Fans of The Following received excellent news today when Fox revealed it was renewing the freshman series (along with The Mindy Project, Raising Hope and New Girl) for next season. And considering star Valorie Curry tells me tonight's all-new episode only begins to reveal how far Joe Carroll's reach extends beyond Emma, Jacob and Paul, it sounds like we'll be caught in the show's hypnotic web for years to come.
ETonline: The last time we talked, you told me that people were calling you "a monster" on the street. Has that changed at all?
Valorie Curry: [laughs] Oh no. No, no, no. That hasn't changed at all. That's only gotten worse. After episode three aired, I walked in my neighborhood coffee shop. This woman looked at me and her jaw literally dropped as she grabbed her husband and started screaming, "I love you, but I'm terrified, but I love you." I didn't really know how to answer that...
ETonline: I think a lot of that comes from how much you make us empathize with Emma. I mean, I felt so bad for her when she had to leave Jacob behind.
Curry: And I'm so glad you are having that reaction. Obviously the way Kevin [Williamson] wrote her, she was so strong -- almost like this stone wall -- for the first four episodes. And then you saw this beautiful vulnerability as she was forced to make tough decisions and that only continues. We'll see more depth and dimension to this character in the coming weeks.
ETonline: Do you think leaving Paul and Jacob was the hardest choice Emma's had to face since teaming up with Joe?
Curry: Absolutely. It was the hardest thing she's had to do so far ... which is kind of horrible to say considering she killed her mother [laughs]. She has always known it was a possibility she'd be asked to sacrifice someone she loves for Joe, but this is the first time she was forced to actually confront that possibility and, essentially, choose between Jacob and Joe. I think a lot of people have questioned whether or not her feelings for Jacob were real, and I hope that moment revealed her true feelings to everyone. And that's what is so tragic about her character -- that's the horror of being one of Joe's followers. Joe forces you to break your own heart for him.
ETonline: While she is strong, is there fear inside her about forging ahead without her boys?
Curry: Completely. But more than being on her own, she's about to regroup with a couple of cult members and that is the really terrifying thing because she's had years of a comfortable existence with this fake world she knew and now she has to establish herself with people who have no reason to respect her or follow her or have any reason to be scared of her. It's a whole new world for Emma now.
ETonline: I would imagine being Joey's go-to person certainly carries some clout?
Curry: It does. It's definitely a position of honor in the cult, but at the same time, we have introduced the idea of Roderick, this person they all take orders from, and we'll meet him eventually. We'll see how that hierarchy unfolds. She's going to have to find her place within this new group of people and it's going to be difficult for her, especially after being made so vulnerable by what just happened with Jacob and Paul.
ETonline: With all this talk of new cult members, it sounds like we're about to start seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes?
Curry: Absolutely. And, frankly, Emma is about to see that as well. She doesn't even have a awareness of how large this world is, or what kind of people are in it. This cult is not just weak-minded people as you saw in the last episode. We have military, we have police officers, the henchmen are strong and there are a lot of different types of people in this cult. You're about to meet a lot of new faces and find out what they're capable of.
The Following airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox.