STILL SO PURE; RAY DONOVAN Star DASH MIHOK Proves To Be One Of Television's Most Exciting Triple Threats!

Dash Mihok
Dash Mihok

         Before there was Taylor Swift penning songs about the most talked about men in Hollywood, there was Alanis Morissette; who has written some of the most buzz-worthy songs over the most buzz-worthy men, such as Mario “Souleye” Treadway, Ryan Reynolds, and that song that could, or could not be about Dave Coulier. But, one person Morissette blatantly included into her poetry that she couldn’t have been more right about was deeply talented Ray Donovan star, Dash Mihok- whom she wrote “So Pure” about. At the time, the ginger-haired actor was still fairly ripe in his career, but that didn’t stop the fiery singer from forecasting to the world what an immensely talented and exceptional  and rare performer he was as he glided across her music video for the track, showcasing that he was beyond skilled in practically every form of dance- from tap, to jazz, to swing and more, proving that Mihok is a true performer, through and through.

     However, Morissette shouldn’t have been the only one that was able to have predicted this. In his first year doing films, Mihok made three of the biggest modern classics audiences have come to know, starring in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon, Foxfire with Angelina Jolie, and Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes- talk about breaking on to the scene! From there, he has managed to continue to be a part of some of the biggest films and television shows, and work alongside the biggest names in Hollywood as he built a resume around being one of the most solid talents in the business, easily making him perfect to fit in with his esteemed company on Ray Donovan.

     For his wildly layered role on the dark Showtime drama, Mihok never holds back as he consistently brings his A-game and delivers quality performances that showcase his fearless on screen nature. With Bunchy, Mihok allows himself to delve into the darkest corners of the characters rich psyche as he exhibits a rollercoaster of raw vulnerability and addiction, stemming from early childhood abuse- and the actor has never been better. Often times, with shows that are driven by a masculine energy or tone, the actors get caught up in trying to sell themselves as “cool” in order to not make a fool of themselves on screen, and yet, Mihok has no hang-ups or reservations as he bares himself for his character- making his performance truly compelling. The greatest part about the elegant nuances that Mihok puts into Bunchy is that he never comes across truly weak, or obnoxious, but instead he still remains a character worth rooting for as he is very much a fully fleshed out human instead of an archetype of a naive punching bag amongst this dark world- and that is very much why the lyrics of “So Pure” suit the actor so perfectly; that’s exactly what he is, and it radiates through all he does. Whether he be playing a down on his luck guy who might be the least street-smart of those around him, or ballroom dancing across the floor under a starlit sky, Mihok always brings his own lovable flair to everything he does that is effortlessly masculine, down to earth, and always  watchable.

     And maybe that’s because performance truly is his second nature as Mihok feels that he is acting all the time. Diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at age six, the dynamic and diverse talent got into acting and performing as a way to hide his tics. Clearly not letting it stop him, he not only made himself proficient in every area of performing, but he also became a spokesperson for the cause, working with organizations like The Tourette Syndrome Association, and Jaylens Challenge.

     Not only able to dance and act, Mihok hits the full trifecta as he sings too, and not just sings- he raps! With his band, Diz And The Fam, (the name Diz taken from Dash’s nickname,) featuring Morris Hayes, Joel Hellman, Mike Choi, Elliot Yamin, Kenny Echizen, Justin Frazier, Brett Nolan and Sharlotte Gibson, Mihok has already created some catchy music and will be performing September 17th at Joe’s Pub in NYC. They also made a fun music video that Ray Donovan fans will love! Watch the video below and find out more by clicking on their website at www.dizandthefam.com

     With Ray Donovan just renewed for the fifth season, Diz And The Fam starting to perform, and four films due out this year, starting on September 9th with Before I Wake- alongside the luminous Kate Bosworth, this triple threat is clearly in high demand. Luckily, in the interview below, he managed to find time to take some questions about his many projects and fill fans in on what is still to come as Ray Donovan closes its season! Read on!

