When The Dodgy ran into actor James DuMont outside Three Muses on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, we had to look around for the cameras. After all, it seems as if DuMont is never not in front of cameras. And those cameras he’s in front of aren’t just filming anything. No, it’s quality work – on the big screen it’s Dallas Buyers Club, Get on Up, The Butler, the new When The Game Stands Tall and the future blockbuster Jurassic World. And then there’s television – those cameras filmed DuMont in the critically acclaimed Men of a Certain Age and Treme.
The Dodgy didn’t have a chance to interview DuMont on Frenchmen Street but we caught up by phone recently while he was enjoying himself at a New Orleans Zephyrs baseball game.
Let’s start with HBO’s Treme, which finally earned an Emmy nomination. I’m in love with Lucia Micarelli, who played violinist/singer Annie on the David Simon post-Katrina drama. DuMont appeared in seven episodes as Capt. Richard LaFouchette.
“She couldn’t be more of an amazing person. Wendell Pierce and I are good friends. I’ve had the honor of hanging out with Melissa Leo. She’s a workaholic like me. I’m always hoping to get another gig with her. Treme was beautifully acted and directed. I was just glad to be a part of it. No one’s taking that kind of risk – mixing actors and real people. I thought it was fantastic Simon seamlessly incorporated real political figures (and musicians, other locals) with actors. Walking around Frenchmen Street people would look at me twice and think I was a real sheriff.”
DuMont is originally from Chicago. His first SAG work was as a dancer during street scene in The Blues Brothers. He moved to New York and met his wife, a lawyer originally from Baton Rouge. That’s how he ended up making his home New Orleans (when not busy in LA).
“I always consider Chicago the place of my birth, but I consider New Orleans the place of my rebirth.
DuMont attended Boston University the same time as actor Michael Chiklis, his co-star in the new sports drama When The Game Stands Tall, which also stars Jim Caviezel and Laura Dern.
“It’s going to be a great movie.”
One movie DuMont can’t discuss is his role in next year’s Jurassic World. But it’s because of his part in that sequel and his role as Oscar winner Jared Leto’s father in Dallas Buyers Club and as Sherman Edwards in The Butler that DuMont is experiencing an uptick in acting opportunities to the point where he was recently hand-picked by big-time director to read for a part. It’s a lot different from going to an audition and “seeing 20 other guys that look like me.”
“People’s perception of me has changed even though I’m pretty much the same person. For me it feels like I’m just getting started. If I can move to the point where I know what my next job is – then I’ll feel a little better.”
“My favorite beer is Abita. Fantastic every time. Perfect with oysters. But I’m a PBR man. I grew up in Chicago. Give me PBR on draft. My favorite restaurant is Jacques- Imo’s. Spotted Cat is my spot. That’s where I usually hang out.”
DuMont’s kids are acting. His daughter was in the mini-series Bonnie and Clyde and his son is in Zipper with Patrick Wilson and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones).
He has also appeared in Ocean’s 13 and War of The Worlds, and Catch Me If You Can.
He said he’d love to do a TV series in Chicago.
Careers he’d love to emulate are those of John Goodman and J.K. Simmons – “he does a great job of seamlessly going from comedy to drama.”
DuMont offered to treat The Dodgy to a meal and a few beers the next time we’re in New Orleans. Look for us at the Maple Leaf, Spotted Cat, Three Muses and who knows where else. I’ll have a NOLA Rebirth Pale Ale and perhaps an Abita Restoration Pale Ale or two. Join us.