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By Suzanne

Interview with Kevin Bacon of "The Following" on FOX 2/19/15

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: The Following Conference Call
February 19, 2015/1:45 p.m. EST

Joanna Wolff
Kevin Bacon


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to The Following Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and session. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, this call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Miss Joanna Wolff. Please go ahead.

Joanna: Thank you, Linda. Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining The Following Conference Call with Kevin Bacon. The third season of The Following premieres Monday, March 2nd at 9 p.m. on Fox. As a reminder, the first two episodes are up on our screening room and additional information and photos are on our press website,

Now, I will turn it over to Kevin who will begin taking questions. Thank you.

Kevin: Wow, Joanna, what a great job.

Joanna: Thank you, Kevin.

Kevin: That was fantastic. Which button do I push when I donít want to answer a question? She didnít mention that in the Ė Iím just kidding. Itís a joke.

Moderator: Okay. We do have a question from the line of Jamie Ruby with SciFi Vision. Please go ahead.

Jamie: Hi, Kevin. Itís great to talk to you again. Thanks for taking the time.

Kevin: Thank you.

Jamie: I really love the first two episodes, although Iíve got to admit, that little box thing kind of really freaked me out. But aside from that, Iím curious, can you talk a bit about some of the new threats that weíre going to see this season? I know Mark is still there, but Iím assuming there are going to be more people as the season progresses.

Kevin: Mark is still there. Dr. Strauss, who was also from the previous season, is involved. We have a fantastic, loving and extremely beautiful couple named Daisy and Kyle who are terrible, terrible sociopaths but incredibly in love with each other. Theyíre almost like Ė theyíre kind of reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde or Natural Born Killers. I think theyíre a lot of fun. Sorry about the fire engine.

Jamie: Thatís okay.

Kevin: Joe Carroll, while we donít see him for the first few episodes, is still a very big presence in my life and Iím trying to really figure out if the killing thatís happening in and around New York now is somehow connected to him or not. Thatís part of what I sort of uncover in the course of this season.

Jamie: Okay, great. Then as a follow-up, what is it that continues to challenge you because youíve been acting, obviously, for so long in so many different things. Is there something that still you, you know, that you have to think about?

Kevin: Well, you know what? I feel like thatís what I look for. I look for challenges. I look for challenges, you know. Certainly, taking on an hour drama on a network series was a new challenge for me and I find that itís challenging pretty much every day I go to work, either physically or emotionally, and I try my best to push the writers to give me new challenges, as many as possible.

Thatís really like my kind of, the way I analyze a script is how far, you know, I donít look at how many days I have off. I see how far theyíre going to push me. Thatís just kind of like the way I am.

From an acting standpoint, I feel like when I was a kid, I thought I knew everything there was to know and, as the years go by, the search that I have to get deeper and more connected and hone this craft becomes more intensive as I get older because, I think, as you get older, you realize how much more there is to know and to learn and how much better you can get if you really work at it.

Jamie: Great. Thank you so much.

Kevin: Thank you.

Moderator: Then we have a question from the line of Jerry Nunn with the Windy City Times. Please go ahead.

Jerry: Hi, Kevin. How are you?

Kevin: Great. How are you doing?

Jerry: Good. We need the Bacon Brothers to come back to Chicago, first of all.

Kevin: Right on. Yes. We love Chicago.

Jerry: Iím writing for an LGBT publication and I know you kissed your costar James for The Following at a press conference. I was wondering if youíve always been a big supporter of gay people. You played a gay prostitute and things like that. I just wanted that for the publication.

Kevin: Absolutely. I mean, I think peopleís right to be with whomever they want to be with and to be accepted in society and not rejected from the time theyíre children and not bullied is incredibly important. Itís incredibly important to the fabric of this country and I think that if you really look at the truth about public opinion, I think itís something that, even though we have a long way to go, I think itís something that, as Americans, we can be proud of. Certainly, itís something that weíve made huge in-roads in the last, you know, whatever few years. So, yeah, I am a big supporter of LGBT rights.

Jerry: I appreciate that. Howís it working with James again? Howís that going?

