Since Angel was dispatched to TV-show heaven, James Marsters' admirers have had a helluva time getting a fix of the actor formerly known as Spike. (Sadly, The Mountain peaked before his character even had a chance to recur. And the Spike TV-movie is only a fantasy for now.) So Saturday's USA movie, Cool Money (airing at 9 pm/ET), is guaranteed to get fans' blood pumping.

In the fact-based drama, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum is career criminal Bobby Comfort — "exactly the kind of guy I want to play," he tells "He did some petty crimes that he got caught for almost every time. Never hurt anybody, but he was a smartass to the judge the last time around and got a really heavy sentence — like nine or 10 years for rolling a gas station, I think.

"It's a horrible thing to do," he adds quickly, "but [the sentence was a bit much]. So he escaped from prison, got caught and argued in front of a judge that he was over-sentenced the first time around, and even if he was sentenced again for escaping from prison, it still wouldn't make up for unjust time served. And he won!"

Clearly, while Marsters doesn't advocate living outside the law, he remains fascinated by his Cool counterpart. So of course, he's bummed that the thief died — of old age, not a prison riot, by the way — before Marsters had a chance to join him for a meal of bread and water.

"They say he was a very kind man you wouldn't want to [expletive] with," he says, then quickly corrects himself. "Screw with, excuse me. And those are always my favorite kinds of people."

As fond as the thesp grew of his Money-grubbing alter ego, he doesn't see Comfort and himself as kindred spirits who make their living, in essence, by lying. Comfort, after all, conned folks, and Marsters gets paid to play make-believe. Strange as it may sound, he sees his performances as works of truth rather than fiction.

"I feel very differently about acting than most people do," he explains. "Good acting is not so much lying or putting on a mask as it is revealing yourself in a truthful way. The art of it is to select those facets of your personality that fit the character and not play upon the ones that don't.

"I think it was [Ralph Waldo] Emerson who said, 'Within all men are all men,'" he goes on, "and that's a very potent thing for an actor to contemplate. It gives you the power to play just about anything."