Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter in DEXTER - Season 7 | ©2012 Showtime/Robert Sebree

Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter in DEXTER - Season 7 | ©2012 Showtime/Robert Sebree

Season 7 of DEXTER, Sundays at 9 PM on Showtime, has been pedal to the metal the whole way. Michael C. Hall’s serial killer (of other killers) has not only been coping with the fact that his police lieutenant sister Debra, played by Jennifer Carpenter, has learned his big secret, but he’s also fallen in love with fellow serial killer Hannah McKay, played by Yvonne Strahovski, pissed off the Ukrainian mob and drawn the suspicions of Police Captain LaGuerta (Lauren Velez). There’s shocks, emotional revelation and danger at every turn.

With the season finale coming up this Sunday and next season pretty much set as DEXTER’s last, the suspense couldn’t be more intense.

Actor Hall, who previously was one of the stars on the five seasons of HBO’s SIX FEET UNDER, has an overall calm demeanor, but his enthusiasm for DEXTER and its new direction is evident as his discusses his Emmy-nominated gig.

ASSIGNMENT X: How do you feel about Season Seven overall?

MICHAEL C. HALL: Dexter [continues] to be Dexter and Deb [continues] to come to grips. It was nice that the cat was completely out of the bag at the end of the first episode. To have her halfway know – it was interesting for a time, but I’m glad that it happened quickly. Yeah, negotiating that relationship in the new landscape is a part of what Dexter has had to deal with, but what’s been interesting – while he’s not on trial in front of a jury or anything, he is on trial in a way with Deb, and you see Dexter defending himself and really making no apologies for what he’s done. I think he maybe makes some sort of hedging apology for putting her in an awkward situation, but he never apologizes to himself or to her for what he’s done.  [He is] pretty resolved or resigned to the fact that he has no hope of really rehabilitating himself. I think it’s interesting to see him forced to defend himself to a degree, justify what he’s done and what he plans to continue to do and I think that’s really interesting. And it certainly is I think an interesting thing for Jennifer to play. I think the show has always been at his best when he’s in trouble – and he’s in a lot of trouble right now [laughs] and the water’s going to get hotter, not just on the Deb front, but on others as well. It’s sometimes bolder than others. But Dexter will certainly continue to do what he does.

AX: Was there a lot of discussion beforehand in the writers room about Dexter so quickly acknowledging to Deb who he is and what he’s done?

HALL: Well, I think given what she sees at the end of the Season 6 finale, it’s difficult for him to wish that away. And once she at the end of that first episode [of Season 7] finds all that evidence, I think he in a split second, he’s presented with two potential problems. To try to deny the undeniable, or to try to manage it and fess up. And I think he in that split second says, “Yes, I am.” And you see him almost immediately in the second episode go about dealing with that new reality.

AX: How was working with Ray Stevenson as Ukrainian mobster Isaak Sirko?

HALL: He’s fantastic. I mean, he’s a pro, he’s a great guy, he’s got incredible stories. Really, there are a lot of guest actors this season. Usually, we have one or two, but it seems we have more of a handful of people this time around. I’m just really thankful that in our seventh season, our show feels like it has in a really fundamental way changed, and changed in a way that I think it always was meant to change in terms of the landscape changing with Deb knows what she knows, and that sort of re-framing who Dexter is maybe to the audience. I’m excited.

MIchael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 7 - "The Dark ... Whatever" | ©2012 Showtime/Randy Tepper

MIchael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 7 - "The Dark ... Whatever" | ©2012 Showtime/Randy Tepper

AX: Well, this is the first time he’s been able to be open with someone who has a history with him, not counting the shade of adoptive father Harry [played by James Remar].

HALL: Right. And I think for Deb, it’s probably simultaneously horrifying, of course, to discover what she’s discovered, but also to some degree a relief, or answer some previously unanswered questions she had about her brother and her own childhood. But Jennifer and I really enjoyed playing this new dynamic. It feels really fresh.

