Halfway through a 14 week run of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway, Michael C. Hall took some time for a Reddit AMA and the fans had the opportunity to ask the former “Dexter” star anything. Check out the interview after the jump.
What was your initial reaction when you read that Dexter becomes a lumberjack would be the final scene? (OhHelloPlease)
Though… given what he’d been through, and his attempts to have his cake and eat it too in regards to indulging his compulsion to kill AND have a more authentic life, his self-imposed exile did resonate.
I think Dexter came to believe that… anything he touched would eventually be destroyed and so he felt he needed to let it all go. Of course, Dexter is also a pragmatist and a self-preservationalist so he didn’t do himself in. But rather put himself on hold.
You laid down on my boyfriend’s lap during last Friday’s performance, and also gave him the Love Theme from Hurt Locker sheet music. What makes you choose what audience members to mess with? Has anyone ever reacted in an unexpected or negative way to getting “car washed” by you? Does it always have to be a man?! Also – you were fantastic as Hedwig! The show was the most entertaining night of theatre I’ve ever experienced, so thank you for that! (melcrawmeow)
You’re welcome, thank you for saying that!
There were moments leading up to… the Sugar Daddy number,and the audience participation that goes along with it, when I can clock certain audience members and try to suss out their willingness to be… participatory. But in the end, it’s a game-time decision.
It’s important to pick someone who is small enough to get both their arms off the armrest so I have someplace to put my feet.It’s preferable to pick a man because it fits better with the song, and the character, and tickles the audiences’ funny bone better.
Once I “car-washed” a teenage boy, who turned to stone. But a couple days later, I received a couple dozen roses from his mother, thanking me for doing it.So in her opinion, at least, he needed to be “car-washed.”
Hi MCH! What do you think Dexter is up to right now? (morganharley)
That’s a good question.
When we left him, he was… staring at the wall in a prison of his own making, and I think his self-imposed exile from the world continues. Though I imagine he’s got a pretty serious itch he’s aching to scratch.
One of the only shows I love more than “Dexter” is “Six Feet Under”; it’s one of the only shows that has profoundly changed the way I live my life. I’m currently watching it for the third time—and it never loses its shine.
I have a ton of questions, but I’ll only ask a few:
1)Peter Krause has discussed a toll that the show took on him for diving head on into the darker material, did you feel any of that channeling David for five years?
2)How was Alan Ball on the set (I’m an aspiring writer, this stuff fascinates me) or as a showrunner in general?
3)Can you watch your own work? And if so, was the show as powerful to you as it was to fans since you were making it?
4)Did the cast click outside of work? Peter and you have such great chemistry and your scenes together were so powerful (can he cry on cue?).
5)Can you please get the cast together for some reunion panel? And could you tell HBO to release the show in HD/Blu Ray already? (welshwordman)
1) I suppose so. Initially, David called upon me to explore my own relationship with internalized daddy issues and doormat issues and self-loathing issues, and while that was initially revelatory, after a while it started to feel like I was tilling dead soil.It’s an occupational hazard if you play a
character for a long time.
2) Alan’s great. He’s very kind, with a great (dark) sense of humor. He’s… not precious about his words. He’s a great communicator, in terms of being an actor’s director. And as someone who ran the show, he was very much at the head of the table in the writer’s room. He never told me how to play David. He left the how up to me. And I think that he did that with all of us.
3) I was inside the character and inside the experience of the show. So the element of discovery or surprise wasn’t there, in the same way.
Watching SIX FEET UNDER was the first time I ever – in any significant way – watched myself, and initially it was very difficult. I felt like I was looking at a world otherwise populated by believable humans, except for one alien who would pass in front of the camera from time to time, the alien being me…
But I did come to enjoy watching the show, as a whole. And I think there’s something to be gained from watching oneself. It’s sometimes more excruciating than others.
4) I never really put a gun to Peter’s head and asked him to cry, so I don’t know if he can cry on cue, although he does have access to a broad spectrum of his emotional life, as actors do, but I do stay in touch with Peter. When I was living in LA, we were actually not living too far away from
each other, so we were able to see each other quite a bit, and I did see him here in New York a few months ago, so we stay in touch.
5) That would be really fun, to sit down with everybody at this point. We’re coming up on 10 years, I guess, or maybe it has been 10 years since we finished… As far as calling shots for the HBO marketing machine, I don’t really know if I have any clout in that regard!
Hey Michael! Just wondering, who’s the one character you really REALLY hate from the show? Is it Laguerta? Its Laguerta isn’t it? (mariosiscool)
What’s your favorite book? (Fox248)
That’s a tough one.
My favorite book, or books, currently are the ones I am going through – I’m reading Karl Ove Knausgård’s “My Struggle”, I’m currently reading the third volume of what is a six-part series. His descriptions of the everyday and mundane are…hypnotic. So that’s my favorite book of the moment.
