"The Following," FOX's new hit show, has a way of drawing you in each week and leaving you wanting so much more when it's over. On Friday, we chatted with series star Adan Canto, who plays one of Joe Carroll's (James Purefoy) followers, Paul, about his character and more.
Examiner.com: How would you describe Paul?
Adan Canto: "A reliable, passionate, loving man."
How much are we going to see of Paul in flashbacks, him meeting Joe and getting into the cult?
"You'll understand Paul, you'll understand his persona, his character, and his evolution to the Paul he is today and you'll see him in a vulnerable state the way he was before."
What's Paul's role in the cult?
"I think Paul [is] fighting to find his role. I think he feels a little bit lost and he really needs a role. He doesn't like to be taking orders from somebody when he was a guy calling the shots for three years when he was living with Jacob, and now that they're all together, he doesn't like that. He has to find his role. I think what you're going to see in all of these episodes is him struggling to either to find it or to feel at ease with the role he has but doesn't want."
How would you describe his relationship with Emma [played by Valorie Curry]?
"I think that it's a love-hate relationship there. These are very complex characters and it's kind of hard for, you have so many layers to them, that they can't just hit it off right off the bat. These are complex characters and they have to really go through a lot in order to bond somehow."
How would you describe his relationship with Jacob [played by Nico Tortorella]?
"I think Paul feels like a mentor to him in a certain extent. He feels like he's protecting Jacob somehow."
Does that extend to the Jacob/Emma relationship?
Can you tease anything about what we'll see from other followers?
"Everybody has different inclinations, different motivations, different passions, different reasons why they're a part of this cult, this family. I like the word family better, especially coming from Paul. I'm not speaking as Adan when I'm telling you this, it's Paul. We like to see it as a family, we like to stick together, and yeah, you'll see more of this."
Paul already said he didn't like kids [in episode 2, "Chapter Two"]; is that something that will come up again the longer they're with Joey?
"Probably so, yeah. It's something that—you'll see Paul having to accept things, maybe having to repress things he might want to do or maybe going at them. All I can say is, expect anything. This is kind of the way the show's going to be. There's just too many things that I even wouldn't have expected shooting it."
What's your favorite part of playing Paul?
"Paul has a way of accessing these primal emotions, and he's just instinctive. He just goes with whatever he's feeling then and there. He doesn't question things properly. Some people would want to assess and weigh things out and maybe choose not to go a certain way, but this guy just goes with his instincts. ...It's empowering to feel that, to go back to those emotions."
Is there anything you would change about him?
"It's so hard to say. I have so much respect for the writers. They surprise me every time, and I totally rely on them that they know what they're doing. So that's why it has been so easy to just go in whenever we're shooting and work on instinct. There hasn't been a lot of time to think things through, so I feel totally at ease and good with what Paul is and who he is."
Is there something you want to see explored more about him that's just been touched upon so far?
"Eventually, we do explore—you'll see everything. You'll understand Paul. You'll understand him through intimacy and I think I'm good. I think I'm good with what we see with Paul."
This is a pretty dark show. Are there any moments that stand out for you in particular?
"I think that the entire show stands out to me in particular. The fact that you're looking at these people, these cult members and understanding their personas rather than being afraid of them. Through flashbacks, eventually, you will understand them and that really stands out to me. How you're at the end of the day, you're not going to want these guys to not get what they need. You'll understand them, and it kind of plays with your own psychology. You're going to find yourself feeling empathy towards different things, not because of the killing, but because of their motives and why they are who they are."
Stay tuned for more from this interview. "The Following" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX.