Since starring in 1998's Happiness, actor Dylan Baker has made 11 major feature films. But people just can't seem to forget his indie-movie turn as a psychiatrist and family man who's secretly a predatory pedophile. Fortunately, his unsavory however critically praised image often proves a blessing in disguise. It sure helped when he auditioned to play Chris Rock's presidential campaign manager in Head of State.
"I walked in to meet with Chris Rock and [screenwriter] Ali LeRoi, and they were giggling away!" says Baker. "I thought my fly was down. They said, 'You're that guy from Happiness.' They were laughing and giggling like little girls. I finally said, 'Yes. Should I read these scenes? Can I actually audition for this movie?' So I did, and they just kept giggling as I walked out."
Baker was certain he was out of the running, but Rock later told him: "I went home and wanted to look at those [audition] tapes again, 'cause that was that guy from Happiness!" With that, he landed the stereotypical role of a bow-tied white guy who learns to let lose and hang with the likes of Rock and Bernie Mac.
On the small screen, Baker's scored yet another gig thanks to Happiness: Fox's new, oddball family sitcom The Pitts. "[Creator] Mike Scully decided he really needed a wholesome family-values couple for the parents," Baker explains. "He knew that I had done Happiness, and that was a damn fine start. Then, he picked Kellie Waymire, who played the prostitute on Six Feet Under. Now there's a picture of American values!"