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What's next for Dylan McDermott?

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Dylan McDermott
Warner Bros.

Fans of ”The Practice” star Dylan McDermott may swoon over the way his baby blues match his three-piece business suits, but next April they’ll have an even better reason to get hot and bothered. The actor will be donning chaps, spurs, and all manner of cowboy gear for a role as the commander of the Texas Ranger Special Force in the mid-1870s-set ”Texas Rangers.” Saddling up beside him will be ”Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek and Rachael Leigh Cook of ”She’s All That.” ”This was the role I was waiting for my whole life,” says the 37-year-old actor. ”I play the baddest good guy in the West.”

Also portraying a bad guy in the new romantic comedy ”Three to Tango,” McDermott has been spending an awful lot of time bulking up his film résumé during his breaks from ”The Practice.” But the star denies he’s indulging any David Caruso-esque fantasies of ditching prime time for a movie career. ”Any time in show business that something works, you want to stick with it,” he says of his Emmy-winning series. ”I’ll just keep making movies until one of them works, and I’ll stay on the show. And if something doesn’t work, the show is always there.”

But ”The Practice” will pay a price, albeit a small one, for McDermott’s extracurricular activities. The actor, who directed an episode of the show last year, says he’s simply too pooped to step behind the camera anytime soon. ”’Texas Rangers’ took a lot out of me,” he says. ”I was on a horse 85 percent of the time. It’s exhausting to direct, star, edit, and do the whole thing [on ”The Practice”], so I may wait until next year to direct again.”

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