'The Following' Interview: Valorie Curry on Emma's Love for Joe and Current State of Mind
'The Following' Interview: Valorie Curry on Emma's Love for Joe and Current State of Mind
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Everyone around Emma was killed in The Following season 1 and now she's been left to survive as a fugitive on her own. I caught up with Valorie Curry at the FOX All-Star Party during the Television Critics Association Press Tour to find out what's going on in Emma's head as season 2 begins. 

At the end of season 1, were you pretty sure you'd be alive for season 2?

Valorie Curry: Honestly, none of us knew until the finale was shot. Not just written, but in the can whether or not we were going to survive season 1. Once I had survived season 1, they gave me every indication that I was coming back. But, just like in season 1, I had no idea how long it was going to be. It could have been one episode and out. I've been very fortunate to have the longevity that I've had.

Especially on this show.

Especially on this show. And that's the thing. Coming back, when we did the table read of episode 1 on season 2, there were more new characters than there were returning which is kinda great because we're all coming in fresh. 

What is Emma's state of mind? She thinks that Joe Carroll's dead. Where is she? Is she just as crazy as she's always been?

It's been a horrible year for Emma Hill. It's been a really horrible year. She's been through a lot in order to survive. She's had to go to places she's never had to to survive. She's never been on her own before. She's always been protected by the infrastructure of the cult and always been given a sense of personal direction and identity by Joe. 

So for the first time she's alone and she's experiencing loneliness. She's carrying a lot of grief and a lot of anger, but she's also in such a vulnerable position that she can't show that weakness.

She's so tightly wound. It's exhausting how tightly wound she is at the beginning of this season, but it's such a delicate balance. It's that kind of thing where the slightest thing could send all the pieces flying.

Did she truly love Joe or did she love the power that Joe wielded?

She loves Joe. She loooves Joe. And it's not the power that he wields, because she's not power hungry, but the thing that Joe Carroll gives people. He always fills a void, but largely he takes the disenfranchised and he empowers them. He gives them a sense of their own personal authority through violence. That's what he gave to her. That's what the most important thing for her. 

She didn't feel like he was giving her power over people. She's not power hungry really any more than she's blood thirsty. It's not power as much as control. She needs to be able to control herself and be able to control her circumstances. And, she can't tolerate people around her that are out of control. Which is why she's in such a miserable, terrible place in the beginning of season 2. Everything is out of control.

When Emma goes into the apartment building and sees Ryan Hardy coming out, what's going through her mind in that moment?  It's like her past coming right at her.

It's not only like seeing ghost, but is much the same way that Joe Carroll had this huge overblown obsessive personal vendetta against Ryan in season 1. Emma has her own personal vendetta against Ryan now. She believes he's not only responsible for Joe's death, but for the circumstances that lead to Jacob's death, Paul's death, the complete destruction of her world is Ryan's fault. 

And, frankly, it's not made explicit, but I think she was always tracking and aware of where Ryan was, but to be that close to him and to be on this powerful moment on this day when everything is spinning, she's thrown. She says in the episode, she has no idea what's going on. and she doesn't like being left out of whatever loop is happening.

Is Emma resentful of the people doing the Joe masks?

Absolutely. It's kind of hard to explain, but the idea that somebody else that's not her and that's not under her bidding, that's not to do with her is putting on her man's face and trying to bring him out, or contact him, or speak for him is infuriating for her. 

What is Emma's journey this season? What is her first instinct now? Go after Ryan? Find Joe?

Her instinct has always been to find out what's happening with Joe. She waited for a long time, as far as I'm concerned, for him in Mobile, Alabama. And spend a long time trying to contact him and at a certain point she has enough ego to think that if he's not contacting her, he must be dead.

If there is new trail of breadcrumbs, she's going to follow it. But, I think the real journey that she goes on this season is finding out her own motivations. She's  left with this void and purposeless. So, it's really a question of does Emma want to be a leader, does she's not? Does she want to be killer? Does she not? Does she want power? Does she not? What will she do to get it? It's a little bit of a personal journey that Emma goes on.

Is it possible for Emma to free herself from the cult world?

Emma wasn't really caught up in the cult. For Emma, it was never about the cult. It was about Joe. The cult was just a house full of interlopers as far as she was concerned and other threats to her position with Joe. Whether she'll ever break free from him? I don't know. We're going to explore that possibility in season 2. You'll see her trouble with that.

The Following airs Mondays at 9 pm ET on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX.)

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