'Dexter': Shawn Hatosy sees dead animals

shawn-hatosy-dexter-300x450.jpg Shawn Hatosy likes to play both sides of the law, which is why he's excited for his guest run on "Dexter" to start on Sunday, Oct. 3.

"When this role came my way, I had played several cops in a row," the "Southland" star tells Zap2it, "and it was just very refreshing to see somebody as complex as Boyd Fowler."

Boyd, a guy who works for the department of sanitation in the dead animal pickup division, runs into Dexter Morgan ( Michael C. Hall) while on the job. Perhaps because of the nature of his gruesome work, he feels a certain kinship with Dexter.

"There seems to be a lack of confidence. He's not very self-assured," Hatosy observes. "What I enjoyed most about the character was that even though he's a bit of a loner, when he stumbles upon Dexter, he's desperate for friendship. It's like, 'Wow, there's somebody out there that gets me, that's into dead animal cleanup. This is something we can talk about together.' And he's passionate about it. I just love the way they wrote that character."

Although he doesn't necessarily play the character for laughs, the actor is aware that Boyd might be viewed as comedic. And as many TV and film viewers are aware, sometimes just the right facial hair can enhance comedy.

"I just felt like there was a lot of room to be creative with this guy," says Hatosy. "I showed up with the mustache, and they didn't tell me to take it away. I think they darkened it a little bit. We were stumbling upon different things, and we were like, 'You know what? That works.'"

To complete the transformation, Boyd wears glasses, a backwards baseball cap and disheveled clothes. Nothing's too good for the dead animals. Despite his role, Hatosy isn't comfortable around dead things.

"I don't even like dead fruit," he admits. "I hate rotten stuff."

Luckily, the critter carcasses weren't real, which was a relief after he once had to act opposite a taxidermy-prepared dog.

"On this show it's just a prop. I don't know why, but it just makes me laugh," says Hatosy. "There was some cracking up. I distinctly remember when we were cleaning up the skunk, we had real trouble getting through a couple takes."

dexter-502-michael-c-hall-shawn-hatosy-500.jpgThe lighthearted naturally gives way to the dark on "Dexter," however, and although it's been leaked that Boyd Fowler is a "bad guy," viewers will just have to wait and see what that exactly means. Does he cheat the IRS, get in Dexter's way or worse, do something with the  dead animals besides trashing them?

Hatosy is remaining mum until the episode airs and urges patience with the overall storytelling. Sound familiar?

"I think it's going to be awesome," he says. "You're not going to live up to John Lithgow [as a guest star], but why try? Boyd is just such a unique character, and the thing that's intriguing about the 'Dexter' universe is how cleverly written it all is. It's 100 percent pure character and to be able to join it and creatively be a part of it was a lot of fun.

"Maybe I'm a little biased, but shows like  'Dexter' and 'Southland,' I'm just enthralled by that sort of storytelling, kind of clever and patient. You wait for it and it's so rewarding when it comes."

Besides driving along the streets of Miami in a roadkill truck on "Dexter," Hatosy can be seen in "Southland," which will return in January on TNT, and on a guest starring role on "CSI: Miami" on Nov. 7, playing a man with memory problems who's discovered near a dead body.

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Photo credits: Showtime