It would be foolish to bet against John Lithgow at this year's Emmys. He already won the Golden Globe for his killer role on "Dexter" and now, as he heads into the Emmy derby, he's on a friendly track. Back in the 1990s, he won three times in the lead comedy-actor race for "Third Rock from the Sun" and, in 1986, Lithgow claimed the same category he's competing in now — best guest actor in a drama series — for his whimsical portrayal of a simple, lonely man in "The Doll" episode of "Amazing Stories."
But the man he portrays in "Dexter" is a diabolically complicated "monster," as Lithgow calls him in our webcam chat.
"What's so sinister about Arthur Mitchell is how he fits in," Lithgow adds. "He's a good family man, a church deacon. He's even a junior high school teacher, for heaven's sake. He interacts with kids. He builds homes for the poor. The first time you see him, he's doing something completely appalling. He's murdering a young woman in a bathtub. But the next time you see him, he's a completely ordinary, almost sweet-natured person. The contrast between those two aspects of his nature is what's so terrifying."
Lithgow is especially interesting to awards nuts like us because he's an actor whose success largely sprang from winning awards. In Part Two of this webcam chat, he talks about his history with showbiz trophies — how he won a Tony Award just weeks after making his Broadway debut in "The Changing Room" in 1973 and how he was nominated for an Oscar for his first big break-out film role ("The World According to Garp," 1983).
Photo: John Lithgow, left, and Michael C. Hall in "Dexter" Credit: Showtime
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