Interview with Devon Graye

myFanbase got the opportunity to do an interview with Devon Graye, who plays the young version of the lead character on Showtime's "Dexter". Devon told us about his experiences on the show, his latest work, why he lived in the UK and when and why he decided to work as an actor.


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1. You went to high school in the UK. How did that experience influence you? What was the reason you went there as a teenager?

Well, my mother is English and so obviously the UK is a big part of my heritage. We moved there because she wanted her children to have an understanding of her culture. And now, in many ways, I feel like I am more from there than the states - especially since the high school years can be the most shaping. It's hard to pin point exactly how the experience influenced me, but it comes out in little ways. I am now a major tea junky and I will probably never stop calling the bathroom "the loo."

2. When and why did you decide to become an actor?

I remember going to a church play that my dad was in and thinking, "I want to do that". Not necessarily be on stage in the spotlight, but be part of telling a story. Portraying a character. At the age of six I was telling my parents that I wanted to be an actor and if they didn't move us to Hollywood by the time I was thirteen, I'd run away and move there myself. Neither ended up happening. (Laugh) Shortly after moving back to the states at the age of seventeen, I began studying acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. It honestly started as a way to pass the time and make friends, but it turned into the revisiting of a dream. I fell in love with the craft and haven't looked back.

3. What can you tell us about your experiences as a guest star in "Bones" and "CSI: Miami"? Was it different to work on shows that are produced by a major television network compared to a cable network like Showtime?

Um, it wasn't too different. Obviously on "Dexter" I was there longer and got to know the cast and crew better, but the actual experience on a major network set compared to a cable set is fairly similar. The nice thing about a major network show is that more people, like friends and family, actually get to see it than a cable channel show. Of course a show like "Dexter" has less content restrictions and can delve deeper into issues; that is always wonderful for an actor.

4. You played teenage Dexter during the first two seasons of the show. What can you tell us about the filming? Did you just come to the set once in a while to shoot your scenes?

Well, "Dexter" was really one of the first professional acting jobs I ever did. I was so, so new to it all. I was honestly petrified my first day on set. As much as I loved it, my nerves were really acting up. It was scarier than any audition because I realized, "Wait, they chose me. They've entrusted me with this role. Can I do it?" I've learned now that it's that nagging fear that you really have to eliminate. If you don't trust yourself, no one will. "Dexter" was a learning experience, to say the least. I would show up on set for about one to two days an episode, go home for several days and wait for the call to see if they'd put me in the next episode. I was never contracted to a certain number of episodes so I never knew which one would be my last.

5. How did you get along with your "Dad" James Remar?

I love James. I have so much respect for that man and who he is as a person. He completely took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. I call "Dexter" a learning experience, and James was really like the Head Master. Despite how I would feel about a certain take or way I said a line, he would always be sure to compliment me and boost my confidence. I can be very, very hard on myself as an actor. James taught me to loosen up. I hope to work with him again one day.

6. Are there funny experiences you made on set that you can tell us about?

Funny experiences on set? Hmmm. I feel like I get asked this a lot and never have anything too clever to say. Oh, this is probably not funny - at all. In fact, to this day I feel guilty about it, but it's about Jennifer Carpenter. During first season I was getting my hair done in the trailer and Jennifer came in and started fluffing it around, pretending she was a hairdresser or something. When she went to wash her hands afterward, someone had left the water pump on spray and instead of the water coming out the faucet it sprayed out the hose onto her face. Completely soaked her hair, clothes and make-up right before she had to be back on set. Again, not one bit funny. I still feel very responsible. I'm so sorry Jennifer!

7. Why didn't we see teenage Dexter anymore after season 2? Is there any chance that you come back?

I have no idea what happened to poor teen Dex. I worked a lot last year on other shows and independent films, but I don't think that had anything to do with it. I think the writers began phasing out the flashback aspect of the show a bit in season 2, and by season 3 there wasn't much left of it. That, or they just got tired of seeing my sorry face and put an axe in the character. No, no, I'm kidding. I hope.... We'll see, I'd love to go back to the show.

8. Do you have any new projects you can tell us about?

Several, actually. The past few years have been an enormous blessing with the amount of work I've been given. I am very dedicated and committed to what I do, and that of course helps, but so much of this business is "that right role at the right time". I feel very fortunate with the way things have been going. I did several TV guest appearances last year and currently have three indie films in post-production. The most recent project I finished is a feature called "Exodus Fall." It is a story I immediately fell in love with about three teenage kids in the 70's running away from their abusive mother. The film chronicles their road trip and time on-the-run. I play the oldest sibling, Dana, who has autism and is one of the most beautiful people I've ever had the privilege of "meeting". He has a heart and soul that I envy. I am anxious to see how the film turns out.

9. Since myFanbase is an online magazine about TV series, do you have a favorite one?

Oh, I LOVE this question! I am a huge fan of so many shows, but I must say that my current favorite is "Damages" on FX. Some of the best writing and acting currently on television. Glenn Close, as always, is amazing, but I have been quite a fan of Rose Byrne for a while now and must admit she is the main reason I tune in. She has this likeability factor and subtle strength that I just find fascinating. I would love to be on a show like that. One day...

Annika Leichner & Maria Gruber - myFanbase