Ray Stevenson Talks Dexter, Isaak and More: "I Was Very Happy Not to End Up on Dexter's Table"

Dexter alum Ray Stevenson gave a new interview exclusively on collider.com. He talked about Dexter, how he got involved will the show, Thor, his new film 'Divergent' and more:

Collider:  How did you come to be a part of Dexter?
Ray: Scott Buck, who’s the showrunner, had worked with Bruno Heller on the series Rome, that I did, and the call came out of the blue.  I knew that it was a very privileged thing to get offered this nine episode lead baddie, as such.  When he started telling me about it, and said he was this Ukrainian mob boss whose business associate friend gets killed and that he’s worst than any other hit man, I was like, “Yeah, okay.”  But then, when he told me the reveal, I went, “Oh, god, Scott, I’m in!”

When you’ve got gangsters who are homosexual, it always has to be something deviant to them.  This guy was a stone cold killer, but there always has to be some perverse deviance about a gay gangster guy.  This guy didn’t have that.  His heart was ripped out.  His heart had been broken and that’s why he went after Dexter.  So I said, “Okay, Scott, now you’ve got my attention.  Yes, I want to do it!”

I was delighted at the chance.  It was courageous of them to go for it, and I was very happy not to end up on Dexter’s table. At one point, I said, “What if I got Dexter on his table and put the knife across his lips, and then go, ‘You’re too pretty to kill’?”  And then, you could just see me leave on my G4 and not know where he’s going.  But, it was a beautiful ending.  Working with Michael [C. Hall] was just brilliant.  He’s the real deal.  Everybody is.  It’s an amazing crew and cast. Read more after the jump.

Was the unexpectedness of the character what ultimately appealed to you most?
STEVENSON:  It was really lovely, the way they went for it and allowed Dexter’s character to find somebody, in the weirdest place, that he could actually talk to about the detachment of being a cold serial murderer, but who is really scared about being emotionless in other aspects of his life.  They took some bold choices, which is a testament to the series itself.

Had you been aware of how important the villains are to each season of Dexter? 
STEVENSON:  I don’t get a chance to follow TV.  I try to catch whatever series is out there, every now and then.  So, they opened me up to this, and then I realized how important it was to have this nine episodic piece.  The character played such a pivotal role in that season.  He wasn’t just in for one episode, or two or three episodes, as a villain-of-the-week sort of thing.  That’s when it dawned on me.  It was a tremendous opportunity.  I just loved it, and I loved working on it.

What’s it like to work on a show that’s so secretive that they really do tell you as little as possible?
STEVENSON:  Literally, from one episode to the next, I had no idea what was coming up.  We wouldn’t until they would deliver the scripts for the table read.  I had no idea.  I think they allow themselves that leeway to start seeing the character and seeing their place on screen.  It’s great confidence that they have in their process and the people involved.  They allow that to grow and develop with a writing team, as it’s running, and don’t have that all completely locked in.  There are unexpected relationships that happen on screen and, rather than just being left alone, they can allow it to grow itself.  They probably have some overall arc.  I haven’t asked them, but initially I probably would have ended up on Dexter’s table.  I have no idea.  I can’t second guess them.  It was just wonderful.  It was a great job.  It’s Season 7, so I did have a little feeling going into it of, “Are they all going to be a bit overtired and jaded?”  But, the opposite was true.  This cast and crew, and the production team, have engendered a feeling of a collective ownership.

Everybody on that show makes Dexter happen, with such pride and responsibility.  They’re such a real family.  Scott has been there for eight years, and they were still thrilled to see where it was going.  That was what broad-sided me.  I thought, “Wow, this could have been Season 1.”  To be a part of something that’s so established and so well loved, worldwide, and getting to work with this caliber of people, it’s one of those rare things that come along.  It’s only in hindsight that you go, “Did that really just happen?  That was so good.”  You really get the feeling that everyone involved loves what they do and has a voice.  Everyone can have a say and chip in, and they’re genuinely very happy at work.  That’s rare.

Because the cat-and-mouse game with Dexter was so personal, do you think that’s what made your character such an unpredictable and formidable opponent for him?
STEVENSON:  I think so.  Dexter wasn’t just taking out the bad guys.  He actually hurt somebody.  He took somebody’s love.  It could have been a wife, or anything.  Victor was probably as much of a partner as any married couple.  There was a real genuine, deep love that they had to shield from their world, as much as anything else.  And then, Dexter had to deal with this stone cold killer who he knew was a formidable enemy that was more than capable of taking him out, but he had ripped this guy’s heart out.  He’s not there out of vengeance.  He’s there because his heart had been broken and he zeroed in on this.  That gives a definite impetus.  This was personal.  And Isaak wouldn’t stop.  There was no way that he was going to stop until this is resolved, in some way.  Their partnering up was the strangest thing, but it gave access to Dexter to understand that he hurt this man.  He’s as much of a stone cold killer as Isaak.

Read the rest of the interview here.

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