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‘Nip/Tuck’ Star Dylan Walsh Goes Hollywood for Season 5

[IMG:L]Lounging at Sean and Christian’s Malibu bachelor pad, visiting the set of Hearts ‘n Scalpels, and checking out McNamara/Troy’s new L.A. digs is all in a day’s work for Hollywood.com. And with a heavy day of shooting ahead–including episodes 13 and 14–we were lucky enough to get a few minutes with star Dylan Walsh to talk about the new season of Nip/Tuck.

HW: How has this move to Los Angeles enriched the show?
DW:
It is such a simple equation. We have different sets so we can have different story lines. We found that by the fourth season we played so many scenes in the McNamara kitchen, they were all starting to sound the same. There are only so many arguments you can have with your wife, whether she’s your ex-wife or your wife. So we sort of played all that out so just simply having new sets believe it or not dictates new storylines, which is fun. It sort of frees the characters up. I think we get to have some fun with L.A. It is the same show, but now it is sort of through that lens now so it is a little bit more about the business and a little bit more about vanity in terms of being an actress or an actor and having to try and make money according to how you look. So it has been good.

HW: Will we see more and more L.A. stereotypes throughout the season?
DW:
I think that they were smart right from the beginning to kind of let us shoot at places like Grauman’s Chinese and Pink’s Hot Dogs because at the beginning, the characters are just seeing the surface of the place and it is the fun of it, the glamour of it. And as the show goes, of course Ryan Murphy is going to look at the darker side of this place, but again it is always going to be tied somehow to what the show has always been about, which is this need to look good and what that’s like now in society and in this particular town you know it is not arbitrary it has to do with how your career goes. So we look at the sort of glamorous superficial side of it and then we look into some of the darker things.

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HW: How is the show getting creative about bringing the characters out to the west coast?
DW:
Well, I don’t know that we’ve been that creative. It is kind of funny how people follow Sean out and we don’t really explain and I think it is good we don’t. Listen, the show was going to keep its nucleus of people and you know Matt comes out and each person’s need this year, whatever their mark is, whatever they are going through is kind of vaguely tied into how to get to L.A., but of course everybody was coming out.

[IMG:R]HW: Will Hearts ‘n Scalpels cause Sean and Christian to grow apart?
DW:
It becomes Sean’s thing and throughout this series Christian’s always been the confident one he always seems to be having a little more fun. Sean had always carried this heavy burden of family and what all of that brings, and coming out to L.A. ironically because you would think Christian would be the one who would settle in easier. The irony is, it is Sean that gets to be on Hearts ‘n Scalpels first of all it changes the dynamic between the guys completely so that, at least for awhile, Sean gets to feel a little bit of the limelight and feel what it is like to have his own attention himself–and of course that drives Christian crazy. But that is how we start and then it gets a little more complicated than that. The main thing that Hearts ‘n Scalpels does for the show is that we get to have first of all is the kind of sense of humor that I don’t think we’ve had before kind of farcical and crazy and over the top silly. We are making fun of ourselves. We are taking our own old plots and sort of channeling them through this silly, bad medical show to make fun of ourselves, to make fun of television, to make fun of the industry so we get to have fun with that, but also we get to show this character getting some attention he’s never had before.

HW: Being on a show about plastic surgery, do you ever feel pressure as an actor to maintain a look for image?
DW:
You do and it is nothing that you have to be embarrassed about. You feel the pressures of looking good because that is the business. Let’s face it, it is not radio. You have to look good and right there in this business is where you start to understand the problem. What does looking good mean? If you are a character actor, looking good could be very different from a leading man, but the point is you want to feel good. It is your self-esteem. When I started in the business we all just went to the gym, you had to do your laps or run your miles or whatever you do and now that you have this option to get plastic surgery it is no surprise that a lot of people are going to it. What the show has always been about is ‘What are the parameters?’ It is not a science like normal medicine where somebody is sick and you have to help them. This is something where it is trickier to define what is right and wrong. That is what the show has always tried to look into, but as everybody knows the actors and actresses are doing this a lot more now and sometimes you can’t really blame them for trying but you also see more and more bad work done. It is not always going over very well. In fact most of the time I think it doesn’t go over very well. I think most people’s reaction when they see someone who has had some work done, most of the time it is a negative reaction even if the work is pretty good. It is the change–and there is something that is usually negative.

[IMG:R]HW: What about Sean? Is he going to feel more and more pressure now that he is an actor?
DW:
What I love about this season and the general arc of it is this idea of a fresh start where a guy in his early 40s who has kids and an ex-wife … What exactly is a fresh start? Of course the baggage starts arriving–the psychological baggage. His ex wife comes out, his kids come out and he is who he is. When you are in your early 40s you are not going to reinvent yourself really, so after this sort of euphoric beginning I think reality sets in and even working on this TV show it was so exciting for him in the beginning, Hearts ‘n Scalpels and it is fun and he gets some attention, but he gets lost in it. The way we know people get lost in this town with a little bit of success so this is what the year is about, what happens to so many people. That initial rush and then it gets more complicated and then you kind of lose yourself a little bit and it is how you navigate that.

Nip/Tuck airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX

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