James Denton is opening up about his "hunky" status as Mike Delfino on Desperate Housewives in a rare interview about the hit show. The actor, 58, who played Teri Hatcher's love interest for eight seasons, shared on Australia's The Morning Show that he was actually pretty "uncomfortable" stepping into the role back in 2004.
Asked if he was OK with the "hottest man on TV" title, Denton answered candidly, "No, I was never OK with it. I spent most of my career playing bad guys until Housewives. I had never been hunky. I was happy to be there, don't get me wrong, but it was uncomfortable. It follows me forever, that shirtless shot in the front yard."
When he first got the role, Denton said he "spat out the pizza" and "threw the beer down" before heading straight to the gym, joking that he "still didn't get into very good shape." Denton and Hatcher's characters had a dramatic romance arc throughout the ABC show's eight seasons, which ended when Mike was shot and killed in front of their home ahead of the series finale.
"Teri is so brilliant in this scene," Denton gushed of Hatcher's performance during his death scene. The Good Witch star recalled being called into a meeting with the network and show creator Marc Cherry to ask him what they thought about killing off his character in order to introduce a "shocking" pre-finale twist without killing off the women. "I got a good exit. … And I got three episodes. I thought they did it well and it's heartbreaking, mainly thanks to Teri," he shared.
Once the series, which aired from 2004 to 2012 and also starred Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria, wrapped, Denton and wife Erin O'Brien decided to return to his native Minnesota, which he said Thursday was to get his two kids out of Los Angeles. "It's not a great place for kids. It's tough. The schools are really expensive, so we decided as soon as Housewives ended, we'd come up here and let them grow up in a little more normal suburban American neighborhood," he explained.
After Housewives, Denton said the only "downside" of his role on the show was attempting to be cast in more serious roles. "I had trouble getting seen for anything that was a suit and tie role or maybe a politician," he shared. "Anything like that that wasn't blue-collar, I had a little trouble right after Housewives. But you'll never hear me complain."