Hey Michael! Just wanted to say you were terrific in Dexter, and I admired your marvelous work in Six Feet Under. Now it seems you are producing and are attached to be the lead in Stanley Kubrick’s unproduced drama God Fearing Man. Can you give us an update on this mini series project? It sounds fascinating and I’m really looking forward to it. (redder23)
Yeah, the Kubrick script is – or will be – the raw material for what we’re imagining will be a miniseries and we’re currently in the process of finding a writer to flesh out and expand that raw material. It’s in its preliminary stages, but the prospect of bringing it to life is exciting.
What was it like working with John Lithgow? (masonrb500)
He’s someone I’ve always admired as an actor. And he brings such a genuine sense of joy, and play to his work, working with him on the 4th season of DEXTER is one of the collaborative highlights of my career.
Hey Michael! What was it like working with Jennifer Carpenter after you got divorced? (Searingm1)
It was challenging, inasmuch as we’d obviously gone through a lot. But ultimately, it was tremendously gratifying. The context of our relationship changed, but the relationship
didn’t end. And the fact that we were able to work together in a committed and intimate way and continue to tell a story that we both felt was worth telling meant a lot to both of us. We remain friends and I’m very thankful for that.
Hello, Michael. Do you watch Game of Thrones? Would you consider joining the cast and if so what kind of character would you like to play? (seismicor)
I have to confess that I don’t watch Game of Thrones. But that said, if I played a character on Game of Thrones, I would want him to be a badass Gallagher – who’d have a giant mallet, and crush people’s heads with it, instead of watermelons.
Oh shit, Victoria’s informed me that that character’s already taken. The Mountain.
I don’t know. I’ve learned to never say never, so if they call, I’ll take the call, and if nothing else, I’ll tell them to
put out the HD / Blu-ray version of SIX FEET UNDER.
After seeing you at Hedwig I saw a crazed fan say some really inappropriate things to you which I found very bizarre however you kept ever so calm! What’s the worst thing a fan have ever sent you/said to you? (serene_dream)
“The finale sucked!”
Have you ever had any strange fan encounters? (jonemillard)
Not really. Though some people have volunteered to be a victim! And when I met Morgan Freeman, he said “Congratulations on
your whole life.” It was as if I were being invited to heaven
by God himself!
Fuck, Marry, Kill – Lyla, Lumen, Hannah? (Need_4_Weed)
It’s tough, because I fucked all three and killed one of them.
That being said… Fukc Lumen, Kill Lyla, Marry Hannah.
Though I’d really like to do all 3 to all 3.
How was it delving into the mind of a psychopath, and did you experience things similar to what Jack Nicholson experienced while portraying The Joker?
Also, what was your favourite scene on Dexter, and your favourite scene on Six Feet Under? Loved you in both shows as you are a brilliant actor and I will support anything you do in the future. I’ve rewatched Dexter a ridiculous amount of times, and I love your performance more and more every time. (Erekt_Butthole)
I don’t know what Jack Nicholson experienced while playing the Joker. My favorite scene in DEXTER is in the first season, 10th episode, when Dexter walks into the room filled with blood and does a face plant. Slip n’ slide into the room! And my favorite scene on SIX FEET UNDER… would be… gosh, there are so many. I think of the end of the “That’s my Dog” episode when David is doused in gasoline and has a gun shoved down his throat – not something I long to play every day but pretty intense. And the scene between Nate and David, in the room that Nate (after their father had died) discovered that his father kept – I think it’s the sixth episode of the first season – it’s called “The Room,” that episode – I really love that scene.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do an AMA.
I’ll try to keep this short. I’ve recently just started watching Six Feet Under (after being a long time fan of Dexter). I really enjoy your performance (I just finished the episode where you stand up to/threaten Gilardi… I felt like that was a future glimpse of your role as Dexter, haha 😉 ).
I have 2 questions:
What influences/inspires you to choose and play such complex roles as David Fisher, Dexter, and now, Hedwig?
Which actor(s) or actress(es) would you like to work with in the future? (mftrimmedtrees)
1) I feel the roles choose me, as much as I choose them.
Though I do find myself drawn to… characters who are
negotiating some sort of fundamental conflict or secret or
2) Christoph Waltz. Meryl Streep.
Hey Michael! Would you rather fight 100 duck sized Doakes or 1 Doakes sized duck? (naughtymuffins)
It’s a dicey proposition either way.
But I’ll go with the one Doakes-sized duck.
I can’t imagine not being overwhelmed by 100 Doakes-ducks. At least I’d be able to keep my eyes on the one giant duck.
Hi Michael, what’s your personal favorite movie and or series? (Daquilaf)
Picking one movie is hard.