Kevin: I just Ė all day long I want to kiss him. I mean, Iím crazy about James. We Ė you know, itís interesting because from the beginning of the series, one of the essential parts of it was this relationship between these two men. But because heís been on the run so much in the last few seasons, you know, the amount of times that we interface isnít Ė itís sadly not as many times as I would like because I love playing scenes with him. Theyíre always, I think they always come out well.

I will say that through some really kind of great ingenuity amongst the writers that I think some of the best scenes that weíve ever played in the course of three seasons, we play this year. So thatís always a joy, you know? When I see him on the call sheet, or I see him on the set, I have a tremendous amount of fondness for him. Itís like you know Ė itís like you get the ball and you just get to smack it back and forth with a great player.

Jerry: Awesome. Thank you so much.

Kevin: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Karen Rought with Hypable. Please go ahead.

Karen: Hi there. Thank you. From Hypable. So, Season 1 was full of a lot of shocking twists, while Season 2 was paired down quite a bit and it concentrated more on the finer details of the characters. How does Season 3 fall into that spectrum?

Kevin: You know, I think that we know that our audience enjoys the twists but, at this point, we also know that our audience is very savvy and very much looking for that. So I feel like weíre trying not to throw things in there that are twists for the sake of twists. The ones that happen, and the things that are surprising, are still going to be there, but theyíre going to come like in a really sort of organic way.

I also think that, you know, weíre trying to keep focused on the emotional content of the show, and whatís going on personally with these characters, because without that you donít really Ė it doesnít really land. Somebody mentioned the box in the second episode. That box is a very, very creepy thing, but the reason that it really works is because of whatís set up, you know, of the emotional and personal connection to it.

Thatís why it works. Those are the things that I like to focus on; those are the things that I get to play and I am constantly sort of lobbying for as much as we can mine from whatís going on with people in their private lives. Whatís going on outside of the case and how does whatever is happening in your life, outside of the case, reflect back to the case?

Karen: Right. As just a quick follow-up, who do you think is a more dangerous adversary, Mark Gray or Joe Carroll?

Kevin: Well, you know, thatís a pretty hard to thing to assess. I mean, you know, maybe Mark was more dangerous when there were two of them. I donít know, you know, when his brother was still alive. But Sam is such a great actor that when Ė they sort of figured out ways this season to try to keep, actually, an aspect of the twins still there. At the same time, Joe Carroll is Joe Carroll. Both of the characters have one thing that is similar about them is that a lot of their, the things that they do are driven by ego and by a kind of narcissist.

Whatís interesting about the character that Michael Ealy plays, who is Theo, who is sort of slow burning into the season this year, is that heís actually a guy that prefers to be behind the scenes, to not be in the limelight. You will see pretty quickly that that is equally as chilling and equally as terrifying. The shark that swims beneath the surface of the water.

Karen: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question Ė

Kevin: Thank you.

Moderator: Iím sorry. We have a question from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation. Please go ahead.

Jamie: Hi. Itís such a pleasure to speak with you.

Kevin: Thank you very much.

Jamie: Who are some of the guest stars we can look forward to seeing this season?

Kevin: Zuleikha Robinson, Michael Ealy [are series regulars and new to the show this season]. Iím trying to think who else is new this season. Gregg Henry was here last season. [Hunter Parrish and Ruth Kearney also guest-star.] They play Kyle and Daisy. Fantastic couple.

Jamie: Sounds like a great cast so far. Youíre part of social media. Do you enjoy that instant fan feedback you receive when the episodes premiere?

Kevin: Yeah, I do. I do. When I first heard about social media I was just like I canít think of anything worse to exposing myself to because the wrath of people, you know, like on one-on-one basis, but I find it actually to be pretty much, you know, pretty supportive. I donít have that kind of experience where, you know, I just read one horrible thing after another said about me.

Iím on Twitter. I think that the people that are fans of the show like social media and they really are very supportive. For instance, you know, I feel that they seem excited about the show coming on and where weíre going this year and they were, you know, a little disappointed as weíve been airing in January. Thereís definitely a feeling of like, oh, now I have to wait and thatís a great feeling. Iím glad that theyíre digging it. They also, you know, have been helpful. We certainly have taken suggestions and, you know, tried to take them seriously and incorporate.

Jamie: Great. Thank you so much.

Kevin: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Christina Smith with Please go ahead.

