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Hollywood Has a Billion Reasons to Love Dennis Dugan

There’s a great profile in Variety today of feature film comedy director Dennis Dugan, who recently joined a very exclusive Tinseltown club: the one featuring directors, producers, writers and actors whose works have grossed more than $1 billion at the box office.

Dugan has worked closely for many years with Adam Sandler. Their latest collaboration, Grown Ups, is what pushed the D-man over the B-mark. But as writer Steve Heisler points out, it all began for Dugan when he tried out as an actor for a late 1980′s TV classic.

When Dugan auditioned for Moonlighting, creator Glenn Gordon Caron called Dugan to say, “That was by far the best audition,” Dugan recalls. He eventually lost out to Bruce Willis, but was later brought on to play Cybill Shepherd‘s new love interest. Fans revolted, and Dugan was written out – but he was offered the chance to direct a few episodes.“Moonlighting got me in the place I had to be for comedy — where there are no rules, just chaos,” Dugan says.

Dugan has two more Sandler collaborations on tap for 2011: Jack & Jill and Just Go with It.

(Photo courtesy of DGA Quarterly)

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