Michael C. Hall's definitive 'Dexter' final season interview

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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’ve heard you were an advocate for ending the show.
HALL: I’ve been an advocate for having a dialog with the writers and having a sense of how to best bring this story home. Not wrap everything up with a tidy bow, necessarily, but find some sort of conclusion. We based the first season on [Jeff Lindsay's] first book. We didn’t base subsequently seasons on subsequent books because we didn’t want to do a different version of the same thing. There was a desire to explore the blurred line between his emerging humanity and his psychopathy. So there has to be an end game. Once Deb found out, it felt like we were moving toward a place where the world as we knew it would have to end.

I was told you said even if Showtime backs up a Brink’s truck full of money to your house, you were done.
I don’t know that I ever said that exact statement. After Six Feet Under, the last thing I wanted was another television show and then I ate my words with this. So I never say never. But everyone is focused on bringing the eighth season to a sense of overall conclusion.

Do you know the ending?
[Smiles] I have a good sense of the broad strokes…

And you like it, I can tell.
I do! I’m pleased. I’m intrigued and compelled where things are headed. The end is not something I pitched or lobbied for. I don’t aspire to write this show. I talk about where I imagine Dexter to be or where he’s coming from. There are many people [involved with the show] who inform what he ultimately ends up being. I’m along for the ride.

So how you do you feel about this show you’ve worked on for so many years ending?
At this point I have an anticipatory feeling more than anything else. I look forward to finding out what life feels like without Dexter. It’s been something we’ve done 5.5 months out of the year. It’s a constant preoccupation. I think it will be a pretty broad-spectrum experience. I think there will be some wistfulness, some relief, some pride, some sadness…

You’ve been nominated for an Emmy six times but haven’t won. Is winning important, at this point?
[Dryly] If someone gave me one I’d go get it. [Awards are] its own sort of animal. They don’t seem to have had much to do with our grander trajectory. Having been in that conversation has been gratifying, especially since he’s a dicey character.

What is your plan after Dexter?
I don’t have one. I’m focused on bringing this home. I don’t have an itinerary for life beyond [production wrapping on] July 1.

So if your agent calls with a script all excited, you won’t read it?
Not on July 2! But I’ll read it, sure.

So you’re not swearing that you’re going to take a break from TV.
I don’t imagine I’ll jump right back into something. But to rule it out entirely would be silly.

After the premiere Sunday night, be sure to come to EW.com as we’re reviving our Dexter recaps for the final season. Recap is now live!

Related:
‘Dexter’: The secret to Jennifer Carpenter’s intense performance
‘Dexter’ shock preview: Debra’s sex and drugs spiral — EXCLUSIVE
‘Dexter’ showrunner final season Q&A

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