Death Saved My Life's Darren Goldstein On Playing Creepy Characters And Getting Called Names In The Street - Exclusive

Actor Darren Goldstein has made a name for himself playing creepy characters on TV. While his creepier roles are far from the extent of his seasoned acting career, they're often the characters he's remembered for. From antagonist Oscar Hodges in The Affair to slightly-shady, Republican-backing businessman Charles Wilkes on Netflix's Ozark, Goldstein is constantly memorable, and viewers apparently find it difficult to separate the man from the characters he plays.

Now, Goldstein is back in Lifetime's Death Saved My Life, a thriller about a woman who fakes her own death to escape an abusive marriage. Goldstein plays the local police sergeant in town who just so happens to be best friend's with the victim's husband, meaning that his motives are a little unclear. "That's what made it kind of fun also. You're not sure where his allegiances lie," Goldstein revealed, while discussing his mysterious role in the Lifetime Original Movie.

Nicki Swift caught up with Goldstein to discuss his new movie, Death Saved My Life, and how often the actor gets called names in the street by passionate viewers who think he's one of the creeps that he plays on screen.

Darren Goldstein is ready to play the nice guy

While Darren Goldstein's role in Death Saved My Life is sure to keep people guessing, the actor is no stranger to playing outright creeps on screen. Speaking about the occasions he's portrayed nasty characters, Goldstein told Nicki Swift, "That's what people like to cast me as. I just want to play a nice guy. This guy [in Death Saved My Life] is pretty nice. I do play creepy characters."

As for whether Goldstein has ever been faced with material that's simply too creepy to perform, the actor said, "There've been a few things that I've turned down. That it's just like, 'You know what? I'm good. I'm good. It's a little too on the heels of like what I had just been doing. And I need a break from that for a second.'" 

However, the Ozark star is always up for a challenge, and doesn't mind pretending to be a creep if the script calls for it. "I mean, if something is a worthwhile script and the people attached to it are artists that I can kind of respect and I know their work, I don't have a problem with that," Goldstein explained. "I just don't like it when it's also, when the material is a little too over-the-top in terms of nasty and all that."

Darren Goldstein is used to being heckled in the street

Darren Goldstein made quite the impression on Showtime's The Affair when he played Oscar Hodges, a creepy, local man. However, as the show went on, Oscar softened, becoming somewhat of a family man. Speaking to Nicki Swift, Goldstein said of the role, "It was great. It's great to do that because you just don't want to play the villain all the time. And the best characters are the ones that have several shades to them. [The Affair's co-creator] Sarah Treem did a wonderful job of kind of shading it a little bit more as the seasons went on."

However, as Goldstein's character started out as the villain of the show, some viewers had a hard time separating the man from his on screen persona. "I will say that the first season was pretty exciting, kind of being the antagonist and just getting in everyone's business. The people I would see, and oh my gosh, people would stop me in the streets," Goldstein revealed. 

"I remember being in this supermarket once and a guy looks at me with a smile and he goes, 'A**hole.' So, you're not even going to start with, 'You're the guy that's on The Affair, right?' You're just going to go right into the insult. And he did, it was very funny. But yeah, people would scream at me and that stuff is really true. 'You're such a jerk.' But it's good. It means I'm doing my job."

Darren Goldstein's 'Death Saved My Life' role is a little different

He may have played a number of villainous characters onscreen, but Darren Goldstein is ready for any role Hollywood throws at him. Noting that his role in Lifetime's Death Saved My Life is a little different and will have viewers wondering whose side he's on, Goldstein told Nicki Swift, "Hopefully people can believe me in this role." As a small town police sergeant with a brilliant poker face, Goldstein makes himself indispensable in the movie, which is bound to captivate viewers.

In real life, Goldstein is a father of two sons and married to Bloodline actress and Broadway star Katie Finneran. Even though some of Goldstein's most famous roles to date have seen him playing the bad guy, the actor is open to being cast as the villain again — as long as the project is right for him. "It's not like I've done so much stuff where people are like, 'All right already, enough!' It's like, I pop in here and I do this, so I don't feel like the market has been oversaturated with my villainous characters. So, I'm fine doing it for now," he explained. "And I'll just try to be a nice guy in interviews, you know?"

Watch Death Saved My Life on Lifetime now.