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Dermot Mulroney Talks About "Must Love Dogs"

Mulroney on Co-Starring in the Romantic Comedy With Diane Lane


Dermot Mulroney Talks About

Bobby Coleman and Dermot Mulroney in "Must Love Dogs"

© Warner Bros. Pictures
Dermont Mulroney and "Must Love Dogs:" Dermot Mulroney plays the newly single father of one of Diane Lane's preschool students in the Warner Bros Pictures' romantic comedy, "Must Love Dogs."

Dermot Mulroney on the “Must Love Dogs” Script: “I have to admit I didn’t know that this was also loosely based, from what I understand, on a novel. No one actually told me that there was source material that I could go to until near the end of the film. So I don't know how it compares to the original novel. But [Gary David Goldberg’s] script, obviously… I mean, that’s what he does is make really tight scripts from his own professional experience. It was in place from the start.

We did have plenty of fun on the set and some things were thrown at us last minute. The singalong wasn’t like it was in the script all along, and so forth. So everybody was really open to collaboration. I think most of what I have in the movie was in the script, but we certainly would try stuff out on the set. He’s really great to work with.”

His Basic Dating Tips: “I don't know… Clean your ears, floss. Stand up straight.”

Dermot Mulroney Analyzes His Character: “This was a nice change just to [play a different type of guy]. I think the way the script kind of kept his true nature at bay for a while. I mean, it’s not like it’s a great big mystery that unfolds about Bob, but it’s just a nice change for me. I still get to kiss her, so what can I say?”

Dermot Mulroney's Stance on Dogs: “I always have [one]. Full-on dog person. Right now I have a pit/boxer mix named Violet. Really nice dog, pretty new. She’s a puppy. I’ve had her maybe four or five months, so she’s still kind of… Well, she digs up the lemon trees is what she does. That’s where she just keeps going back. Somebody gave me a tip, which was the cayenne pepper. Didn’t work. She was fine with spicy dirt. But someone else said put her own dog crap around the tree, hasn’t gone near it. I wouldn’t. It makes perfect sense. Dogs, they leave it over there, you put it there and they leave it alone. So keep your fingers crossed for my lemon tree.”

On Working With Diane Lane: “She’s just really sweet and kind. I couldn’t believe how hard she worked on it. She’s in every single scene in this movie and just with great humor and grace, as you’ll see. She’s just very sweet. We were just comparing notes on schools and dropping kids off before coming to work and stuff like that. It’s really great to get to know her.”

On Remaining Friends with Past Co-Stars: “I do. Sometimes they won’t sustain. It’s kind of like going to summer camp where you get that close and then a lot of times you’ll never see people again. Diane and I just talked a few times in the last six months, I guess. It’s not like we’re hanging out playing tennis. But every so often, every couple of movies, you actually get a really good friend. I think Luke Wilson and I hit it off really good on ‘Family Stone.’

Some of my best friends are from having worked together. James Le Gros and Edward Norton, these are the keepers. But I’ve never run across actors that are just jerks and can’t get along with. I’ve literally never encountered anybody whose behavior is just off the charts or impossible to deal with. Everyone just kind of does their [thing].

I think that’s kind of gone out of style a little bit to be [a jerk]. I don't know, maybe it’s coming back in style. From what I hear, some of these kids and their behavior on the set I don’t care [for]. I’ve been lucky to work with great people every time it seems like.

I heard about one young woman who had some ‘exhaustion of the throat’ and had to leave the set with her bodyguards. That sort of thing. So we used exhaustion of the throat a lot on ‘Family Stone.’ Without having to name the source, we all kind of just knew, ‘Ooh, some exhaustion of the throat, I need to leave work. I have to leave my three million dollar salary because I have exhaustion of the throat.’ It’s kind of hard for me to conceive of that.

On His Role in “The Family Stone:” “I play the oldest of the Stone adult children who come home for Christmas, and I bring my fiancé. Sarah Jessica Parker plays that role. And everybody just can’t stand her right from the start. She gets off on the wrong foot and then just makes it worse. She’s hilarious in this movie because she basically gets emotionally abused by Diane Keaton and Luke [Wilson] and Rachel McAdams and one of the other sisters. It’s pretty brutal but really funny, and there’s real strong dramatic elements as well. It’s great fun to work on that movie. Hopefully it’ll reflect the experience that I had. I think it’ll be good.”

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