Jennifer Carpenter: It’s written that she’s a very good cop, so I was afraid that she might lose some credibility with the audience if she didn’t hurry up and find out. While I was curious to see what [the show’s writers] would do, I was also really scared to play it … but I think they’ve done a really nice job of keeping it honest, so that everything about Debra remains true. You can honor that but still redesign the dynamics of her relationship with Dexter.
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Zap2it: That’s still a major change for Debra. How is it to play that?
Jennifer Carpenter: I feel like it’s the first time I’ve come to work and not had some sort of compass to where things are going. I’m trying to let that be OK, because that’s exactly where I think she has to be.
A lot of anger seems to be directed toward Dexter, because he had all these opportunities to make her life more manageable, and he denied her that. I think that makes it really exciting, too, because you don’t know if it’s safe because of her newfound personal and professional power.
Zap2it: How do you view Debra’s handling of her new responsibilities within the Miami Police Department?
Jennifer Carpenter: It’s like anything new. Once you get used to riding the bike, you sometimes let one hand fall; then, before you know it, both hands are at your side, and you’re still upright. Her world didn’t cave in.