They're practically the same age, with names so similar they give dyslexics seizures, and both have played love interests of Julia Roberts. But Dermot Mulroney and Dylan McDermott are not the same person. We swear.
The two actors have both had steady careers, with Mulroney sticking mostly to character roles on the big screen ("Zodiac," "J. Edgar") while McDermott found fame on the boob tube starring in hit shows like "The Practice," "Dark Blue" and Ryan Murphy's current FX series "American Horror Story."
What would happen if these two went toe-to-toe for nine electrifying rounds in our ring of pop culture minutiae? With McDermott set to join Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis on the election trail in "The Campaign" this week, there's no better time than the present.
Best Movie Role
Dermot Mulroney: Randall Hertzel, "About Schmidt" (2002)
Dylan McDermott: Secret Service Agent Al D'Andrea, "In the Line of Fire" (1993)
Advantage: Mulroney, who rocks a sublime mullet as the dim-bulb Randall, fiancé of Jack Nicholson's daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) who tries to get the title character involved in a pyramid scheme. McDermott plays well against Clint Eastwood in the presidential assassination thriller, though.
Dermot Mulroney: Best Actor, Seattle International Film Festival (1992, "Where the Day Takes You" and "Samantha"), MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss nominee (1995, with Winona Ryder, "How to Make an American Quilt")
Dylan McDermott: 1 Emmy nomination, 3 Golden Globe noms (1 win in 1999 for "The Practice"), 3 SAG nominations
Advantage: Winning a Globe is great and all, but this is an MTV site, and that "Best Kiss" nomination carries a lot of weight around here. Mulroney.
Dermot Mulroney: Kieran Mulroney (brother)
Dylan McDermott: Eve Ensler (stepmother)
Advantage: McDermott. Kieran Mulroney co-starred with his big bro in "Career Opportunities," which provided him with anything but. He's now one of the most sought-after screenwriters in the biz, having recently written "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." Yet having Ensler, creator of "The Vagina Monologues," as a stepmom — plus the fact that she used the birth of Dylan's daughter Colette as part of her world-famous play — kinda trumps that.
Famous Former Flames
Dermot Mulroney: Catherine Keener
Dylan McDermott: Julia Roberts
Advantage: McDermott, fo sho. No offense, we love the feisty Keener (who was married to Mulroney for nearly 20 years), but Dylan bagged Julia at the height of her early fame. High five, dude.
Romantic Comedy Cred
Dermot Mulroney: "My Best Friend's Wedding," "The Wedding Date," "The Family Stone"
Dylan McDermott: "Steel Magnolias," "Home for the Holidays," "Til There Was You," "Three to Tango"
Advantage: "Holidays" and "Stone" are basically the same movie, and both men got to charm Roberts as well as female audiences in general. Tie.
Dermot Mulroney: "Young Guns," "Silent Tongue," "Bad Girls," "The Last Outlaw"
Dylan McDermott: "Texas Rangers"
Advantage: Wait, McDermott did a movie with Clint Eastwood and another called "The Cowboy Way," yet didn't play a cowboy in either? This ain't no showdown. Mulroney wins in a walk.
Creepiest Online Fan Tribute
Dermot Mulroney: YouTube photo montage set to Jon Bon Jovi's "Let's Make It Baby"
Dylan McDermott: "The Unofficial Dylan McDermott Korean Fan Site"
Advantage: The intro music on that McDermott fansite is pretty jarring, but the content seems vanilla ... we think (our Korean translator was out sick this week). Looks like that Mulroney montage "wins" since YouTube user xMysticRosex2 didn't realize that a little Dermot goes a long way.
Dermot Mulroney: Music (cello and mandolin)
Dylan McDermott: Chess
Advantage: Mulroney. Dylan's won at least one chess game with a grandmaster, but Dermot outclasses him by playing cello professionally, including on the soundtrack recording for "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," as well as in a punk band with James Fearnley of The Pogues.
Dermot Mulroney: Large, mildly cleft, often clean-shaven.
Dylan McDermott: Moderate, flat, frequently stubble-covered.
Advantage: No one has a better superhero chin than Mulroney ... okay, maybe Mr. Incredible.
And the Winner Is ...
Mulroney, in a stunning 7-to-3 knockout. McDermott may have the looks and chops to be one of the hardest-working actors out there, but it's all about the chins, baby.
Originally published on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.