After being cooped up behind bars last season in the FOX drama Prison Break, Wentworth Miller, 34, is finding life on the outside can get very hot. Not that he minds sweating it out as engineer-turned-inmate Michael Scofield, a breakout role for the Princeton grad who once toiled as a temp and PA between auditions. The show picks up its second season in Dallas, where Miller’s character is on the run after making a great prison escape. PEOPLE recently caught up with the catch-him-if-you-can actor to talk about life in the Lone Star State, cowboy boots and tattoo maintenance.
Is Michael going to defer to his older brother now that they’re on the outside?
There may be some(thing) interesting between the brothers as far as who is going to be alpha dog. But the truth is, Michael has the book smarts, Lincoln has the street smarts.
What do you guys do on set during breaks?
I’d like to say none of us dives for our BlackBerries and iPods when they yell “Cut!” but we do (laughs). We have become very much like a fraternity. There are some practical jokes but more with the quick one-liners. We all pretty much know each other by now and we know what buttons to push.
What are you finding to do in Dallas when you’re not working?
I’ve seen a lot fewer cowboy boots than I thought. Strikes me that Dallas is well on its way to becoming L.A., Texas-style. It’s got great restaurants, great culture, a lot of places to hang out. Not that I necessarily go, but I know that the W Hotel does exist and it’s there for me should I decide to indulge.
How do you stay cool in this heat?
I don’t mind the sweating. They (Michael and brother Lincoln) are on the run. They’re looking over their shoulders. It’s very in keeping with the vibe of the second season.
Does the Prison Break tattoo melt off?
Eventually it starts to and you can’t photograph it on the second day. And it is a challenge in that I’m wearing long sleeve shirts. It can get a little bit sticky.
Would you consider a tattoo yourself?
No, no, no. That’s never been quite my speed.
What did you do during your summer hiatus?
I drove across country from Chicago to Los Angeles after we wrapped. It was a way to distance myself from a whirlwind year. It was just what the doctor ordered.