As the crystal meth-cooking, bad-decision-making derelict Matt on Nip/Tuck, John Hensley has given a fresh face to family dysfunction. He checks in from the Mondrian Hotel to tell us about his ink.
INKED: Your Nip/Tuck character, Matt, does some questionable things. What do you like about playing him?
JOHN HENSLEY: Matt is the one character in the show who changes dramatically from season to season. He makes horrific decisions from time to time-he's on a very unpredictable trajectory. Working on the show I can say without question they've always decided to tell whatever story they want to tell without apology. Are there times the show's gone in a direction I haven't agreed with? Absolutely. But the one thing I can always get behind, it's that they do not give a shit, in the best way possible, about how people react to it.
What's your take on plastic surgery?
In a weird way, working on the show has softened me to it. Open any magazine, close your eyes and point and there's a 40 to 75 percent chance you'll land on someone who's had work done. We've all been guilty of looking for the right answer in the wrong place. For some, it's in the bottom of a whiskey bottle. For some, it's at the end of a glass pipe. For some, it might be at the end of a doctor's scalpel. In a way, I can empathize with the notion behind why some people might elect to do that to themselves.
You have no hesitation when it comes to getting tattoos. Which was your first?
I have three-one on the inside of each arm and one across my back. The first two are from Eddy Deutsche. On my right arm it says "Dark and bloody ground," which to me represents Kentucky, where I'm from. On my left arm it says "Faith," which has no religious connection whatsoever. It's just that if I look back on my life, it's like whenever I had the faith to take a risk, my foot would land right.
So it's not a nod to the George Michael song?
It's not, though I do love that song. [Laughs.] The one on my back is a hawk by Andrea Elston. I'm a big fan of her work.
Will you get more?
I'm sure I will. I'm not in any rush. When I got my first two, I actually wanted to do three, but Eddy very levelheadedly told me, "I think two is enough for your first time."