Valorie Curry On Cultivating An Intense Following
By JARETT WIESELMAN
February 12, 2013
Like many of you, I excitedly watched The Following to see Kevin Bacon in his first-ever TV role. And while it's been great seeing him battle James Purefoy's charismatic killer, Joe Carroll, I quickly became infinitely more invested in Joe's three followers: Emma, Jacob and Paul. Well, last night took the tension to a new level as Emma cemented her control over that triumvirate in the most memorable shower scene since (ironically) Kevin Bacon in Wild Things.
And if thought that was shocking, just wait until next week's episode reveals the fallout from Emma's emotional expression!
To find out what fans can expect from future eps of The Following, I caught up with the absolutely amazing Valorie Curry (one of 2013's biggest breakout stars) to talk all about this thrilling threesome and find out why opening her heart is the most dangerous thing Emma could ever do.
ETonline: What kinds of reactions have you been getting from fans?
Valorie Curry: Most people have been like, "You're a monster, you give me nightmares, don't talk to me." [laughs]
ETonline: That just means you're doing your job right! And I have to say, last night's episode was amazing. What was your reaction to reading that shower scene for the first time?
Curry: I found it to be so different in the moment than I anticipated when I read it in the script. When I read it, my first thought was it was sexual. I mean, obviously we can't do that -- even the director said, "We can't imply a threesome before 10 o'clock, so here's what we're going to do."
ETonline: And in the moment?
Curry: In the moment, it was so much more emotional than sexual. It was such an important moment for Emma -- I mean, the whole episode is. When Paul walks in and Emma admits that they both love him, it's the first moment of earnestness and honesty and vulnerability. With him, she's already tried being strong, she's tried being manipulative, she's tried being violent and none of that worked, so she has to be vulnerable and open herself up to him in order to calm him down. I love that moment because it was the first moment you see hints of the girl we showed you in episode two. And that opens a whole lot into the following episodes.
ETonline: I also sensed a motherly vibe in the way she welcomed Jacob to the shower. Am I just reading into things?
Curry: No, that's exactly what she wants to be. I don't think she would have thought of that with these men until that moment though. I mean, she definitely fancies herself that way with Joey and would love to step in and just be his mother, but her love is so genuine for Jacob and in that moment he needs her support and love. Never in a million years did she think she would be a mother to those boys, but that's the position she finds herself in. It's sort of like Wendy and The Lost Boys. Not only does that work, but it keeps her from being alone.
ETonline: But it's pretty risky to open herself up like that to people she might have to kill. I mean, if Joe told her to eliminate Jacob, would she be able to?
Curry: That is the ever-present fear inside of her. As an actor, that's a thought I clung to the entire time because she's not supposed to open up and love them; that's why my heart breaks for her. People talk about Emma as a monster, but this man found her at an incredibly formative time in her life -- she was this abused, broken person. And then Joe comes in and becomes father, God and lover to her. Emma loses herself to him. But she's just a pawn in his game. Joe positions Emma to suit his fancy. I mean, she turns 18, shows up at the prison and Joe says, "You're going to be with this boy." She loves Jacob because Joe gives him to her, but if she lets herself truly love Jacob, it's a risk knowing she'll do whatever Joe asks of her in the future.
ETonline: We've met several members of the cult Emma is in charge of, will we see other groups that she had a hand in forming?
Curry: You will see more of the universe of the cult, and you'll see places she has control over as well as places she doesn't. That will put her in interesting positions in the coming weeks -- it's a big universe filled with a lot of people who all want to be close to the same man.
ETonline: Right! There could be a million Emma's out there who all think Joe loves them the most. I'm excited to see her meet some of them. What are you excited for people to see in the coming weeks?
Curry: The rules of engagement are constantly changing. I think what you like about episode four in terms of the character's complexity and vulnerability only increases. But that coincides with even more heightened circumstances, which is just an explosive combination. Episode four sets the stage for a lot. Just when I think I understand the characters and I understand the world, [creator Kevin Williamson] blows my mind with a new episode that has somebody doing something I didn't expect. I understand he has this whole enormous masterplan and he knows every aspect of it. That allows me as an actor to trust him explicitly because I don't need to think about that stuff ... I guess that's kind of how Emma is with Joe [laughs]. I guess Kevin is kind of like my Joe.
The Following airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox