Tonight is the Canadian premiere of Slasher on Super Channel, but in the US, Episode 6 is set to air, and it’s huge for one particular character: Chief Iain Vaughn. That makes today the perfect day to share our interview with the man behind Vaughn, Dean McDermott. We chatted with him on the set of Slasher about his role, why he had to be a part of this project, and his family’s love of horror films.
Read our interview below, and check out our other Slasher coverage.
This isn’t the first time you’ve played a cop. How is Vaughn different from those other characters?
Sometimes playing police officers can be a little boring, but not Chief Vaughn. He’s an interesting cat. He runs things a little differently.
Was he around Waterbury when Sarah’s parents were murdered?
He was. He was the one that came in on the investigation when it first happened. He was a very young police officer at the time. Now he’s chief of police. He’s stayed in that town for quite a while.
Is Vaughn liked by the people of Waterbury?
He is liked in the town, and is an authority figure. He’s also a bit of a hero. Back when the murders happened, he was one of the first responders.
Does he have a bit of a complex because of that?
Maybe. I don’t want to give away too much about Vaughn but he is a complex character.
Aaron Martin did imply that Vaughn is a rich character. When you think you know what’s going on, it goes in a different direction.
Yes. It’s a lot of fun when you get to play people like that. I love playing flawed, interesting characters. Right now, I’m addicted to Bloodline on Netflix, and Ben Mendelsohn as Danny is so good. [He has] layers upon layers upon layers. It’s intriguing to watch, and it’s fun to play those guys.
How does Vaughn react to Sarah’s return?
I think it’s like anybody’s reaction, which is why the hell would you come back to the town that your parents were murdered in, let alone the house [where they were killed]. It’s easy to say why would you do that, but it’s hard to put yourself in that person’s position of what you would do.
And Sarah brings someone new along with her — Dylan, her husband. Does Vaughn see him as a threat?
Chief Vaughn has enough of an ego that no one’s a threat to him. He sees Dylan as some guy who’s along for the ride. He happens to be married to Sarah, but I don’t quite know what his angle is. I know that he’s working for the paper. Vaughn has enough connections and enough attitude that nobody is a threat.
Would you say that Vaughn’s not too concerned with new people coming to town and potentially shaking things up or changing things? Not just Dylan, but also Robin and Justin?
[Robin and Justin] worry Vaughn more than Dylan because people from small towns don’t like change. It’s OK if you move into town. I’ll keep my eye on you to make sure you stay in check [but don’t] start developing things and changing the town.
Would you say that filming Slasher in a small town has helped bring this role to life and create the right atmosphere?
Small towns are scary unto themselves at night. They can be the quaintest town during the day but at nightfall, behind closed doors, there’s something about a small town that really adds to the backdrop of this project. I think it’s great. Being in such close proximity to the woods and water, you just have so many place to go with the bodies. The options are endless.
What was it about Slasher that appealed to you?
The appeal really was the story and the writing. Aaron Martin really created a great series that is finite, but within those eight episodes, he takes you on this journey with some great twists and turns. I was so excited that I jumped at the chance to be a part of it because it was that good. And I love horror movies and psychological thrillers, so I was right on board. We watch Chiller at home all the time, the whole family. My little ones love scary movies.
Will they be allowed to watch this show?
Probably. They’ve seen worse (laughs).
Do they understand that this is a job for daddy and it’s not real?
It’ll be interesting for the two younger ones, Hattie and Finn — they’re 4 and 3, so they’ve seen more of the reality side of things in my career. Now that I’m getting back to acting, this will be something new for them, but this is something that Liam and Stella, the 8 and 7-year-old, have seen before. And Jack, my 16-year-old, is accustomed to me being an actor more than a reality guy. But it’ll be interesting to see what their take is on it.
For your current fans who may not necessarily consider watching a horror or thriller series, what would you say to encourage them to tune in?
What attracted me to the project was these strong characters. They’re really rich, they have a great background, and the story is really great. If you’re not a thriller/horror fan, I think you should tune in just for the characters alone. They’re so well-written and well performed, and it’s a great story. Close your eyes during the scary or gory parts, but tune in for the characters and the story.
This could potentially open up a new fan base for you, too.
Horror fans are great, and I hope I make some new fans along the way. It’s always nice as an actor to do something that resonates with people. If you gain a new fan base within a different demographic, it’s a great compliment.
Photo Courtesy of Chiller