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October 7, 2015

Andrew McCarthy: In the Limelight

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 4th 2008 10:27AM
andrew mccarthyWhile the casting for the ladies to play the power brokers on NBC's Lipstick Jungle was imperative, no less attention was paid for the men with whom those women would be romantically entwined. For the character of Joe Bennett, the enigmatic, high-powered, complicated Prince Charming with a dark side, producers had to be looking for just the right combination of sexual appeal and sensitive undercurrent. They found the right guy when Andrew McCarthy was cast. The former Brat Packer could be the find of the TV season; the new McDreamy.

Being the hot commodity is nothing new for Andrew McCarthy. He was just 19 when he made his feature film debut in Class as Rob Lowe's (Brothers and Sisters) prep school roomie who had a fling with Rob's mom, Jacqueline Bisset. That was 1983; and just a couple of years later, McCarthy and Lowe were part of St. Elmo's Fire, the quintessential Brat Pack movie. The Brat Pack was a group of attractive, young Hollywood stars seen as taking the industry by storm. McCarthy was a key component in other Brat Pack pics, like Pretty in Pink with Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) and James Spader (Boston Legal), and Less than Zero, again with Spader. But it may have been the goofy comedy Weekend at Bernie's that brought him new fans, as did Mannequin with Kim Cattrall (pre-Sex & the City) and Spader once again. Both Bernie and Mannequin showed that McCarthy could be cute -- and funny, too. Ironically, the films were bigger hits on video than in the theaters, and today are sort of cult classics.

Doing films and theater work occupied much of Andrew McCarthy's career in the 1990's, with an occasional foray into television. In 1991, he appeared and wrote an episode of Tales from the Crypt for HBO, and in 1996, he was directed by Sally Field (Brothers and Sisters) in an ABC holiday telefilm called The Christmas Tree. On the personal side, in 1999, he married his high school sweetheart, Carol Schneider, 20 years after they first dated.

McCarthy scored critically on Broadway in the Tony-winning play Side Man, and while in New York he did a Law and Order, then a Law and Order: SVU. But in 2003, something went awry and Andrew was fired from a gig on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Producer Dick Wolf said McCarthy was responsible for a tiff with actor Vincent D'onofrio. McCarthy shot back, saying, "I was fired because I refused to allow a fellow actor to threaten me with physical violence, bully me and try to direct me." Whatever the bad blood at the time, it's now all in the past. Just last week, McCarthy starred in an episode of L&O: CI as an over-ambitious A.D.A.

TV has enjoyed more and more of Andrew McCarthy since 2000, although he was recently featured in Neil Labute's off-Broadway play, Fat Pig with Jeremy Piven (Entourage), to critical acclaim. He starred in the CBS's military drama E-Ring; guested as a killer on Monk; and had a memorable turn as Dr. Hook in the TV series based on Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital in 2004. In 2007, the actor signed for Lipstick Jungle after doing the big screen children's film, The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Being an admirer of Sex & the City and Candace Bushnell, the creator of Lipstick Jungle, is what led him to take on the Joe Bennett character. He told reporter Troy Rogers, "I was a big fan of Candace's sort of world and her voice. And I thought it was a really interesting show that treated women with a real regard, that I don't see on television too much."

As for the imperious Mr. Bennett, McCarthy said of his new character: "I think he's just direct and follows his own sort of agendas without being encumbered by anything that society would put on him, because that's what money does. It buys us freedom from having those constraints. But I guess we'll just have to see where it unfolds, you know. I think that's the thing about television until you - certain relationships and certain dynamics start to work, and so then they're written for. And other ones work less well so they sort of phase out. And it's just sort of a movable feast, always."

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I'm not sure what kind of love affair you guys are having with Lipstick Jungle but it's straining my belief. "The former Brat Packer could be the find of the TV season; the new McDreamy. " Are you kidding me? I used to love Andrew McCarthy once upon a time but he's past his dreamy days. His character is empty and antagonistic. His character's whole relationship with Victory makes little sense to me, since they don't seem to have anything in common or really like each other all that much. This kind of filler post makes me yawn. I'm pleased to see him on tv again but this post didn't provide any sort of information of note.

March 07 2008 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandra Jensen

It sounds like McCarthy was intimidated by a superb actor(Vincent D'Onofrio) and got swatted when he whined about it.

I have seem Mccarthy's work and Vincent D'Onofrio's work, and McCarthy was clearly outmatched artistically and in every other way!

Even with his weight gain, Mr. D'Onofrio still exudes a charisma and sizzling sexual chemistry that overpowers the majority of make actors around him!

March 04 2008 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dunno, this article strikes me as a straight up PR release for Andrew McCarthy written by his publicist.

I was hoping to read a bit more personal take on his new gig.

March 04 2008 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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