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If you ask Michael C. Hall, being known worldwide for playing a convincingly charismatic serial killer is every bit the head trip it sounds. “It’s existentially challenging,” he says with a laugh. “People have told me that they relate to the character and that they have their own homicidal fantasies that the show’s soothed.” Creepy.
RECOMMENDED: Read David Cote’s review of Lazarus
When he’s off the clock, the 44-year-old is a low-key kind of celebrity who could be mistaken for an average guy if his clothes weren’t just that much nicer and his looks that much more handsome. Sitting by the window at a West Village coffeeshop not far from his home—we won’t say which spot, because, you know, creepy—the former Dexter star isn’t attracting any scarily devoted superfans, but he’s still drawing glances from the clientele over their flat whites.
The roles Hall takes tend to be far from the fairly normal guy he seems to be, whether it’s a vigilante forensics analyst on Dexter, a gay funeral home director struggling with his sexuality on Six Feet Under, a glam-rock gender bender in Hedwig and the Angry Inch or the reason for our chat today: an extraterrestrial captain of industry in new Off Broadway show Lazarus.
“I had no mission statement to have a certain number of characters surrounded by bodies,” he says. “It’s just the way it’s unfolded. I just take it as it comes, and this seems to be what keeps coming. But, yeah, I do seem to find myself with the chance to play characters who are in their ways singular or odd or isolated or extreme.”