THE FOLLOWING’s Adan Canto: The Paul Twist Was ‘Necessary to Push the Story Forward’
March 19, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
[It may have aired yesterday, but on the off chance you didn’t watch the “Love Hurts” episode of THE FOLLOWING, please turn away now. This post contains massive, massive spoilers on the hour, and you won’t want to have it ruined for you.]
THE FOLLOWING has had its share of bloodshed in the first nine episodes of the series, but Monday’s episode, “Love Hurts,” featured the first truly big death — with Paul about to kick the bucket (in a slow and painful manner), he convinced his “fake” boyfriend, Jacob, to end his suffering…and as such, Paul became Jacob’s first kill.
Love freaking hurts, indeed.
To get some more insight into what went down, I spoke with Adan Canto (Paul) about Paul’s death, if he’ll be popping up on the show again, and more…
When did you find out that Paul wasn’t going to be long for this show?
Adan Canto: I found out early on, probably episode 2 or 3. Something was going to happen, something needed to happen to push the plot forward, to push the story forward. So I kind of knew. And then I really found out in episode 5 or something like that. Of course I was bummed. It’s an amazing project. But particularly, because of the kind of project it is, you have to move forward. Those kinds of things need to happen for the story. You’re working for the project, I’m not working for myself. So I was really happy.
Did you have to keep this a secret from your castmates?
AC: Everybody knows with this kind of show, anybody could go. Which is amazing. I was bummed, but when I got to episode 9 and I read the script, I was fascinated by the way this guy was going to go. I thought it was a very honorable way, considering the storyline [of] the cult. I thought it was a fascinating way for Paul to pass.
What do you think was going through Paul’s mind in those final moments, especially as he was telling Jacob to kill him?
AC: It was just a huge window of light, I think. He really wanted to rest; he really needed to rest, and it was the perfect opportunity for him to extend Jacob’s perspective and to give him something. To teach him something about himself. It sounds silly, but it was kind of a Messiah-ish move that Paul pulls there. He really wanted to rest in peace, he wanted to end it all, and find that haven he was looking for.
And Paul got to tell Jacob he loved him before that final push…
AC: Exactly. I loved that scene. He even helped him a little to start.
What was it like filming that scene?
AC: It was exhilarating. It was definitely exhilarating. I was happy to play the scene with Nico [Tortorella (Jacob)], because we were both totally committed to it, and living it instead of just trying to play it out, which I find totally honorable. It’s a beautiful way to work, when you just dive into a certain reality and you respect it, from the start to finish. Great things can happen when you work that way.
Now that fans have had nearly a day to process Paul’s death, what kind of reactions have you seen?
AC: Oh, it’s been amazing. My Twitter is going crazy. Just a lot of different opinions, but mainly people are upset. And now they’re curious to see what’s going to happen. Now that Paul gave his life for this, they’re curious where the plot is going to go.
Completely fair. The show has used the flashback device so fantastically throughout the first season, so will you be popping up in those?
AC: Yeah, absolutely. You’ll get glimpses of Paul.
How is it to film those, now that you know Paul’s ultimate fate?
AC: Well, they’re important things. All the flashbacks give direction to the story. So, personally, I think this show is kind of based around the flashbacks, so I think the flashbacks are just as important as the plot line in present day.
This is the kind of show where wild and crazy things have happened, and I’ve seen some fans speculate Paul’s not actually dead, since we didn’t see an autopsy or anything like that. Can you confirm he’s dead-dead?
AC: [Jokingly] Well, I don’t want to spoil it for you…[Seriously] No, you’ll see glimpses of him in a flashback, but Paul has passed. RIP…Paul has passed. I love those comments. I love that people become so involved that way, that they’re affected by it. They really want to hear he’ll possibly come back. I love that. I’m really grateful for all that support.
Were you surprised by the passion Paul and Jacob seemed to inspire in fans?
AC: I was surprised. But it does make sense…working with Nico, as well as working with Valorie [Curry (Emma)], was just great. They’re great actors who are truly invested in what they do. When you get that kind of commitment on the set and that kind of story, it doesn’t surprise me to get that kind of reaction. It’s really encouraging.
Is there anything you wish you had the chance to do before Paul passed?
AC: It was well-rounded! In any case, maybe the one thing I did miss was having a little bit more with James [Purefoy], with Joe Carroll. It would have been interesting to see Paul and Joe Carroll, just to see them, to understand that dynamic. I kind of missed that.
It would have been incredible to see them in present day, after all of the thing that have gone down so far.
AC: Exactly. It would have been a great experience for me as an actor, and I think for Paul, as well. But you’ll understand why [Paul’s death] happened. It was necessary to push the story forward.
To be fair, I don’t think Jacob has ever looked scarier than he did at the end of “Love Hurts.” Killing Paul killed a part of Jacob.
Looking forward, what can you say about what you’ll be up to next?
AC: You know, in a week, I can [say]. But there’s great things coming our way, that I’m very excited to share.
Be honest…have you recovered from Paul’s death yet?
THE FOLLOWING airs Mondays at 9 PM on Fox.