The ''Normal Heart'' Tony winner talks about how he gets grimy — yet maintains his sex appeal — to play Laura Linney's wacky, often naked brother, Sean, on Showtime's ''The Big C''

By Aubry D'Arminio
June 24, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Skip the bath
”When I’m in deep as Sean, I don’t have to shower. I don’t have to wash my hair. I barely even bother brushing my teeth. Thankfully, my partner is in L.A. writing Modern Family, so he doesn’t have to deal with the malodorousness of it all.”

Fake it
”[We use] this incredible spray tan by Roxanne Rizzo. They should rename it ‘confidence in a can.’ It gives your skin this glow that looks like you spend more time outside. The tan is sprayed on above the waist and below the butt. My feet are the receptacles of a lot of makeup and the tan stains my toenails, so I look like I don’t have proper foot hygiene. Those are the two rules of show business: Keep your butt white and your feet dirty!”

Brace your face
”They put this stuff on my face that starts to peel and makes it look like layers of dirt are caked on. It’s a little like a makeup person coming up and putting Elmer’s glue all over your face, letting it dry, and then a bunch of fourth graders start peeling it off and rubbing dirt into it.”

Show no shame
”Sean is so unabashed. He glories in the female anatomy. He’s not afraid to talk about the things he likes to do to women, and it’s disarming. He’s sexually, and in every other department of his life, frank. You might get a little toe funk. You might get a white butt and dirty feet. But what you see is what you’re going to get.”

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