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Showtime and its serial killers get some Golden Globe love

December 15, 2009 | 12:22 pm
 

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It was a good morning for people who play serial killers.

Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow both received Golden Globe nominations today for their turns as murderers on Showtime's "Dexter." Two days after the series, which also was nominated for best drama, stunned viewers with a jaw-dropping finale, Lithgow said his nomination felt like he was "taking a curtain call after the last scene of a long play."

Lithgow played the Trinity Killer, a serial killer who had been murdering people all over the country for decades and met his match in Miami police blood-spatter expert Dexter Morgan, who moonlights as a killer of other serial killers. In the finale, Dexter caught Trinity and killed him only to go home and find out that Trinity had killed Dexter's wife, Rita (Julie Benz).

Lithgow, who knew most of Trinity's and the show's secrets since he signed on for the part, said "it's an enormous load off my mind" that viewers and his cast mates now know what he knew all along.

"Everyone was dying to know," Lithgow said. "It was such an atmosphere of suspense and excitement. I’m sure they calculated it that way. They wanted everybody, even the people involved in the storytelling, to feel that way."

The only part of the ending that producers didn't pitch to Lithgow was that Trinity would kill Rita before he was caught.

"That was a late decision," Lithgow said. "They didn't make that call 'til quite late. Not only was that a surprise but the way they shot it was an amazing surprise. That was very sad but what a fantastic ending to the season."

Lithgow said that Benz, who said in a "TV Guide" interview that she didn't know her character would die until the episode was ready to be shot, "was extremely good about it. Everybody felt terrible for Julie. It's a great show to be on. I was just a guest. She was there four years and she's loved being there."

The producers even wrote a fake ending to make sure word wouldn't get out, Lithgow said. Rita bled to death in her bathtub after Trinity cut her throat.

"They had everybody fooled except the inner circle," he said. "It was also an astonishing ending for my character. My character had yet one diabolical surprise even after he was dead. He left his calling card on Dexter forever. One more trauma."

Lithgow said acting with Michael C. Hall was the biggest treat of all.

"If there’s any justice he will win and get some credit because that one person is why the series is such a success," Lithgow said. "He just plays everything exactly right."

Hall was not available for an interview but issued a statement: "Thanks to the [Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.]  for this collective and individual recognition. I'm very gratified that John received an individual nomination as well. His performance as Trinity is an instant classic."

-- Maria Elena Fernandez (Follow me on Twitter @writerchica)

Photo: Hall and Lithgow on "Dexter"/Credit: Showtime

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