British actor James Purefoy is thrilled to be playing a ruthless serial killer in new U.S. drama The Following - because the project offers him a little peace after becoming a dad last year (12).

The Resident Evil star, who appears alongside Kevin Bacon in the new thriller, insists he's having a great time on set, and he loves the idea of becoming the most hated man on Tv.

He tells People magazine, "A lot of American actors... don't like playing this kind of character. There's a risk you'll be disliked. I don't (care) whether you like me or not! We don't like Hannibal Lecter, but we do find him fascinating."

However Purefoy, who quietly welcomed a little girl last October (12), admits the worst part is leaving the tot to go to work - even though he enjoys a break from parenthood ever now and then.

He says, "(It's) tough, but a blessed sanctuary with a newborn at home. I love being with the baby, but, as any new father will tell you, all you want to do is get out of the house!"

The 48 year old has been dating art historian and television producer Jessica Adams since 2004, but it is not clear if she is the mother of his child. The baby's name has yet to be released.

Purefoy also has a teenage son with ex-wife Holly Aird.