Fangirl Fridays – Michael C. Hall


​Why, yes. I am in love with a serial killer...sort of.

Who is this nefarious villain, you ask? Well, he’s not really a serial killer, but he does play one on TV. The subject of this week’s Fangirl Fridays post is none other than Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall.

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I debated for a quite a while about whom or what the subject of this piece should be. My new-found love of Supernatural and its three stars? The sheer joy that is Franklin & Bash?

​The complete craziness that is the Gallaghers on Shameless?​ Then, I realized this is Dexter’s final season and, therefore, a great time to focus all of my love and affection on the multi-talented Michael C. Hall.

While my love of Michael doesn’t nearly border my love of Joe Manganiello some other men, every week while watching Dexter, I marvel at Michael’s outstanding level of talent.

​I will admit that I haven’t watched Six Feet Under, another Michael C. Hall show. But that in no way diminishes my love of this man. There are not many men who can make something as innocuous as​ getting ready in the morning seem both really hot and really scary at the same time. No idea what I’m talking about? I give you the opening credits to Dexter:


I’ll flail a little more about Mr. Hall after the break....

Some spoilers ahead as well!!




Theatrical Beginnings
When I first started watching Dexter, I did some research on who this fascinating man portraying him was. I discovered that he’s a man after my own heart. If you read my Joe Manganiello Fangirl Fridays piece, then you’ll know I have a theatre background. So when I discovered that Michael C. Hall used to be a Broadway star, I was totally and completely hooked on him.
He started out by singing in his school’s choir in fifth grade. From there, he moved to musicals and several Shakespearean roles. He has a graduate degree in acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

His breakout role and Broadway debut occurred when he was cast as the Emcee in Sam Mendes’ revival of Cabaret. For those of you unfamiliar with that show, the Emcee is basically the star of the show. He is generally portrayed as a somewhat androgynous character. So, my beloved Michael looked like this:
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And just to prove to you how talented he is, here’s a clip of him singing one of Cabaret’s musical numbers, I Don’t Care Much:



In a total change from the flamboyant Emcee, while on hiatus from Six Feet Under, Michael portrayed the slick, celebrity attorney Billy Flynn in a revival of Chicago.




So not only can this man sing, but he can dance, too. He is officially a triple threat. Which is my greatest weakness. If you can sing, dance, and act? I'm yours.


Six Feet Under
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Now, as I mentioned above, I've never seen Six Feet Under. But while researching this, I read a little about his character, David Fisher. David is a conflicted gay man who runs his family’s funeral home. Michael’s character has been described by many to be the first realistic gay lead character portrayed on television. He is portrayed in a committed relationship at the end of the show. He and his partner adopt two children and get married, another first for television. Obviously, that is a combination of the writing and Michael's portrayal.

But along with a best-ensemble Emmy nomination for every year that the show was on the air, Michael garnered several of his own nominations as well.


​Dexter
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Let me start out by saying that I love this show very, very much. I love the books also, but unlike the SVM/True Blood a certain other book/TV series I know of, even though the show has diverged entirely from the book storyline, both books and show remain of the highest caliber. And Michael always gives his performance his all. 

For those of you unfamiliar, Dexter is about Dexter Morgan, Miami PD blood-spatter analyst by day, serial killer by night. But Dexter has a code about killing. He only kills criminals who have slipped through the system...mostly. As far as I’m concerned, Miami should thank him and send him on his way. But not everyone feels this way. What I love most about Dexter is watching him struggle with unfamiliar emotions like remorse, love, and empathy. He says several times in the show that he doesn’t have feelings or, at the very least, that he fakes them. Here is a favorite Dexter quote about this:

People fake a lot of human interactions, but I feel like I fake them all, and I fake them very well. That’s my burden, I guess.

But as the show goes on, from my perspective anyway, Dexter might fake social interactions, but his feelings are very real, even though he doesn’t know how to deal with them. This wouldn’t be possible without Michael’s flawless portrayal of Dexter. He so brilliantly captures Dexter’s social awkwardness and confusion with just an expression or a few words. It’s astounding. And to see him morph from the normal image Dexter projects to the world into Dexter the serial killer in the blink of an eye is a terrifying experience and a true beauty to behold for any actor or theatre person. It’s a rare actor who can make you root for and even love a serial killer, even if he is the protagonist of the show. Fortunately, Michael C. Hall is just the person needed for this job.

I never thought I would say that I find a serial killer sexy as hell, but damned if Michael didn’t prove me wrong. For especially strong performances, watch season 4 of the show. Yes, the whole season. Season 4 of Dexter is as close to television perfection as one can come. The whole thing is just glorious. And Michael’s performance in that season is completely mind blowing. He is also really knocking it out of the park this season, so far. I am both anticipating and dreading the upcoming series finale. I can’t wait to see how it will end, but I don’t want it to end. I’ll miss seeing Michael on my screen for 12 weeks a year.


