What makes your show different?
“I thought it was a really intriguing story, and the character that I play actually plays other characters. Michael is a different person, or assumes a different persona, with the various individuals he encounters. And it’s also a show about prison, which is inherently a fascinating subject. It speaks to all of our deepest and darkest feelings.”
What previous role are you most proud of?
” ‘The Human Stain.’ I had to learn how to box, and I’m not particularly athletic. I learned how to fake it fairly decently. When I saw my performance onscreen, and I saw my character in the ring, I bought that I knew what I was doing.”
What shows influenced you in becoming an actor? Why?
“I wasn’t allowed to watch much TV, but one night a week I was allowed to watch ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ and ‘Silver Spoons.’ I wanted to be those kids, but not just having the experience of living in a penthouse or living in a mansion. I wanted to be the actors having those experiences, playing those parts.”
Comedy or drama: Which is harder?
“Comedy is more difficult because I don’t think I’m particularly funny, unless it’s unintentional. I’m attracted to more dramatic roles, although I would like to do darker comedies. I was on a show called ‘Popular’ a couple times, which had a great blend of drama and comedy.”
Whose career would you like to emulate?
“I admire the career path of those who, regardless of whether it’s TV or film, choose roles based on quality. I’m a big fan of Stockard Channing, William H. Macy, Patricia Clarkson and Denzel Washington. They’re actors’ actors. Regardless of the material, you know they’re going to bring something unique and well thought out.”