Interview With David Zayas From Dexter

David Zayas Dexter


What about the character of Angel really drew you to him?

The one thing about it that I immediately got was that he wasn’t a tough guy. He’s just a normal guy that works as a cop in Miami.  He’s got a family.  There’s nothing extraordinary about him.  Just a guy trying to do the right thing.  I had come from playing bad guys and being on Oz for three years killing people.  Just a normal guy wanting to do his job.

How like this character are you?

There’s a lot of me in him.  He’s an easygoing guy, I’m an easygoing guy.  There’s a lot of me in all my characters, regardless of what I play. I try to find something that I can relate to and I usually find that.

How did you prepare for this character?

Well, I’m a retired cop.  I was a cop in NY for 15 years.  That technicality of it, that pretty much came natural to me. I was able to concentrate on the character.  It pretty much came naturally to me.

What can we expect in season 3?

What can we expect in season 3?  You know I can’t tell you that [laughs]! All I can say is that there is going to be some unusual twists. My character is going to go through some traumatic stuff, and it’s going to be an exciting year.

Is the feeling onset different without Erik [King, Sgt. Doakes] around?

I miss him.

He’s such a nice guy, I can only imagine it takes something away.

We were all pretty tight, pretty close.  I’m sure Erik is going to do well.  People are going to be crazy if they don’t hire him for their projects.  He’s such a good actor.  He’s such a professional. I’m sure that he’s not going to have any problems getting other projects.  It was hard to lose him, but I’m sure Erik is going to flourish from the show.

What have been some of your favorite storylines?

I think the Liza situation was pretty interesting. Her getting involved with Dexter and then somehow Angel Batista getting involved with her, it was kind of like [laughs] a danger sign.  Angel Batista didn’t know it; everyone else saw it but him, so that was an interesting situation.  Just the whole storyline of Dexter almost getting caught, of thinking he was caught.  And then bringing it all back to thinking it was Sgt Doakes.  That was an interesting storyline and that was very well written and very well shot.  I would say those two things are interesting from the past season.

You said that you were a cop for 15 years – how did acting happen for you?

I’ve always wanted to be an actor, but life usually takes precedence over your dreams. I got married young and had two children so I worked as a cop.  Half way into it I decided I was going to try to at least go to school and see what I could do with this passion I have for acting.  I started going to acting class and then doing a lot of plays in New York and one thing led to another.  I pretty much do a lot of plays with this theatre company I’m involved with called Labyrinth with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz.  I did a lot of plays with them.  One thing led to another and I started getting work.  A combination of hard work and a lot of luck.

You’ve done a lot of plays; what’s the biggest difference between theatre and a series on TV?

I think in theatre, it’s different. They’re both very different, they’re both very exciting. In theatre you have the excitement of going out there in front of a live audience and them being part of that energy that you have.  In television, the energy is in the camera. The camera is a part of that audience.  It’s a different way of working, but they’re both very interesting.  You have the luxury of watching what you did on television. In theatre you don’t. you do it in front of a live audience, and the excitement of not knowing what’s going to happen is always there.  There are plusses and minuses.  There are a lot of plusses in both of them, I should say all three of them, in film, television, and theatre.  I try to find a balance with all three because I love all three mediums.  

Who are some people that you haven’t gotten to work with yet that you would love to work with?

Oh there’s a lot of people.  Some of my favorites, like Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter.  All these great actors out there today that I would love to work with and learn from.  A lot of people.  I find that sometimes I work with somebody who nobody really knows and they’re not famous and they seem to be one of the finest actors I’ve worked with.  Many guest stars sometimes come on the show and I’m like, wow, these people can really give it, and wouldn’t be surprised if 5 years from now they’ll be in their own series or have a great film career.  I really enjoy working with actors; I love the energy that they bring.  I love that art that they bring.  It’s something in common that all actors have in trying to do good work.  That camaraderie is very exciting to me.

What do you like to watch on TV in your downtime?

I love Californication, all these new shows on Showtime, like Californication, Weeds are some of my favorites.  I love Damages.  Damages is a great show.  One of my favorites is Friday Night Lights.  And then I just recently got Mad Men and watched that and that was tremendous.  A lot of shows, I love The Tudors.  I also love The L Word.  That’s kind of a guilty passion of mine.  I watch shows and then I watch a lot of sports.  Sometimes I like to get them on DVD and I spend 5, 6, 7 hours watching them.

What else do you have coming up that we should be on the lookout for?

Just shooting Dexter right now.  I did an independent film with Billy Ray Cyrus about a band which was a lot of fun to shoot, it’s called Flying By, I don’t know when that’s coming out.  That was a fun movie to do.


The Season 3 Premiere Of Dexter Starts Sunday, September 28th At 9:00PM EST On Showtime