 

Right now, Bunchy is at a pretty big low point- especially concerning Theresa. What can we see in store for Bunchy coming up toward the end of the season?

First Bunchy has to make sure Theresa is okay. Theresa is going through postpartum depression. I don’t think she ever realized what she was doing when she said yes to marrying Bunchy, and they are a very odd couple, and she’s got to get well first. So, Bunchy is going to give her some time to do that, but also the way he did last year when he impulsively asked her to marry him, he impulsively wants to take care of her- and he does so. And then, of course, they have this little thing called a child to take care of. So, you see him taking care of his family...in the odd way that the Donovan’s take care of their families! [Laughs.] But, they do, ultimately. And beyond that, I don’t know. It’s not like they’re ever going to settle in and be The Brady Bunch. She’s a Donovan now too, and she’s an interesting character, so I’m curious to see what happens myself!

 

Bunchy has a pretty big breakdown when he learns that Abby has breast cancer. She is pretty much the only person Bunchy feels like he has. Can you go into that relationship a little, that scene and acting alongside Paula Malcomson?

First of all, Paula and I have a very special relationship. I’m really good friends with all these actors, they are so talented and it’s such a joy to get to work alongside them every day. And Abby and Bunchy have this real brother/sister relationship, and she genuinely loves and wants to take care of him the way she would want to take care of her own kids, and obviously she is taking care of his kids as well. So, she’s Bunchy’s rock. Ray will always be there for him, but she is Bunchy’s rock. So, if she’s gone, then another mother figure in his life is gone from cancer, so I think he’s triggered by that and he is faced with the thought that all the women in his life could be leaving and that’s devastating, because he needs female energy even if it’s not romantically. So, Abby is the final straw, if she gets sick and were to die, that would break him. And then, to top it all off, he starts to drink again- so it’s easier for him to fall apart.

 

You have a pretty phenomenal cast surrounding you in general with Leiv Schreiber, Jon Voight, Pooch Hall, Katherine Moennig and the amazing Hank Azaria to name a few. Want to talk about them a bit?

Every single person on this show is top of the game. They are A-list character actors and so super committed to elevating the show, and we are so fortunate to have such an amazing staff of writers and a great leader in David Hollander, who gives us great words and also the freedom to play with them. And everyone is a master at digging in as deep as they can, but also being focused in serving the scene and the importance of the story- and that’s just a joy to be around. You never walk into a scene and not know if you can trust what the person is going to do. You know everyone in this cast has each other’s backs, so I really feel blessed to be a part of this family- on screen and off. We really love each other and it’s a joy to come to work every day.

 

When Bunchy picked Ray for Godfather of his child, Terry was upset and thought it might be because of his Parkinson’s. How come Terry and Bunchy never formed more of a bond, and why did he choose Ray for Godfather?

For Bunchy, it wasn’t about the Parkinson’s- even if Terry might have thought it was. But, for Bunchy, Ray is his crutch in a way- and by picking Ray, he is really also picking Abby, because he knows that Abby is really the one who is going to care for his child. So he is picking a couple, because he knows that Terry really doesn’t have anyone. And he knows regardless of all the faults of Ray, and how much they might butt heads, that Ray will do the right thing to take care of his child. Not that Terry won’t, but again, there’s Abby- there’s a couple here. And the reason I think Bunchy and Terry haven’t bonded as much, even though they are really tight, is because they haven’t written a ton of scenes for us to do so yet. But, there is definitely an underlying love that you see, especially in this last episode with the humor they share over Mickey being in prison. The love is there, but the reason he picked Ray as Godfather is because there is a whole family, rather than one person.

 

This show touches a lot on abuse- which is very reflective of your hit film Sleepers, which is twenty years old this year! Do you ever talk to any victims who suffered from PTSD of abuse to research this character, and did you then? Do you feel that Ray Donovan has many elements that are reminiscent of Sleepers in some way?

