Charlotte Rampling Spills Info About Dexter Season 8, Dr. Evelyn Vogel, and Harry

via So actress Charlotte Rampling is well aware she’s playing with fire as she steps into the shoes of Dr Evelyn Vogel, a neuro psychiatrist and psychopath specialist who just might hold the key that finally unlocks Dexter’s world.

We have, after all, reached the eighth and definitely final series of Dexter. For seven exciting and just occasionally scarcely plausible seasons, Dexter has stayed one small step ahead of the killing game, only evading exposure last time out when loyal sister Debra put a bullet into LaGuerta, the police chief who had finally figured him out. So, is Vogel going to be Dexter’s nemesis? Rampling’s lips are enigmatically sealed. Warning, spoilers:

‘What I can say is that I think Evelyn is needed to reveal a lot of things about Dexter to himself, so he can be pushed into areas other people couldn’t put him because nobody knew exactly what he was doing,’ she says. ‘Evelyn Vogel has known him before – never met him but known about his existence and what he does – and that intimacy illustrates another side of Dexter through somebody who really knows all about him.’ Read more after the jump...

It turns out that Vogel and Dexter go way back, to when Dexter’s father Harry – who has been a constant ghostly presence at his son’s side since the beginning of the killing spree – first realised there was something a touch amiss with his young, adopted son.

‘I think Harry sensed in Dr Vogel that she was somebody who he could talk to, because she could see what his son was beginning to become,’ she says. ‘Because of her experience with young psychopaths, Harry found someone in Vogel he was able to open up to.’

Rampling sounds quite the Dexter expert but she happily admits she’d never watched it before being offered the part of Vogel.

‘I’d heard about it and I liked the idea of it,’ she says. ‘Then, when I saw it, I really liked Michael C Hall in this role, he’s tremendous. I took a whole Sunday off and watched a lot of episodes, just to really get into it and to see whether it was something I wanted to be part of.’

British-born Rampling, 67, has carved an impressive four-decade career across European arthouse film and mainstream TV – she was last seen in BBC1’s Restless at Christmas – that has its own moments to rival the darkness of Dexter. Controversial roles in films such as The Night Porter and Melancholia have established her as a singular, independent talent with a stare that can turn men to stone. Not bad for an actress dubbed dismissively as a sex kitten in the 1960s.

She’s the latest in an impressive line of guest stars who have entered Dexter’s lair, from John Lithgow and Jonny Lee Miller as adversaries to Jaime Murray and Julia Stiles as the most twisted of love interests. So where does Vogel fit on that spectrum?

‘Dexter is also able to connect with someone who he feels has an understanding of the make-up of his particular way of being, the psychopath way of being, without judgment,’ says Rampling. ‘She’s just facing a problem, not judging him: can we find a way around this to survive having this problem?’

The show has had its rough spots over the course of eight seasons – notably a misfiring sixth season with a miscast Colin Hanks and Mos Def – but it’s no mean achievement to keep an apparently one-trick pony show on the road for so long.

Dexter’s triumphant irony is that Hall makes us feel empathy for a character who actually has none himself, operating on a killer combination of animal cunning and sophisticated psychology. Rampling says she was keenly aware of the highly charged atmosphere on set as the series reached its climax.

‘What was fascinating for me was to see the cohesion of a group that has been together for seven years,’ she says. ‘It hasn’t broken at the seams or got tired, people haven’t got bored. Everyone was very passionate about it – I feel it’s sort of special. It’s a very strong, tribal feeling. So they’re going to feel very bereaved at the end, and I will in my way.’ As will Dexter fans the world over.

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