Just so you don't think it’s only me who loves him, Michael has been nominated and won a slew of awards for his portrayal of Dexter Morgan. He’s been nominated for an Emmy every year since 2008; he has been nominated several times for, and won in 2010, a Golden Globe and a SAG award.


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Personal Life and Battle With Cancer
Michael has had somewhat of a tough personal life, both as child and an adult. His father passed away from cancer when Michael was 11, a vulnerable time for a boy to lose his father. But he and his mother survived, and he went on to great things. He married his future Chicago co-star, Amy Spanger, in 2003. They divorced in 2006. On New Year’s Eve, 2008, Michael eloped with his Dexter co-star and on-screen sister, Jennifer Carpenter. In January of 2010, Michael announced, through his agent, that he was undergoing treatment for a form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He actually accepted his 2010 Golden Globe wearing a stocking cap because his glorious hair had fallen out from the chemo. It was a trying time for him. He was diagnosed at age 38. His father passed away from prostate cancer at age 39. But they caught it very early, and he has been in remission ever since. And he is now a spokesperson and big supporter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. But the strain of his illness obviously took a toll on his marriage. He and Jennifer filed for divorce in December of 2010. Being the professionals they are, they still work amicably with each other on set and at press events.


Quotes

One Two of the other things I love about Michael are a) his sense of humor and b) his insight into both his character and Dexter as a whole. So, now a few quotes from Michael about his iconic Dexter....

From a recent CNN interview......
​Oh, and how does Hall handle stress? 
I do everything Dexter does, but then I just tickle the person.
Added Hall (at Comic Con), 
Just as you all waited in line and are here for us, we have been here for you and we are here because of you.

From the Huffington Post....
The show has got a lot of really strong female characters. How do you feel about that?
Well I feel good about that. I feel good generally about any show that paints a picture of female characters that are complex and strong. I really think as much as anyone, it’s the females in Dexter’s life who have exploited his appetite for humanity and human connection and have spurred him forward. Sometimes, it feels like the women in Dexter’s life dance around in his pretty significant blind spots. And I think Dr. Vogel in a very new way, not as a potential love interest, but as someone who reframes his origin story and is — as she puts it — a spiritual mother to him. She definitely presents a strength that he I think craves and has never seen before.

From Entertainment Weekly....
When asked about Dexter’s morality, you once said he “should be given a medal and then beaten to death with it.”
I’m reluctant to come down on one side or another, with this or any character. I like that he operates in a morally gray area. He’s moving toward the light in some ways, but as a result the darker stuff is all the darker because of it. I like that the spectrum between the light and dark of the character has broadened. He has an undeniable and insurmountable compulsion.


Do you ever lose sympathy for him?
No. No. I wish that he could be liberated from his compulsion. I have sympathy for him because of that.

Every time he veers from the code, as you’ve pointed out, innocent people die.
Arguably, the tragedy of Dexter is that it’s not his homicidal behavior that’s gotten the people in his life in trouble, but it’s his appetite to play at becoming a human being — his desire to have real relationships. I guess a lesson that’s emerged is that you can’t have your cake and kill it too.



Still Not Convinced of His Awesomeness?


 








The pics in this section all came from Tumblr.


How about now?


Well, Saucy Readers, I’ve done my very best to convince you of my love of this man. I hope you can see how awesomely talented and amazing he is. But, if not, more for me!! Let me know what you think of Michael C. Hall, below!


Comments

  1. Great post!!
    Love the actor. He seems to really transform depending on the role he's playing and I love that.

    I watched a bit of Dexter and Six Feet Under and even though these are good shows I just couldn't get into them. He was, however, great!!

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  2. Thanks, Anne, I enjoyed reading this! He's one of those actors I love to watch but don't know a lot about. I have enjoyed watching both Six Feet Under (best series finale last 10 minutes EVER) and Dexter. He has been great in both. Both characters were dark. David was kind of uptight (major understatement), Dexter is much more fun to watch. I had issues with him marrying his "sister" in real life (ha ha, maybe I connect too strongly with the fictional characters). I will miss Dexter and look forward to seeing what he'll do next. I remember reading that he had done theater, but I should definitely look around for some of his performances online while he's between series.

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  3. You can't have your cake and kill it, too. :)

    I've seen the first couple seasons of Dexter, and loved it. Some day I'll watch the rest of it.

    I loved him in Six Feet Under. I recommend it when you have time. His character is very different, not just his character but Hall's portrayal of him. There was one episode where he got kidnapped, and he did it so well that *I* was traumatized by the end of the episode. For real.

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  4. I love Dexter...and Michael C. Hall! One of my favorite moments is in S6 when Dexter finds himself at a dance. Enjoy this gif. :-)

    http://gifs.gifbin.com/012012/1325608615_dexter_dancing.gif

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