Chicago native Aimee Garcia, currently starring in the eighth and final season of “Dexter,” has come a long way. “I started acting in McDonald’s commercials with Michael Jordan and Sammy Sosa when I was a kid,” she says. Now, at 34, Garcia is thrilled to have a role she can truly sink her teeth into: that of Jamie Batista, nanny to Dexter Morgan’s son Harrison. According to Garcia, this season may be the most intense yet for Jamie, who’s forging a deeper relationship with the surreptitious serial killer.
“This season, we get to see Jamie outside of her nanny duties,” says Garcia. “Until now, she’s been untouched by Dexter’s dark side, but that’s about to change. And something happens to her that changes her forever.” And Jamie isn’t the only character who’s evolving. “Dexter has been very comfortable being a monster. But now, he’s becoming more human,” shares Garcia. Even so, she’s keeping her fingers crossed in hopes that her character survives the series finale. “I’d like to see her avoid getting killed — which is nearly impossible when your boss is a serial killer.”
Role call: “ [To become Jamie] I hit the gym. She’s a Miami girl, and a young grad student, so I knew she was going to be scantily clothed. I also read up on child psychology, because I knew that’s what Jamie was studying. Jamie is the most innocent and ‘normal’ character on the show this season. She doesn’t have any baggage. That’s why Dexter trusts her.”
Dexter’s future: “Harrison is getting older and asking questions, which makes Dexter more accountable. Plus, Dexter’s falling in love for the first time. But when he tries to be a psychopath and human at the same time, things get messy.”
On set: “It’s the longest show I’ve ever been a part of, so it’s become family. Everyone has fun, but is also very professional. Michael [C. Hall] is the best. He sets such a great tone where everyone can do his or her best work. I’m really going to miss everyone.”
Chicago connection: “I started taking acting class at Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston. In high school, I did a bunch of Chicago theater, and when I went to Northwestern, I did plays and musicals. But it wasn’t until I got a job out of college as a mutual fund analyst that I realized I wanted to make acting my career.
My mom and I have a theory that Chicago’s brutal winters work as population control. They keep people away. Otherwise, too many people would live there because it’s such a great city!”
“Dexter,” Sundays at 8 p.m. on Showtime