Interview, “Sean Pierce”
Nikita Friday Nights at 8 EST on The CW
The Vow In Theaters February 10
January 6, 2012
By Lena Lamoray

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