I will leave it to the regular TV recap to unsnarl this week’s twists in Dexter. But I just want to give a shout-out to Peter Weller and his portrayal of the sleazy cop Stan Liddy — Weller’s embodiment of the lizard-eyed creep who’s scoping out Dexter at the behest of Quinn was wonderful this week, I thought. With his menacing drawl and unpredictable, free-floating hostility, Weller’s Liddy is a fine addition to a season that’s been a tad slow to shift into high gear.
I interviewed Weller recently, and the man who immortalized Robocop as well as co-starring in many fine, underrated movies ranging from Shoot The Moon (1982) to Screamers (1995) was enthusiastic about his role and the show: “[Producer] Manny Coto is a dear friend, and he told me they were writing a role for me. So I kind of put the drapery around the character; made him a sort of cocaine cowboy. It was as good a time as I’ve had shooting TV.”
And working with Michael C. Hall. “He’s a fabulous guy, very inventive. In part because he’s from the theater, he takes nothing for granted — he’s always inventing, every take. And he’s an inspiration because of what he’s survived.”
I asked Weller whether he compared notes with John Lithgow on doing Dexter. Get the connection? Of course you do: Weller and Lithgow were hero and foe in the terrific 1984 cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. “No, I’m in touch with John, he’s a lovely man, but I knew it would be best to come to the show fresh.”
Of Liddy, Weller says, “He’s not the lead villain Dexter is going after — he’s something new for the show: Liddy is the thorn in Dexter’s side. Dexter is usually the hunter, but Liddy is going after him. When the producers showed me the role, I said, ‘Let’s swing it, man!'”
Look for more of my interview with Weller, with talk of everything from Robocop to a reality-show idea he has, in the next issue of Entertainment Weekly, and on this blog later in the week.