TVLINE | Let’s be honest: You definitely landed the juiciest role on The Following. Were you aware of what you were in for when you initially took the role?
I really wasn’t at all. Every new script I get I pinch myself because I completely agree. [Laughs] I feel like I won the lottery with this character. All three of us in the trio (including Nico Tortorella and Adan Canto) auditioned with dummy scenes and they were fairly open — we just knew we were followers. My scene did indicate this position of power she has with the guys, but that was pretty much it. I had a lot of freedom in that sense, to create a character who was manipulative and intellectual and controlling and all that, but the wonderful thing about Emma — and the way [creator] Kevin Williamson writes her — is that she is whatever she needs to be in any circumstance. So, I feel like I get to play 100 different characters over the course of a season, you know? In the beginning, I struggled with this idea of, ‘What’s the real Emma? What’s the lie? What’s the truth?’ But the scary and amazing and totally freeing thing about her is that it’s all true. She is manipulative and she’ll do what she has to do, but all of the people she cares for she really cares for. It’s all true, but the truth changes from one moment to the next.
TVLINE | Emma’s clearly the ringleader of the trio at this point, and she seems incredibly comfortable with that role. How much of what she does is motivated by what Joe wants, and how much is her own doing?
Oooh… I don’t think she’s like Joe. Joe is an incredibly nihilistic character who is just evil at heart, evil for the sake of evil — and that’s not her. The center of Emma is love, it’s just completely misplaced. She’s been with Joe for so long now — he essentially raised her and groomed this perfect woman devotee. He’s like a father, a would-be lover, God, he’s everything, so there’s a lot of gray area in terms of what’s her and what’s Joe. And I think something that’s going to come into play as the episodes continue is her finding that out. At the same time, yes, she is controlling… because she doesn’t really trust other people to get the job done.
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