Josh Mc Dermitt
Actor and comedian Josh McDermitt is best known for his role as Dr. Eugene Porter on AMC’s The Walking Dead. He’s been a long time supporter of Billy Reid and a welcome personality in all of our stores. “If there’s a Billy Reid in the city I’m visiting, I’m going there,” he told the Journal in a recent interview.
Atlanta has been his home base while shooting The Walking Dead and it’s where the initial fitting for his Made To Measure suit took place under the tutelage of our MTM director of services, Alex Sandlin. The final fitting was in our Dallas store, where it was captured by Journal contributor Kelsey Foster.
Today we share highlights from our conversation with Josh about his Made To Measure experience, favorite details on his custom suit, and his character’s on-screen style influence.
Journal: Did you order your MTM suit for a specific event?
Josh McDermitt: Not for a specific event. I’d never had anything done custom before and I didn’t want to do this for one particular event. And in talking with Alex, who was kind of curating and running this MTM thing for me, thought, You know, it’d be kind of cool if you just got something that was more of a year-round suit, something that you could just throw on and not have to worry about if there’s going to be photographers there. I thought, Yeah, let’s just have a suit and not necessarily have it for one specific event but have it to wear to a friend’s wedding, not necessarily for a work event but for a personal event.
J: What was the MTM process like for you?
JM: I’ll admit, it was a little overwhelming at first, just because I have people who help me with that, my wife in particular. She’s an interior designer and she’s great with visual things and I’m not. I’m just a big giant idiot. But, what put me at ease was working with Alex and working with the people in the store there. They know their stuff and they really helped me narrow down the selection and what I wanted, so any feeling of being overwhelmed I had was gone instantly when I started talking with them. They really make it easy for you. Just the fact that you get to pick every little thing out about your suit. There’s things I never thought I’d care about. I’m thinking, Do I want a ticket pocket? Like, people don’t necessarily use ticket pockets anymore but I’m going, Do I want that? And I look at Alex and he’s wearing a suit with a ticket pocket in his MTM suit and I’m going, That looks pretty cool.
Ultimately I opted to not do it, but I loved having that option. I loved the option of picking the inner lining and of having functioning buttons on the sleeves, which, nowadays, most suits don’t have that, but I got functioning buttons on mine. You get to pick out every tiny detail and it’s just so awesome. I learned so much about suits and material and fabrics.
When I put the suit on, it felt like I wasn’t even wearing a jacket. My shoulders felt so free. And it’s not like any other jacket I’ve ever worn was tugging or pulling or didn’t fit right, it’s just that I noticed, Oh, this arm hole is for my arm specifically and this feels great and, honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to buying something off the rack again.
J: You’ve been a great supporter and fan of Billy Reid. How does Billy Reid compliment your day-to-day personal style?
JM: Well, the thing that I like about Billy’s stuff is it’s just this kind of classic American look. And there’s something cool about it without being forced. I look at some people my age right now and they’re wearing clothes that a teenager would wear because they’re like, Oh this is what’s in right now. I look at stuff from Billy Reid and I go, No this stuff’s cool for me, for where I am in my life right now, and I don’t look like I’m trying to look cool or like I’m trying to hang on to some past version of myself.
There’s a classic kind of Southern, badass quality to Billy’s clothes and I love it, it’s solid, it’s just a good fit for me. In terms of casual wear, it’s upped my game. It’s made me look nicer, dress nicer, feel better about myself without it being forced. It’s effortless with his stuff.
You can kind of look at it and, I’ll be honest with you, I have clothes that aren’t his in my closet but I reach for his stuff every time. It just stands out in my wardrobe without it jumping out going, “Oh, wear me!” It’s just that I know I look good in it. I should probably buy more clothes because I end up wearing the same things over and over again because I just like them. You find something you like and you wear it all the time.
What are the jeans you’re supposed to wear for two years or something without washing them? The raw denim? I bought a pair of the raw denim jeans and I’m like, Oh, this is cool, I’m supposed to wear these everyday and break them in! Now I have an excuse to wear the same stuff everyday.
J: Your character in The Walking Dead, Dr. Eugene Porter, sports a rad mullet. Is that also a Josh look? Or is it for the show only?
JM: It started out just for the show. I kind of had longer hair, was just kind of shaggy and bushy and they fashioned it into a mullet when I came onboard. At first it was kind of a shock for me and I wasn’t sure I loved it, but I’ve since embraced it. We finished shooting season five back in November and I’m still rocking the mullet. Maybe part of it’s laziness but it’s such a part of me now that I’ve just kind of kept it. There’s also a bit of - I don’t want to say an edginess - but there’s something kind of cool about the mullet when It’s done right. If someone’s cool enough, they can rock a mullet and people won’t bat an eye. I’m hoping I’m cool enough and people aren’t actually making fun of me while I’m walking down the street.
J: What does your wife think of the mullet? Is she a fan?
JM: Ah, no. She is not a fan, at all. My wife is not a fan of half the things I do, so I just try to not alert her to my shenanigans and we go from there. It’s funny though because I was in another show where I had lamb chop sideburns and, for me, I’m not a John Hamm-looking type of individual. I’m not Pierce Brosnan good looks: I’m just a normal looking dude. I’m going to get lost in the shuffle on any project I film, so I want to look as ridiculous and stupid as possible so I’ll stand out.
J: How much say do you have about what you wear on the show?
JM: Our wardrobe designers and everyone involved in working on the show - we’ve got the best in the business - they’re at the top of their game and so there’s not a lot of what I can bring up and question that they haven’t already questioned. There are a few things here and there but, every time I got in for a fitting, it’s like, OK, here are your choices, try all these on and find a good outfit for this next episode. And so I try them all on and I may be leaning toward one but they’ll say, Oh, that’s cute but you’re going to wear this one instead.
I am the only character wearing shorts in the apocalypse right now. Everyone is wearing pants and trying to be safe as possible and I’m this big idiot in shorts. Again, I like to look stupid as best as I can on TV, so I’m like, Yes, let’s do that.
J: You’re a regular at our Atlanta store where the staff knows and loves you. Where do you like to hang in ATL when you’re not at the store or shooting an episode?
JM: My favorite place to hang when I’m not working is in my bed, sleeping. We’re putting up 16 hours a day in the Georgia heat and humidity, but if I actually do have time to get out and enjoy the city, I like to go over to Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. I grew up in Arizona where Mexican food is the big thing, but I’ve never been exposed that much to BBQ. I like hitting hole-in-the-walls as much as I’m able. There’s a lot of cool restaurants by the Billy Reid store, like The Optimist. Anything that’s not a chain, I’m probably going to go to. And there’s a lot of cool spots in ATL.