David Zayas and Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Question: I've been catching up on Dexter episodes this last week, and I'm really impressed with Michael C. Hall's performance. His character seems hard to play: He has to give depth to someone who says he's "empty" inside and all "surface." And in less capable hands, the whole "serial killer who only kills bad guys" premise could be arch or campy. Yet in every episode, Hall makes the character seem real, and there are a lot of subtle moments where he's able to convey a lot silently, merely through his eyes or a twitch of his mouth. It's a completely different performance than Hall's work as David on Six Feet Under, though both roles deal with repression and hidden identities. Do you think he has any chance of getting an Emmy nomination, or do you think voters will be too turned off by the violent subject matter in Dexter?
Answer: I tend to resist Emmy questions, especially this far out from the actual event, but any chance to plug Dexter and Michael C. Hall's work on the show is OK by me. Putting aside the fact that the lead actor in a drama series category is typically one of the most crowded and tough to break into, I'd agree that Hall's very clever and often chilling performance deserves serious consideration — especially when you appreciate how different he acts and looks here from what he did on Six Feet Under (for which he did once get a nomination). You make a good point that Dexter may be too graphic and disturbing for the more conservative or squeamish Emmy voters to stomach. But I'm betting Showtime will go all-out to get this show on the voters' radar, and I'd be surprised if the buzz around Dexter hasn't already infiltrated into Hollywood circles. (After all, the Oscars didn't have any problem giving a bunch of major awards to The Silence of the Lambs back in the day.)