Plus, Natalie reveals why she ‘ain’t scared’ of being the next character killed off Kevin Williamson’s addictive new thriller, continuing at 9 p.m. tonight on FOX.
Natalie Zea is used to playing “the love interest” on TV. She’s done it countless times, and she’s damn good at it. But on FOX’s The Following, playing the ex-wife of serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) — as well as the potential love interest of Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon), the man who put Joe behind bars — feels like a totally new experience for her. Needless to say, it’s complicated.
“The attraction is obviously there,” Natalie tells HollywoodLife.com about Ryan and Claire, who share a pretty messy history. “It’s never going to go away, but the issues are also going to be there. They have to figure out how to be around each other, and be a part of each other’s lives, knowing they’ve got all these emotions. It’s really complicated.”
Read on for my full Q&A with Natalie
I can’t watch this show with the lights off. Is it scary to you, even though you’re on it?
No, it’s not. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Every single person, without exception, has been terrified watching it except me apparently. I need to do some real soul searching and figure out what the deal is.
And with the body count rising every week, are you ever worried Claire will be next?
Look, I’ve been unemployed; I ain’t scared of it. And I think that because I’ve had so many ups and downs in my career, I don’t sweat that stuff. If it’s my character’s time to go, it’s her time to go. [Acting] is the least secure job you can ever have.
Let’s talk about [creator] Kevin Williamson. What do you love about his writing and the direction he’s taking the show?
I love that, in the hands of a lot of others, this would have become a procedural. There’s nothing wrong with procedurals, but that’s not something I’m interested in being a part of. I want to do something a little more unexpected, and Kevin is willing to take risks and think outside the genre. God bless him, man.
Aside from his writing, what made you want to join this project? It’s so different from anything you’ve done.
Honestly, Kevin Bacon. I wish I had a more creative answer, but when Kevin Bacon signs on to a television show, and your people are like, ‘Hey, they’re really interested in you,’ what do you do? Obviously, the script was compelling and very well-written and cinematic, but I think what sent me over the edge was Kevin Bacon.
And did you know you were going to be playing a love interest?
No, actually, it was Mr. Bacon himself who came to me with that idea. We had a meeting over breakfast and he said the way he saw it was that Claire was potentially [Ryan's] love interest, whether it be on again or off again.
You had breakfast with Kevin Bacon? Did he eat bacon?
I don’t believe he did, but he ordered something cool. It was custom-made. I’ve never seen him eat bacon, but he’s a carnivore, so I’m sure he does.
[Editor's note: I think I speak for everyone when I say we all hope he eats bacon. Every single day.]
Are you addicted to The Following? Watch a sneak peek of tonight’s episode below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on Ryan and Claire.