April Lee Hernandez: ‘Dexter’ Role is my Comeback!”

In 2007, April Lee Hernandez gave a brave, scene stealing performance in the movie, Freedom Writers that earned her critical praise and got people calling her the next big star. Then she fell off the Hollywood map. The 30-year-old Boricua actress—who just landed a high profile role on Showtime's hit series, Dexter—spoke to Latina.com about her new role and why she sees it as a comeback.  

What can you tell us about your top-secret role on Dexter?
The only thing I am allowed to say is that I am playing a cop and that she’s Latina. I know what country she’s from, but I don’t want to give that out yet because it might change. I’m in shape, but I’m getting more in shape now for the role. I’m like, hmm—white rice and beans, or tofu? Lets see…

Were you a fan of Dexter before you were cast?
I was completely oblivious to the fan base of this show. I started asking people about it and they were like, 'Oh my gosh! You’re going to be on it, that’s so amazing!' I’m excited to meet the cast, especially Lauren Velez because I am a huge, huge fan of her work. She and David Zayas are Boricuas like me, so there will be three Boricuas on the show! 

Your recurring role next season is one that many actresses wanted. How does that make you feel?
Believe me, it’s more of a surprise to me everyday that I’m here in L.A. again! I am really blessed.

You had a breakthrough performance in Freedom Writers, but then your career quieted down. Do you see this role as a career comeback for you?
I have to say, it is. I totally agree. When Freedom Writers came out, there was a lot of anticipation for myself and where I was going to go.  A lot of people thought I was going to be this huge movie star—myself included. But I laid low for a little while after that for personal reasons and things that were going on. I feel like I’m getting another chance, a second chance at just getting to do what I love. Hopefully this show will make an impact. But if it doesn’t, I’m fine. I’m totally happy to be in the place that I'm in right now. And I think people are excited to see me back on TV. I know I am!