WATCH Magazine: December 2022: Amanda Warren

NOV/DEC • 2022

+ Wilmer Valderrama NCIS Dylan McDermott FBI: Most Wanted

STORIES CRIME East New York ’s Amanda Warren on Taking Charge and Giving Back


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DEPARTMENTS CLICK Cue opening credits. SHINE Style that slays. PLAY Fast-forward to fun. Wilmer Valderrama on the legendary NCIS franchise and the legacy he will leave. SHE’S THE BOSS Amanda Warren leads with care and kindness in East New York . Dylan McDermott brings swagger—and charm— to FBI: Most Wanted . MAN AT WORK

NOV/DEC • 2022

NOV/DEC • 2022

NOV/DEC • 2022

+ Dylan McDermott FBI: Most Wanted Amanda Warren East New York

+ Wilmer Valderrama NCIS

+ Wilmer Valderrama NCIS Dylan McDermott FBI: Most Wanted

Amanda Warren East New York

Dylan McDermott on set at Pier59 Studios, NYC, in August 2022

STORIES CRIME FBI: Most Wanted ’s Dylan McDermott on Finally Playing the Good Guy

STORIES CRIME East New York ’s Amanda Warren on Taking Charge and Giving Back

STORIES CRIME NCIS ’ Wilmer Valderrama on Leaving a Legacy

From left: Dylan McDermott of FBI: Most Wanted , Amanda Warren of East New York , Wilmer Valderrama of NCIS

Full look by Zegna
















RESEARCH EDITOR Kira-Sophie Lewis CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brantley Bardin, Marc Berman, Stanley Bing, Lynn Darling, Ryan Devlin, John Griffiths, Alyssa Hertzig, David Hochman, Oliver Jones, Elizabeth Kaye, Guy Martin, Nate Millado, Maria Neuman, Judith Newman, Mara Reinstein, Liana Schaffner, Fred Schruers, Craig Tomashoff, Bill Zehme CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kwaku Alston, Matthias Clamer, Caitlin Cronenberg, Michele Crowe,

Sami Drasin, Sonja Flemming, Jason Kim, Sasha Maslov, Miller Mobley, Marie H. Rainville, Adrienne Raquel, Ramona Rosales, Jason Schmidt, Peggy Sirota, Art Streiber, Robert Trachtenberg, Peter Yang


Barbara Abseck (




CLIENT SERVICES DIRECTOR Michelle O’Driscoll ACCOUNT MANAGER Jacqueline Tortorella SENIOR EDITOR Kathy Passero DESIGN DIRECTOR Peter Yates ART DIRECTOR Alfredo Ceballos SENIOR PRODUCTION MANAGER Nestor Cervantes PRODUCTION MANAGER Roger Dapiran PRODUCTION ARTIST Angel Mass COPY CHIEF Anthony Sacramone OPERATIONS ACCOUNT MANAGER Christopher Wengiel IMAGING SPECIALIST Chai Ming Yu Published for CBS by Headline Studio, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007 Headline Studio is a division of Advance Local/Caroline Harrison, CEO For content marketing inquiries:

Watch magazine has received promotional consideration for products/locations mentioned in some of the articles that appear in this magazine and digital platforms. Watch magazine advertises and promotes products, services, and offerings from our advertising partners via print, web, and social media, which may include paid and nonpaid editorial content. As a benefit to our advertising partners, “Checklist” is represented in print, digital, and on social platforms. It is nonpaid content created by our staff and advertising partners, which may include representations and recommendations of products, services, and direct advertising content.

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Make It Yours Everything you need for your space, all in one place.


