"The Following"'s Joe Carroll has many dedicated followers, but none quite so alluring as the soft-spoken but assertive nanny-turned-killer Emma. Actress Valorie Curry spoke with IGN about taking on the role and what viewers can expect to see as the bond between Emma and Carroll continues to be explored.
Curry was immediately drawn to the role after an initial script reading, seeing her character move from window dressing to a pivotal player by the end of the first episode. "I was definitely shocked when I read the script. I knew what part I was looking for, and I kept flipping [through the pages]. I’m like, 'I don’t understand! What am I looking for? Where is this girl?' Then at the end, I was thrilled. I loved it. Kevin Williamson had me audition with some dummy scenes, just a slight indication of where it was going, and I just loved her," she said. "I love playing characters that are surprising and undermine your expectations, and she definitely does that. I had a lot of fun with it. In terms of shooting the pilot, there’s something nice about having a secret and knowing that I need to be wallpaper, as you say, and knowing that we’ll be surprising people at the end."
The actress sees the bond forged between Emma and serial killer Joe Carroll as among the strongest of the group viewers have seen so far. "You’ve seen the second episode, so you know she’s been with him since she was 15 or 16 years old. In a lot of ways, it’s like he raised her to be this perfect woman/disciple. He’s everything to her -- he’s a wannabe lover, a god, a father -- and her devotion to him is complete," Curry said. "But at the same time, her love for Jacob is genuine, her love for Paul is genuine. But her most important love is for Joe, and she’s capable of doing anything for him."
She continued, "[Emma] is definitely a master manipulator. She will do anything as a means to an end, and sometimes that’s love and openness, and sometimes that's a knife. That's how she relates to everyone. It’s as if all of her emotion has been used up on Joe and everything else is just callousness, so she’s capable of treating people very callously."
The actress teased that the only thing viewers should expect is that every character has a target on their backs, every character is expendable, especially in the case of the tied up hostage her trio currently has trapped in their basement. "Oh, you never know how long we can keep a girl tied up in a basement on this show," she joked. "We’re gonna sell her with the house eventually. No, I think the only thing I can tease is just what you know already, which is that you can never get comfortable with characters. You never know who you’re going to lose, you never know who’s going to be bigger than you ever expected, and that should keep you on the edge of your seat."