The Dean's List — i.e., the roster of fab femmes that Dean Cain has gotten to work with in his TV career — boasts no less than Desperate Housewives' Teri Hatcher (who kicked off his impressive run when they costarred on Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman), Kelly Ripa, Vanessa Marcil and, just last week, Mariska Hargitay, on Law & Order: SVU. Starting tonight, Cain and Marcil will go another round or two (or more) on Las Vegas (9 pm/ET on NBC), as he reprises his role of Sam's ex-husband. Will what happens next on Vegas find Cain staying in Vegas? TVGuide.com caught up with him just as he was getting back from a shoot.
TVGuide.com: Dean, Dean, the guest-starring machine!
Dean Cain: [Laughs] I certainly have been.
TVGuide.com: Where are you coming back from?
Cain: I was shooting Las Vegas.
TVGuide.com: Your two-parter?
Cain: I will not comment on how many it is. I kind of hate that, when actors comment on how many episodes their arc might be, because then you, as the audience, watch it and say, "Oh, they're going to be on for two and then go away." But it is more than two; I won't say how many.
TVGuide.com: Where did we leave off with your character?
Cain: When last we saw Casey Manning, he and Sam had a falling out. Then, just as he was about to buy the Montecito, the season ended. Monica [played by Lara Flynn Boyle this season] went on to buy it instead.
TVGuide.com: What brings Casey back?
Cain: Well, first of all, he's interested in wooing back his ex-wife, always. They have a wonderful relationship — they're constantly verbally sparring with each other, but I think they truly love each other. Will they be together? Not be together? They're always going to be in each other's lives, so he comes back to wiggle his way in a little bit more.
TVGuide.com: Is he witness to this week's top-secret death?
Cain: Casey is not witness to the top-secret shocking... thing that happens. [Laughs] But it directly affects him, let's put it that way.
TVGuide.com: I hear the actual circumstances of the "thing" are, well, "noteworthy."
Cain: Yes, I think they're extremely noteworthy. It's quite an ending — one of my all-time favorites.
TVGuide.com: You can't seem to land Vanessa Marcil on Vegas, and Kelly Ripa turned down your newscaster's marriage proposal on Hope & Faith. Not getting the girl these days, are you?
Cain: Well, you know... neither one of those [romances] is necessarily over yet! [Laughs] It's a process, it's a process.... But unless you're starring on the show, you rarely get the girl.
TVGuide.com: Did Kelly blow you away with her wit? That girl is sharp as a tack.
Cain: That's why she has her job with Regis, she really is sharp as a tack. But what blew me away was not so much her wit, but what a truly nice person she is. She's got all this stuff going on and yet she's still sweet and very cool. She's a very down-to-earth person whom I consider a friend.
TVGuide.com: Your rival for her affections on Hope & Faith was, of course, played by Kelly's real-life husband, Mark Consuelos. Was he always just off-camera, monitoring your kissing scenes with a stopwatch?
Cain: No, he wouldn't monitor them, but after they would happen, he'd come over and have a couple words with me. [Laughs] No, Mark is wonderful and also a good friend. It was a very comfortable situation. The fact that he is Kelly's husband does kind of speak to the fact that he won out on the show.
TVGuide.com: With all due respect to Ted McGinley, having you and Mark on at the same time last season was quite a jolt of testosterone to that show.
Cain: Which is a good thing.
TVGuide.com: Kelly must have felt like a kid in a candy store.
Cain: She had all these guys running around, fighting over her.... She was having a blast.
TVGuide.com: How about some kind words for your Vegas leading lady, Ms. Marcil?
Cain: Vanessa is hot, she rocks. That's all I've got to say about her. She is a spicy, spicy tamale. She is very smart and quick as an actress, and very funny. I really enjoy working with her.
TVGuide.com: As of late, you've done broad comedy on Hope & Faith, hard-core drama on SVU, and something in the middle with Vegas. Any preferences?
Cain: You know what, I really am enjoying moving around from character to character and set to set, working with all these very talented and cool people. I don't have a preference for one over the other at this point. I'm also shooting a movie for Lifetime called A Christmas Wedding, which is also a lot of fun. I like playing different characters. I can go in any direction.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think your CBS series, Clubhouse, was so short-lived last season?
Cain: First of all, we didn't really have the time slot locked down, [we had] no place to find a loyal audience, but bigger than that, I think the show just missed the mark a little bit. I can't blame CBS for what they did. I think we tried real hard and we had a really good concept but that's just what happens sometimes. Maybe if we had been given more time, we would have found the mark. Who knows? In today's business you've got to hit or miss pretty quickly.
TVGuide.com: What can you tell me about the movie September Dawn, which is currently in production?
Cain: September Dawn is very much worth talking about. It's about a fictionalized, Romeo and Juliet-type romance that took place during a real-life historical event, the Mountain Meadows massacre of Sept. 11, 1857, where 120 men, women and children were murdered by a group of religious zealot Mormons. I play Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion.
TVGuide.com: Heavy stuff.
Cain: Yeah, this is very heavy stuff. My father [Christopher Cain] wrote, produced and directed it, and it will come out probably in September of next year. I've seen a lot of footage and it is very, very powerful. This happened, and to see it play out is shocking.
TVGuide.com: Did it hit you hard when Christopher Reeve died?
Cain: I was sad because I had never met him and I honestly, truly believed he was going to walk again, just because he's such an amazing guy. It showed such bravery for him to fight the way he was fighting. People would always ask me about "the Superman curse," and I always said the last thing it would be is a curse if Christopher Reeve started walking. He would have been the biggest hero of all time. As it was, I think he was anyway.
TVGuide.com: Do you have any advice for the new big-screen Superman, Brandon Routh?
Cain: [Laughs] Just don't read your reviews, positive or negative. This guy is going to get a ton of media attention — positive, negative or in between — and he can't start believing it, and I hope he won't. Don't believe the hype, man, good or bad.