'Hope' keeps him busy, but he's having a good time

An actor with chiseled-handsome looks born for the Old West (in “Deadwood,” in which he played two disparate characters, and “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”) and stalking androids (“Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles”) may at first seem out of place in a dysfunctional family sitcom.

Yet the role of Burt Chance, the young grandfather in “Raising Hope,” suited Garret Dillahunt perfectly.

“Of all the varied roles I’ve been lucky to play, this one might be closest to the real Garret,” he says. “I’m the kid who spent hours making horrible faces in the mirror as mom walked by, shaking her head.”

Dillahunt says he especially had a lot of fun in the show’s vasectomy episode.

“First and last time you’ll probably ever hear the words ‘fun’ and ‘vasectomy’ in the same sentence. Another high point was in ‘Everybody Flirts … Sometimes,” where he got to let his hair down, proverbially, and take his shirt off, literally.

The thesp won’t be lacking for exposure while “Raising Hope” is on hiatus. Continuing his pattern of being, as he says, “pigeonholed as the guy with no pigeon hole,” he appears in this year’s sci-fi/mystery pic “Looper” — with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt — and the thriller “Cogan’s Trade” with Brad Pitt.

With the sitcom renewed for a second season, Dillahunt looks forward to returning to the Chance family chronicles, even if it puts him through the ringer.

“I didn’t expect to be so challenged physically with this character,” he says. “With all the fight scenes and stunts I’ve done for past roles, I thought this would be easy. But I have been running, jumping, wrestling, lifting and spitting at alpacas. I’m knackered by the end of the week. And I love every minute of it.”

ROAD TO THE EMMYS: THE SUPPORTING ACTOR & ACTRESS:
Supporting drama actor race wide open| Shows elevate when ensembles gel
Drama
Peter Dinklage | Michelle Forbes | Irrfan Khan | “The Killing” cast | Kelly Macdonald | Margo Martindale | Denis O’Hare | Amy Ryan | Michael Shannon | Donnie Wahlberg |
Comedy

Mayim Bialik | Garret Dillahunt | Oliver Platt | Adam Scott

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