LOS ANGELES, Calif. --"I'm totally stoked!"
That was Jimmy Smit's three word, concise, parking lot pronouncement about joining the cast of Dexter next season. Smits was on the Sunset Gower Studios lot for a table read today with Dexter star Michael C. Hall and fellow cast members Julie Benz (who plays Dexter's long suffering girlfriend, Rita), David Zayas (relentless cop Angel Batista) and C.S. Lee (self described "comic relief" forensic dude Masuka). The third season of the critically acclaimed Showtime drama will debut September 28.
How did the episode three table read go? "We got all the way to the end," deadpanned Hall in the parking lot afterwards.
Most of the cast, including Hall, took part earlier in the day in a studio Q&A session hosted by CBS Paramount on the Sunset Gower lot. (I was on the scene as a guest of the Canadian networks, The Movie Network and Movie Central.) That's the same mid-town Hollywood dream factory where Heroes is based (and which dates back to the glory days of Columbia and even The Three Stooges).
Nerdy little footnote: Stage 16, where Dexter is shot, was where Carl Reiner's overlooked classic "The Comic," starring Dick Van Dyke, was produced way back in the late '60s. Search high and low, find it, love it.
Smits, dressed in a large white shirt and white Yankee cap, was there for the read and not to do press. That will come later, reporters were assured. But he was his usual friendly self when I caught him on his way back to his car, remembering his stint shooting West Wing scenes north and west of Toronto a few years back.
It was left to executive producer Clyde Phillips to give the international reporters gathered at the studio some details about Smits' character on the show. He's going to play Miguel Prado, an up and coming, well-connected assistant DA who is going to connect on a personal level with secret serial killer Dexter. The two bond so close that Dexter drops his guard and "tells him things he's never told anyone," says Phillips.
The producer described Smits as "an amazing get for us." The former NYPD Blue and L.A. Law star was last seen headlining CBS' short-lived Florida power family opus, Cane.