November 10, 2005 06:00 AM

Getting arrested wouldn’t be so bad if all cops looked like Mathew St. Patrick. The Philadelphia native, who played officer-turned-bodyguard Keith Charles for five seasons on HBO’s Six Feet Under (creator Alan Ball called him “way too beautiful”), dons a badge again as Detective Marjorino on FOX’s drama Reunion. St. Patrick – who also played a secret agent on All My Children – admits he had reservations about playing another lawman. “But,” he says, “you didn’t see a lot of Keith on the job, and (Marjorino) gets to track people down and get information, so that’s been interesting.” St. Patrick, 37, talked to PEOPLE about his tough-guy role, staying beautiful and suffering from a serious case of dance fever.

On Reunion you’re a bit of an outsider, investigating a murder within a tight-knit group of friends. Is that weird?
I’m not really working with any of the cast in the manner that they’re working together. So it’s kinda weird in that sense, yeah. I’m having a good time, I love my castmates, and I do wish that I had an opportunity to work with them besides busting their chops and interrogating them.

How did you feel about Keith’s shooting death on the Six Feet Under finale?
(Laughs) It was a little crazy. I think maybe they decided, because of the line of work that he was in, it was simpler to do. But yeah, I would have thought that he could have died in his sleep or something along the lines of everybody else.

You’ve done voice work on the Disney Channel’s Higglytown Heroes and Nickelodeon’s Danny Phantom. What inspired that?
I have a niece and a nephew and my son (Tommy, 10) – but it’s also inspired by the kid in me! I love animation projects.

You used to be a personal trainer. Do you still work out a lot?
I fell off the wagon a little bit, but now I’m up here (filming in Vancouver) and I’m playing tennis, hiking and riding my bike. It’s so beautiful up here.

Speaking of beauty, do you have a regimen? Are you into the whole metrosexual thing?
It’s so funny when I hear that word – my buddies have teased me for a long time, ’cause I’ve always gotten manicures and pedicures. When I’m in L.A. I’m usually at Jessica’s Nails on Sunset, and when I’m in New York I go to J Sisters, who basically brought the Brazilian bikini wax to the States. They take really great care of me.

Have your friends finally caught on?
Oh yeah! Now it’s all they talk about, how great their feet look and how the wife loves it. I’m just like, “Well, there you go, you finally got with the program, my man.” Nobody wants any hard feet rubbing up against them – that’s not cool at all!

I heard you were into ballroom dancing.
I’ve taken a couple classes. I just looked into this place where they’re doing tango lessons on Friday nights at 7, so maybe I’ll be doing a little tango. I love that whole thing – you can pop in anywhere there’s a class or at a party somewhere and somebody threw some really hot beat on.

Do you have a regular dance partner these days?
No, I’m single.

What do you look for in a woman?
Honesty, ambition, loyalty. You’ve got to be ambitious. Somebody who likes to learn, who enjoys reading, music, food, people, but who’s not afraid to be by themselves. It’s a combination of many different things. I’m simple, but I’m complex (laughs).

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