Cast of Dexter talks Emmys, Season Three

By: Jennifer Smith

It’s no secret that we here at Fancast are in love with Dexter Morgan. He’s a serial killer, a stud, and a smarty pants. The Emmy awards gave plenty of love to Showtime’s baby, but unfortunately only in the form of nominations. The cast was obviously disappointed, but when I talked to them on the red carpet of the TV Guide after party they didn’t seem to have let the loss affect the night. After all, this is the Emmys we’re talking about.

Almost the entire cast showed up… except Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter. I was bummed about not meeting the show’s namesake, but I shrugged it off and scored interviews with the rest of them.

My biggest mission of the night was to get a few tidbits about season three (which airs next Sunday), but you know how it is… actors are always tight-lipped. Except tonight! Julie Benz who plays Rita on the show dished about one of the biggest changes of the year, which is the addition of Jimmy Smits to the cast.

“(He) joined our cast this year, and just wow! He’s so amazing and he’s such an amazing actor. To have an actor of this caliber join our show is an honor and privilege,” she says.

Speaking of Smits, it seems he’s brought along a little wifey in the form of Valerie Cruz. Benz says their characters quickly form a friendship.

“I get a girlfriend to pal around with! We’ve actually become friends (in real life) and it’s nice to see have Rita have a buddy.”

Benz also hints at a major bombshell at the end of the first episode. I won’t ruin it for anyone, so I’ll keep tight-lipped. But, baby, it’s a big one! More exaggerated winking was going on with Erik King, who looked mighty handsome in his tux. King played Sgt. Doakes up until the season finale, when he was shockingly killed off (for storyline’s sake). King smiled wryly when I asked him if he’ll be appearing in any flashbacks in season three… so we’ll have to just watch and see! In the meantime, King admits that there was no way his character could have continued on the show.

“Those characters were sort of on a collision course anyway because on the very first episode, Doakes knew,” he says. “And in order for him to maintain his integrity he had to find something out.”

David Zayas’ character Angel Batista is still struggling with his own personal demons this season. In season two, Angel was accused of rape by Lila right after getting kicked out by his wife. Zayas says that Angel will continue to have issues.

“He’s a human being. None of us are that innocent. It shows that just because you’re a flawed individual and you make mistakes and you have demons here and there doesn’t make you a bad person. I think that’s what interesting about my character.”

I concur. Perhaps that intense character sympathy is one of the driving forces for the growing popularity Dexter is receiving. The numbers get bigger and bigger every season, and Zayas credits the writers for not trying to dumb down the show to suit a wider range of viewers.

“It’s an intelligent show,” he says. “I think sometimes we don’t give credit to America; they’re intelligent viewers. They like a show that’s going to challenge them mentally. And they’re in the mind of this individual (Dexter) and they’re hearing his thoughts. They’re going through what he’s going through. Even though they don’t condone what he’s doing, they understand the way he’s breaking down his thought process. And that’s interesting. No one’s ever done that before. And so I think people are attracted to that and they’re interested in that.”

While the viewers might appreciate the nuance of the show, the Emmys weren’t so generous. They’re taking the right attitude with the whole “it was an honor to be nominated” thing. It’s actually true. As we saw last night, sometimes even the favorite to win walks away without the big one. And the cast of Dexter is just happy to be getting some recognition as well as to hang out together like one big happy family.

“To celebrate our work together (was amazing) because when you’re on set its different,” says Lauren Velez, who plays Lt. Laguerta. “You do a scene and are like ‘That scene rocked!’ But to be able to celebrate with each other was pretty great.”

Erik King summed up the night nicely: “We were excited to be here as a cast. We would have loved to see Michael win, we would loved to have seen our show win. But just the opportunity to hang out and let the academy recognize our show—which is a cable show, the little engine that could. Just to hang out with each other was amazing.”

Other tidbits:

I missed C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka) by this much. I took too long interviewing David and missed my chance. I’m bummed, but look forward to talking to him one day. I love his character!

Jamie Murray (Lila, aka “pardon my tits”) didn’t stop for interviews but did a lovely reenaction of her character’s death. She looked hot.

Erik King was nice enough to humor me when I asked him to say his character’s signature catchphrase. “I’m watching you, mother f**ker!” We bonded.

Lauren Velez looked a lot thinner in person. Maybe it’s just the cameras adding ten pounds thing, but I think she also lost some weight. She also called Don Rickles hilarious.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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