MovieVine caught up with Sean Patrick Flanery to discuss the final season of “Dexter”. Check out the interview after the jump.
To begin with, let’s discuss your latest role as Jacob Elroy in the final season of “Dexter”. Now I know you can’t say much, but what kind of man is Jacob?
He’s a driven guy. Very success oriented. Maybe skirts outside of protocol the majority of the time. A little rough around the edges, but he gets stuff done.
Do you feel that when creating a character like Jacob his back story is as important as the dialogue so that the audience can get a sense of where he’s coming from?
Well without turning it into a thirty page answer, it really depends of what you mean by back story. I mean, well obviously we’re all a product of our past, and our past is a catalyst of what we become in the future so in that respect, yes. But as far as having a specific back story…it’s pretty difficult when you do a show like this because there are a lot of unknowns. So it does help in your own brain to kind of put together who this person is,, and what kind of experiences he might or might not have had in the past. It obviously then creates who he will be in the present and future. But, sometimes you don’t have access to that and you gotta make do.
That makes sense. In film you have the direct connection to your character’s entire arc, but with “Dexter” you have no idea what’s coming up. How do you approach telling the story even though you don’t actually know the ending of Jacob?
You know to make a very brief and distinct answer — you read the line. I’m not trying to be short, but that’s really it. When you don’t know the future, that’s how you convey the story. The most absolute knowledge that you have is what’s in between ‘fade in and fade out’. If that’s all you have then you have to make that as real as possible even if you have to fabricate your own side story, back story, motivations and what not. You just have to make it as real as you can.
When you’re reading the script for a new “Dexter” episode do you automatically turn to the last page, or do you allow yourself to take the journey one page at a time with the character?
I think you have to go thorough the whole story. Reading the whole story to see where it fits in. Having said that, a lot of storylines never intersect. So somebody else’s storyline, or what happens in a previous scene, may have absolutely nothing to do with my character. And, subsequently sometimes it can be a hindrance when you know what’s going on when you’re not supposed to know what’s going on. So there are two schools of thought on that.
So now you can enjoy the whole story as it unfolds on TV. Your dog, Donut, has been known to act alongside you in some of your previous projects. Can fans expect her to make an appearance in any of the episodes?
Donut is not in any of the “Dexter” episodes, unfortunately. This will be one she sits out. She is a big fan though so she’ll be in front of the TV with me.
Dexter witnessed his mother’s murder as a child, and now lives by his own code only killing other serial killers. Granted it’s a show, but we seem to have more forgiveness for Dexter because of the kinds of people he is killing. After working on “Dexter”, where do you stand on the nature versus nurture debate?
If somebody is killing people who absolutely deserve to die, I don’t think anybody worries about where he came from, or whether he was nurtured enough, or whether he’s genetically predisposed to do anything. It’s a lot like the movie I did “The Boondock Saints”. Everybody is happy to see that kind of murder because everybody that dies is a henois individual who offers nothing to society except for potential danger for our future. So everybody embraces those types of people dying. And, the same way with Dexter. I don’t think it has anything to do with does he needs a hug or anything else. It’s like “wait a minute, this guy is killing people to make our world a better place”. So I don’t think there is a lot of debate there. I think as much as people want to scream out how “this is wrong” or “that’s wrong” at the end of the day of a certain act makes life for everybody a little bit better then I don’t think it’s difficult to debate against that act. There is a right way and a wrong way. If somebody has the potential to kill five people it’s probably best to err on the side of making sure that doesn’t happen. Even at the cost of maybe infringing on his supposed rights. There is something called the greater good, and I think Dexter is doing just that. The greater good.”