I had the pleasure of meeting Neal McDonough (TVs “Desperate Housewives”, “Boomtown”) at a celebrity charity event in San Diego a couple of years back. My producing partner, Christopher Showerman, was- having played ‘George of the Jungle’ just a couple of years prior – asked to come down and be involved in the thing (They had him reading kid’s books in a jungle setting, quite fittingly. The kids, of course, yelling ‘George!’ ‘George!’ whenever they’d spot Showerman on a break. Funny stuff). Having worked with Neal before, Showerman introduced us. Neal was a great guy. Very warm. Happy to chat (As was his partner). Remember chatting to him a fair bit about his role in the remake of “Walking Tall” with Dwayne Johnson. I remember thinking ‘if a down-to-earth personality means anything in Hollywood, then this guy’s on his way’.
But anyway, seems McDonough’s career has really exploded since then. In recent times he’s appeared in such flicks as “The Hitcher”, “Flags of our Fathers”, “The Guardian”, “Traitor” and “Street Fighter : The Legend of Chun-Li” (though I’m sure he’d like to get into the back-end of IMDB so he can expunge that one from his list of credits). Not all great films – but they’re films, big films. And next, according to Deadline, the Massachusetts-born actor will be doing an even bigger film – he’s playing comic-book’s own ‘Howling Commando’ Dum Dum Dugan in Marvel’s “Captain America : The First Avenger”.
In the film, Dum Dum (who, interestingly enough, is a ‘red head’ in the comics) would likely be fighting alongside Samuel L.Jackson’s Nick Fury, helping to thwart the dastardly deeds of ‘Red Skull’ (Hugo Weaving).
Though the guy in the lead role (Chris Evans) mightn’t be the biggest name around, “Captain America” director Joe Johnston seems to be surrounding him with some high-quality ‘names’ -folks like Jackson, McDonough, Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving. Always a good way to help draw ’em in, but come in under budget.