Fifteen years from the first episode, eight from the last. And in between, they both became survivors: Dexter, the serial killer who only kills the wicked, escaped a boating accident in the eye of Hurricane Laura. While Michael C. Hall, the American actor who gave him fame, body and madness, slowly recovered from a malignant form of cancer of the immune system, the same one that had killed his father and towards which, he said, he had always felt somehow predestined.
Lazarus both of them. Back on my feet and back on the road. And starting next November 10th, gathered on Sky Atlantic for the ten new episodes of Dexter: New Blood, the reboot of the original series in which we find him under a false name in the fictional town of Iron Lake, abstinent from blood for ten years, engaged to a policewoman and struggling with his teenage son, who has also reappeared from nowhere. “We shot it like a ten-hour movie,” Hall says early in the morning from his New York home. “Dexter tries to leave the past behind but unfortunately his killer instinct, his ‘dark passenger’, will come back to find him.”
Can I ask what she usually does at eight in the morning?
“I usually take my dog for a walk, along the paths of Central Park.”
What is his name?
“She’s a sissy and her name is Salamander.”
And why “salamander”?
“For the way she moved when she was still a puppy, that wriggling slip in the grass. Not least, for the fact that it is all black ».
In the first episode there is a moment in which, returning to kill, Dexter recognizes himself. Has it happened to you too, after a long time, that you have to realign yourself with the mind of a madman?
“It happened on the first day, shooting a scene in which suddenly I find myself in front of a pool full of blood. I let all that red impact my soul, just as it could in a disturbed mind like Dexter Morgan’s. And I thought: “here we are my friend, we are together again” ».
And was it more of a professionally high moment or a humanly difficult moment?
“It was beautiful, exciting, arduous, satisfying. And yes, to tell the truth, even frightening ».
What is that one reason, the most profound, that led you to reprise the character?
“Do you want the truth?”
Only the truth.
«Having come to terms with a sort of moral duty. The ending we had chosen was too open, it had left the audience unsatisfied, and ultimately me too. We had cooked, created a wonderful lunch which, however, did not leave the right taste in the mouth. We had to finish the series, but finish it with a different taste ».
And do you remember a moment in which, for some reason, you regretted the choice?
“Probably during the scenes shot in front of certain frozen lakes in Massachusetts, literally frozen. Aside from that, shooting started, it was all about racing against time. For doubts, there was no more room ».
New Blood it seems to contain more political references than in the past: a critique of the easy proliferation of weapons, for example, and even environmental protests are staged. Have you ever suffered from climate anxiety?
“Sure, absolutely. But don’t you see? Politics continues to focus on absolutely irrelevant issues and in the meantime the reality of climate change is getting tougher. It is becoming a truly existential issue ».
In a raw scene of the first episode, a specimen of white reindeer is killed, and revenge will fall on the executioner. A stance too?
“Not my intention. In his vow not to kill again, Dexter discharges and satisfies his sick impulses in nature, chases animals without shooting, runs in the snow until he is empty and exhausted. That animal represents something pure that he wants to touch. It has nothing to do with the subject of animal rights. But only with the relationship between his inner darkness and a magnificent creature ».
The fact remains that most people will find the agony of the animal unbearable and that of man acceptable. This is strange, isn’t it?
“It’s not strange at all. Animals are guiltless creatures, unlike humans, generally speaking of course. That’s why we often cheer for them ».
Are you satisfied with what you have achieved, humanly and professionally, in the eight years away from Dexter? And why don’t you like watching TV so much?
“I can’t tell. I have been acting for five years in Six Feet Under, otto in Dexter, the idea of resuming a commitment of that type did not appeal to me. I preferred doing theater, acting in independent films, founding a band, the Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum. I have no idea what the future holds for me. I would like to abandon myself to the flow of things ».
The fact that he lives in New York, and not in Los Angeles, speaks volumes.
«A choice linked to the desire to do theater: if a show starts, at least I don’t have to destroy my life by flying back and forth. Also I grew up in North Carolina, on the East Coast, geographically I feel more at home. And I’m also close to my mother, who still lives there. Then…”.
“Just like Dexter, I spend most of my time in lakes and woods. Finding myself in the middle of nowhere, exhausting myself in contact with nature, after all, is my favorite thing ».