THE FOLLOWING: James Purefoy on Filming the Pilot’s Chilling Final Scene
January 22, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
For as vocal as I’ve been about my love of THE FOLLOWING, one thing I couldn’t talk about pre-premiere was the absolutely chilling final scene between Joe Carroll and Ryan Hardy: with Carroll locked up again, he (vaguely) laid out his plans to make Ryan his “flawed hero” in their “sequel.”
In order for the series (and their cat and mouse games) to work, that scene had to be solid. You needed to buy Carroll and Hardy as worthy competitors, you needed to feel the tension, and the stakes of what was to come needed to be clear. And for me, I felt it was the best scene in any pilot this year.
When I spoke with James Purefoy about what’s to come for Carroll (look for more from that later this week!), I asked him about the experience of filming that final sequence, and he seemed pleased with it.
“[It was] deeply satisfying,” Purefoy told me. “I think deeply satisfying. Because I was working properly with Kevin [Bacon (Ryan)], who is just a really great actor and it’s lovely watching him do what he does. Like watching any good artist do what they do, it’s really satisfying. He’s very simple. Simplicity is something you become more interested in as you get older. You get more florid with your acting, perhaps, and you just want to bring it down, bring it down, make it more simple. Actors get in the way of themselves all the time, so just being in the moment, being in the context of the piece, that’s what’s interesting. He’s really good at that. He’s simple and clean and it’s lovely watching him carve it out. So that was a pleasure. a great pleasure watching that.”
“But also, we did it lots of different ways,” he continued. “It was just a fascinating thing. Joe Carroll is also a man who has all the great cards — he’s holding a royal flush. He can’t be beaten at that stage. There’s nothing you can do. And when you have all the cards and you’re standing at a high edifice looking down on the FBI, scrambling around in the gutter. Not just the FBI, but the man you hold responsible for your downfall, that’s a very satisfying thing. When I hear people say [I] play the part with great relish, I disagree. Joe Carroll has great relish over what he’s doing to other people. I’m merely serving that.”
THE FOLLOWING airs Mondays at 9 PM on Fox.
THE FOLLOWING’s Kevin Williamson: “I Don’t Sit Down to Write the Horror; I Sit Down to Write the Moment After It’
THE FOLLOWING: Faux-Crime Show ‘Scene of the Crime’ Sheds Light on Joe Carroll and Ryan Hardy’s History
THE FOLLOWING at TCA: Live-Blog