Stiles is in the running for an Emmy for her role, making her the third guest star in four seasons to get a nomination for Dexter, and she’s been talking to reporters about her thoughts on playing a victim-turned-killer. (Season 5 spoilers ahead, in case you’re not caught up.)
Lesley Goldberg, whose new role as staff writer at The Hollywood Reporter means we don’t get to see her much around AfterEllen.com these days, asked Stiles what she knew about Lumen when she took the part. She said she got broad strokes about the story arc, but little else.
She told THR that turning from victim into killer sealed the deal.
I was really excited by the idea that she would be involved in Dexter’s secret life, as opposed to on the outside of it like a lot of the other characters.
In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Stiles said that she thought being a part of a kill also would seal Lumen’s fate.
Honestly, I thought Lumen would wind up dead because every guest gets murdered in the end. But it wasn’t about just getting to kill someone. That’s a trite way of saying it. It was about being inside Dexter’s secret world as opposed to outside of it.
Actually being in the “kill room” gave her a sense of being part of the overall Dexter story.
It’s pretty exhilarating, partially because of the history of the show. There’s a kind of sacredness to the way that [killing room scenes are] filmed. Everyone’s very much on alert because of the safety issues, but, yeah, that tradition … I felt privileged to be a part of it. And then performing it, you get to play out things in your imagination that you’re not allowed to do. That was special to me.
The setting also, however, was more challenging to Stiles than she expected. She told Goldberg:
I never think of myself as an actor who takes work home with them, but I was surprised, especially toward the end of the season — around episode 10 — when some of the details of what Lumen had experienced became really harrowing, and I started to realize that it was affecting me outside of work. One scene in particular, in episode 10, when the detectives have found DVDs showing what has happened to the victims — it was really dark. It made it more difficult for me to sleep.
And Stiles was as disappointed as fans when Lumen walked away. She told The Tribune:
I was very surprised [at the breakup]. I thought everything we had been building toward over the course of the season — the trust and connection between Lumen and Dexter — was just thrown away. I had a hard time understanding that. Their vigilante justice was so romantic in a perverse way.
Of course, the fact that Lumen survived her turn on Dexter leaves us hope that Stiles might someday return to the show — and she sounds open to the possibility when asked if we’ll see her in the future.
I have no idea, only because I don’t know if it makes sense for the show. It’s out of my hands. So we’ll see.
I vote yes.
Dexter Season 5 was released on DVD last week and Season 6 starts October 2 on Showtime. Find out if Julia Stiles wins an Emmy on September 18 when Jane Lynch hosts the awards show.
Do you think Julia Stiles will take home an Emmy for Dexter? Any hopes for Lumen to return to Dexter’s life?