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By Brantley Bardin
THE UNFORGETTABLE DYLAN WALSH SHARES SECRETS ABOUT SEX, ROMANCE AND THE GIRL WHO GOT AWAY (IT’S NOT WHO YOU THINK!)
AFTER HIS SIX-YEAR STINT shooting kink-a-rrific sex scenes as Nip/Tuck’s plastic surgeon Sean McNamara, Dylan Walsh thought his naked days were over.
He was wrong.
"So I go to New York to shoot the pilot,” says the leading man of CBS’ hit drama Unforgettable, “and suddenly I’m told, ‘Uh, Dylan, we have a couple of hours off if you want to go to the gym.’ That was my first clue. More nudity!” .
Watch!: On Unforgettable, as NYPD Detective Al Burns, you’re getting all jiggy in flashback scenes with your ex-girlfriend, Poppy Montgomery’s Detective Carrie Wells.
Dylan Walsh: Yes, it’s my curse in life that I work with Aussies over and over again [Montgomery, like Walsh’s Nip/Tuck co-star Julian McMahon, is Australian]. But, hey, if you’re gonna work with a diva, she might as well be a woman! [Laughs.] And I say that with total love to Julian, ’cause I love him to death. And also, to be clear, Poppy isn’t a diva at all—she’s got that wonderful Australian fearlessness, charisma and energy. We have great chemistry.
Watch!: Indeed. The heat is palpable.
Dylan: We got lucky. I think what sets Unforgettable apart from other procedurals is it allows us to have a romance that’s set in the past, then we can cut back to the present, where there’s maybe something still going on between us, chemically, but we’ve moved on in our lives.
Watch!: Poppy plays a cop who solves crimes using a rare ability, highly superior autobiographical memory, that allows her to forget not a single, solitary moment in her life. Marilu Henner has the same gift and is an Unforgettable consultant. Has she wowed you with her total recall?
Dylan: Totally! I worked on a show in 1990 called Gabriel’s Fire and “Dylan Walsh” was nobody back then—but Marilu was married to the executive producer and I’d met her once. So years go by, and I see her again in connection with Unforgettable and I was going to test her abilities. But before I could get it out of my mouth she did that thing where she says the date we met, what we were wearing, which episode we were discussing, everything. I was awed and kind of startled about how it works. Because, in real life … it’s creepy!
Watch!: You’re shooting Unforgettable in New York—
Dylan: That’s the best thing about it. New York was always like the girl that got away: I lived there right after college, then I went out to California and I always wanted to go back. But after 21 years in Los Angeles, I thought, “Well, this is where the business is, this is where my kids are, I’m not moving back” and then—bam!—I got Unforgettable!
Watch!: Speaking of your three kids [ages 7, 13 and 15], what did they make of Nip/Tuck and all of its taboo-busting storylines?
Dylan: Growing up, they didn’t watch Nip/Tuck—the weirdness for them was just seeing those crazy billboards around town and being curious as to what it was their dad did for a living. Toward the end, I let them come to the set on a day I thought would be pretty tame. Of course, it didn’t work out that way: Tia Carrere was playing a dominatrix and the storyline was about, like, biting a guy. Suddenly, I realized, “OK, this is not cool.”
Watch!: You had amazing guest stars on Nip/Tuck. Did you ever swap spit with Vanessa Redgrave when she was on?
Dylan: No, but I did have the pleasure of spending a lot of, um, time with her daughter, Joely Richardson. [Laughs.] And one of the great moments in my life was getting to kiss Catherine Deneuve. It was just a kiss—nothing compared to all the crazy sex we did on the show—but I was very nervous. So Catherine comes in and the scene wasn’t working and while she was telling the director how she thought the scene should be blocked, she walks up, kisses me and just keeps going. It was the perfect way to get it out of the way and I spent the rest of the day kissing Catherine Deneuve. It was a thrill. I’m one helluva lucky guy.