Collider got a chance to sit down with Shawn Ashmore and Annie Parisse to talk about their roles on The Following. Read what they had to say about their characters and what it is like working on such a layered story.
When you do a show like this, thats so layered, and youre simultaneously learning about your characters past and present, do you have to just give yourself over to the scripts and not worry about backstory?
PARISSE: We really do get the scripts as we go, and we dont know whats coming next. Sometimes thats totally scary because youre like, Well, I hope Im playing this right.
ASHMORE: You worry about missing out on opportunities to really play a beat that you havent been able to think about.
PARISSE: But most of the time, to be totally honest, I look back on stuff and think that its actually great that I didnt know about some of the things that were coming up because there are some things that, once you know them, you cant un-know them. So, being able to have a blissful ignorance of some of the stuff allows you to have a really pure take on this moment, right now. You really commit to just bringing everything from your past to this circumstance, right now. Theres something very immediate and instinctive about that, and thats what people do. We dont know whats coming, so its a great way to work.
ASHMORE: I agree. This show lends itself to working like that because of its immediacy. This show moves so quickly that youre not really dwelling on certain aspects. Sometimes you get information and youre like, Oh, that would have been nice to play in that scene, two episodes ago. But, the immediacy of this show, the movement of this show and the drive of the thrill ride that were on allows you to go with the flow and just react, as youre getting it. Once youre a few episodes in, and you understand your character and know where you want to go with him, you dont have to necessarily know where the story goes. Kevin Williamson will spin the story for you and give you those pieces, but if you know how youll react, no matter what is given to you, then you just go along for the ride. I think its really satisfying to get a scene, sometimes the day before, and just be like, Okay, I know how to do this. All I have to worry about is getting the lines down, but I know how I want to play the scene. Theres not even a question in my mind. Thats cool.
PARISSE: Marcos and Kevin have been really great, at least with me, in terms of, if there is a scene thats leading somewhere, theyll let me know if Im playing something that wont make sense, three episodes from now. In those moments, where were like, Whats this all about?, Marcos and Kevin have both been like, You know, try this. That helps. They have a bigger idea of the whole picture.
You can read the rest of the interview here.