Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Michael C Hall finds Dexter hard to shake

For most people, leaving work behind them at the end of the day is as simple as walking out of the office.

But for actor Michael C Hall it's a little tougher.

Hall admits the sinister character Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter analyst-slash-serial killer on hit TV show Dexter, is harder to shake once he leaves the set.

"I think there's a part of your cell structure that doesn't distinguish between reality or make believe or ritual," Hall told while on promotional duties in New Zealand for Sky TV's new Soho channel.

"Maybe there's one part of me that thinks it has all really happened."

He might be joking but Hall believes people identify with Dexter - who over six seasons has dispatched everyone from his own half-brother to several gruesome serial killers while on the beat in Miami - because everyone has "secrets".

"In a world where many people feel a diminished sense of control in their own lives, he's someone who's taken his own form of control. I think people relish the opportunity to identify with someone who is, on paper, doing reprehensible things.

"I think we all have our own shadow, our own secrets. And I think, in varying degrees of course, people can relate to a murderous impulse, even though they don't act on it.

"But there is a chance to vicariously act on that."

Hall, who also starred on HBO's Six Feet Under for five seasons, says there were many factors that combined to make a hit TV show.

"It takes so many people doing their job well to make it work. You have to have the material, the cast, the crew, the room full of writers who are moving it forward, making it vibrant and keeping it buoyant.

"It's hard to say if it's any one thing but I do think ultimately you have to have a character or characters with whom people have a unique sense of connection and identification.

"I think that's true with Dexter and was certainly true with Six Feet Under."

While he's signed up for a seventh season, Hall hinted that it could be his last.

"I know that we'll do at least one more after the sixth season concludes. Beyond that I can't say for sure."

Season six of Dexter screens on Soho on Tuesday nights.

Check out the trailer for season six of Dexter:

- Herald online

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