Michael C. Hall on his Broadway Return: “I experienced an increasingly intense itch to come back to the stage”

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Dexter fans have been anxious to see what would be star Michael C. Hall‘s next move after the show ended in September 2013. While Hall has since been seen in the indie movies Kill Your Darlings and Cold in July, audiences will also be able to see Hall on Broadway — where he launched his career — in The Realistic Joneses, which is now in previews. Hall spoke to the Associated Press about why he decided to return to Broadway, how the role differs from his murderous Dexter character, and

Hall confesses that playing a serial killer didn’t prepare him for playing a suburban husband. He says, “There’s really no room for so much of what Dexter called on me to do in this. Including killing people, thankfully.” However, he reveals that there is one casualty: “Just a squirrel.”

After Dexter, Hall wanted to do something completely different and saw it as an opportunity to return to Broadway for the first time in a decade. He explains, “I experienced an increasingly intense itch to come back to the stage and when I talked to my representatives about it, I said, ‘My ideal thing would be to do a new American play by a living playwright on Broadway,’ which is somewhat of a rare thing.” Hall actually credits his last Broadway role — he replaced Alan Cumming as the Emcee in Cabaret in 1999 (a role that Cumming is actually doing again on Broadway right now) for making him realize he could make a living as an actor. He points out, “When I was told that I got that part, everything that has happened beyond then has been beyond anything I ever really imagined. That was really the moment of, ‘Wow. Maybe I’m really going to get away with this.'”

Playing the Emcee in Cabaret nearly 500 times was a major departure from his earliest Broadway role — he was an understudy for Christian Camargo (who later co-starred with him on Dexter) during the three-month run of David Hare play Skylight. He recalls, “It was the most money I’d ever made. I’d call in at 7:30, they didn’t need me and I’d watch The Simpsons. It was great.”

Although he’ll play the same role eight times a week until The Realistic Joneses closes in July, it’s a lot different from playing the same character across multiple seasons of a television series like he did on Six Feet Under and Dexter. While learning only one script is certainly easier, Hall does feel lucky to have been part of the recent surge of high-quality cable television drama series. He says, “The roles that I’ve done of those two shows are parts that I really didn’t know existed when I was training to be an actor. The idea that you could do this long-form, open-ended, ever-evolving, rich complex character on a television show was not really an option until it became one. I feel fortunate to have out there in the ocean when that wave came.”

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