Valorie Curry has proven herself to be one of the breakout stars of Fox’s The Following. While Kevin Bacon is the star-power, Valorie is the not-so-quietly commanding force behind many of the followers. She plays Emma, a young girl in love with serial killer Joe Carroll since she was a teenager, now acting as the nanny for Carroll’s young son. We spoke to Valorie about her role and where the season is headed - and whether or not she will return for season two.
Emma seems to have a special bond with Joe Carroll that no one else has - or she thinks no one else has. Will we see something threaten that relationship?
Oh yeah, definitely. I think you saw the first glimmer of their relationship in last week’s episode, when they are reunited. She’s been with him almost the longest, he’s known her since she was 15, 16 years old. She has loved him for that long, and now they are together for the first time in years. At the same time, they are in this house full of people equally devoted - well, almost equally devoted - who want to be close to him, so she is going to contend with a lot of competition for his attention.
Up until this point, Emma has been kind of the de facto leader of the following - at least as far as we’ve seen. Now that Carroll is back, how will that change your place in the group?
She’s going to be struggling to find her place in the group. It’s a huge group of people - she didn’t even realize how big the world was. There is definitely a hierarchy, and a pecking order establishing itself. She’s trying to find her place in that, and not everyone is as easily pushed around as the boys [Paul and Jacob] were. So it’s kind of a rough road ahead for Emma.
Have we seen the last of Paul and Jacob?
No. There will be resolution to their story. It was “crisis situation” when we saw them last, but you won’t be left hanging. I think we’ve invested too much in these characters not to have a resolution.
Aside from her mother, I can’t recall Emma actually killing anyone else in the show.
I love that you point that out because people are always pointing out how murderous she is, but you haven’t really seen her murder anyone else. She just throws around some flesh wounds. From what we’ve seen, no, she hasn’t killed anyone else, but I won’t say one way or another if she has killed someone we haven’t seen, or if she is capable of that. But it is interesting that she is considered one of the most lethal followers.
Right, and until Joe came back, you were almost like the Charlie Manson of the group, because you could get the others to do your dirty work.
Exactly! That’s one thing about Emma - we saw that in the last episode and we will see that again. If she is just left to brute strength, she’s not going to have a lot of power in this group. But that’s how she gets by: she gets people to do things for her, she manipulates people, she uses her wiles. She has lots of tools in her kit.
The Following is action-heavy. Do you do your own stunts?
Yeah, for the most part. It’s probably a good 90-95% me. When there are violent stunts going on, I’ll do most of the takes, then a stunt person will come in and get one or two for safety. But I always have a few tries at the stunts. The only one I absolutely could not do was in episode six, where I was supposed to peel out in the car with Joey. I guess I am a very tentative driver. The stunt coordinator Tim had to jump in and drive away. I was driving pathetically slow. So I can take a hit, but don’t ask me to drive the getaway car.
Working with kids can often be difficult. How has your experience been with Kyle Catlett, who plays Joey?
He is the perfect child actor to be playing the son of Joe Carroll, which sounds like an insult but it’s not because he is supposed to be such a bright, mature, singular child, and Kyle is that. He speaks multiple languages and he is always reading - like, adult books. He’s full of questions - and full of information if you get him going. He’s really unlike any kid I’ve ever met - not just on set, but in life. He’s just perfect for the part. It has been really interesting working with him and having him to play off.
It was kind of a big deal to get Kevin Bacon for this show, making it his first regular TV series. What is it like working with him?
Luckily for my character’s sake, I don’t work with Kevin all that often - I avoid working with Kevin in that sense - but when I do, he’s great. I can’t say how lucky I am to be working with him. He is such an incredible professional and he makes the job look so easy and effortless. At the same time, he screws around. In the scenes at the farmhouse, while we were doing our coverage, he would throw stuff at us from off-camera, and the language would get very blue. It was fun. But then once we turn [the camera] around to him, the intensity is just incredible. I’ve been really fortunate to work with such an amazing cast. James Purefoy as well, is a dream.
Up until this point, there have been a lot close calls and followers infiltrating law enforcement, stuff like that. Is it going to get a little less “convenient?”
The whole dynamic is about to change. Everything gets ramped up; the stakes are raised. Now that Joe is out [of prison] he is able to orchestrate his plan. The plan is going to get a lot more complicated; it is a much grander scheme than before. So I think you are going to enjoy the cat-and-mouse game get a lot more complicated, and seeing which side is chasing which.
Will we see you for season two?
I cannot answer that question. We are in production on the finale. It’s crazy, and its a Kevin Williamson show, so you can never get too comfortable having any character around - you never know who you are going to lose.
I know! The main character body count on The Vampire Diaries is insane.
It’s pretty ridiculous, but it keeps you on your toes, both as an audience member and an actor. I certainly hope I am around for season two!