Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Actor Spotlight: Rick Dalton, Sheriff Rick Dalton

Rick Dalton as Sheriff Dalton
If we were to look you up on a dating profile, what would your bio read?

Well, my OkCupid bio goes: I'm pretty creative, and have learned to organize it. I consider myself to be a pretty good deal. Never boring. I make my friends laugh a lot. I'm the diametric opposite of banal. I'm all heart, to a fault. I'm passionate about many things. I find it extremely difficult to fill out a self-summary honestly without sounding like a tool.

Tell us about your character in this season, in the same format.

I'm in law enforcement, but I'm not the stereotypical heavy-handed jerk. I have a passion for my work, and enjoy helping people, but when I'm off duty, I'm just like anyone, except more interesting and exciting. I have a ton of things to offer, if you just get to know me. I'm full of surprises and always thinking. Let's go find adventure together, if you dare.

How did watching season one impact your performance in season two?

Season one was a crash course for me in acting-for-camera. I had to learn. I'm OK with much of what I did in the first season, but not all of it. Seeing my acting in season one made me redouble my efforts in season two to just be as believable as possible, which, when I say it, sounds like it's probably a truism. My acting technique is a simple one: Try really hard not to look or sound fake. I've learned a good deal, but I still feel really new at acting, which I actually am. Especially around experienced actors who have done countless plays and roles, like Christine, Denis, Brent, Ben, or Erik. They aren't just believable in their roles, they're interesting, which is where one strives to end up. You can see their character's past, and hear tons of dialog that they're not actually saying in their faces and movements. You can know what they're thinking, on multiple levels, with just a look. Why just yesterday, I saw the brand new episode thirteen, and for a moment, it was just Cathy Counts and me on the screen. It made me feel like a big shot. Such an honor. I don't think her and I ended up having any lengthy exchanges in season two and three, but if we did, I would've had to step up my game big time. I'm not slamming myself, but you can feel when you're acting with someone who knows what the hell they're doing. I can do angry, mean, intimidating, evil, insane, and cocky, but there's a whole spectrum of dramatic acting that I've never even tried. I keep getting cast as imposing or intense figures, and I like that just fine, it's very comfortable, but I have yet to see how I'd fare playing a character who's 180 degrees different from my natural state.

What projects are you currently working on or have you been working on since Ragged Isle wrapped shooting?

I am currently in post-production of my directorial debut feature film, "Between Heaven and Earth." I'm extremely proud of it, and can't wait to present it to the world.

What is your favorite behind-the-scenes moment during the production of Ragged Isle?

Unfortunately, my favorite behind the scenes moment involves details that would give away an exciting plot twist that's coming up! I'd really love to tell you about the experience, perhaps ask me again after the episode airs. Gotta keep those Ragged Isle secrets! For now, I guess I'll just tell you in private.

What is your favorite thing(s) about your character?

His courage and tenacity. His huge heart.

What do you and your character have in common?

We're both well versed in firearms. We both like to be left alone while on the computer. We both have intuition that edges into precognition. We can both sing.

What do you and your character have least in common?

I think the Sheriff is braver than I am. Some of the things he runs into on the island would have me fleeing in terror. And he dares to lean in for the kiss, whereas I have to be clubbed over the head. Also, he owns and maintains a motor vehicle, while I just own a bicycle.

If you could play any other character on Ragged Isle who would it be and why?

I wouldn't have minded taking a crack at Harrison Shaw or Vance Trundle, because I can do intimidating and mysterious, but I can't imagine anyone more perfect for those roles than Todd and Denis. The casting matches in Ragged Isle are scarily dead-on. Not to blow my own horn, but I'm perfect for the role of the sheriff, even I can see that on the screen. If I weren't me, and I saw that guy as the sheriff, I would be very interested to see what he's gonna do next, so I know the character works.

We’re not sure who survives the second and third seasons of Ragged Isle... any last words just in case your character doesn’t make it?

Last words? As me, or the sheriff? Fans have been repeatedly warned not to get too attached to anyone on Ragged Isle, which is of course impossible with such endearing characters. If it were the sheriff's last words, maybe he'd say something like: “Get Vicki out of here!” If it were my last words, I'd say: "Pleeeeease....Don't kill me!"


  1. Rick, I think most if not all of our scenes this season were together. It was a joy working with you, and a joy watching you on screen. I can't imagine anyone else playing the sheriff.

  2. I don't know Rick, I think you'd be fun to see in a Madame Clelia kind of role... how fun would that be? Do I smell a spinoff? :) Really thoughtful answers Rick, thanks for the insight on the tough guy! :)

  3. Thanks, Greg! You're gonna make me rich, and I'm gonna make you rich. And Amie, thanks for the great questions!