Steve Zahn Caught Potentially Deadly Fever While Filming ‘Mad Dogs’

Steve Zahn caught a potentially deadly fever while shooting Mad Dogs, according to Business Insider. The 48-year-old actor got very sick during the brutal filming process of the Amazon drama series.

The executive producer of Mad Dogs, Shawn Ryan, recently shared at the Television Critics Association press tour that it was “a very difficult shoot.” In fact, it was so hot and humid while shooting Mad Dogs in Puerto Rico that Steve Zahn even caught dengue fever.

“We constantly have them [the actors] in the jungle. The characters were doing really, really difficult stuff, so by extension the actors were doing very difficult stuff.”

Ryan added that he was “amazed” how his cast, which includes Steve Zahn, managed to keep up the quality of their performance in such a brutal environment. But what worried Ryan and the entire Mad Dogs crew is that dengue fever can be deadly in some cases.

Dengue fever causes fevers, muscle and joint pains as well as headaches. As revealed by Steve Zahn himself, moving from cold Chicago (after shooting ABC midseason show Mind Games) to hot Puerto Rico was quite an experience for him as well as the people he works with on the series.

“I’m happy being a crazy circus person going from Chicago, freezing your a*se off, to being in the jungle and having dengue fever. It’s hard to explain, but I love it.”

The list of Steve Zahn’s Mad Dogs co-stars includes Michael Imperioli, Ben Chaplin, Billy Zane and Romany Malco. The film describes how a seemingly fun vacation in Puerto Rico turns out to be a dangerous adventure for five longtime friends.

And as explained by Ryan, the choice of the location was inspired by the need to make the series different from the U.K. version, which was set in “the middle of the country.” But now the cast, and Steve Zahn in particular, have to suffer from that decision.

“The idea behind finding this idyllic spot that looks like a place you’d just want to go to, and relax, and hang out for a week, and then, see all this horrific stuff start happening was really appealing.”

Mad Dogs premiered on Amazon on January 22. In the series, the four friends get entangled in organized crime and police corruption, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Billy Zane plays the role of the oldest mate who invites the characters of Steve Zahn, Chaplin, Imperioli and Malco, to visit his palatial estate.

Interestingly, Chaplin plays in both the U.S. and the British version of the series, but in different roles. But even though the two series are set in two different locations, the main idea stays the same: cultures tend to clash and the law can turn even the tightest friendship into a complete mess.

In one of his interviews, Zahn revealed that he hadn’t watched the British version of Mad Dogs.

Steve Zahn explained such a decision by saying that it was because the British version was too short and its first season lasted only four hours. But the U.S. version, meanwhile, was extended to 10 hours in length, which means viewers get to enjoy even more exciting adventure.

In the U.S. adaptation of Mad Dogs, Steve Zahn plays the role of Cobi. The actor is best known for his roles in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, which was released in 1998, and National Security and Daddy Day Care, both released in 2003.

In fact, Steve Zahn even had a role in Modern Family, in which he played a troublesome neighbor named Ronnie La Fontaine.

[Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images]