Colin Hanks’ ‘Dexter’ Role: “Completely Different from Anything Else I’ve Done”

Like father, like son. While Tom Hanks’ eldest son Colin got his start in teen comedies like Orange County and Whatever It Takes, he’s since moved into more dramatic (and religious) fare. Following an impressive stint as a priest on AMC’s ‘60s drama Mad Men, he’s currently starring as a God-fearing serial-killer-in-training on Showtime’s Dexter.

“I guess maybe someone at Dexter saw the Mad Men stuff and thought, ‘He can do this.’ To be quite honest, I’m not religious. So for me Mad Men was kind of hard for me to wrap my head around. The Dexter stuff is very different because it’s coming from such a different point of view,” he told the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview. “More than anything it was hard to go to work sometimes, waking up in the morning knowing that I’m going to have to be in a very dark place for the next 12 hours and I’m going to be pretending to hurt people.”

Watching the younger Hanks as a high school senior worrying about getting into college in 2002’s Orange County, you wouldn’t think the 33-year-old would be believable as a murderous antagonist. However, his character is one of the creepiest in the history of the show, which follows the life of its titular blood spatter analyst who moonlights as a vigilante serial killer.  

“The aspect of Dexter that’s been so fabulous for me is that it truly has been a chance to do something totally and completely different from anything else that I’ve done. Religion theme aside, most of the time I’m in some sort of comedy and I’m a straight man,” he said. “With this I got to flex an entirely different muscle and I got to take all the preconceived notions that people have of me.”

In the interview, Hanks also talked about following in his esteemed father’s footsteps and what he wanted to do during his “rebellious” teen years.

“I loved acting since I was a little kid. Obviously, I saw my dad do it,” he recalled. “During my rebellious period, I thought maybe I’ll go into radio. Eventually by the time I got into college and started doing plays I thought, ‘I really like this. This is really what I want to do.’”

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