Clockwise from left: David Needleman with Wilmer Valderrama, Evan Simonitsch (stylist), and Kat Thompson (groomer); Andrew Gelwicks (stylist), Amanda Warren, and Needleman; Douglas VanLaningham (stylist), Dylan McDermott, and Needleman

Family Album

W HEN I FIRST MET PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID Needleman on our Blue Bloods cover shoot several years ago, it was love at first sight. As in when I now tell people how much I love him, I actually say, “You don’t understand. I really love him.” And I’m not alone. The entire Watch team feels the same way about David, which is why when it came time to shoot the three covers for this issue (Dylan McDermott, Amanda Warren, and Wilmer Valderrama), it was the perfect opportunity to spend time with one of our favorite people. David has shot for some of the best publications in the busi- ness, including Vanity Fair , The New York Times , Billboard , The Hollywood Reporter , and L’Uomo Vogue . We feel honored to have him as a regular contributor to Watch , so much so that we’ve now made him an even more official part of the family as our photographer-at-large. We’re all looking forward to seeing what he does next in our pages. So back to those covers! Dylan McDermott (“Playing It Cool”) has been on the scene for years, capturing our hearts in every- thing from Steel Magnolias and The Practice to American Horror Story and The Perks of Being a Wallflower . Now, as Remy Scott

on FBI: Most Wanted , he is gaining even more fans and critical acclaim—he’s definitely a lot of people’s “most wanted.” Amanda Warren (“She’s the Boss”) is the (beautiful) face of CBS’s new drama East New York . Amanda has starred in Lincoln , The Leftovers , and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri , but it is in this role, as Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood, that she takes the lead, literally and figuratively. She will knock your socks off. We have loved NCIS ’ Wilmer Valderrama (“Man at Work”) since we first saw him as Fez in That ’70s Show . (Can you believe that premiered almost 25 years ago?) Since then, he’s been in films and shows such as Encanto , Grey’s Anatomy , and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series and has done incredible work as a social activist and entrepreneur, starting a company called Allied Management Group, which focuses on amplifying Latino voices in the media. This guy just gets better and better. We hope you love these photos and stories as much as we do. Happy holidays!

Rachel Clarke /Editor-in-Chief

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magazine —and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @cbswatch.





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CLICK | TV COZY Holidays on Nice

’Tis the season to tune in to beloved holiday classics and new festive films and specials.



THE THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE ON CBS 9 A.M. ET/1 P.M. PT Giant character balloons, floats, performers, and even Santa march down Sixth Avenue to kick off the start of the holiday season.


Frosty ( Jackie Vernon ) and his magic hat are back once again in this Snow -tacular classic. A CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL 9 P.M. ET/PT A struggling chef ( Jessica Camacho ) agrees to act as the girlfriend of an attorney ( Adam Rodriguez ) who is visiting his family for the holidays.


ROBBIE THE REINDEER 8 P.M. ET/PT Watch as Robbie, the son of Rudolph, travels to the North Pole to compete in the Reindeer Races to become a part of Santa’s sleigh team. THE STORY OF SANTA CLAUS 9 P.M. ET/PT In this Santa origin story, a toymaker named Nicholas Claus ( Ed Asner ) wishes to deliver toys to every child in the world.



Audrey ( Amanda Kloots ), a fitness instructor in Mistletoe, Montana, starts a romance with Griffin ( Paul Greene ), a mysterious businessman. The relationship complicates Griffin’s plan to turn Mistletoe’s beloved community center into a resort property.



The new animated special tells the story of Blizzard (Blizz for short), a young reindeer who was born with one antler smaller than the other. Blizz and his friends band together to save Christmas.

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A SPECIAL ONE-HOUR HOLIDAY EPISODE OF GHOSTS 8 P.M. ET/PT Jay’s ( Utkarsh Ambudkar ) sister Bela ( Punam Patel ) arrives at Woodside Mansion to celebrate the holidays with a male friend. Inspired by holiday rom-coms, Samantha ( Rose McIver ) decides the two must fall in love. Meanwhile, the ghosts have other plans for Bela.


NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS 8 P.M. ET/PT This year will mark the 100th year lighting the National Christmas Tree. MUST LOVE CHRISTMAS 9 P.M. ET/PT A romance novelist ( Liza Lapira ) becomes snowbound in the town of Cranberry Falls. She soon finds herself in a love triangle with a local reporter and her childhood crush.


