Q&A with Emily VanCamp
Has the cast heard much about how Revenge is doing in Australia?
We did. As the show began to be declared a hit we were really tired and getting to the end of a stretch on the show. So that was a huge morale booster. They sent out flyers to the cast with the facts and figures on how it was doing in Australia and it really changed the mood on the set.
You signed up to do the pilot well over a year ago. What appealed?
I was reading pilots and had just finished my time on Brothers and Sisters. I promised myself I wouldn't work again until I found something that excited me. So I wanted to play this amazing young woman and I thought there was a lot that I could do with it.
It sounds like it wasn't exactly smooth sailing landing the role.
I met with producer and creator [Mike Kelley] and we had a great meeting but the network wanted to go through an audition processes, so they did that for a month and I never heard anything back. The night before they were screen testing again they called to screen test me. They said the one thing they were concerned with was the darkness. They had never seen me play a dark role. So I guess I showed them the darkness.
Is the show what you expected?
It's different and maybe even better than I expected. The one thing I questioned, and everybody else seemed to question, was how would we find a full season out of this, never mind three or four, but Mike [Kelley] has set it up so that that seems very possible now. I don't know how he did it.
Did you see Emily as good or bad?
She's a mixture of both. She's a flawed hero. That's the sort of protagonist you want to watch. You want to root for her but you question her motives. All of those things make the central character interesting, and interesting for me. It's a fine line she and I are walking. She does some pretty horrendous things. But, then again, so does Dexter, and I'm still rooting for him.
Did you feel the pressure of shouldering the lead role?
Inevitably you do. But I tried to repress those feelings because that can eat away at you. One of the first times I saw the billboards, I had a little panic of, if this fails it's on me. If it got cancelled after one episode it would be horrendous for me. That pressure is a lot. I would have been happy if it did just OK. It was mind-boggling that it did really well.
The show's storylines are often preposterous. Do you ever get a script and say "come on!"
All the time. My job is never to question Mike and where he is taking the show. He has led us to success. My job is to route some of the absurdities to some of the realities. I need to make everything seem as natural as possible. Sometimes it's comical, which is the soapy part of it, but sometimes I think it's quite moving. That's what makes our show work. We have taken some creative licence and go over the top, but I think that's what people like, too. It's entertainment - we're not trying to paint an accurate picture of the Hamptons. We're trying to entertain people and make it as glamorous and crazy and silly as possible. The show is also filled with complex characters who can balance the silliness, too.
What's in store for season two?
I have heard some ideas. The season finale is filled with about five cliffhangers so we deal with those and the repercussions. There is a new villain who is just amazing - he gives the show new life and broadens the definition of revenge in that he takes it beyond the Graysons and moves it into a whole other realm for Emily. Like, how many people were involved in the framing of her father and what else has she done? Where did she go for those eight years where she learnt the art of revenge? What did she do? Was she in the military? Those are fun questions to answer.
Seven, Mondays, 8.30pm