I have done a lot of research on sexual abuse, particularly by priests. And I did talk to people- one in particular- who was very forthcoming, and I’m so grateful to him. I’m really glad that we are bringing this issue to light, Spotlight obviously came out after, but this is something that has been buried for so long and there are so many people who have suffered with no one to talk to. I’ve gotten a number of emails forwarded to me from people that were victims of abuse saying thank you for shedding some light on this, and starting the conversation- and that’s the greatest gift you can have as an actor. And in regards to Sleepers, again, I think anytime this is just talked about it gives people some sense of relief and helps people come out of the woodworks, because when you are molested by someone you love and trust at such a young age it can rip your life to shreds. The people that I spoke to are married and have children, and it’s thirty years later and the PTSD is coming back, and shifting and scarring their life in new ways, and they thought they had dealt with it already, and it came back to haunt them again. So, I think that we need dialogue about sexual abuse in this country- period, let alone what the Catholic church has done. And I say that as a Catholic. I’m glad it’s being talked about.

 

You have two other very big film reunions this year as well. You also have Foxfire, that had the brilliant Angelina Jolie, and Romeo + Juliet, with Leonardo DiCaprio and the absolutely unparalleled Claire Danes. Care to talk about these amazing beginnings from your career, and your fantastic former co-stars? Any specific memories you can bring up?

I just remember that Foxfire was one of Angie’s first films as well, and I remember  her ferocity- and she wasn’t really method, but I remember that she wasn’t really getting along with a lot of the male personalities on set at that time [laughs], but for some reason, she and I were always really kind to one another and always had a really good vibe, and I remember having a really fun time shooting that film with her. And in regards to Romeo + Juliet, it changed my life. I’ve been best friends with Leo ever since, and got the pleasure to watch what he has done over the years and watch him finally win an Oscar. And Claire was this young, amazing teenage girl who is now the same powerhouse incredible actress that she really was then- even at sixteen. We had a lot of fun in Mexico shooting that. We were a bunch of twenty-one year old boys that got into trouble every once in a while in Mexico City, and it was a good time. What’s a fun anecdote? Well- if you notice that Jamie Kennedy has a black eye? That wasn’t make-up. He got hit with a walkie-talkie by a bouncer in a night club! [Cracks up.]

 

You also have another big movie coming out on September 9th with the amazing Kate Bosworth; Before I Wake. What can you tell fans about it?

I’m really proud of the film and glad the world will get to see it. Relativity Media is distributing it. Kate is a really great actress, and Thomas Jane is excellent as well. I’m not really usually into the horror genre myself, but Mike Flanagan directed this film, and I really felt it was more of a childhood nightmare thriller than a horror movie. It’s more of a fantasy than a horror movie. The role is really me playing a man who is in a psych ward because he lost his wife to a supernatural occurrence. And then, this child that he fostered, his dreams became reality- and when he had nightmares, they took the man’s wife from him. As you can tell, I really like to do the psychologically affected characters. [Chuckles.]

 

What about The Girl Who Invented Kissing, Car Dogs and So B. It? What can you tell fans about each of those pictures?

So B. it  is great. It has Alfre Woodard, Cloris Leachman, Jacinda Barrett, John Heard, and this young, great actress Talitha Batemen- everyone should watch out for her. It’s a really beautiful story about a young girl in search for her identity. The Girl Who Invented Kissing I wrapped last year on my hiatus. I play a guy who was involved in an accident that mentally handicapped him. The girl is played by Suki Waterhouse, who is a model that is really doing great as an actress these days. It’s a small independent film shot in New York, and we had a really good time shooting it. It’s a pretty heart breaking story and I look forward to people seeing it. The story is really about these two brothers and how they take care of each other, and I get to act alongside Vincent Piazza- who has now become one of my best friends. He is such an amazing guy, great friend and a truly, truly talented actor, and I am so glad I got to meet him through the film and even more excited for people to see our relationship as brothers on screen. And Car Dogs is about a car dealership- kind of a GlenGarry, Glen Ross type movie. I play a car salesman in it. It has a very good cast; Patrick J. Adams, Octavia Spencer, and Josh Hopkins to name a few people.