THE GREATEST AT HOME HOLIDAY VIDEOS 8 P.M. ET/PT Cedric the Entertainer presents the funniest and


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A music manager ( Tyler Hilton ) in desperate need of a hit song finds himself falling in love with a talented singer-songwriter ( Karen David ) as he attempts to secure the rights to a Christmas song she penned. Includes original music by Sheryl Crow , who is also executive producer.



HOMEWARD BOUND: A GRAMMY SALUTE TO THE SONGS OF PAUL SIMON 8 P.M. ET/PT A special tribute to the legendary 16-time Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter. THE GIFT: KIND- NESS GOES VIRAL WITH STEVE HARTMAN 10 P.M. ET/PT See how one simple act of kindness can create change and a lasting impact.

THE 24TH ANNUAL A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS AT THE GROVE 8 P.M. ET/PT An annual special that shares stories of adop- tion from foster care alongside performances by top artists.

CHRISTMAS TAKES FLIGHT 9 P.M. ET/PT A pilot ( Katie Lowes ) starts to experience feelings for the airline’s new CEO while trying to save the airline’s holiday charity event.



Ring in the new year with Kelsea Ballerini , Brooks & Dunn , Zac Brown Band , Little Big Town, and other country music stars as they perform live from downtown Nashville.



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Making News As Inside Edition celebrates its 35th anniversary, Deborah Norville is proud the show is “not just surviving—but thriving.” BY MARA REINSTEIN

D EBORAH NORVILLE DOESN’T ease into an early fall Monday. She barrels straight through. After monitoring the news all weekend—notably Hurricane Ian fast-approaching Florida—the Inside Edition anchor is currently in front of a computer screen and eyeing her daily rundown. She counts “at least a dozen” stories. She’ll soon ride from her home to New York City as she polishes her script and checks her phone for updates from a staff of correspondents, writers, and producers. By 3 p.m. ET sharp, she’s at her desk in the CBS News headquarters on West 57th Street, delivering a tight 30-minute episode to viewers across the country. Tomorrow the fun starts all over again. “We’re always excited about what the next thing is going to be,” Norville explains. “It’s a hard game out there, but, boy, we have fun being in it. I think that’s why we’re not just surviving—we’re thriving.” Let’s be more specific. Now in its mile- stone 35th season, Inside Edition is the top-rated syndicated newsmagazine in the country, with a weekly audience of





airs weeknights on CBS. Check listings for local airtimes.

nearly 10 million viewers. That means the program—an info-packed mix of interviews, hard-hitting investigations, human-interest features, and celebrity updates—has persevered from the VCR age to the 24/7 social media–driven news cycle. “The format has developed into a faster-paced program compared to the early days,” says executive producer Charles Lachman. “It’s definitely a chal- lenge, but we treat each show as if it’s our best.” The Emmy-winning Norville has been at the center of all the action since 1995, which makes her the longest-tenured anchor on American television. (“Her communication skills to the viewer are unmatched,” Lachman notes.) The 64-year-old Georgia native breaks it all down for us.

Norville with Inside Edition executive producer Charles Lachmam on set this year (top) and in 2001 (bottom) /



Many competitors have come and gone since Inside Edition ’s first episode in January 1989. What’s the secret? We call it “the Inside Edition twist.” We help you look at a story in a way that you probably haven’t seen anywhere else. After you’ve seen it, you can go and have coffee with your girlfriends or chat with the guys at a bar at night and contribute something. We know exactly what it is, but I’m not going to tell you, because other people are read- ing this magazine! What should viewers know about the behind-the-scenes process? The ideas for the program come from everywhere and everyone. I’ve been glued to the news since my sophomore year in college, so I’m always suggesting, “Hey, what do you think if we did some- thing on this?” Sometimes they go over like a lead balloon. Other times, it’s great. But all the input is a testament to every single person that works on the show. Why record the show midafternoon and not in the morning or early evening? We’re a very effective bridge for local news stations. It can be really daunting to have three solid hours of material, and Inside Edition literally provides a 30-min- ute breather so producers can help with the pacing in the newsroom. We air live in a few markets, too. Which stories stand out during your run? Inside Edition once sent me to the tough- est jail in America. That was not my choice. But that stands out. We also did a story many years ago about a woman named Kathy Giusti who was diagnosed with cancer. There was no cure because there was no research, so the diagnosis was death in four years. But she got a stem cell transplant courtesy of her twin sister and survived. Now she’s created the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

