PARK CITY - Michael C. Hall is no stranger to the Sundance Film Festival (he was in Park City only last year for "Kill Your Darlings"), but representing a film as the leading man is a new experience for the TV star, best known for his Emmy-nominated roles in "Six Feet Under" and, of course, "Dexter." With the latter show having finished its long run last year, however, Hall is free to switch things up a bit.

And he's got this new phase of his career off to a cracking start with "Cold in July," a wild genre-hybrid ride from up-and-coming director Jim Mickle ("We Are What We Are") that premiered to raucous applause at Sundance two days ago. In the 1980s-set thriller, Hall plays a mild-mannered family man whose accidental shooting of an intruder plunges him into a complex, vengeful world of underworld violence -- a world he finds, against his better instincts, strangely seductive. It's a suitably dark fit for TV's best-known serial killer, but also exposes a new, more relatable side of his screen persona.

I sat down with Hall to discuss the film, making the jump from small screen to big, and the question of whether he seeks out the dark material, or the darkness just finds him. Check out our chat, embedded at the top of this post, and read my review of the film here.

Guy Lodge is a South African-born critic and sometime screenwriter. In addition to his work at In Contention, he is a freelance contributor to Variety, Time Out, Empire and The Guardian. He lives well beyond his means in London.