AX: How is Scott Buck doing as show runner this season?

HALL: The same guy who ran it last season, Scott Buck, ran it this season, but I think he, with one year under his belt, has more of a sense of how it all works. And also, we have a new director of photography [Jeffrey Jur] this year, so the look of the show has changed a bit. We’re using new cameras and that, combined with the new storytelling twist of Deb knowing, has really reinvigorated things.

AX: Did you know for awhile that Deb was going to find out about Dexter?

HALL: Well, I think from the beginning we all imagined that if this show lasted beyond a certain point, it was in the cards. There’s too much tension there for that dam not to eventually break and create the new tension that it’s created.

AX: How do Deb’s romantic feelings about Dexter play into what’s happening?

HALL: I won’t say definitively either way, but I think in a way, Deb’s coming into an awareness of her feelings or potential feelings for her brother – foster brother – maybe softened her to a degree that she wouldn’t have otherwise been and made her that much more potentially able to swallow the pill that she has to swallow now. I think she’s someone who’s been looking for answers to questions that she hasn’t even been able to quite ask. In a way, I think whatever feelings she came into awareness of – you could argue that they had something to do with those unanswered questions, questions that have been answered this season, and certainly her feelings about her brother are going to change a bit, now that she knows what she knows.

Yvonee Strahovski and Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 7 - "Chemistry" | ©2012 Showtime/Randy Tepper

Yvonee Strahovski and Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 7 - "Chemistry" | ©2012 Showtime/Randy Tepper

AX: As one of DEXTER’s executive producers, as well as the star, how much input do you have into what happens in the writers room and the hiring of guest actors?

HALL: I’m certainly a part of that decision-making process, but I respect that it’s a collaborative endeavor and everybody on this show does their job well, so I don’t try to do other people’s jobs for them. I’m a part of that conversation regarding where things might be headed storytelling-wise, but I think the contribution I make really has to do with talking about where I imagine Dexter to be, where I imagine him to be coming from, sometimes not what happens, but how it might happen.

AX: SIX FEET UNDER lasted five years. How did it feel to be doing the sixth and seventh seasons of DEXTER?

HALL: I don’t know. It’s sort of beyond anything I ever imagined for the show. I finished SIX FEET UNDER and when we started DEXTER, I thought, “Well, if we manage to do it that long [for five years], that will be remarkable,” and we’re beyond that. It seems in a way like a smaller amount of time somehow. Time expands and compresses in your mind and your memory. I’m just really thankful to, in the seventh season, feel like we’re genuinely breaking new ground with the show and with the characters.

Yvonne Strahovski and Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 7 - "Do the Wrong Thing" | ©2012 Showtime/Randy Tepper

Yvonne Strahovski and Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 7 - "Do the Wrong Thing" | ©2012 Showtime/Randy Tepper

AX: Is it still eight seasons and out, or might it go past eight?

HALL: It’s a difficult thing to say anything beyond the shadow of a doubt, but all signs point to the final episode of the eighth season being the final episode of the show.

AX: Do you know what you want to do after DEXTER is over?

HALL: Start a strawberry farm. No, I don’t know [laughs]. I didn’t know that DEXTER was on my horizon. I couldn’t have imagined it. So I would hope that several years from now, I will have taken part in something that I couldn’t yet imagine right now.

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Do You See What I See?”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “The Dark … Whatever”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Helter Skelter”

Related: Exclusive interview with DEXTER showrunner Scott Buck on Season 7

Related: Exclusive Interview with DEXTER guest star Jason Gedrick

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Argentina”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Chemistry”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Do the Wrong Thing”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Run”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Buck the System”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”

Related: TV Review – DEXTER – Season 7  – “Are You … ?” – Season Premiere

Related: Showtime leaves door open for more DEXTER after its anticipated final two seasons

Related: Exclusive Interview with Manny Coto on DEXTER Season 7 news and more

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Article: Exclusive interview with Michael C. Hall on DEXTER – Season 7 and beyond

 

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