A list of my favorite movies would include…
The Big Lebowski
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (original)
and Tender Mercies
Do you prefer acting on Broadway or acting for television? I imagine the experiences are quite different and I’d love to know which one you enjoy more! (weird_harold)
Thankfully, I feel like whenever I’m asked that question, my first impulse is to pick whatever it is I’m currently doing. Right now I’m loving acting onstage. The intimacy and immediacy of performing with a live audience is a singular sensation.
Hey Michael, How are you feeling today?
1. Actually you’re in Hedwig on Broadway, when the participation ends will you give a stop or go straight to another work? by the way…can you give us some hint of some future work that you will participate?
2.The question that remains is, what you have tattooed on foot?
3.What’s the name of your dog? this is a really important question for me
4.What the best part of being in Hedwig on Broadway?
5. Do you think about having children someday? or you think that they in some way WILL to disrupt your artistic life?
6.Do you prefer to act in front of cameras or in the theater? (shirleybruna)
1) I have some films that I’m attached to, that are in the works. So I haven’t… fully committed to anything. It’s hard to believe a movie is happening until it’s actually happening. There are some other things I’m working to develop with some friends & former colleagues but I do think I need to force myself to take a break.
2) It’s a triangle of … takes off shoe & sock to look 21 triangles.
3) Her name is “Salamander” though… I usually call her “Sal” or “sal-sal.”
4) Living out a rock & roll fantasy.
5) I do think about it. And I am aware that the life I’ve chosen would create some logistical hurdles if I were to have kids. We’ll see!
6) I just answered that.
Michael! I am SO glad you’re doing this AMA. I’ve seen photos from Hedwig on Broadway and it looks incredible and I’m sure you’re doing a fantastic job. Unfortunately I don’t have the money nor time to see it for real, otherwise I’d be there in a second. Also, I named a fish after you (well, after Dex) and a budgie after Deb once. Dex died but Deb is still alive and well. How the turntables..
My question is about Dexter (which is my favorite show of all time!!!) – Which has been your FAVORITE season and antagonist? Mine is season 1 with ITK but I’d say season 4 with Trinity is probably the BEST.
Good luck to you on Hedwig and on all future projects. Hugs from Sweden!! (ofpeaceandmagic)
It would be a toss-up for me between those 2 antagonists. The Ice Truck Killer, of course, is the most personal and intimate(given that he turns out to be Dexter’s brother). But Trinity is the most formidable foe.
-Spoilers for Series Finale of Dexter-
In the last few minutes of the final episode, the hurricane destroys your Slice of Life boat, and it is assumed that you died. But then we see you as a lumberjack in the middle of nowhere…
But in your opinion, do you think Dexter is dead? I had a theory that the lumberjack scene was showing us his purgatory. Doing the same thing over and over, never getting better, and no more inner monologue.
Do you think Dexter died in the hurricane? (MasterChief3624)
I’m reluctant to answer that definitively, because… I don’t think your interpretation is necessarily invalid. It’s subjective. Though I don’t think the writers imagined that Dexter was dead, to be honest.
Have you ever had dreams of actually being a serial killer? (tatricia)
Though I’ve had dreams that blurred my own reality and Dexter’s. I had a dream where I was at a beach house with my extended family and the doorbell kept ringing. I’d go to answer it, and little Chino would be there (one of Dexter’s more formidable victims) and i had to kill him. And every time I returned to the table, the doorbell would ring again. And he’d be there again, and I’d have to kill him again. It was tedious.
Just to get this out there, which Marvel character would you like to play and why is it Daredevil? (murdockmanila)
I don’t know! I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. Someone who flies.
How long does it take for you to do your make-up for Hedwig? (jviray)
Well, it’s applied by a duo of professionals.
It takes about 40-45 minutes.
Predominantly they use MAC products.
What do you do for fun, MCH? (trg84)
Dress up as a woman and sing rock songs.
Go to movies by myself in the middle of the day.
Walk the streets of New York.
Pet my dog.
OK, that’s good.
What is the most recent meal that you have cooked for yourself? Favorite recipe? (TerriblePigs)
I microwaved a frozen burrito last night when I got home from work.
What is the best part of being in Hedwig on Broadway? (shirleybruna)
Well, I was asked that and I said “living out a rock & roll fantasy” so I’ll try to come up with something else. But it all comes back to that. Fronting the kickass band.
I’ve heard you like metal music, what’s your favorite band? (Tejona)
Well, lately, especially while I’m getting ready for the show,I listen to a lot of Kyuss, and Sloburn.
Did you get to keep any props from the set of Dexter? (jbrav88)
I kept Dexter’s laminate ID, his watch, and his boots. That’s it.
What is something special about you that people aren’t aware of? (1___3)
I’m very silly.
What’s it like to have the sexiest voice of all time? Also what’s your favorite Dexter quote? (aer0zeppelin)
As far as the first one goes… ask Barry White.
