The Showtime series Dexter was always a difficult show to do interviews for because secrecy was key and the cast and creative team did their best to keep things under wraps. Now that the series is done, The Complete Series Collection is available in an ultra cool Blu-ray set that includes all eight seasons, an exclusive art book and a bonus disc with three hours of special features (made up of behind-the-scenes cast interviews, featurettes and promos, the all-new The Evolution of Dexter Morgan documentary and the all-new The Code documentary), in a collectible slide box inspired by the one Dexter himself uses on the show to catalog his kills.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Yvonne Strahovski opened up about her time on the show and what it was like to play Hannah McKay on the final two seasons. She talked about how much she was told about her character’s journey ahead of time, her reaction to her character’s fate, what she thinks might have happened to Hannah next, what stands out most about the time she spent on the show, what her last scene with Michael C. Hall was like, how the support of the Chuck fans compared to the support of the Dexter fans, and where she’d like her career to go next. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
YVONNE STRAHOVSKI: We knew certain things, but the ending was very much kept under lock and key.
When you were first cast on the show, what exactly were you told about Hannah? Did they give you hints about anything, going forward? Did you know you’d make it past that first season?
STRAHOVSKI: No. I had a phone conversation with Scott Buck, who explained to me what Hannah’s arc was going to be in Season 7. I loved what he was describing for the character and the journey, and how involved it was gonna be with Dexter. So, I just at the opportunity to play this role. I was surprised when I got to the end of Season 7, and I read that scene where she leaves the black orchid at his doorstep, I thought, “Wow, this is a pretty open ending. This might mean that they want me back.” And sure enough, Season 8 happened and I thought, “Well, I probably will end up dying in this season, seeing as I didn’t die in Season 7, and traditionally, most of the guest stars on that show usually die.” I was definitely surprised to have survived, and to have played such a pivotal role in the actual ending, where it all ended up, to the very last second. It was quite a journey and quite an experience.
What was your reaction to where she ultimately ended up?
STRAHOVSKI: I didn’t see that that would be Hannah’s fate. I knew they weren’t going to end up happily ever after in Argentina because Dexter was not that type of show. But, it was sad. It was a sad ending. Watching it was very upsetting, as an audience member. You watch it and it’s uncomfortable because it is so sad. There is no happy ending in any of it. I walked away feeling very depressed, and it really stayed with me. That feeling lingered for awhile after I watched it.
Are you surprised at how critical some fans were of the final season, and especially the finale, or did you come to expect that, knowing how passionate the fans of this show were and how it’s impossible to please everybody?
STRAHOVSKI: To be honest, I haven’t read too much about all the debates. I just heard that it was a bit of a debate. Amongst my friends who watched it, some were satisfied and some were dissatisfied. I do think that, for any show, it’s an impossible task to please everybody with the ending. I’d certainly had experience, coming off of another show where it was tied up to some people’s satisfaction and to some people’s dissatisfaction. It’s always going to cause some type of debate. And Dexter is a particularly difficult show because he’s a killer and he’s spent all these seasons getting away with it. There were some really obvious endings that they could have done, that they chose not to go with, and maybe some people expected that. I’m not sure. There are a thousand endings that could have happened, and everyone has a favorite ending for what they wanted to happen.
Have you thought about what might have happened to Hannah next? Do you think she’d be a good mother to Harrison?
STRAHOVSKI: I have thought about it. As wacky as it sounds, because most people think Hannah is just a crazy person, I do think she is capable of being a good mother. She obviously has a terrible past and she’s done terrible things, but when I talk about it from the point of view of being the girl who played her, I was always justifying why she was doing the things she was doing. In my mind, she was set up, at a very young age. She did some bad things, not entirely because it was her fault. I think she just got caught up in this romantic getaway with this guy, so she was set up for life, to be constantly running away from her dark past. I think that’s what she’s been trying to do, the entire time. Anyone who got in the way of her trying to move on and have a happy life, she would eliminate because that was the only way she knew how and because the stakes were so high. If she didn’t eliminate them, she would end up being eliminated, and she’s a survivor. She wanted to keep surviving because she was desperately looking for that happy life. Because of that need and that want, she can move forward and be a good mom to Harrison, provided that nobody comes along, again, to try to stop her or try to put her in prison. That’s my take on it.
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