Why Garret Dillahunt loves The Road

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Garret Dillahunt said that he'd be happy to be in any movie associated with Cormac McCarthy, who is easily one of his favorite writers and who authored The Road, the post-apocalyptic thriller that has been adapted into a film in which Dillahunt has a small role.

"No one writes better stories than Cormac McCarthy," Dillahunt (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) said in an exclusive interview with SCI FI Wire last week. "I think Cormac had just had his son [when he wrote The Road]. He had his son fairly late in life, and there was a fire on the hill, and he was watching it from his back door, and his mind just started to wander."

Dillahunt added: "I think he thought, because of these feelings of protectiveness for his son, he just started thinking about what he would do. That fire made him think about what if that was the end coming. What if that was a meteor shower that disrupted the whole atmosphere? This story started to develop about this boy who would then grow up never knowing anything but that [bleak] world. It's heartbreaking and beautiful. He started to see the world again, and its magic and mystery, through the eyes of this boy, and that's what the book's about. "

Viggo Mortensen stars as a character simply called the Man in the movie, and young Kodi Smit-McPhee plays the Boy. The two meet a colorful cast of characters along the road, including Dillahunt's Gang Member, which doesn't seem to bode well for our heroes.

The film currently doesn't have a release date; it was recently announced that the movie has been removed from Dimension's November 2009 slate and is now in limbo.

The soft-spoken Dillahunt has been playing a lot of bad guys lately: In the Last House on the Left remake, which opens March 13, he is an evil kidnapper who forces his teenage son to take part in his criminal lifestyle.

In his next upcoming film, Burning Bright, Dillahunt is a backwoods "zoo" keeper who locks two teens inside his house with a hungry tiger. "A hurricane is coming, and I need some insurance money," Dillahunt said of his character. "Again, I'm a bad father."

Dillahunt can currently be seen on Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, helping to cement his image as an actor who seeks out science fiction roles (his other fantastical TV turns include The 4400 and John From Cincinnati).

"That's my whole job," Dillahunt said. "I ask 'What if?' all the time. What if I was this guy? What if I was that? I just like good stories. I am a science fiction fan. I have 11 boxes of comic books at home. I read Isaac Asimov when I was in eighth grade, and all these incredible, mind-bending kinds of things. I think it's an excellent way to think outside the box. The most intelligent people I know are science fiction fans and writers."