Home » Dale Dickey: One of Hollywood’s Greatest Scene Stealers Finally Takes the Lead

Dale Dickey: One of Hollywood’s Greatest Scene Stealers Finally Takes the Lead

by Stewart Cole

I tend to be a bit shy. It doesn’t seem like it—I’m very outgoing, I love people—but in terms of intimacy and conversation for me, it’s difficult. The more interviews I do, the easier it gets. I am very happy that we will see this movie. Whether they like it or not, I think it’s a beautiful film. So that’s where I live right now. Staying in the present. And whatever comes my way with more views and stuff, I’m there.

I was struck by how gentle the role was and how gentle the story was compared to maybe some of your, say, tougher roles and projects.

Let me count the number of hard rolls. [Laughs] Most people who see me on the street run away from me. They think I have an ATM machine, or a chainsaw, or something, and I’m going to kill them. Do not let her near your children! So yeah, that was a real gift to play someone so vulnerable, so quiet and so kind. Same with Wes. Max was talking about it. We are both very troubled and have always played violent, tough people. Showing us in a softer light was really great to play. I haven’t been able to do that much. It was new and it felt different, but Max had studied acting years before he went to film school, studied theater and history, so he knows how to talk to the actors quietly and softly and keep you focused. Not to fall for Dale—I’m very animated, as you can tell. Faye is very concise, and routine is very important. I really wanted to make sure I could find that peace and quiet. It is not difficult in this environment.

You’ve done a lot of independent films. Being at the top of the call sheet for this, had you seen, over the course of your career, how the actors dealt with being at that point and being the center of the cast?

I was so grateful and lucky to work as I did in many different settings with many different people. Number one, there’s always a huge amount of pressure because they’re setting the tone for the movie, especially in a big budget movie. Like Iron Man 3 with Robert Downey Jr. or something. This is on a smaller scale, but it was important to me. We all have our moments. I’ve been struggling to quit smoking, so my head can spin quickly, but I try to always work well with others and be respectful. Coming from the theater you respect all other branches. I’m only as good as the people I work with and they make me look good.

I wanted to go back to Winter’s Bone for a moment. I remember the moment you won the Indie Spirit Award, which you felt was well deserved. What do you remember from that, really all that turmoil and that it was the highlight, maybe, for you in that campaign?

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