Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

Meet James DuMont

Posted on August 16, 2014

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.”

New Orleans

“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 B-Sides

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.

James DuMont Treme image

James DuMont and Melissa Leo in HBO’s Treme.

Coming Next: I Kissed A Girl with Armpit Hair

Posted on August 26, 2014

Yes. I kissed a girl with armpit hair. So I can cross that off my list. Wait a minute. It wasn’t on my list. The Dodgy’s next essay regards this attractive girl, an art student at Tufts University who was visiting Chicago recently, where she claims to have been part of a mysterious cult that vanished in Lake Michigan. During our interview we decided to take time out and make out. She had particular skills. We also walked the shore of Lake Michigan to discuss the cult, and met with another supposed former member. Their story is fascinating. Meanwhile, here’s a pic from my recent stay in New Orleans. A musician looking for a gig on Frenchmen Street.

Frenchmen Street

The Asshole Book Club Part 3

Posted on July 19, 2014

The latest edition of The Asshole Book Club met in Aidan’s new apartment near Revolution Brewing (Milwaukee Avenue).

Revolution is where I had my first date with Taby, a University of Illinois-Chicago student from Dubai. Taby – petite, pouty lips and a Middle Eastern beautiful mop of brown hair.

Our second date was the Asshole Book Club. Probably not the best move. But Taby seemed game and brought a book of French short stories. My book this time was Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates. Chicago reclusive author Clive Javanski brought a story he’s working on about a mysterious cult that hung out around both Chicago and Indiana’s lakeshore and mysteriously disappeared. He says it’s a true story.

Norm brought a pocket First Aid book and some papers with scribblings about his going-ons with friends of his that included a visit to something called the Immaculate Conception Men’s Club.

I’ve described Norm before. He looks like a fat monk who wears Farm & Fleet shirts.

“Sometimes we also go to the Brauhaus after bowling,” Norm said. “Gunter, one of the owners, used to bowl in our league. I know Gody and Wolfgang and the two-man band. Greg dances with the old ladies and Frank dances with the young ones, if his wife isn’t there. A couple of times I had a nice blonde  with a backless blouse sitting on my lap.

I looked at Taby, who I think was giving me the same ear signal to leave that Natalie Portman used in Garden State.

“What the fuck is the Immaculate Conception Men’s Club,” Aidan said.
Norm replied that is was some “officially sanctioned church bar.”

“It’s not free,” he said. “But it’s cheaper than anywhere else.”

Aidan brought to the club a book of selected poems by W.B. Yeats. He’s been struggling over a recent breakup (though he won’t admit it). He said he tried to friend an ex-girlfriend of his on Facebook. He put in the request, but she has not accepted. He goes on there and just looks at his request. Sitting there. Unaccepted.

“I’ll keep that request on there like a fucking badge of honor,” he said. “Fuck it.”

The conversation turned to the book I brought. I talked about stories in the book from women and how my first three kisses were all forced upon me. (Three girls who ran in my older sister’s circle of friends). About a year ago a drunk girl in a bar out of nowhere grabbed my Irish apples. Another time one grabbed what people call my “Dublin ass” on the street outside a bar.

Norm’s was the best – or worst. He recalled leaving Bob Inn on Fullerton when an old woman tried to stick a broom handle up his ass.

The topic turned to Clive’s cult tale. This supposed cult had strategically placed telescopes in Chicago high rises and Indiana beach homes. All of which looked out at Lake Michigan. About a year ago they all disappeared. Clive says they all went out in small boats during a storm and never came back. Supposedly there was a waterspout – a tornado on the water. Clive says that from one, if not all the telescopes the cult has (or had) – sometimes you’d look through them and see just water. Endless water. Other times you’d see a cliff, or mountain. In the lake.

“I’m meeting someone next week – someone who says he escaped, or ran away from the cult the night they disappeared. You can go with me if you want. I’ll ask him if it’s OK.”

Of course I would go. I enjoy the mysterious and unusual.

“Get the fuck outta here, the two of you,” Aidan said. “That’s the last time I give you some of that Oak Park pot, Clive, you fucker.”

With that it was time to get Taby out of there and back to my place. “I’m gonna grab his Irish apples,” she told the others.

The Asshole Book Club image

Feel free to check out The Asshole Book Club and The Asshole Book Club Part 2.




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