Jennifer Carpenter Tears Up Talking About Michael C. Hall Divorce at Dexter Event

Celebrity News Sep. 13, 2013 AT 5:45PM
Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall on September 12, 2013 Jennifer Carpenter got emotional and teared up while talking about working with ex-husband Michael C. Hall on Dexter after their divorce Credit: Jerod Harris/WireImage.com

It's her panel, and she can cry if she wants to. Jennifer Carpenter got a little emotional at the PaleyFest Dexter Fall Farewell event sponsored by Samsung Smart TV on Thursday, Sept. 12 -- and not just because the Showtime drama is nearing its much-anticipated conclusion after eight seasons and seven years on the air. The actress, 33, teared up onstage when asked about what it was like to work with ex-husband and series star Michael C. Hall following their December 2011 divorce.

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"Our marriage didn't look like anyone else's, and our divorce didn't either, so...I said it before, just because the marriage ended doesn't mean the love did," Carpenter replied, her voice breaking. "I'm crying. It's an awkward thing to talk about your personal life in front of a bunch of strangers, but there's nothing but love and respect [between us]. Nothing."

Hall, for his part, said it was "gratifying" to be able to continue his professional relationship with his ex. "I would say the fact that Jennifer and I worked through whatever was going on with us personally the way we did and maintained telling the story was never in question," he explained. "It was always what we needed or wanted to do."

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That said, the potential for awkward situations is high. At one point during the panel, the moderator prompted the cast to play "Kiss, Marry, Kill" -- an idea that Carpenter did not take well to. "I don't want to play," she demurred, laughing. "No, seriously." Then, when the host asked Hall if he'd kiss, marry, or kill Carpenter's character Deb, she interrupted with, "You understand why this is loaded, don't you?"

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Their relationship aside, both stars said they felt good about where the show had ended up. "Ninety-six episodes in, I felt like we were all called upon to invest ourselves to bring it home," Hall said of shooting the final episode. "There were so many lasts...It was a bittersweet perpetual going-away party. It was the feeling when you read a great book, and you read the last page, and there's something hovering in the air. It was that times 100. It was beyond anything we could probably articulate then -- or now, apparently."

Added his ex: "Am I satisfied with how it ended? Absolutely. We built a beautiful, confusing, conflicting structure...The only reason I'm okay walking away is that the finale felt right."

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