“ We help you look at a story in a way that you probably haven’t seen anywhere else.”

Top: Norville in London covering the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Right: Her first day at Inside Edition coincided with the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial.



Left: Norville with the conductor of one of America’s busiest trains during a 2015 segment on jobs. Below: with Hillary Clinton in 2007, during her campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president

and has changed the way cancer research is done. She’s even been named one of Time ’s 100 Most Influential People in America.

That’s an inspiring story, but why didn’t you pick a sexier one? Everybody does sexy stories, right? Certainly we do ones that are super eye- catching. But we also do stories that have deep meaning. We live in an incredibly challenging and frightening time. And when Inside Edition does a story about someone like Kathy Giusti, it makes you pause and think that it’s not all that bad. We can get through this. Why has anchoring the show for so many years appealed to you personally? I was a correspondent at CBS News in the 1990s while I was pregnant with my second child. I was offered the weekend anchor job, which was terrific, but I couldn’t conceive how it would all be possible. I never wanted to knowingly make a career move that I believed would damage my personal life. So I

made the move to Inside Edition . Why have I stayed this long? Because it’s worked for me. I like being a ball and chain to the anchor desk, and I haven’t been on the road that much. Consequently, all three of my kids have graduated college. And you know, Inside Edition is celebrating its 35th anniver- sary, and so am I with my husband! I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think I made the right choice. Could you work another, say, 20 years? Oh, bless your heart! Say that “she responded with a hearty laugh.” I don’t think anybody wants to see me on TV that long. In that case, how will the show evolve? I would love for us to have a streaming presence on a platform like Pluto. I’ve

been pushing for it for a while. I think it would be a win across the board for us and give us the opportunity to serve our content to another audience. But for now, our digital footprint is insane. We have more than 11 million subscribers to our YouTube channel. We’re at 19 billion views overall. Nobody comes close to that. Not NBC, not CNN, not any of them. What’s the biggest challenge going forward? It’s the question everybody has been ask- ing: how to make our content more accessible, more frictionless, and easier to digest for our viewers who want it at all times. We’re always working on that, and I absolutely want to be a part of that. For now, we have a pretty good machine— and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. /



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11/16/22 2:53 PM


airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+

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CSI: Vegas ’ Mandeep Dhillon on scents, serious skin care, and s’mores

Winning Style

YOUR STYLE: Sometimes I’m really in my male energy vibe, so I wear oversized jeans and a crop top with a baggy jacket or shirt and trainers or heels. Some days I wake up feeling all female energy and put a dress on or a skirt-and-top combo. Sometimes I’m a happy medium. FAVORITE FASHION DESIGNER: Prada, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, YSL ... the list goes on. MOST BELOVED BEAUTY PRODUCT: Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream is my GO-TO! It makes my skin look so dewy and fresh. Makes you glow. EVERYDAY BAG: My Louis Vuitton bum bag (Americans call it a fanny pack, but I refuse to). Everything is so easily acces- sible, and the size is perfect. MUST-HAVE MAKEUP ITEM: Lipstick. If you feel like being a bit fancy, stick some lippy on and boom! You’re ready to rock.

