Hollywood gets 'extra' effort from West Mifflin officer
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, 9:08 p.m.
Not only is David Dale McCue a police officer in real life; he's played one on television — and in several movies, too.
McCue, a full-time officer with the West Mifflin department, will appear on the small screen March 3 when the A&E series “Those Who Kill” premieres.
He's appeared in several other projects that filmed in the Pittsburgh area, including “Jack Reacher,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Sorority Row,” “Adventureland,” “Out of the Furnace,” “Love & Other Drugs,” “My Bloody Valentine” and Spike TV's “The Kill Point.” He also has a part in the upcoming film “Foxcatcher,” starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.
“I really, really enjoy being a part of filmmaking and TV show making,” McCue says. “I'm fascinated with the whole process. When you're on set, you don't see what the finished product is going to look like.”
McCue, 43, of Eighty Four, has patrolled West Mifflin for 15 years and worked for two years in Duquesne. His acting career started by chance.
McCue was at the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in 2007 when Lawrenceville-based Nancy Mosser Casting was looking for extras for “The Kill Point,” which was being filmed in Market Square. It was about a group of military veterans recently returned from Iraq and planning a major bank heist.
“That was the first thing I ever auditioned for and got a part in,” he says. “We filmed that for a couple months. That was all Pittsburgh-filmed.”
Casting director Katie Shenot says McCue fit the role of SWAT leader Creeper, and he was called back for numerous projects.
“He's been an extra for us a lot of times,” Shenot says.
Shenot, a casting director for 11 years, says she appreciates actors such as McCue.
“Normally, whenever I call him, it has to do with something military or police because he is a police officer,” Shenot says. “He looks great on camera. He's a leader to the other extras. He's really reliable.”
McCue says he made friends while working on the various projects and served as an impromptu weapons instructor with another officer on the Tom Cruise film “Jack Reacher.”
“Some of these guys had never even held a weapon before,” McCue says. “It was kind of funny. Our staging area was McFadden's down on the North Shore. On breaks and on lunch, we would take some of these guys and give them broom handles and things of that nature. We would actually practice and teach them some tactics, how to hold a weapon, that kind of thing. It added some authenticity to the movie. SWAT had to do a lot of action scenes. A lot of those things, we had to plan out and practice.”
Most of McCue's roles involve a form of law enforcement, but he had an uncredited spot as a Pfizer pharmaceutical salesman in “Love & Other Drugs,” and was an extra with his teenage daughter Logan in “Adventureland,” filmed largely at Kennywood.
“It was fun. I liked having her in there, and it made me proud to have her in there,” McCue says. “I made a bigger deal of it than she did. She went through the hair and make-up and wardrobe and all of that kind of stuff. That was pretty cool to see her doing that.”
McCue says he plans to be in more films and to expand his acting range while maintaining his commitment to West Mifflin. He says he is grateful to the department and the borough for their support.
“West Mifflin has been absolutely great as far as trying to help me and accommodate me,” McCue says. “A lot of the guys I've worked with have been great. They've switched their schedules around and worked for me or stayed late when I was caught on set.”
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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