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Michael C. Hall on ‘Dexorcism’ and New Netflix Series ‘Safe’

Michael C. Hall plays a Brit in his new series “Safe” and relishes the challenge. “As an American actor, I often see people from the U.K. or Australia or anywhere else come and play Americans and that’s perfectly acceptable, but I like the idea of turning the tables,” he told Variety from Cannes.

Eight-part drama “Safe” will play on Netflix internationally and on Canal+’s C8 channel in France. Hall plays Tom, a pediatric surgeon who is raising his two teenage daughters Jenny and Carrie alone after the death of his wife. When Jenny sneaks out and goes to a party, a series of events unfolds and leads to a murder, a disappearance and the emergence of buried secrets.

The show also stars Amanda Abingdon (“Sherlock”) and Emmett J. Scanlan (“The Fall”). It is the latest TV project from bestselling author Harlan Coben, who is also in Cannes, with “Safe” closing the Canneseries festival. The series is produced by Studiocanal production company Red.

Hall was working on David Bowie play “Lazarus” as “Safe” came together. He said the quality of the story and Danny Brocklehurst’s pilot script won him over. “I was immediately drawn in, I had a sense of the character’s complexity. I also found my jaw dropping probably three times reading through the first episode with the surprises of it.”

The actor added that he was also enjoying being in the U.K. “I just was enjoying my time there, I was in London when the U.S. election happened – I can’t say that has nothing to do with my desire not to return to the U.S.,” he said.

The character of Tom is far removed from Hall’s other big TV roles in HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and Showtime’s “Dexter.” “Having a  chance to play someone who is more or less a normal person and around and to whom crazy things are happening, as opposed to a person within whom crazy things are happening” was, Hall said,  “a nice change of pace.”

Having been locked into hugely popular long-running series, Hall knows he will always be fielding questions about his previous work – notably, “Dexter.”  He said: “I try not to take it all too seriously. I realize ‘Dexter’ will be in the first paragraph of my obituary if one is written, maybe the first sentence, but that’s fine.”

He added that when the series came to a close in 2013, he knew he wanted some variety. “When ‘Dexter’ ended, I wanted to mix it up and felt like the cumulative effect of the things I have done since has served as a sort of ‘Dexorcism.’”

But could “Dexter” come back, and would he ever return to the character? “Maybe,” Hall said. “It’s a possibility given how the show ended that we could revisit ‘Dexter.’ I have just yet to, for my part, imagine or hear someone else’s idea that makes it feel worth doing. But never say never.”

Coben, Brocklehurst, and Red, meanwhile are teaming once more, this time to adapt the authors book “The Stranger” for TV. No broadcaster or platform partner has been announced.

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