The Following Cast Discuss the Kidnappers' "Intoxicating" Devotion to Joe Carroll
The Following | Photo Credits: Fox
They may be three of the most terrifying characters on TV this winter, but the actors who play Joe Carroll's (James Purefoy) cult-like devotees on Fox's The Following, which airs Monday at 9/8c, describe their alter egos in a way that's a little more, well, lighthearted.
"The three of us kind of have this Wizard of Oz sort of joke about Emma being the brains and Jacob being the heart and Paul being the courage," Valorie Curry, who plays the manipulative, matricidal Emma, tells TVGuide.com. "We work well together when we're getting along, in that sense."
By "working well together," she's referring to the fact that Emma, Paul (Adan Canto) and Jacob (Nico Tortorella) have successfully kidnapped Carroll's son, Joey, and are now keeping him in a safe house in Pennsylvania. As the primary puppets in Carroll's game of revenge against former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), the three have spent the past few years positioning themselves to do his bidding — as the nanny to Joey, in Emma's case, and as the (allegedly) gay couple living next door to Carroll's final victim, Sarah Fuller, in Paul and Jacob's case.
But now that the three are holed up together in a tiny cabin with Joey, wanted by the FBI, tensions are starting to mount. "They've been separate for so long and they've all sort of been in control of their own mission that they were on, whether it was the guys with Sarah Fuller or me with Joey," says Curry. "Now we're having to work together and we're having to be together and share a lot of space. And there's a lot of friction because of that, and Emma has to try a number of tacks to control Paul. She has a relationship with Jacob, but she doesn't have that sort of intimacy with Paul. So they're all sort of finding their way around each other."
Complicating matters is the twisted love triangle dynamic among the trio. While Emma and Jacob are a couple, it's Jacob and Paul (who's now the third wheel) who have been masquerading as partners. And the first two episodes seem to indicate that, at least on Paul's part, their role-playing wasn't entirely for show. "You spend three years with somebody in a house pretending to be in a relationship for the entire public, there's bound to be mutual attraction," says Tortorella.
Paul "needs to feel connected somehow. He doesn't want to be abandoned. He doesn't want to be neglected," Adan says.
But one thing the trio can agree on is their utter devotion to Carroll. "Specifically for Jacob, he has a slew of daddy issues and at the point where he needed that void filled the most, there was Joe waiting with open arms," Tortorella says. "And he just completely fulfilled that in him, and same thing with Emma and same thing with Paul. We're just looking for this higher power to give us some type of validation in this life, and acceptance. And he's the perfect person to do that."
"He's obviously an incredibly charismatic, magnetic man who is very adept at manipulating people," Curry says of Carroll. "And I think part of that comes from being a teacher, his experience sort of molding minds. With the three followers that we have met, I think it's just a matter of catching them at exactly the right moment. ... If he can catch them in this perfect moment of vulnerability, as long as it's the right kind of person, who maybe has a propensity for violence or needs leadership, then he's able to take advantage of that opportunity and mold them."