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The Real Reason We Haven't Heard From Michael C Hall Recently

Over the course of a decade and change, Michael C. Hall starred on two of the most critically acclaimed television series in recent memory, both of them about death. He played David Fisher on HBO's family-run funeral home drama Six Feet Under, and then vigilante serial killer Dexter Morgan on Showtime's Dexter. Between the two shows, Hall amassed six Emmy and five Golden Globe nominations (including a win in the latter) for his stunning performances. But with the end of Dexter in 2013, Hall has been largely absent from TV. Here's a look at what he's up to in the past few years.

He returned to the stage

Hall is a well-trained and experienced theatrical actor. After completing the Graduate Acting program at New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, Hall landed the plum role of the Emcee in director Sam Mendes' (he won an Oscar for helming American Beauty) 1999 revival of Cabaret on Broadway. While on a hiatus from Six Feet Under in 2002, he portrayed shady lawyer Billy Flynn in the long-running revival of the musical Chicago. In other words, both prior to and during his career as a star of prestige cable dramas, Hall was one of the biggest names in theater. 

When Dexter concluded in 2013, Hall had the time to return to the stage. One of his most notable roles was in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. A glam-rock musical about an East German transgender wannabe rock star, Hall was the third actor to play the title role on Broadway, following Neil Patrick Harris and Andrew Rannells.

He was channeling David Bowie

Hall joked to The Guardian that his work in the David Bowie-inspired Hedwig and the Angry Inch was merely a "very elaborate glam audition" for his next major theatrical role: as Thomas Newton, a man who cannot die, in Lazarus, a musical co-created by David Bowie just before his death in 2016. 

Utilizing a script by Irish playwright Enda Walsh built around previously existing Bowie songs (as well as ones that had yet to be released), Lazarus was presented by the New York Theatre Workshop from late 2015 to early 2016. Hall reprised his role when the sold-out show moved to London. When Bowie died unexpectedly—in the midst of the original New York run of Lazarus—Hall said that he felt an "internal fist clench." But he does have a secret, special souvenir from his very personal collaboration and time with the man behind Ziggy Stardust. 

On opening night of Lazarus, Bowie left what Hall called "a very, very amazing gift and note. And out of respect for his intense privacy, I'll just say that it was an artifact from his past that he had passed on to me. And it will be a talisman to me for the rest of my life."

He's been using his voice

As anyone who has seen Hall project lines and songs to the back of a large theater—or listened to his voluminous and nuanced narration work on Dexter—it's clear that he has a marvelous voice. He's even used that talent to do some voice work here and there. Hall has had a recurring role on the light-hearted Disney XD sci-fi/fantasy series Star vs. the Forces of Evil. In what's probably Hall's most comic role to date, he voiced an evil reptile man named Toffee who at first serves as an "evil efficiency expert" to Ludo, the main villain of the show. A little more close to his wheelhouse of dark, brooding, tormented men: Hall played Batman in Justice League: Gods and Monsters.

He's been doing indie movies

While Hall's career consists mainly of starring in long-running cable television series and in high-profile stage musicals, he does occasionally make an appearance in a feature film. Since the end of Dexter, Hall has popped up in a handful of low-profile but critically-acclaimed independent films. He starred in Cold in July, the 2014 film adaptation of a book by cult novelist Joe R. Lansdale. Hall played a man who kills a burglar trying to rob his house, and then must deal with the man's father who's out for revenge. 

While he once again played a killer, Hall told Buzzfeed that he found the role to be "kind of therapeutic, after simulating all that serial murder, to play a normal person who was very troubled and horrified that he—without even intending to—killed somebody." 

Hall followed up that screen role with yet another project revolving around death. Christine starred Rebecca Hall (no relation) as Christine Chubbuck, a Florida news anchor and TV show host who in 1974 committed suicide live on-air, and who subsequently became something of a folk legend. Michael C. Hall played George, a potential love interest and fellow news anchor at Chubbuck's Sarasota TV station who's heavy into experimental therapy.

He got married

In February 2016, Hall took some time to catch up on his personal life. At New York City Hall, he and Morgan Macgregor, his partner of four years, tied the knot. This marks Hall's third trip down the aisle. In the early 2000s, he was wed to his Chicago co-star, actress Amy Spanger, and later got hitched to Jennifer Carpenter, who played his sister, Deb, on Dexter. Unlike Hall's previous spouses, Macgregor isn't an actress—she's a writer, primarily known as for her work as a book critic and as an associate editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

He formed a Radiohead cover band

Hall can sing, and he's put those chops to use outside of the confines of musical theater. In 2016, he and fellow Hedwig and the Angry Inch veteran Lena Hall teamed up to perform at a Radiohead tribute concert called "Radiohead: Obsessed." The band they formed was a one-time only thing, turning out a performance at New York's Café Carlyle. Hall's tastes in Radiohead tended more toward the band's earlier, more mainstream stuff—the set included "Ripchord" from the British group's 1993 debut LP Pablo Honey, as well as a mash-up of songs from Radiohead's 1995 follow-up The Bends.

He's had to deal with post-Dexter fallout

Through almost its entire run, Dexter was a critically-acclaimed drama with many devoted hardcore fans. That's almost—the series finale, in which (spoiler alert) Dexter fakes his death and assumes a fake identity in a remote location, was poorly received. While Dexter dying would've been a fitting, logical ending, Showtime reportedly blocked writers from doing just that. 

Hall says that people now come up to him "all the time" to tell him how much they loved the show... and how much they hated the final episode. "They'll ask me about the ending, and tell me why they found it troubling or unsatisfying," Hall told Zap2It (via UPROXX). Hatred of the ending is so palpable and assumed, that Hall says fans also approach him to "distinguish themselves by saying they liked the ending." 

Amazingly, because actors are generally a diplomatic, keep-it-positive bunch, Hall has come out and actually agreed with finale-hating Dexter fans. "Liked it? I don't think I even watched it. I thought it was narratively satisfying—but it was not so savory," Hall admitted to The Daily Beast. "I think the show had lost a certain amount of torque," he offered. Or, he adds, "our writers may have been gassed."

He's been filming a lot of stuff

Hall will be back on screens, big and small, very soon. Over the last couple of years, he's filmed appearances in three high-profile projects, all of which concern American presidents. 

Hall has joined the second-season cast of Netflix's Queen Elizabeth II drama The Crown, portraying President John F. Kennedy. The Silent Man is a thriller about the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, in which Liam Neeson plays Mark Felt, the high-ranking FBI official who leaked details of the scandal to the Washington Post under the name "Deep Throat." In that film, Hall has a major role as John Dean, the lawyer who served as White House Counsel during the sinking Nixon administration. And in a long-in-the-works documentary about President Abraham Lincoln's most famous speech, The Gettysburg Address, Hall will give voice to Lincoln adviser Leonard Swett.