Kevin Bacon regularly accepts the challenge of portraying “damaged” characters.

The actor depicts FBI Special Agent Ryan Hardy in the new television drama.

The Following centres on a captivating serial killer who enrolls other murderers into doing his gruesome bidding.

Although Kevin plays the good guy in this series, Agent Hardy is hardly perfect.

Hardy’s idiosyncrasies appealed to the seasoned thespian.

“I was looking for something, but I had been looking for four years. It was not like, ‘Oh, here it is, I’ll do this one!’ I liked this one,” he told Collider.

“This was the one that had the biggest combination of things. It had a great showrunner, and a complex heroic character. I wanted to do something heroic and play somebody that was damaged. And it had life-or-death stakes.

“If a character is evil, bad or whatever you want to call him, that’s the time when I roll up my sleeves and try to find something human or charming or vulnerable about the character. I look for something that is a counterpoint to this idea of being a bad guy. On the flipside, if someone is heroic, you don’t want to make him a superhero. You want to find where the Achilles heel is.”

The Following broadcast on Fox Monday January 21.