Michael Dorman in Joe Pickett Season 2
David Brown/Paramount+

Michael Dorman: Meet the Star Behind Paramount's Hit Western Mystery Series 'Joe Pickett'

Anything can happen when you're deep in the thickly forested mountains of Wyoming. While game warden Joe Pickett is used to dealing with hot-headed poachers and unpredictable wildlife, he's not prepared for the mysterious disappearance of a local hunter — and the serial killer leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.

So what happens when the hunters become the hunted? Only season 2 of Paramount's new hit neo-Western crime drama Joe Pickett can tell. Premiering back in 2021, the series follows a set of characters originally created by author C.J. Box as they uncover the corruption and danger lurking in the small, seemingly charming town of Saddlestring, Wyoming.

At the center of the latest series to take on the Western genre is Michael Dorman as Joe Pickett, a game warden with an unwavering moral compass and desire to do the right thing. The actor said he was drawn to the role partly because of the rare altruism Pickett holds and partly because — like all of us — he's a sucker for the landscape.

"I love being in it, and I've loved watching what I've seen so far," he told UPI when the series first debuted. "With books, everyone is going to have their own interpretation. For me, playing Joe Pickett was more about trying to capture the essence of him. ... I sort of see him as someone who is trying to take the past and make it a little brighter. He is an advocate for anyone who doesn't have a voice."

So who is the man bringing this iconic character to life? Here's everything we know about Michael Dorman — and where you've seen him before.

New Zealand Born

Dorman hails from New Zealand, living in Auckland until he was about 10 years old. His family then relocated to Queensland, Australia, where he grew up in the coastal city of Bundaberg. His vocal range doesn't give any indication of his upbringing, as he quickly got rid of his Kiwi accent to avoid being teased in school.

While he had always dreamed of acting, it sadly took a few harsh years to finally make it happen. After leaving drama school and moving to Sydney, Dorman reportedly lived in a box for three months until he was taken in by a fellow actor. Fortunately, he landed his first major role as Christian in the popular Australian drama The Secret Life of Us.

Veteran Actor

Michael Dorman arrives for the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' "The Invisible Man" held at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 24, 2020 in Hollywood, California

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

After three years on the show, Dorman moved on to bigger and better things. He appeared in a few movies, shorts and limited series in the Australian film world over the next decade until he landed his next series stint as Tom Wilcox on Wonderland. Right after that wrapped, he made the leap to Hollywood with a small role in his first feature film: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Since then, Dorman has gone from strength to strength. He appeared in the Amazon Prime spy series Patriot and movies including The Invisible Man and Hard Luck Love Song. Most recently, he played Gordo Stevens in the Apple TV space drama For All Mankind, a role for which he had to significantly shift his appearance.

"Before Season 2 started, [producers] told me they wanted Gordo to be out of shape," the actor told TVLine. "And they said, 'Prosthetics?' And I said, 'Nah.' If we're gonna do it, I have to do it. So I saw a bunch of doctors and dietitians, and I put on 40 lbs. in a really short amount of time. I [am] usually 170 lbs. I got to over 210. I pushed it as far as I could."

While he said he's unlikely to do something that drastic again — admitting that it put him in a "dark place" — it's his commitment to the craft that has earned him the admiration of fans and industry professionals alike. His portrayal of Joe Pickett is no exception.

Musically Inclined

For his role as John Tavner in Patriot, Dorman had to show off one of his other passions: music. He plays the guitar and sings, having given live performances of the songs he sang on the show. He also shows off his vocals (and his country accent) in Hard Luck Love Song, in which he stars alongside Sophia Bush.  

While he has yet to release any of his own original music, Dorman has been featured on quite a few covers and songs — including the soundtrack to the Joe Pickett series "All The Pretty Horses." You can listen to the full song here.

Will Joe Pickett Have A Season 2?

Michael Dorman as Joe Pickett and Julianna Guill as Marybeth Pickett (Paramount+)

Fans of the series will be happy to hear that Joe Pickett has been picked up for a second season. The first two episodes will be released on Paramount+ on June 4, with weekly episodes to follow. Until then, you can binge the entire first season on the streaming service — and get to know Dorman's character, Joe Pickett, just a little bit better.

READ MORE: 'Joe Pickett' Cast: Who's Coming Back to Wyoming in Season 2?