Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dale Wilson: A Conversation

If there was a Hall of Fame for MacGyver guest stars, Dale Wilson would be a surefire first ballot inductee.  He lent his considerable talents to 5 different episodes (listed below) as 5 different characters across 4 seasons, once as a good guy but usually as a villain.  
  • Blow Out
  • The Survivors
  • Jenny's Chance
  • Tough Boys
  • MacGyver's Women
Today Mr. Wilson continues to act while running his own voice-over business (visit his website at: http://dalewilsonvoiceovers.com/).  And I learned that he also volunteers with his local marine search and rescue - how cool is that!

You know the drill by now: Mark's questions are in green, and mine are in blue.  We thank Mr. Wilson very much for his time, and we hope you enjoy the Q&A!

as Erik, a supplier turned hit man, in "Blow Out"

MH: Do you recall what first led you to audition for "MacGyver" back in 1987?  Was it on your radar screen as an actor right after the series moved to Vancouver that summer?  The crew must have liked you since you returned for four more guest appearances.
DW: Quite simple really, my agent called and said I had an audition, so of course I went..the rest, as they say, is history.  :) I was recently arrived in Canada from the States and maybe they favored an "American" sort of look...like Rick :)

NS: Related to that question, did you even have to try out for your remaining appearances or did they just call you and say, "you got the part!"
DW: My guess is I had to audition like everyone else, but I think I may have had a small advantage in that they liked my earlier work.

MH: Do any of the five "MacGyver" episodes you guest-starred on stand out from the rest?
DW: "The Survivors" was my fave I think. I like the outdoor locations and running around with guns :))  Editor's Note: This is my favorite episode of his also! 

as Crandell, a drug smuggler, in "The Survivors"

MH: What series or film did you enjoying working on most as an actor?
DW: Mac....and any western :))

NS: What made MacGyver one of the most enjoyable shows to work on?
DW: The relaxed atmosphere, the production quality and the people. Steve Downing and Mike Greenberg, Henry Winkler, and John Rich produced and were wonderful to work with. They weren't afraid to put some $$ into the show, so the production values were high, and they were patient and didn't rush things. Tony Westman the director of photography was great.  It was a happy show to work on if you know what I mean.

NS: Do you prefer playing the hero or the villain?
DW: Whichever one is on the most and has the most scenes  :))   Editor's Note: That's a great answer! 

as Colin Yardrow, an FBI agent, in "Jenny's Chance"

NS: On your website, you mention being skilled at accents.  I'd love to learn how to do accents (I have no natural ability whatsoever).  Do you have any tips for me?  What are some of your best accents?
DW: Listen and PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and don't be shy.  I do Irish Scottish German Japanese Chinese Russian Mexican American and some British (they're the hardest). Editor's Note: Take a minute to listen to some of the demos on his website - he's really good! 

NS: Your website also mentions announcing the Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremonies.  That's awesome!  What did that entail, exactly?  Were you the one announcing the countries coming in over the loudspeaker (e.g. "Coming into the stadium, it's Norway with 72 athletes...")
DW: I was the guy who did all the announcements inside the "Dome" and it was scary I can tell you. When I was hired they said they were going to record us, but in the end they said we were good enough that it would be best if we did it live and that way we could roll with any changes, and there were a few.  Editor's Note: Wow, what an honor and achievement, to be the voice of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  I LOVE the Opening Ceremonies and don't miss a minute when they're on every two years.  Here's a link to the entire Vancouver ceremony. You can hear Mr. Wilson's voice throughout - if you want to hear a quick snippet, go to the 5:30 mark where he welcomes everyone to the games.  Also, 13:54 is where he introduces the national anthem of Canada (one of the best national anthems there is if you ask me). 

as Dennis, a drug kingpin, in "Tough Boys"

NS: What does the future hold for you?  Any projects coming up that you're excited about?
DW: No projects coming up for sure but I have a couple of promising auditions I did recently and now I'm waiting for that elusive phone call.  

DW: In closing a bit of advice from an old timer. If you really MUST be an actor, and it can be an unpredictable and disappointing venture in many ways, LEARN A TRADE..at least you'll always be able to afford a good life during the many lean times you'll have to suffer as an actor......and it'll keep your spirits up, which is very important as you go to auditions.

as Sundance in "MacGyver's Women"

Our sincerest thanks once again to Mr. Wilson for talking to us and for his enormous contributions to our favorite show, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. 


  1. Another great set of responses. Thanks much to Dale Wilson for responding. It's greatly appreciated to get some inside information from the set of the series. I've yet to hear anybody who worked on the series walk away with anything but the utmost appreciation and respect for the cast and crew (well, except for Todd Duckworth on "There but for the Grace" anyway) and Dale Wilson really confirmed again the great atmosphere on the set. I agree with Dale that his role in "The Survivors" was his best performance on the series and I could see how that one would be a fun episode to work on as an actor.

    I've just scratched the surface listening to his voice work but am very impressed with what I've heard so far. I'll have to dig deeper this weekend when I have a little more time on my hands. Excellent advice for future actors and actresses too.

  2. I never realized they had the same guy playing so many parts. Liked him best in the survivors episode. Tough, smart villain!