Izumi Hasegawa: Your character got so close to learning Dexter’s secret in the finale. Are we gonna see that more in the new season?
Jennifer Carpenter: I feel like right now we’re focused on how the last season ended with Rita’s death, so I’m not sure if they’re gonna get into that immediately or not, but I’m ready to find out. I’m not championing how it’s gonna look, but I’m eager to play it ’cause I know it will be hard, but I feel like I’m wondering too. I wanna know how she’d react to it also. Dexter and I are both Harry’s kids, but Dexter is his kid in one way and I’m his kind in that I bleed blue and I’m a cop ’cause he was a cop. So I don’t know what it will look like.
James Remar: I’m almost afraid. I had goosebumps when you said that. She says, “I bleed blue.” She was my kid. Aw…
IH: Do you think she would ever show sympathy for him and maybe not turn him in?
IH: Any chance that we’re gonna see the two of you in a scene together sometime? He could be a vision of yours…?
JC: A dream maybe? That would be nice.
JR: In the flashbacks we did when Dexter was an adolescent or when he was college age, we had a couple of really beautiful scenes together, and they were a lot of fun to play. When Harry is in Dexter’s present life, I think it’s gonna be pretty hard for Debra to see him, and that’s unfortunate, ’cause I really enjoyed playing with the two of them as my kids. There was a deathbed scene that was just wonderful that we got to play together.
JC: Sometimes he’ll pull into the lot, show up at work and he’ll say, ‘Remember when I put you in the car and turned the sirens on to get you to school on time?’ All of that stuff really helps in the day to day.
IH: How much do you know about what’s coming up this season?
JR: I don’t know anything.
JC: I’ve lied in seasons past, but I don’t know this year. I really don’t, and it’s harder not knowing, I think.
IH: What can you say about the first four episodes you have filmed?
JC: I can say that the first episode of this season feels like the 13th episode of last season. It just comes at you fast and furious, and it’s funny and heartbreaking and scary. Even some of the music is a kickback to the pilot. It’s just super fun.
IH: Do you feel like it starts anew? That it’s almost fresh?
JR: Harry is just very much on his own, in a way. He’s really left to his own devices and he’s quite lost. There’s a big catharsis waiting to happen…
JC: But in a weird way, a weight has been lifted and he is the Dexter that we all met in the first season.
IH: What was it like to see Michael [C. Hall] be able to come back this season healthy and ready to go to work? How did that affect everybody?
JR: That makes me the happiest man on the planet. I admire him. I love him. I’m just thrilled and inspired.
IH: You’re kind of fond of him too, right?
JC: Yeah, I’m kind of fond of him too. I will say that — the cast and crew — we spend a remarkable amount of time together.
JR: We go to each other’s weddings.
JC: We do know each other’s business, and there’s a lot of love kicking around that set. So it was amazing to see the support, which he would offer back to any one of them at any second…and he does.
IH: Is there any guest star in particular you’re looking forward to working with most? You have a lot.
JR: We have a very, very deep stack of talent coming up, and we set the bar very high with John Lithgow last year…and they’re meeting it — actors that I’ve admired my entire career — and it’s very cool being around them.
JC: I haven’t had any scenes with Julia Stiles yet, but I met her and she’s wildly intelligent and I think she’s immensely talented. I think she and Michael are just a perfect fit for one another. They’re a really good match, so I think those scenes will be exciting.
IH: How does Debra deal with Rita’s death? She’s gone through a ton on her own, but she left that family and that unit, and I’m sure it affects her just as much as it does everyone else.
JC: I think she sort of idealized that relationship a lot. I think, in a really messed up way, greedily, selfishly, she thinks that they’re standing on some common ground now and that she’ll get the brother she always wanted, so I don’t even know that, by episode four, I’ve acknowledged what I’ve lost.
JR: I’ve never seen Debra as being greedy or selfish.
JC: I’m just telling you what I feel. The girl that plays Astor – Christina Robinson — she’s phenomenal. She has some really great scenes in the first episode about Rita that are really amazing, so that’s out of nowhere.
IH: You have an upcoming thriller with John Cusack [The Factory]. Could you talk a little bit about the character you played in that?
JC: I’m trying to sequeway out of being scream-queen, and I think the way that goes is: scream-queen, thriller, romantic comedy. So it’s a really interesting part with a lot of different colors and secrets, and it was like two years ago that we shot it. I haven’t even seen it, so it’ll be brand new to me when I watch it. But it was really great.
IH: There’s scream-queen and then, at Comic-Con, it’s scream goddess. You are one of those.
JC: Oh, I’m glad I wore sparkles.
IH: What is it like to be here amongst your people? Do you have people you love?
JC: I feel like we’re in a bubble when we do this work. It feels so good that I feel like we’re doing it for ourselves. So to see people here that are passionate about it, while it’s really exciting and gratifying, I also try to not invest too much in it because it’s a lot of people to disappoint if you don’t do it right.
IH: When you were in Quarantine, I was really amazed you were able to keep that level of intensity — so many scenes in that. You must have been drained after that.
JC: I feel like I aged myself. I won’t say by how many years, but it was exhausting. Lots of bruises…but fun in the end. I thought that Spanish version was a perfect film, and we really shot it frame for frame.
IH: You came here to Comic-Con with your real personalities. What would be the superpowers that would suit you best?
JC: There are so many I want. Time travel maybe?
IH: Why would that be useful?
JC: So I could visit people I’ve loved and lost. I could go back and do things differently. I don’t know.
JR: Super strength and invulnerability. That way, I can help people. When there’s a car wreck, I can get in there and lift the car off…
JC: Can you have a superpower where you’re reincarnated over and over? I want that. I like life.
IH: James, I’ve been a big fan of your work for a long time. The diversity of characters you play — it’s easy to say you play heavy, but you’ve played so many gray heavies. It’s not just black and white.
JR: Hopefully not. They have to be human, and I think that’s partly also why Dexter, who I don’t play, is so accessible too — because he is so human and humanely played by Michael. Boy, I guess you could say he was a heavy.
IH: Jennifer, what’s your dress today?
JC: Karen Zambos.
IH: It looks great.