Julia Jones had never seen “Dexter,” but when her agent sent her a New York Times article announcing the show’s reboot, her subconscious tapped in to tell her she should pay attention.
“It’s funny. I will sometimes have a kind of a visceral reaction to things that happen,” Jones explains. “This has happened before with other projects, where there was a very popular source material, or something that had an audience already, and when I have heard about that, I have a reaction, like a visceral response, that’s either hot, cold. It’s sort of excitement or, like, ‘eh.’”
“Dexter” initiated a warm response right out of the gate. When she started asking around and hearing just how much the show meant to people, she knew her reaction was justified.
“I had one friend in particular who is a urologist, and she had said that watching ‘Dexter’ got her through residency,” Jones says. “I’d never really heard her talk passionately about any television show before. And I sort of took that as not a conscious sign, but that definitely impacted my feelings about it going forward.”
The rebooted show, called “Dexter: New Blood,” concluded its first season this past weekend and picked up 10 years after the original finale aired (which was in 2013) and centered around Dexter’s son finding him. Jones is one of the new cast members, playing police chief Angela Bishop, Dexter’s current girlfriend.
Jones, a Boston native who prior to the show was best known for playing Leah Clearwater in “The Twilight Saga” and the character Kohana in “Westworld,” says that while she didn’t feel external pressure exactly from the Dexter diehards, she was acutely aware that she had something to deliver for the fans.
“It did draw me to it more,” she admits. “Because I think that in this equation of things that I look for in projects, one of them is an audience. And it isn’t often that you come across something or you have the opportunity to be a part of something that has a guaranteed audience. I think that it does add a sense of importance. It feels like sometimes when you’re filming, like you have an audience on set with you, like there’s another entity there, because you’re very aware of your audience, of who you’re making this for. And that can be complicated and tricky sometimes, but it’s also…I appreciate it. I appreciate that element.”
When not at work in rural Massachusetts for “New Blood,” she’s been busy shooting the second season of the comedy series “Rutherford Falls,” a big pivot from the crime drama world of “Dexter.”
“I can’t believe it’s a job. It doesn’t feel like work. I go to work with my friends every day, and we laugh all the time,” she says. “And it’s a comedy, so I feel challenged in a new way that I appreciate. It’s very humbling. I haven’t done as many comedies as dramas and on those sets, I feel like a little kid looking up at everybody, like, ‘How do I be funny?’ You know? And I get really excited when I feel like I’ve done something funny.”