BWW Feature: NEAL MCDONOUGH Q&A at Phoenix Comicon

Neil McDonough is an affable actor who was eager to answer fan questions at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon.

Long before he landed the role of Damien Darhk in ARROW and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, he did voiceovers for animated series like IRONMAN (Firebrand), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (Bruce Banner) and GREEN ARROW.

McDonough's big break came as Lt. "Buck" Compton in the TV mini-series BAND OF BROTHERS (2001), followed by two more Steven Spielberg projects, MINORITY REPORT and one of his favorite roles in BOOMTOWN.

"I really got to sink my teeth into (David McNorris)," he told the throng of fans who also loved him as Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, the Irish-American soldier he played in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011), then on ABC-TV in AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and AGENT CARTER.

"When you're six-years-old," recalled McDonough, "and reading comic books, you think, 'This Dum Dum guy is awesome!' Then 45 years later, you're playing that guy...its weird!

"Dum Dum is probably the closest to me of any character I've played. You know, kind of that beer drinking...if someone picks on someone, he's the first to jump in." With one distinct exception, McDonough gave up drinking a year ago.

Now he has even more energy to play one of television's most popular villains in LEGENDS. "I can't imagine playing a character more fun than Damien Darhk," said the 51-year-old father of five, "And my kids finally think that Dad's cool!"

*Spoiler alert* McDonough revealed that Darhk would be back for another season of LEGENDS. "I'm not sure if I'm supposed to announce that...but you're the first to know Phoenix!" As the crowd roared, his mic went dead and he apologized to co-creator Greg Berlanti, as if he were listening in.

Among his broad spectrum of fans is Lynn Mascarelli, a Phoenix Comicon exhibitor. The 80-year-old artist and author said, "Neal McDonough scares me! He's wonderful at being evil." Even so, he might be perfect for playing the lead character, Detective John Padric, in her sacristan mystery novels.

"I've always said Popeye Doyle (THE FRENCH CONNECTION) was my favorite character in movie history," admits McDonough. "He plays both sides of the fence, but underneath it all, he has a massive heart and wants to do good."

So, which does McDonough prefer playing -- a good guy or a bad guy? "A well-written guy," he told his fans. "Whether it's a good guy or a bad guy, it all depends on whether the character is written really well."

Maybe Mascarelli has found her Lt. Padric after all.

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From This Author Lee Cooley

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