My favorite DEXTER quote… it’s probably Deb saying “I’d
rather put out a campfire with my face.”
Hey Michael! I’ve been in a debate with my friend on who would win in a fight between Dexter and Heisenberg. Do you agree Dexter would kick Heisenberg’s ass? (TheMadgrom)
Of course I do.
He knows jiu jitsu, he could probably pull off a submission
hold,though I’d imagine he would do something more elegant.
Heisenberg’s a bad MF though.
Do you ever talk to yourself in Dexter’s voice? (TheSawceBawss)
Well, we actually have the same voice, so I suppose I do all the time. But I don’t imagine that Dexter is talking to me, haha!
If they ever did a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and offered you the part of Frank N. Furter, would you say yes? (GamoraTheDeadly)
Michael… I feel like you get sexier with age. Would you agree?? (alexw1993)
Hello Mr Hall, I’m such a huge fan of Dexter! Thanks for doing this AMA! My question is:
What was the best memory you have of working on Dexter? Also, what are Desmond Harrington (Joey Quinn) and C.S Lee (Masuka) like off set? Do you all stay in touch?
Also, I live in your hometown, Raleigh. Woo, Raleigh! (casefacerokstar)
Desmond’s a very sweet man, and a huge heart.
Wait! So is C.S.! I don’t mean to suggest that C.S. doesn’t have a huge heart. They are both huge-hearted men. Truly.
And for some reason, I go back to when we shot on location in Miami and I… was just floating in that lagoon. I think it was for the top of the second episode. Dexter drifting in a lagoon, all his victims on the ocean floor beneath him… so tranquil.
Rita. How did you prepare for her departure? Was it as heartbreaking and gut-wrenching for you as it was for us? (Psychotictiki)
In a different way, yes. I think honestly that from the moment of her death forward, Dexter was reeling and he never quite recovered.
Hi Michael! What would you say you have most in common with Dexter? Also favorite food?
Such a fan of your work! (StarkForEver)
Dexter and I look a lot alike. And I do tend to talk to myself more than I’d like to admit.
Well, I guess I just admitted it.
My favorite food… Italian food.
What should I spend my Target gift card on? It’s really stressing me out. (yerawizardhana)
Just go with your gut.
Make sure you take a full lap before you commit. There are a lot of options in there.
My daughter and I really enjoyed our trip to New York and seeing your performance in Hedwig. Seriously, how did you ever get used to all the jumping around in those high heels??! We were there the night you fell onto a patron in the audience and still managed to recover with such grace and style. Such a difference between acting as Dex and then as Hedwig! Which character do you prefer? (Hedwigsangryinch)
I think playing Hedwig is probably better for my soul! That was pretty hilarious. I did fall that night, directly into the lap of the woman sitting in front. And…as I remember, planted a big kiss on her, and got on with the number. Thankfully, Hedwig is a show that welcomes a certain degree of chaos. As far as the heels go, I started wearing heels around the apartment before I even started rehearsing, and I rehearsed in a pair of heels that were actually HIGHER than the ones that I ultimately wear in the show. So when I put those on, it felt like I was wearing sneakers.
Who was you favorite season guest star on Dexter, and why was it John Lithgow?
I also want to thank you and congratulate you on beating cancer! (redjohnsayshi)
Yes, I would pick John. Because he’s one of the greats. And Trinity was the most formidable foe Dexter ever faced, and John is as fundamentally kind as Trinity is effed up.
And thank you.
Though I think medicine and a certain combination of chemotherapy drugs beat my cancer. But I had to show up.
Why did we never get any bloopers from Dexter? (Raptarxking)
I don’t know. I’d love to see an extensive blooper reel.
What is the best part of being in Hedwig on Broadway?
Well, I was asked that and I said “living out a rock & roll fantasy” so I’ll try to come up with something else. But it all comes back to that. Fronting the kickass band.
Just being the channel for this character and this music is… such a rush.
Honestly, how awkward was this interview? (Need_4_Weed)
It was pretty awkward. Mostly I felt sorry for her.
How fun was shooting Gamer with Gerard Butler? It’s one of my favorite movies, and I never expected you to be such a great antagonist going in. (nightwing2024)
It was a lot of fun, especially the moment where I got to freeze him with my mind. This was after 300, you understand, so to momentarily dominate Leontes was a rush. Of course, he ended up stabbing me in the heart, but it was fun while it lasted.
Who is your biggest inspiration? (Paper-Snow-A-GHOST)
Michael, love your work. Are we going to see you in the more quirky roles like Gamer? I thought you did that character perfectly. (anonymoussoul04)
The best part about doing this is you can never tell what the future holds. Maybe?
Did you ever call the police as a kid just to see if 911 actually worked? (yerawizardhana)