By Michael Ausiello
Updated May 02, 2009 at 05:55 AM EDT

OMFG, Alpha is Wash! On tonight’s penultimate Dollhouse, the knife-wielding evildoer known as Alpha finally showed his face — and it belonged to none other than Firefly sidekick Alan Tudyk! Okay, so the reveal didn’t come as a complete surprise. Rumors have been swirling for months that Joss Whedon had tapped a member of his elite repertory company to play the rogue doll. Nonetheless, it was a pretty fraktastic twist to have Alpha masquerading as an agoraphobic environmentalist — not to mention the architect of the Dollhouse itself. Even more surprising: He and Echo are lovers! In his first interview since being unmasked, Tudyk reveals what it was like keeping the worst kept secret in tubeland, how he got pumped for the role, and why next week’s finale is going to blow fans’ minds.

Is it nice to finally be able to talk about this role?
[Laughs] Yeah, it’s been a long time coming, right?

Even though word already leaked out…
Unbelievable. I don’t know how they found out. I even spoke to a group of people in Baltimore after the rumor hit the web and I said, “Listen, there’s a rumor on the Web that I’m in Dollhouse and I’m not. Whoever said that is lying.” I totally lied and it didn’t help at all. My lies were all for nothing.

Let’s go back to the beginning: Did Joss personally offer you the role?
Joss told me about the role at a social function. I was asking about his new show and he started describing the role of Alpha. It sounded like the most amazing role ever, and I asked him, “Who’s playing him?” He really hyped it up. And then he said, “I want you to play it.” It really caught me off guard. I think it’s the best role ever written. As an actor there’s so much there to work with. I guess Joss always saw me as somebody who could be 43 different people at once.

It’s a different role for you — at least the Alpha part of it is. Were you surprised Joss saw that darkness in you?
I’ve always been a raving lunatic in front of Joss. He saw that side of me the time I trashed his house because I was crazy that day. [Laughs] I was really happy he saw me as that. It’s quite a compliment to offer me a role like this, because it’s not easy.

Speaking of which, you look like you put on some muscle for the part.
Yes, because they cast a damn body double that looks like the Hulk! Joss showed me the first episode where you see Alpha from behind and I was like, “Oh my God. I’ve got a lot of work to do.” But I have a Ned Flanders kind of body. When I’m wearing baggy clothes you wouldn’t expect that I have any muscle. Just like in tonight’s episode. I don’t look too wildly in shape at first. It’s when I put on the tight shirt that you see it.

You and Tahmoh Penikett made a pretty good comedy team.
TUDYK: That was a blast. Tahmoh was the perfect straight man. He was so fed up [with me]. He was like, “I just want to wring your neck. My character has not had to deal with anything like you at all.” [Laughs]

What can you tell me about next week’s finale?
Everything that Alpha has done has been about Echo. He’s obsessed with this woman. And next week you find out what his plans are for her, and why he’s obsessed with her.

Will Alpha’s other personalities emerge?
Yes. I think he has 43 of them. Tim Minear wrote and directed the next episode, and he outdid himself. It’s classic Tim Minear.

If Dollhouse gets renewed, will Alpha be back? I’m assuming your role in ABC’s V reboot — assuming that it gets picked up — could pose a complication…
Joss hasn’t said anything about the future of Alpha, but I could free myself up for it. That isn’t contractually impossible. I could get out as much as he needs me to.