FAVORITE PAIR OF JEANS: Levi’s all the way. I got some really nice baggy ones recently, and the fit is perfect. They look banging but are also comfy. SIGNATURE SCENT: I have so many, as I get angry when I can no longer smell them. My character on CSI: Vegas has her own scent, Louis Vuitton Coeur Battant. The others I rotate are Byredo, Le Labo, Bulgari, and Maison Francis Kurkdjian. HIDDEN HOBBY: My best friend and I often make up dances and take it so seri- ously. Once we were up till 5 a.m. learn- ing a routine from a Bollywood film. We smashed it. That’s on my Instagram. MOST-FREQUENTED HOTSPOT: I like hanging with pals at Soho House West Hollywood. It’s fun and the view is dope. HEELS, PLATFORMS, OR FLATS? I love heels. I can dance in them, too. “Drop it like a thotty,” in the words of Beyoncé.

WORKOUT ROUTINE: I try to do Barry’s Bootcamp twice a week, and then Soul- Cycle perhaps once or twice a month, and Pilates twice a week with an instruc- tor named Betsy Stewart. She has trans- formed my body. ESSENTIAL JEWELRY: I have a gold chain that my mum bought me for my 13th birthday. It makes me feel close to her, as she is back in the U.K. I have my favorite pair of Astrid and Miyu hoop earrings that I wear daily. I also wear three rings on each hand. Random, I know! SECRET VACATION SPOT: I love Jamaica. I took my mum to Sandals Negril just before I started shooting the second season of CSI: Vegas , and we had the best time ever. BIGGEST INDULGENCE: I don’t go crazy with sugar, but when it’s a holiday, like July Fourth or Labor Day, I eat as many s’mores as I want. I love them so much.




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“I like to mix it up,” says McDermott of his new good-guy turn on FBI: Most Wanted . Loewe coat, Gabriela Hearst suit, Earthling VIP T-shirt, David Yurman bracelet, Rolex watch








“Finally, 10 years later, it presented itself and I wore it. I don’t even remember the occasion, only that I felt that I was ready. You have to be ready for the special moments in your life.” McDermott applied a similar approach when he was asked to join the hit drama FBI: Most Wanted last spring as the Fugitive Task Force’s new leader. At the time, the actor had just wrapped a memorable turn as a nefarious crime boss on Law & Order: Organized Crime . (Both Dick Wolf–created series are set in the same gritty Manhattan universe.) He instinctively decided to shed his sinister skin and try a steely sin- cerity on for size. “I’ve been playing a lot of questionable bad guys and didn’t want to overstay my welcome,” he says. “It’s easy to get caught up in that world because peo- ple will stop accepting you as anybody else. So I like to mix it up, and playing Remy helps me do that.” Indeed, McDermott says he’s settled into the role of street-smart Supervising Special Agent Remy Scott. Since first arriving on the scene—with a bag of warm bagels for his co-workers!—in the aftermath of the murder of Julian McMahon’s Jess LaCroix, the honcho has already helped take down numer- ous criminals (including a Russian oligarch in the Season 3 finale). His character also dropped details of his personal life, sharing that the murder of his brother led him to a career in law enforcement. Viewers will see more of Remy’s dynamic with his sister and Alzheimer’s-ailing mom in Season 4, as well as gain insight into previous broken relation- ships. “He has some demons,” says McDermott. “I think there’s a reason he works so much.” McDermott himself has been working in the busi- ness for almost 40 years. (That would make him a very youthful-looking age 60 at the time of this interview, by the way.) Although the Connecticut native—and dad to Collette, 26, and Charlotte, 17— started his career with a steady stream of films, he’s been a TV force since 1997, thanks to his starring role in the courtroom drama The Practice . Since leav- ing the Emmy-winning show in 2004, he’s appeared in dozens of films and TV series, such as the Ameri- can Horror Story anthology and last year’s hit biopic King Richard . Now he’s committed to FBI: Most Wanted —and not just because the series has already been picked up through Season 5. “We have all the components to go for a very long time,” he says.

