Actor Shemar Moore — last seen in the WB's short-lived Birds of Prey — has landed himself a juicy new TV role. He plays reformed drug-peddler Collins Farwell in the two-part CBS miniseries Reversible Errors (airing Sunday and Tuesday night at 9 pm/ET). During his character's jail sentence, Moore sports a roughneck look — we're talking cornrows and tattoos! — so fans may need a sec to recognize this former Young and the Restless hunk.

Moore's extreme makeover included fake tats on his forearms, which were covered in bar-code signs and sunbursts. "I was in the [makeup] chair by 4:30 am for the two hours it took to put them on," he says. "I couldn't lean against anything, and the makeup artist was spraying me down with hair spray all day." As for his new 'do, "it's a $7000 wig made with human hair," he reveals. "It didn't take long to put on, but it still was an extensive deal with the glue and covering it with makeup."

The braids and body art only last for awhile. Once transformed by religion, Moore turns into a well-dressed businessman for the rest of the telepic. "Collins has repented for his sins, and he doesn't want carry himself like that anymore," he says, "but it was much more fun to play the bad ass."

He liked it so much, he's taken his edgy look past the fictional prison gates. "I got to keep the wig after shooting and I wear it now, just for fun," he snickers. "People who haven't seen me in a while don't even flinch; they think it's real. They ask, 'When did you grow those cornrows?' And I just say, 'Ah, you know, I'm just doing my thing.' Then, I show up the next day bald-headed."

Ever image conscious, the ex-model also took some style tips from his Errors co-star Tom Selleck. "In Halifax, Canada, where we shot the movie, they had banners and flags and were screaming 'We love Tom.' He's pretty slick," Moore chuckles. "Maybe I need to grow a mustache and drive a Ferrari!"