Until now, Kevin Bacon has been known for the wide range of movies that he has filmed, but now, he's taken a lead role in the new television thriller, The Following. The show premiered last Monday to the second highest ratings of the new season just behind Revolution, which is on hiatus until March.
I had the opportunity to ask Bacon a couple questions on a recent conference call. Here's an edited portion of the interview.
Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) seem to know each other in a very deep way. While he's not a disciple, is Ryan in a way a follower himself?
Bacon: In one of the episodes, we go back and we meet Ryan when he first meets Joe and before he knows that Joe is a suspect. He's just interviewing him by happenstance on this college campus. What you see is that he gets strangely seduced by Joe, not in a sexual way, but just in a friendship kind of way. Joe sees into Ryan and is able to kind of play him like a violin.
There's a lot of qualities of Joe that Ryan really admires. My character is not an extremely well-read and well-educated man. He's not a people person, he's not a charmer, he's not a dynamic speaker and he's maybe not even somebody that you necessarily want to go and have a beer with. And, Joe Carroll is all those things. I think Ryan looks up to him in a strange kind of way. It's one of the dynamics of the show that I think is interesting and one that we continue to play with.
On the differences between Ryan Hardy and Joe Carroll
Bacon: Here's one of big differences between the two guys: Joe has followers and believes that he can create more and more people that come around to his way of thinking and likes to be surrounded by people. We'll see his admirers and the people that are close to him grow and grow and grow. And, yet, except for maybe a few, he doesn't seem to really deeply care about those people. They're kind of expendable in a way. It's one of the sociopathic aspects of his personality.
[Ryan] has nobody in his life. He pushes the people in his life away. When Weston comes to him, he doesn't want Weston to be close to him. He doesn't want Agent Parker to come into his life. Even with Claire, he's walked away from her. He's very resistant to doing anything than just being a man alone on an island. And, yet, as the show evolves, I think he gets more of an ability to let people in, to take help, advice. You'll see more of that.
And, also the difference between Ryan and Joe is that the people [Ryan] does let in, the people who are in his life, he cares about very deeply, extremely deeply and that's one of the contradicting elements between the two characters.
The Following airs Mondays at 9 pm ET on FOX.
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(Image and videos courtesy of FOX.)