'Desperate Housewives' James Denton on Punching Carlos, the Cover Up, and the Halloween Episode

The actor tells THR about what to expect next and what he'd like to do after the series ends.
ABC

Mike isn’t one to stay in the dark too long as much as Susan (Teri Hatcher) tries to keep things from him on ABC’s Desperate Housewives.

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On the last episode, Susan and Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) tried to hide their guilty bond over the murder of Gaby’s (Eva Longoria) stepfather. But, they finally had to tell him the truth, because Mike believed they were having an affair. Going forward, the question is how he’ll deal with the truth now that he knows it.

“She’s such a goody two shoes her whole life, whereas Mike has a criminal history,” James Denton, who plays Mike, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “So, I think that’s going to cause issues for them because he feels like he knows the best way to deal with it.”

“And they really disagree,” he continues. “And so that’s something they’re going to have to deal with, which I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to do. But that going to be most of it, is that Mike has a past with this stuff, and so he gets involved really mostly to help Susan deal with it emotionally, to try to help her through it.”

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Denton, 48, tells THR what it was like to punch Chavira, his association with guest star Charles Mesure’s Ben, and the upcoming Halloween episode.

The Hollywood Reporter: You got to punch Ricardo Chavira on the last episode. What was that like – even if it was fake?

James Denton: It was fun just because we’re such good friends, and you know, Delfino has punched almost everybody on the show, the men anyway… But it was fun to finally punch Ricardo just because we’re such good buddies. But it was also weird because the way the camera was set up, I had to throw a left, which sounds weird. But if you’ve ever thrown a punch on camera, or if you’ve ever been in fight, as a right-hander, I don’t know that I’ve ever thrown a punch left-handed. So that was a little weird. So Ricardo and I laughed about that, but by the time they put it together, it looks fine.

desperate-housewives-james-denton-charles-mesureTHR: Mike is working on a professional relationship with the new guy on the block, Ben. He can’t be all that he seems. How will that work out for Mike?

Denton: We don’t know. Charles and I talk about it together. It’s a lot of fun because he’s such a good actor; one of the nicest guys we’ve ever had on the show… So, that makes it fun when people are that easy to deal with. Charles and I joke about where it’s going. Teri Hatcher taught me in Season 1 not to ask, so then you can’t say anything stupid to reporters, and get in trouble with [series creator Marc Cherry]. Charles and I talk about it all the time, but it’s really fun working with him. He certainly gets Delfino involved in it in a way he didn’t anticipate, so that’s been good. But other than that, we don’t know where it’s going to go.

STORY: 'Desperate Housewives': Susan and Carlos Get Too Close for Mike's Comfort

THR: What can you tell us about Jonathan Cake’s character, Chuck, who didn’t take it well when Bree (Marcia Cross) broke up with him?

Denton: You have not seen the last of Jonathan Cake, and that’s a good thing. I think the character’s very good. I think he’s a really good actor, and it’s really interesting where that goes. So, yeah, Jon, I think he’s with us all season.

THR: Fans really look forward to each season’s Halloween episode. What can you tell us about this season’s episode?

Denton: I’m not in it… It’s weird, for the first time, which is good and bad. It’s nice to have this free time, but at the same time, you know, it’s more fun to be involved… I read it, but I don’t know that much about it.

THR: Well, since you’ve read it, what can you tell fans about what to expect?

Denton: It’s creepier… Last year was a funnier Halloween episode; this one’s much darker… I think people will like that.

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THR: With it being the last season, what would you like to do for your next acting role?

Denton: I kind of came to town doing comedy, and I miss it. My first big job was a Bette Midler movie called That Old Feeling for Universal with Bette and Dennis Farina that Carl Reiner directed. And I, actually, got flown to L.A. for the very first time to test for a sitcom. I was doing Chicago theatre, and I’ve gotten away from it, you know. We have some comedy, but Delfino doesn’t get to do much of it. 

So, I’d be most interested probably in heading back that direction, because I’m very comfortable with it, and I think after all these years of Delfino, people would sort of be surprised, whereas, that’s like where I kind of came from. So, I’d be looking for that, but I have two kids to put through school; I am wide open.

Desperate Housewives airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro

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