Dylan McDermott is ready to make Richard Wheatley even worse.
The actor has shared how his Law & Order: Organized Crime villain will be even harsher in Season 2, which is bad news for Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and New York in general.
Richard Wheatley’s crimes in Season 1 of Law & Order: Organized Crime.
While Law & Order has had its share of memorable villains, they’ve never had one in the opening credits of a show.
Dylan McDermott is a TV veteran of hits like The Practice and brought his gravitas to the role of Wheatley. Born the son of mob boss Manfredi Sinatra (Chazz Palminteri), Richard took the surname of his first wife (a black woman) as a shot against his father’s bigoted views.
While claiming to be nothing like his dad, Richard was far worse, a brilliant businessman who established his own pharmaceutical company. He used it as a front for some illegal dealings like running guns and drugs.
Wheatley is ruthless, eliminating both his own father for being in his way and then his stepson Rafiq for selling bad products. He landed on Stabler’s radar as Stabler was convinced Wheatley was behind the murder of his wife, Kathy.
It turned out Richard made his ex-wife, Angela (Tamara Taylor) believe it was Stabler who killed her son Rafiq so she ordered the death of Stabler’s wife in retribution.
After being arrested following a hostage situation, Wheatley pulled strings to have a corrupt cop try to kill Angela in the final scene of Season 1.
What is Richard Wheatley up to in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2?
When last seen, Wheatley was in prison with the case against him, unsure as Angela’s own fate was up in the air. It is confirmed that McDermott will no longer be a regular but recurring status this season.
His son, Junior (Nick Creegan), who tried to have his father killed, will be absent this year. Creegan has now joined the cast of the CW’s Batwoman series.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight to promote his appearance in the new American Horror Stories anthology, McDermott discussed what drew him to the role of Wheatley.
“Sometimes these characters come along and they just take over… And you get out of the way. So, there’s something about this character that’s just so fulfilling for me. And then, of course, the audience is responding because you’re so into it. It’s infectious.”
When asked what Wheatley will be up to in Season 2, the actor said, “I think he’s going to go nonstop. I mean, this is a guy who is plotting, who is scheming, who is doing push-ups all day long and getting ready to get out [of prison].”
Should that happen, McDermott adds, “Look out! Because there’s no stopping him now. He’s unleashed.”
A powerful moment in Season 1 was Wheatley meeting Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and noting how much Elliot cared for her. That may end up putting a target on Benson’s back in Season 2.
While Wheatley may not show up as much in Season 2 of Law & Order: Organized Crime, McDermott indicates the man will be more dangerous than ever before when he is on screen.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 premieres Thursday, September 23 10/9 EST on NBC.