Picture Dylan McDermott in a crisp suit at his CBS Watch photo shoot on this late-summer afternoon in New York City. Upon the photographer’s request, he takes off a blazer—revealing a rugged arm cov- ered in tattoos—and casually drapes it over his shoulder. Then, with the utmost confidence, he struts toward the camera to the booming sounds of a Beyoncé classic. The stylish cool seems to come naturally. So it’s a bit of a surprise when he later admits that he was just playing a suave character in the pics. In fact, he starts this interview with an amusing anecdote involving Calvin Klein and a red leather, sparkly, “total badass” jacket. “Calvin Klein gave it to me, and it sat in my closet forever ,” McDermott recalls in between bites of a salad with grilled chicken.

FBI: MOST WANTED airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount +



“We have all the components to go for a very long time,” says McDermott of his CBS drama.

Full look by Zegna /



Do you have a Season 4 highlight so far? In the first episode, I go undercover as a biker. You see me riding a Harley Davidson and training in the biker world. Funnily enough, I used to ride bikes as a kid all over Manhattan. I would sneak into Cen- tral Park after hours, and the cops would chase me. It’s fun that we got to use that a little in the show. You’re filming 22 episodes this season for the first time since The Practice . Has it been an adjustment? I’m pacing myself. My Chinese sign is the ox, and the ox works, works, works, works until it’s dead. I’ve been working since I was a kid, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or washing cars. To do this job, you must be a worker. I have that in my DNA, so I’m able to do it. After spending a good decade doing limited runs, what does it mean for you to be back as the No. 1 actor on the call sheet? My first job on television was on The Practice , so I started as No. 1. I’ve done a bunch of things here and there, but I think I was ready to do it again coming off guest roles on Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime . Whenever I have difficult moments, I think about Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay and how they’ve done this for almost 25 years. But to join the Dick Wolf universe is a won- derful way to go to work because they let me be me. What does that concept mean? I can rewrite my lines. I can improvise. I can be myself. Once I have that freedom to create, I can fly and be happy. Whether they use it or not, it doesn’t matter to me. How much input are you giving to the showrunners? I talked to [showrunner and executive producer] David Hudgins and the writers’ room before this season started. This is a manhunt show. It’s always going to be that. But I try to put as much charac- ter into a show as possible. It gives viewers more insight into Remy rather than just watching me chase down the bad guy. People long for more. Why was it important that Remy have such a tor- tured backstory? I think it’s linked to my own life with my own loss

The actor reflects on some of his greatest hits.

HAMBURGER HILL • 1987 McDermott, then 25, was doing Biloxi Blues on Broadway when he decided to answer an open call for a film that centered on the titular battle during the Vietnam War. Not only did he ace the audition, he was cast in a leading role. “I was so floored,” he recalls. “I still am.” He landed on the cover of The Village Voice , he notes, and The New York Times called his performance “a searing debut.” STEEL MAGNOLIAS • 1989 McDermott was thrilled to uproot to Louisiana for this big-budget comedy- drama in which feisty Southern women bond over life and death. “This was a real splashy Hollywood studio movie with lots of money,” he says. That luxury included working alongside bona fide stars such as Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Sam Shepard, and Shirley MacLaine. “To be around all these seasoned veterans was incredible.” His fellow upstart? Julia Roberts, who played his doomed-but-loving wife. IN THE LINE OF FIRE • 1993 After he narrowly missed out on a role in Jurassic Park , its casting directors put him in this thriller as Clint Eastwood’s new secret service partner. They chase down a would-be presidential assassin (John Malkovich). “[Clint] played this macho hero, so I decided my character would be the opposite—very vulnerable—to complement him,” he says. “I couldn’t believe I was on set with this man who I watched with my dad for so long.”



MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET • 1994 This was a modern version of the 1947 Christmas classic. A department store Santa Claus named Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough) believes he’s the real deal. When he is in danger of being institutionalized, a lawyer—McDermott in his only PG-rated role—defends him in court, helped by a precocious young girl (Mara Wilson in the Natalie Wood part). THE PRACTICE • 1997–2004 He took the role of scrappy attorney Bobby Donnell believing the ABC legal drama would be a home run, but it took a few years. “We got bumped to Saturday nights early on because the network was upset that we only got 20 million viewers,” he says. He won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy during his six-season tenure.

of my mother when I was a kid. [McDermott’s mom, Diane, was killed by her boyfriend in 1967. McDer- mott was just 5.] I felt like I needed something to call back on, to anchor me as I take on this character. I didn’t want to be just an FBI agent. Remy’s job is to catch bad guys, but I wanted him to have an emo- tional tie as to why he’s doing it. That helps me as I go through the series. Given the tragedy with your mom, did you ever con- sider becoming an FBI agent or lawyer? No. I think I’ve always been an artist since I can remember and have always seen the world from that perspective. I’ve always had a longing for art. Was television a big part of your life back in the day? Growing up, I watched TV religiously. That was everything to me. I loved I Dream of Jeannie [and] The Courtship of Eddie’s Father . When you were starting out, what did you envision for your acting career? I never became an actor to be rich and famous. I loved the craft of acting and still love it. I enjoy cre- ating a character from the ground up and thinking about what caused them to be the way they are. What were their emotional wounds and inju- ries? All that stuff was fascinating to me. It didn’t matter how big the part was as long as I was doing great work and surrounded by good people and good writing. What do you remember about your first big break? I got very close to getting the Mandy Patinkin role in The Princess Bride . But in 1986 I went to an open call for a movie called Hamburger Hill . I figured that they would give it to somebody in the Brat Pack. And I think when you don’t care, you feel free, you know? They kept on calling me back for a bigger and bigger role. Finally, I got the call that I was going to play this enormous role [as Sergeant Adam Frantz]. That was a remarkable time for me. All these years later, do you have a preference for portraying a virtuous character versus a villain? I like to do both. I don’t think I would want to do one thing for any length of time because you get caught up in that world.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY • 2011, 2012–13, 2018, 2019 McDermott met with creator Ryan Murphy, and “we hit it off and became instant friends,” he says. He joined the first season, focused on a troubled couple (McDermott and Connie Britton) becoming unglued after buying a haunted house. McDermott has since appeared in three other AHS chapters. “I don’t even read the scripts anymore— I just say yes.” /



“I’ve been working since I was a kid, shoveling snow, raking leaves, or washing cars. To do this job, you must be a worker.”

Is that what you attribute your longevity to in the business? Absolutely. I think the problem is that a lot of actors can only be themselves. I think it’s important to show range. You can’t just be the one guy. That’s my personal feeling. Which role do people want to talk to you about when they see you? Because I’ve had a long career, they’re all over the place. Now it’s generations of people who want to talk to me about something I either did in a movie or on a TV show. Were FBI: Most Wanted fans tough on you when you joined the show last season? It was an interesting challenge because I knew that the audience had fallen in love with another char- acter who was tragically killed. I saw some rum- blings online. People were skeptical. But I liked that

I could come in and not be sure that people would be rooting for me. I approached it as a mathemati- cal problem and thought about how I could solve it. I decided to hit the ground running. And that first episode was so fun and great that I thought, “Okay, we’re in.” Has the reaction shifted since your first episode? Yes, absolutely. All those people who were like, “I can never accept him!” are pretty much gone. People are funny. But I take it all as a compliment. Well, the whole FBI universe is a juggernaut even though the shows cover dark subject matter. Why do you think it’s so successful? And Most Wanted is the most violent because we’re after the worst of the worst. But I think it’s comfort- ing to know that people are out there creating justice to [combat] all this evil. To do it all in 42 minutes is very satisfying—it makes the world a little bit

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“Once I have freedom to create, I can fly and be happy,” says McDermott of his lead role on the CBS series.





“Growing up, I watched TV religiously. That was everything to me.”

simpler and more concrete because, unfortunately, the world is not that way. But television is.

