How would you describe your character Simeon on Stargate Universe?
"He doesn't talk much, does he? I love the fact that when I said yes to playing this part, it kind of reminded me of a Steve McQueen-style quiet guy. A strong, tough guy part. On Prison Break, I tended to talk a lot! They gave me a lot of fun words to say. There were always these great mouthfuls of words that would fall out! With Stargate, I knew that this was going to be more of a reacting kind of part, which I actually really loved. Things are simmering for Simeon until he finally explodes. He finally finds the right moment that he can put things into a plan."
What was it that attracted you to the part?
"I liked that it was a reacting part, as opposed to an acting part. He's the guy you cut to in the shot that's watching, thinking and planning, as opposed to the guy who's got the plan right away. Stargate would not be Stargate if my group of guys had won! It would be a different battle and a different story. There's an old adage about American history - if the Indians had won, the history books would be a lot different. That's kind of how I approached this part - there's two sides to every battle, but whoever wins, writes the history books. I like the idea that there are no bad guys, there are just people who make different choices, and they weren't victorious."
You seem to play a lot of dark or villainous roles. Do you particularly enjoy those sorts of characters?
"This has been a great year for me to go from one project to the next. First Stargate, then I did a television movie called Earth's Final Hours. That was a heroic part and it was great playing the hero. Then I played in a great episode of Chase on NBC. I played an amazing, strong guy - not necessarily a bad guy, just a guy you don't f**k with! Then, yes, I did a very sick and twisted part on Criminal Minds on CBS! It's been a great year for playing different kinds of roles. I was a little concerned that T-Bag had typecast me for the rest of my life. All these parts I've played have been great parts, and I don't care if they're good guys or bad guys. Luckily this year, there's been a nice smorgasbord of different kinds of parts, so if they keep coming like that, I'll be happy."
You've recently signed up for a role on the Showtime remake of Shameless. What can you tell us about that?
"I don't know if there's a counterpart to my role in the UK series. William H. Macy's character Frank, this bumbling, derelict father, is in for $6,000. It's money he owes to this organisation. My character's name is Goon Robert, and he's going after Frank to get this money back."
"Oh God, yes! It's so great. I played this psycho role on Criminal Minds - a guy who cuts off the lips of younger women to sew onto his dead mother! I told my agent, 'Please, let me do a comedy!'. I love those parts, but I had to do something funny! This role came up and it's great."
Are there any type of roles you would still love to play?
"I wouldn't mind doing The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm. With comedy, if you write something for me, I'm better at it. I'm not sure I'm so good at improvisational stuff. It's a fantasy that I could be that funny and make it up on the spot! The guys that can do that are my heroes."
Were you disappointed that Heroes was cancelled and would you like to have continued your role as Samuel?
"When you're playing a character like T-Bag or Samuel, in any story where you're telling one chapter every week, you always want it to go on just a little bit longer. I think they injected something really new and fun into that last season of Heroes and I think NBC was on the fence about what to do. I think they really had to take a chance and get their ratings up. The numbers for Heroes were not what they should have been. In the end, it's a business, and they decided to try something new."
Is it true that Prison Break producer Matt Olmstead wants you to play T-Bag again in his new show Breakout Kings?
"Yes, we are going to revive T-Bag on Breakout Kings. That's going to be strange. T-Bag's coming back! It's going to be fun."
Stargate Universe continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on Sky1.
Are you a Stargate fan? Excited about T-Bag's return? Leave your thoughts below!