[This story contains spoilers for Dexter: New Blood, episode four, “H Is for Hero.”]
This week Dexter: New Blood answered a question fans of Showtime’s serial killer series have pondered for 12 years. In December 2009, DexterThe final season of season four shocked audiences when the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow) murdered Rita Morgan (Julie Benz), leaving her and Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) infant son, Harrison, in a pool of blood. of his mother.
Both Dexter and the audience wondered if Harrison could force Dexter to kill. Or, as crime spokesman Molly Park (Jamie Chung) rudely asked this week New blood, “How the fuck is that kid now?”
Among those grappling with the episode’s meaning was Jack Alcott, a Tennessee native who played Harrison Morgan with New blood, a limited series of ten episodes released after ten years Dexterthe series finale (2013) and finds serial killer Dexter living under an assumed identity in upstate New York.
In “H Is for Hero,” Harrison falsely claims that his bullied friend Ethan (Christian Dell’Edera) stabbed him after revealing his plans for a school shooting. In fact, as an analysis of Dexter’s blood shows, Harrison attacked his friend from behind before stabbing himself to cover his tracks. Furthermore, Dexter discovers a straight razor in his son’s hand, the same weapon that the Trinity Killer used to kill women in the bathtub. Dexter realizes his son, born of blood, also has a Shadow Passenger.
As for Alcott, New blood was his biggest acting challenge, as he created a nuanced character while having to track exactly where he was in the story at any given time, as 10 episodes were filmed. simultaneously. (On day one, he shot a scene from episode three, changed his costume, and found himself filming something from episode six.) Along the way, Alcott felt comfortable working with Hall, who had earned multiple Emmy nominations in his first starring role as Dexter Morgan. The duo have formed a close bond, with their last day of filming being the bus stop episode one, in which Dexter admits he is actually Harrison’s father.
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Alcott, who went to work at theater in Tennessee before booking the roles on Black list and The Good Lord Bird, reflects on the revelation that Harrison has a Dark Passenger and looks back on that tearful final day on set.
Before filming, did you watch part one of Dexter. Then the team tells you not to watch more. Now that you’re done, do you ever go back and watch season four, which ends with little Harrison in a pool of his mother’s blood? That scene is referenced in New blood, with Harrison listening to a true-crime podcast describing it.
During the show, I argued with myself whether I wanted to watch it or not. I didn’t watch it at all when I was filming it. I chose not. I was very, very close to a day. I pulled it up on my phone and then put it down. “No, I shouldn’t!” When we shot that particular scene it was later and I had been sitting in the character for long enough so I was like, “I think maybe this would affect me more if it was in my imagination and don’t put another image for it. . “I’m still on season four now. I watched the reality show.
It is public record that Harrison’s mother, Rita, was killed by the Trinity Killer. Harrison may have read this much before and know how his mother died. Is that how you act out where he’s listening to Molly’s podcast?
He certainly knew his mother had been killed. It was certainly reasonable to assume that he had heard from others about the grizzly details. But don’t describe it in a disrespectful way [it is on the podcast]. That way, I think it’s definitely a first. It’s common knowledge that I’m sure he suppressed and then let it show in front of him, that was a wake-up call. It was a really, really disturbing wake-up call.
Do you have a recording of the actual podcast to act against?
Thankfully, I had the recording. I remember not having that awareness until maybe three or four hours earlier. “Oh my, wait? There’s Jamie [Chung] record podcasts? Or will someone read it? ‘ They said, ‘Don’t worry, she already recorded it.’ I’m listening to what you hear on the show.
As an actor, I imagine it’s a gift when you have very well played small characters, as was the case with Ethan and his parents (Danielle Perry and Shawn Fitzgibbon). What do you remember about working with those three?
Christian is amazing and a talented actor. It was a unique relationship they had in the short amount of time they had. I met him and we started talking about TV. Very quickly, it was, “We like the same things. This will be fun! “We immediately became friends. And the number of times I’ve said to both of our directors, “God, I hate myself right now,” knowing that, “This is going to be bad for you.” [Ethan]. Harrison sucks right now. ” [The scene with Ethan’s] Parents, we shot it in one day. Whatever is good about my performance, they should be held accountable. Every time take. My coverage, their coverage. That’s 100 miles per hour, the ball hitting the wall, every time. They are lovely people in the middle of everything. They completely killed it.
In the scene in the stands, where the other teenagers are clapping for Harrison, we see how badly he feels about what he did to Ethan, who may have had some violent fantasies. force but as far as we know, will not act on them. What happened to you there?
Harrison is an absolute storm of emotions and states of mind. There is a part where Harrison wants to harm people. But then there’s the man, the self-awareness, and the empathy his father didn’t really have. Michael is so brilliant with his two-faced character. It’s clearly more than that in its way. But he’s balancing his interactions with people and how he actually thinks and feels. Then to play a version of it and then add guilt and self-hatred, Dexter does too, but in a different way. It’s a fun piece to add to the puzzle. Similarly, the scene after I was “stabbed”, how devastated Harrison was. Where does suffering come from? It’s a lot of different places. One of those places is regret.
You shot this scene out of order, so you know the whole story when you shoot these scenes. The crux of episode four – and possibly of the limited series – comes at the end, when Dexter says that Harrison has his Dark Passenger. That answers a question that has persisted since the fourth season finale. Did that surprise you when you read it? Or are you focusing on your own content when reading the script at first?
In terms of reading, I’m definitely more focused on my own stuff. There were things that Harrison knew before that. That’s what he’s been afraid of all this time. He asked, “What’s wrong with me?” Because he knows something is wrong with him. But in the last few weeks, following it, that moment has come for me. To watch [Dexter] Opened the knife and said, and then a small smile. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this episode, but every time the smile moves me. I shivered.
Ten years from now, you’ll likely be asked in interviews what it’s like to work with Michael C. Hall. Did you get a closer look at how he does what he does as an actor?
A lot of the time you think of Michael C. Hall, you think of Dexter. If you’ve seen a lot of his stuff, or even know about his career, he’s a snap. He did Bar on Broadway. The guy is a monster. He is an actor by actor. I mean in a perfectly good way. He is a good listener. He’s a great mix of someone who offers a lot of interesting choices. You could tell he really worked with the character and on the set and just brought loads of talent and choice and charisma to every role he approached. Then on the other side of that coin, he’s also an open listener. He can always be spontaneous. He can always be generous in a scene and give it away. He makes everyone he works with better.
Was it as cold as it was while filming in Massachusetts?
The story doesn’t take place over a very long period of time and so we had to search all of our exteriors first. That’s one of the reasons why we shoot out of sequence. We spent the whole month of February, March and some April outside. There is a layer of snow up to 3 meters thick on the ground for a good part of the show. Which is fun sometimes. On the contrary, we were not able to complete all the exteriors during those months. The scene of episode 1, when Dexter comes and picks me up at the bus stop, it’s my last scene and it’s like 85 degrees. There are errors everywhere.
How does it feel to say goodbye in such an important setting to Dexter and Harrison’s relationship?
I don’t think there’s a better scene where we could have ended. That day was unbelievable. It was a full day of shooting, and I was just at the end of it in this really, really fast scene. Michael and I gave each other gifts and notes to read. Then we did the shoot and a few other actors showed up to watch, which was really sweet. We did this scene a few times. It was a wonderful scene. It is very simple. Too much is said without words. We have mastered. We have taken my insurance. All are great. We are finishing Michael and we make a pair. We do what feels like last time. Michael was like, “Love you.” I was like, “Love you so much, man.” And we make one more and we’ll sit there. We cut. It was a long silence. I’m not really sure what’s going on. I feel frozen. And [director] Marcos Siega shouted, “Okay, guys, one more for you. I got what I wanted. Activity.” And it all hit me. Immediately, I held back my tears because this was the last time I had this relationship and this moment with Michael. He will forever be my friend, I love him so much. But this is the end of a story for me. And I was so overwhelmed with emotion and I really didn’t look at him for a while in this scene and when he said the Miami line. , I looked at him and tears were running down my face and I just smiled at him because he was really big and he tried to fight until the end of his scene and they cut. just hug tight.It was a great, wonderful moment.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Dexter: New Blood airs every Sunday on Showtime.