By Tom Gliatto Brenda Rodriguez Natasha Stoynoff
November 27, 2006 12:00 PM

The lean, blazingly intense actor, 50, has been a great addition to FOX’s Prison Break, which has its fall finale Nov. 27. He’s agent Alexander Mahone, a guy on the trail with his own secrets.

ON KNOWING WHAT TWISTS LIE AHEAD We [only] get the scripts as they come, and I’m very happy to say I’m completely okay with that, because I love what they write. I told the writers, “I don’t want to twirl the mustache. It’s not interesting to me.” And they’ve [respected] that.

ON THOSE PILLS MAHONE POPS When you think about when he takes them, it’s usually a circumstance where something is overwhelming and something is getting to him. The writers could kill me for saying this, but to me it’s always been when he needs a little help. He obviously has something eating him up inside.

ON STAYING FIT It’s not like I wake up and think, “Oh God, I have to go to the gym.” It’s just pretty much a given. I do cardio, light weights and a good stretch, and I always try to get to the pool for at least a 15-minute swim.

ON HIS INTENSITY We all have superintensity in dark places. But you shouldn’t drag it from the set. When I’m home, it’s floor time with my little one [Vangel, 4] or I shoot hoops with [14-year-old] Sam Austin. Listen, if you take interesting roles and you’ve got cheekbones, everybody thinks you kill people.