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Michael C. Hall: 'Dexter' has 'a normal life' now

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Michael C. Hall: 'Dexter' has 'a normal life' now
Dexter lives in Iron Lake, N.Y., now. Photo courtesy of Showtime

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Michael C. Hall says the Showtime series Dexter: New Blood, premiering Sunday, finds his serial killer character blending in with the locals.

"He's actually cobbling together a semblance of a normal life and trying to live one," Hall said in a Television Critics Association Zoom panel.

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For eight seasons, from 2006 to 2013, Dexter was a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police. In his private life, he hunted other serial killers.

The series finale suggested that Dexter moved to the Pacific Northwest after leaving Miami. New Blood finds him in the fictional town of Iron Lake, N.Y., living under the identity of Jim Lindsay.

"He's in geographically quite a different place, and certainly has come a long way, just in terms of the time that's passed," Hall said. "Locating himself within a context that is pretty much antithetical to Miami was something that felt right."

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Joining Dexter from Miami is his adoptive sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). She was killed in the final season of Dexter, and now appears as the voice in his head.

A voice in his head already was established in Dexter. When he lived in Miami, his adoptive father, Harry (James Remar), spoke to him that way, guiding him to pick the right victims and follow a code.

Deb reminds him that his dangerous activities got her and other loved ones killed, and that he deserves to live alone in Iron Lake.

"What I was attracted to was to come back and sort of haunt, punish, care-take, provoke and love Dexter," Carpenter said. "My work was to go to the bottom of the ocean, collect her and see if she wanted to be a witness to watching an unmedicated, decoded, unpunished, unchecked serial killer experience himself."

Dexter is not entirely alone with his thoughts and Deb. As Jim Lindsay, he is dating Iron Lake Chief of Police Angela (Julia Jones), a new character.

"She's definitely more than Dexter's girlfriend," Jones said. "She has a 16-year-old adopted daughter. She's passionate, she's compassionate, she's strong-willed [and] she's flawed."

In the eight years since Dexter ended, Hall has indicated in interviews he was willing to return to the role. The previous series finale proved controversial, with some fans objecting to the suggestion that Dexter may have become a lumberjack.

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Hall said the timing was right for his return in 2021.

"The way the series ended has a great deal to do with why we're revisiting the show and the character," Hall said. "The show did not end in a way that was definitive for people or gave anybody a sense of closure."

Hall said he did not revisit the previous series, and that finding the character again proved challenging.

"It was somewhat daunting, the idea that this person who you said goodbye to had been in some parallel realm been living a life for all these years," Hall said. "They were going to turn the camera back on, and you needed to embody him once they did."

Hall said, though, that the character felt natural again once he got going.

"He was still there," Hall said. "I spent a great deal of time with and as him and felt there were things that are idiosyncratic to the way he behaves, the way he talks, the way he moves."

Dexter: New Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Showtime and streams on Showtime Anytime.

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