I always try to find certain things to fill out my life. I love to take pictures of people, but COVID really put a dent in that because of the masks. I’ve also written a couple of screenplays, and I’ve been working on my memoir for a long time. But I don’t know if I can be so cavalier about releasing it. Maybe on my deathbed. How do you feel about going back to work on Monday and starting a new week? Well, those 12-hour days can pile up on you, so I’m very disciplined about going to bed early and knowing my lines. But it goes without saying that I’m grateful. I get to play the lead on a television show that millions of people watch and are addicted to. And he’s a fascinating character. And I’m 60. You don’t see that a lot. To go from 23 to 60 and still be doing this? That’s so cool.

Is that your personal belief as well? Yeah, in many ways I think that’s what television is for. People long for it. Do you watch a lot of TV? I don’t have a lot of time. The stuff I watch is with my daughter [Charlotte], so I end up watching a lot of teenage horror. But I checked out all of Most Wanted because I wanted to get familiar with the format and the characters. I had to think about where I fit into the world and how much humor I could bring to it. I watched one episode of the other FBI shows as well.

We’re talking on a Saturday. What would you typi- cally be doing? What are your off-screen interests?

GROOMER: Jessica Ortiz



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Full look by Brioni, Rolex watch /


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Wanda Nylon coat











IN THE DRAMATIC SERIES EAST NEW YORK , Brooklyn’s fictional 7-4 Precinct has a new kind of boss in Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood. And the police procedural has a new kind of star in Amanda Warren, who plays the straightforward reformer who believes the most effective police work begins in community. Far from making Regina a softie, this objective suggests she’s both savvy and right on time. It’s not a stretch to liken Regina’s ascendency to Warren’s own arrival at the top of a network show’s call sheet. Best known for her roles as Mayor Lucy Warburton in The Leftovers and the seamstress Betty in the fleetly amusing series Dickinson , Warren has made her way up through the ranks of episodic tele- vision to this vaunted gig. On a video chat, Warren recalls her first audition for a pilot—it was with Don Johnson. “He emailed me when the network at the time had passed, and he explained that he had done a number before he landed Miami Vice and to just hang in there,” she said. Prescient advice, it turned out. “To have it hap- pen where I’m at the pole position is just crazy.” Warren has been acting nearly all her life and appears to have leveraged every experience. In first grade, she learned how important it was to show up prepared after she forgot her lines because she’d been too obsessed with the wrongness of her cos- tume. (Shouldn’t Dorothy Gale’s dress be gingham?) As a member of a youth gospel choir, she embraced the power of melding voices. And the Manhattan native learned—a little against her teenage will— that her time as a student at the Professional Per- forming Arts School would emphasize her studies over auditioning professionally. Lessons picked up at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts were deepened at Yale Drama School. Reviewers’ praise for her work in several plays and movies suggests she took those lessons and discipline to heart. Now Warren has donned the crisp blues of Regina’s NYPD uniform. She also gets to wear her character’s coolly stylish ensembles. Speaking of ensembles, the creators of East New York have assembled a first-rate cast that has War- ren’s back, including Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Richard Kind as veterans of the 7-4, and Elizabeth Rodriguez and Kevin Rankin as detectives. Jimmy

Smits—who knows his way around a precinct set—is Regina’s boss and mentor, Chief John Suarez.

You’re in such great company. What an ensemble. That’s so funny that you said that. The title of my personal statement for Yale and NYU grad was “In Good Company,” because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be in, and that’s what it is now, and that’s what it’s always been. But in this position, it’s very nice to be in great company. I t’s a pinnacle, heading a show. Can you explain how it happened? I was filming Gossip Girl last February, and my agent calls saying, “I know that you’re not interested in pursuing pilot season, but here’s something that I think might be a little different. It really might spark something in you.” So I read it and it was very different, talking about the relationships between community and trying to bridge a gap. I was really interested in the resistance that she was met with in the script. Eight days later, I had a Gossip Girl script in my hand and had already gotten my call time for very early morning, and my agent called along with my New York agent and said, “They would like to offer you this role.”

EAST NEW YORK airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+

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