Hall, 36, is captivating as Dexter Morgan, a brilliant blood spatter expert with the Miami Police Department, who also operates as a serial killer of slicing and dicing criminals who escaped incarceration.
Hall's already received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for "Dexter," and he's considered a front-runner for an Emmy nomination in July.
The North Carolina native, who has appeared on Broadway in the musicals "Cabaret" and "Chicago," recently talked about "Dexter," while on a break from filming the first episode of the second season.
You have been blessed with the opportunity of playing two great characters -- David Fisher on "Six Feet Under" and now Dexter Morgan.
I know. I know.
And I also noticed you can't get away from dead bodies.
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Well, the parallels-need I even say anything! Both characters and the world of both are surrounded by death -- death coming from a different angle and a very different context.
You went back to theater after the end of "Six Feet Under." But were you looking to return to TV or just content on exercising your theatrical chops?
My thought was I would go back to New York and sort of operate from there, act on stage and see how things unfolded. I didn't anticipate going right back to a television series. I didn't anticipate the character. I didn't anticipate any of it. It sort of presented itself. I realized it was a big commitment and certainly appreciated that coming off of 'Six Feet Under,' but I couldn't pass it up.
Had you read Jeff Lindsay's book before?
When I was contacted about it initially, I was sent the pilot episode and the book. I read them both.
How is the book different from the series?
The book -- the skeleton of the first season is very much in sync with the book. There is some different meat on the bones ...
Yeah, I couldn't help [the pun]. But the second season, the show's future has its own trajectory now.
Does the show have to be careful how far to take the gallows' humor, especially with Dexter's acerbic narration?
The voice over element is a tightrope. It is effective in that it gives the audience the opportunity to laugh. Without any levity, the show would be unbearable. I think the narration serves another purpose in actually implicating the audience. They are the only ones -- at least when they first meet Dexter -- who has a sense that they know the whole story or the story as he's telling it. I would like to think beyond the voice over there are other secrets Dexter might keep. But I do think it's particularly effective because the audience is in on it from the get go.
Dexter is an amazing actor -- except for his foster father -- he has kept his double life a secret.
We all tell ourselves stories and we start to believe its true. I think Dexter tells himself stories about his capacity for emotion that are arguably accurate, but at the same time a little suspect.
Did you meet with real blood spatter experts before production began?
When I was in down in Miami shooting the pilot, I was able to spend the day with the guy who is the head of the blood spatter department there. He was able to talk to me about a lot of technical things, but as importantly talk to me about what it is like to work as a civilian in the forensics department in police department where there are people who are sworn in and the way you are not. It is a crazy line of work. It's a fun place to visit. I don't know if I would want to live there.
You just started filming the new season. Is there anything you can reveal?
Well, I am reluctant to give too much away. The landscape has really changed as a result of the climax of season one, so I think he finds himself on somewhat shaky ground when we meet him again. But then there will be some external things he has no choice but to deal with.
You were nominated for an Emmy and twice won with your fellow "Six Feet Under" cast mates, the SAG award for best ensemble in a drama series, and you picked up a SAG and Golden Globe nominations for "Dexter." Now your name is being bandied about as an Emmy contender. What are your feelings about awards?
It's kind of insidious in a way. You'd like to tell yourself, it doesn't matter. But so many people are behaving otherwise, it's hard not to be somewhat affected. I just try to keep it in perspective.