In "Article 99," John Mahoney plays Dr. Henry Dreyfoos, the callous director of a Veterans Hospital who's more concerned with his institution's budget than with the care accorded its patients. "I'm this incredibly unfeeling administrator who is basically using his position as a stepping stone to a political career in Washington," the actor reports.
Ray Liotta, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker and Kathy Baker are the four young, dedicated docs who do battle with Mahoney in the Howard Deutch-directed black comedy. "Once again I'm the heavy," Mr. Mahoney adds with a laugh. "It's them against me -- with them winning, of course."
Playing the heavy is a job to which Mr. Mahoney, 51, is accustomed. A white supremacist in "Betrayed," an unsympathetic judge in "Suspect," a coldblooded colonel in "The Manhattan Project" -- Mr. Mahoney brings a bureaucratic chilliness to his bad-guy roles. But the Chicago-based character actor, a veteran of more than 30 productions with the renowned Steppenwolf Theater company, is anything but chilly in person. And anything but one-note.