Here is a quote from John Lithgow given in an interview recently. He is explaining the one role that he has taken on that changed peoples perception of him as an actor. He compares this experience to the one that he previously had on 3rd Rock from the Sun.
“Dexter [as murderer Arthur Mitchell; 2010 Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy Award] was the polar opposite of 3rd Rock, and it was great fun to take everybody’s preconceptions of me into that dark place. I always said that I played the Trinity Killer, and his first victim was High Commander Dick Solomon! I loved the working relationship with Michael C. Hall, a great acting partner. Those scenes had such intensity. When you play a villain, you’re always on your character’s side; you play him as if the villain is the hero. Your character may have terrible compulsions, but you have to understand him and argue his case.”