While Dexter certainly had its ups and downs (the main down being the controversial finale which seemingly no one liked), fans are generally agreed that a highpoint was the show’s fourth season. John Lithgow starred in that season as the Trinity Killer, who had a big impact on Dexter’s life. But Lithgow almost didn’t take the role.
Lithgow has been speaking to GQ about some of his iconic roles, including in the 80s movies Footloose and Harry & the Hendersons, as well as his long-running sitcom Third Rock from the Sun and of course – Lord Farquaad in Shrek. Regarding Dexter, he revealed that in order to be persuaded into taking the part, the showrunners had to tell him the Trinity Killer’s storyline. And they ended up telling him a lot more than they wanted to.
“They said, ‘No, nobody else can hear this and you can’t tell anybody about this, but we are going to tell you about the Trinity Killer.’ And they told me the entire, detailed, unfolding story, but I kept on saying, ‘Well, wait a minute, what happened to the baby?’ You know, things like that.”
Lithgow continued; “And they would have to tell me, and I kept on saying, ‘More, more, more,’ to the point where they had given me way more information than they intended. But they were trying to persuade me to take the part. And having heard all of that, I said, ‘No, I won’t tell anybody any of this, but no, I’m not doing that.’ And then my agent and my lawyer got on my case and said, ‘John, you gotta do this.’ So I said yes, and had a great time doing it.”
Dexter managed to repair some of the damage that the finale did when it returned for Dexter: New Blood in 2021-2022. Maybe Michael C. Hall will return to the role in another ten years – who knows? There is currently a campaign going for Hannibal to return for a fourth season – people just can’t get enough of serial killers.
Check out our guide to the best detective movies.