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CNN AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN

Interview With Michael C. Hall

Aired August 2, 2002 - 09:52   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: He's looking dapper. Recognize that man in the middle, the man playing the lawyer Billy Flynn in the Broadway musical "Chicago?" If you're a fan of the TV hit series "Six Feet Under," you certainly do, Michael C. Hall, best known as the uptight undertaker David Fisher. The actor is spending his summer vacation here in New York, on stage.

How are you, man. Nice to see you.

MICHAEL C. HALL, ACTOR: I'm great.

HEMMER: Good morning to you, by the way.

HALL: Good morning.

HEMMER: So what's it's like going from screen to the stage? Is that as much of a dramatic shift as it appears or not?

HALL: For me, it was more a dramatic shift to go from the stage to the screen. "Six Feet Under" was the first thing substantial that I've done in front of the camera, whereas the stage feels like home. So it's really nice after about a year and a half to get back on stage and flex those old muscles.

HEMMER: Nice. I understand the challenge, though, because you can retake a scene, you can cut and edit all you want; you're doing TV everyday. Buy on the stage you can't. This is live performance. Does that give you the charge that other people say it gives them.

HALL: Yes, I mean, There's nothing like it. There is an added sense of pressure because of that, but there's also nothing like the thrill you get being in the same space with that audience right there and then. And when you do it, it's over.

HEMMER: You know what I find interesting, your wife, Amy Spanger (ph), is going to be on stage with you next week.

HALL: Yes, she is.

HEMMER: She's Roxy; you're Billy. You guys play opposite each other. How is this going to work?

HALL: We're actually not romantic opposites. I'm her lawyer. And at one point in the show, I actually manipulate her like a marionette, so I hope that this doesn't create any tension at home. It's fantastic we've never worked together.

HEMMER: You have not?

HALL: No, this is first. We just got married in May, so this is like the ultimate wedding present.

HEMMER: Congratulations on the nomination, by the way, up for the Emmy, very good stuff.

HALL: Thank you. Yes, that was a thrill.

HEMMER: Tell me about "Six Feet Under," 23 Emmy nominations. Why do you think this is touching a cord so much?

HALL: I don't know. When we started doing this show, we knew it was going to be good and we knew it would probably develop a cult audience, but at the same time, I don't think we anticipated that it would appeal to such a wide range of people, but looking back, I guess it makes sense that it does.

HEMMER: Why so?

HALL: I think anybody would be hard pressed not to relate to at least one of the characters, because there's so many different multifaceted people populating this crazy world.

HEMMER: I heard you say this show is all about sex and death. Is that all you need?

HALL: Yes, well, you know, I mean, that's pretty good stuff.

HEMMER: How much competition is there? When you throw "West Wing" up there for an Emmy nomination, when you throw in "Six Feet Under," "Sopranos" always a big hit, how much competition do you find, just in the sheer number and the volume of nominations?

HALL: I don't know. I mean, the competition is really created by the buzz around the Emmys. It's a totally subjective thing. It's not like we're doing the laugh Olympics, and we're all doing a broad jump and running a race and whoever wins first. I think we're really -- we're doing a really great job doing our show, and other shows are doing a great job doing theirs, and we'll just see what people have to say.

HEMMER: Good luck to you, all right. I know you've got a couple of more weeks in Manhattan, and then you're back to the cable deal.

HALL: Good deal. Really a pleasure meeting you.

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