Since then, he's racked up an impressive amount of credits with stints on "The Good Wife," the now-defunct "Caprica" and the "X-Men" cartoon (not to mention feature films "Prom Night," "Speed Racer," "Dear John" and the upcoming "The To Do List," to name a few). Currently, Porter is charming viewers as George Tucker on The CW's "Hart of Dixie" and he spoke exclusively to HuffPost TV about who he wants his character to end up with, breaking one of his only rules, superheroes and Taylor Kitsch.
With all the bad boys on The CW, what appealed to you about playing good guy George on "Hart of Dixie"?
I had just played a terrorist on "Caprica," and Blake, who is a bit of a badass private investigator, on "The Good Wife." What's funny about this business is they only care about what you did last. They don't care what you've done before that, especially in my case. Before I showed up in Los Angeles, I was doing musical comedy on Broadway and singing and dancing. It seemed "Hart of Dixie," and George Tucker particularly, was a chance to get back to a role that was more similar to how I broke into the business before "Friday Night Lights." It was nice to leave the drama behind and find a smart, intelligently written, lighter-toned comedy that was set in a place that could feel like a theatre production.
George is engaged to Lemon (Jaime King), but there's been some flirting between him and Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson). How is that love triangle going to complicate their relationships?
Zoe throws a wrench into the works -- as people grow up and start to see what else is out there in the world, they start to realize who they loved as child might not be what's best for them as an adult. That's what's happening here. He's got a high school sweetheart, Lemon, and he sees this really educated, fantastic girl, Zoe, and starts to realize, "Everything I moved back to Bluebell for might not be what I thought it was as far as life goals and dreams."
Are you rooting for Team Lemon or Team Zoe?
Lemon and George have a deep relationship that will never truly go away. Even if things end between them, they'll still be friends because of how they grew up and how intertwined their families and history are. If George was going to make the best decision for him, I think Zoe might be the frontrunner right now.
Recently, you hilariously rubbed it in when George won at Pictionary on the show. How much are you enjoying those comedic beats?
Because we know how crazy Bluebell is and it has all its events of the week and crazy competitions, it allows us as actors to really cut loose. Other shows would want you to be grittier and more grounded in reality; this is about escaping into this wonderful world. I love when they wind me up and let me go. As we go further on in the season, you'll see George sing and dance a little more. I can't wait for the audience to see that side of him.
Is George going to have to put his lawyer skills to use to save the town from this big corporate mall?
You see more interaction with him and his father, who is representing that [corporate] side of things, but it becomes a lot more personal. For right now, that storyline has been put to the side as George made the first step to protect Bluebell. It really becomes about the personal relationship between him and his dad and how fractured it really is. You get to see some incredible moments there as George comes to grips with becoming his own man.
The ladies may be disappointed, but how relieved are you not to have to take your shirt off as much as Wilson Bethel?
[Laughs.] I have a couple of rules I try to live by. If you do a show, make sure it's not on The CW. I broke that rule, which put me in the danger zone of having to take my shirt off. But if you do a show on The CW, find someone like Taylor Kitsch, who always took his shirt off on "Friday Night Lights," and step back. That is Wilson's [Bethel] role on this show. When it calls for it, of course, I'll do it. I don't envy Wilson, but he seems to love it, so it's an even trade-off!
At one point, George dressed up as a pirate for Thanksgiving. If there is a Halloween episode, and knowing you are this huge comic book fan, which superhero do you think George should suit up as?
Because we're so good at giving little nods to other shows and projects, it would be really fun to have George in full Cyclops attire. That would be pretty neat because I've played that role on the ["X-Men"] cartoon. I also love some of the DC characters. The Flash could be fun, as well.
So who would win in a battle royale: your Cyclops, or Taylor Kitsch's Gambit from "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"?
Cyclops. Gambit doesn't stand a chance!
Those are fighting words!
You know, I helped Taylor with his Gambit. I know his weaknesses!
"Hart of Dixie" airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW.
2012 Midseason TV Shows