Bits 'n' Pieces: Bethany Joy Lenz lands killer role

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On TV

The final season of “Dexter,” featuring former Battle Ground resident Bethany Joy Lenz, airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on Showtime.

For attractive, younger ladies, entering the orbit of the titular antihero on "Dexter" is a dangerous proposition. They're likely to end up dead, incarcerated or on the lam. Dexter Morgan, a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department by day and vigilante serial killer by night, has a way of bringing destruction with him wherever he goes.

The risk of winding up in Dexter's "kill room" was one former Battle Ground resident Bethany Joy Lenz (formerly Galeotti) was happy to take when she was offered a recurring role on the eighth and final season of the popular Showtime drama.

Since splitting with her ex-husband, Lenz lives in Los Angeles with her 2-year-old daughter, Maria. Though her local fans won't see her around Battle Ground anymore, they can watch her on TV beginning Sunday, when she debuts in the fourth episode. The show premiered June 30.

Lenz, 32, plays Cassie, Dexter's new neighbor and a friend of his son's nanny. The role is a stark departure from Hayley James Scott, the "One Tree Hill" character Lenz played for nine seasons.

Since Everly, her musical duo with Battle Ground's Amber Sweeney, disbanded, Lenz is focusing on her career as a solo singer-songwriter, in addition to acting. Her first full-length album, "Your Woman," is expected out soon. Fans will be able to find the independent release on http://www.bethanyjoy.com. It's a little bit classic country, a little bit indie rock and a little bit '60s soul pop.

Lenz chatted by phone with The Columbian about "Dexter," her music and balancing work with motherhood. The interview was edited for space and clarity.

Were you a fan of "Dexter" prior to being cast?

I was totally a fan of the show. I got hooked bizarrely enough my last trimester of pregnancy. I was watching it nonstop until it was becoming too stressful. I think it's a fantastic show. The writing is amazing, the acting is wonderful, and it's always such a compelling story. I was over the moon when I got this part.

What attracted you to this role, other than an appreciation for the show?

I think just being able to play something that was such a departure from Hayley. I've been playing a mom for the last seven years. I'm still pretty young, so the opportunity to play a young, hot, single girl on camera was super appealing. Cassie is a very bohemian, hippie chick. Also, getting to work with Michael C. Hall (who plays Dexter) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter's sister) seemed like it would be really exciting and fun.

Switching gears to your music career, tell me about "Your Woman."

I just got back from Nashville, working on the record with a producer and writer friend of mine, Jeff Cohen. The best way I can describe this album is Patsy Cline meets Paula Cole meets Sam Cooke.

How do you balance your career with being a single mom?

It's very hard. I have help. She's my first priority, and I have to learn how to balance everything and schedule things and be very intentional about my time with her and very intentional about the time I have when I'm not with her.

— Mary Ann Albright for The Columbian

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.