At 14, ran away from home and took a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actor, but his parents tracked him down and sent him to a boarding school in Ireland.
After graduating from high school in Omaha, he studied French, art history and theater in Paris.
Spent a summer in Oxford, England, studying Shakespeare.
Was cast as an understudy in the Broadway production of Biloxi Blues.
Has acted in several boxing movies, including HBO's Tyson in 1995 and opposite Meg Ryan in 2004's Against the Ropes.
As a 46-year-old training for the lead role in the FX series Lights Out, McCallany fulfilled a lifelong dream to fight in an amateur boxing competition, winning a three-round decision against a German heavyweight.