 

And let’s talk a little bit about your work as an active supporter of The Tourette Syndrome Association, as well as Jaylens Challenge. What can you tell fans about those organizations, and how they can get involved?

I do have Tourette’s Syndrome. I was diagnosed when I was six, and it shaped my life in many ways, and I think it’s a very misunderstood diagnosis- especially when you’re a kid because usually it’s at its worst during the pre-teen years, which are really difficult years to begin with for kids, that’s usually when they’re at their worst and uncontrollable. So, I actually did a Tourette Syndrome Association video when I was about eleven and I’ve been involved with them ever since. And more recently, with any notoriety that I’ve gained, I’ve really wanted to speak out and educate people and let them know what it is so that people can live their lives being accepted- that way people aren’t questioning those who have it, but they let other’s live their life without judgment and offer up understanding toward them. And Jaylens Challenge I started with many years ago. I saw a piece on this young boy named Jaylen, he was eight years old, and I emailed him. I told him how proud I was that he was taking a stand against bullying and educating people on Tourette’s, and he wrote me right back and we formed a father-son type bond right away. I encourage anyone to go to Jaylens Challenge and check out what he is doing. He goes to schools all over the place and speaks up about bullying and acceptance and he is a beautiful spirit. And The Tourette Syndrome Association is the number one place for information on it- there aren’t a lot of outlets that are doing the work that they are doing on the subject. So, again, I encourage people to go check it out, because I feel as though everyone knows someone who has Tourette’s or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and it’s not nearly as stigmatized now that I think everyone has someone in their life who they might know that has it- and I’m excited by that. And I hope to further bring the love, you know what I mean?

 

And you have been in so many amazing movies and had so many great roles. You can truly do it all from comedy to drama. What kind of role have you yet to play yet that you would love, and who would you love to work with? One thing people might not know about you is that you are an amazing dancer. Any chance of seeing you in a musical? Perhaps another Baz Luhrmann feature?

I would absolutely love to do another Baz Luhrmann film, especially a Moulin Rouge type picture. I would love to do a Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly type movie musical- a fun, song and dance, romantic comedy. Or, even just play the lead in one of those broad comedies- that would just be fantastic. One of my favorite movies is Some Like It Hot, which isn’t really a musical, but I’m just such a sucker for old movies. I wouldn’t want to ever tarnish one of them, or do a spot-on remake, but just do something light like that where I get to glide across the floor. I would be a very happy camper.

 

And, who would you want to be your leading lady? Who would you pick as your Ginger Rogers?

Oh, wow, there are so many talented women in the business right now. You know who would be really amazing who can definitely sing and dance, and I think would be great in that kind of role? Jane Krakowski! She would be a great pairing and an absolute pleasure to act opposite. And if you’re going to go there, you can always see what Tina Fey can come up with- and getting her on board for that kind of genre could be really exciting. I’d love to do something truly broad, so, getting Jane and Tina might be really fun. And of course, when it comes to Baz Luhrmann there is always Nicole Kidman. Reese Witherspoon is also really great, and Sarah Jessica Parker would be fantastic- I mean, she was Annie! And then, there’s always the ladies from Chicago; Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Either one of those women would be a dream to dance alongside.

[Watch Dash dance in the Alanis Morissette music video for “So Pure” below to check out all of what he can do!]

     A Baz Luhrmann throwback to old Hollywood musicals, perhaps remaking Some Like It Hot in musical form, starring Jane Krakowski and Dash Miholk? How do we make this happen!? Who knows, maybe Showtime would even make it a miniseries event, as TV movies are better than ever and Mihok is already such a valuable part of the network’s family with Ray Donovan. One can only dream, and fans are definitely dreaming with Diz.

     Ray Donovan continues on Sunday nights at 9PM on Showtime.

     Before I Wake comes out in theaters on September 9th.

     Diz And The Fam performs at Joe’s Pub in NYC on September 17th. For ticket info, visit the bands website at www.dizandthefam.com for more details.

    

 

 

 

CONVERSATIONS