On Sunday night’s episode of Showtime’s hit serial killer drama Dexter, it was revealed that Edward James Olmos’character Professor Gellar has been dead all along, and merely a product of his “disciple” Travis’ imagination. We caught up with the Oscar-nominated Mexican actor to talk about Sunday’s episode, how he feels about Professor Gellar ending up in the cooler, and why the story line was kept secret from the cast and crew.
We were surprised to see you dead in a cooler on Sunday night’s episode! How are you feeling?
Very good! I hope everybody understands that I never did anything—I was never there.
So Professor Gellar isn’t a bad guy at all?
No. He had nothing to do with anything that happened—that’s the whole idea.
Is the show going to explain Gellar’s relationship with Travis any further?
Yeah, of course. The next episode is all about that!
Will we find out when Gellar died?
Oh yeah. You’ll find out a lot. I shouldn’t tell you too much—I don’t want to blow the next one, you know? No one knew anything—it was all kept from…even the actors.
When you first read the script and learned Gellar was dead, what did you think?
I didn’t read the script. The reaction came because I demanded to know exactly what I’d be doing and I met secretly with the producers and they outlined the exact understanding of what we were going to go through. I said, ‘well, OK, let’s try it.” And the whole understanding needed to be that nobody would know—not the directors, not the cast, not the crew. Nobody. Nobody knew.
Nobody except you!
Wow! Did that make you feel really special?
Of course! It’s the only way to create that level of understanding. When Dexter sees me in the cooler, that’s the first time he’s actually seeing me. That’s the only time we ever worked together—that’s the only thing we ever did, and I never really saw him because I’m in the cooler and I’m dead. So we have no relationship together whatsoever.
Do you know if we’ll be seeing Gellar’s former teaching assistant Carissa Porter again? She seemed like she was hiding something…
I’m not sure. That’s a good question.
What was it like shooting those really dark scenes with your co-star Colin Hanks?
It was great! I gotta tell you, it was very, very well established and very well thought through. The writing on the show is the reason I did it—quite interesting all the way around!