Andrew McCarthy fond of ‘strange’ role on ‘The Family’

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Andrew McCarthy stars on the ABC series “The Family.” | ABC/Giovanni Rufino

NEW YORK — Andrew McCarthy has been recognized in some pretty odd places.

He was there when the Berlin Wall came down and was singled out by an East German guard as he tried to take a piece of the wall as a souvenir.

“It was chaos and these East German guards were pushing people back and this guard just looked at me, ‘You!’ I’m just like, ‘Everybody else is taking it, too!’ He said, ‘Catholic Boys,’ which is a movie I did.”

And he says his 1989 film, “Weekend at Bernie’s,” seems to be everywhere.

For someone so recognizable, McCarthy, also known for roles in films like “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Less Than Zero” and “Mannequin,” has spent most of his time working behind the camera as a director.

“I love telling the whole story, and the older I’ve gotten the less interested I am in just my subjective point of view and worrying about what my hair looks like. It became boring to me to a certain degree. I was never particularly comfortable being the center of attention just on a personal level,” he said in a recent interview.

McCarthy, 53, has directed episodes of TV series like “The Blacklist,” “Orange is the New Black”, “Gossip Girl” and the new ABC series “The Family” (8 p.m. Sunday). He also has a role in that series, which stars Joan Allen, Rupert Graves and Alison Pill.

“The Family” is the story of a family torn apart when the youngest child goes missing. They assume he’s been killed, and McCarthy plays the creepy neighbor, Hank Asher, convicted of the crime. Ten years later, a young man appears and says he’s the missing child. McCarthy’s character is released from jail, but will he be accepted as an innocent man?

McCarthy says that when he was approached to appear on “The Family,” the character that really interested him was “this strange, disturbed, little man who lives next door.”

“Hank is probably the most misunderstood guy in town and every mother’s worst nightmare all in one,” McCarthy said. “He has these really bad sexual predilections and yet he hates himself for having them. He’s not just a monster going around doing evil. He’s someone trying to fight against it. No one has more hate and contempt for him than himself.”

Meanwhile, when he can fit it in, travel is McCarthy’s favorite thing to do.

“I prefer to travel alone. I love traveling with my family and my kids but ultimately I think I’m a solo traveler. … Travel was the university of my life, I like to say. Travel changed my life.”

Associated Press

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