Christina: Hi, Kevin. Thanks so much for taking the time. We really appreciate it.

Kevin: Thank you.

Christina: Loving the new episodes so far and I really like seeing the relationship between Gwen and Ryan. I was just wondering what we can expect from that for the rest of the season?

Kevin: Well, you know, itís great for me to have this relationship for a number of reasons. One thing is that Iím crazy about Zuleikha. Sheís doing a great job, and we have a really nice connection. I feel like we, in the course of the Ė if you look at my love life, Ryanís love life, itís been complicated because you know there was Claire who, as fantastic as our relationship was and Natalie Zea is such a great actress and was so great in that part, I mean sheís the wife of the serial killer, so probably not the best person that I should be involved with.

Then you look at Carrie Cooke who was writing an expose. She was a tabloid journalist. Again, maybe not the best choice and, my neighbor, Molly, who ended up being one of Joeís followers and stabbing me. So my picker as a man is a little bit off. Iím not a good Ė Ryan Hardy, heís not a good picker. Then here comes this character of Gwen, this season, who truly is the right woman for him. Sheís not involved with the FBI. Sheís not involved with the case. Sheís not a killer. Sheís a doctor. Sheís someone who helps people, heals people.

Thatís really what I need in my life and sheís also willing and able to kind of call me on my s***. I think that thatís a really Ė so when I look at her I say to myself, okay, this is the girl that I should be with and the struggle of trying to keep that relationship together, in light of this incredibly difficult and bloody and stressful job that I have, is going to be part of what is the backbone of the season.

Christina: Thatís great. Sounds like itís going to be a great season with that. Just, you touched on this for a second but as a follow-up, what has it been like working with Zuleikha on set so far?

Kevin: You know, you get thrown into these situations with people that have to become incredibly intimate and there has to be a sort of trust there like right away. I mean, Zuleikha and I, we played a scene the other day where we didnít kiss and I was like, wow, we didnít kiss. This is the first scene weíve ever done that weíre not kissing in. You have to be able to have somebody that you really feel safe with and feel connected to and sheís that.

Sheís just a fantastic person and, you know, really willing to just kind of roll up her sleeves and get to work. No BS and Iím crazy about her. She also has a Ė sheís a little mysterious in a way, too, which is cool. Like I donít really Ė I feel like I know her, but like I kind of donít know her in a lot of ways, you know, and that doesnít actually hurt in terms of me and Ryan and that whole thing.

Christina: Great. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.

Kevin: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) We do have a question from the line of Danette Chavez with Reel Life With Jane. Please go ahead.

Danette: Hi, Kevin. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today.

Kevin: Sure. Thank you.

Danette: I just had a question about Ryanís relationship with Joe. Is it, for you, do you look at it as kind of like a Holmes and Moriarty thing where theyíre kind of two sides of the same coin?

Kevin: I think that Ė no, not really. No. I think that when you look back at the introduction of Joe in Season 1, when I met Joe for the first time, I didnít know that he was a serial killer. His wife turned me onto him because she said that he could be helpful with this case and I was, you know, kind of enamored with him because I feel like he has qualities that I just donít have.

If I went to a cocktail party Ė when I say ďIĒ I mean Ryan Ė if I go to a cocktail party, Iím not going to be able to converse. Iím not going to be able to be charming. People are not going to be drawn to speaking to me. Iím not a people person. Iím off-putting and, you know, often abrasive and short tempered and, you know, Iím not that guy. Joe is so charming. Heís so verbose. Heís so well-read.

Heís so, you know, kind of continental in a way that I think Ryan really sort of admires and when they have a chance to Ė before I find out that he was taking peopleís eyes out, you know, he would have been a guy that I would have liked to have been friends with and tried to see if I could be a little bit more like him. So I think thatís really at the essence of the relationship and this season itís almost as though as heís an ex of mine, you know? Itís almost Ė

Danette: Interesting.

Kevin: Itís almost like a love triangle because Iíve told this woman that heís out of my life 100% and here he comes making his way back into my life and sheís not happy about it.

Danette: Thank you. Thatís a terrific Ė I mean, thatís also a great kind of tease for the rest of the season. Thank you.

Kevin: Youíre welcome. Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Stacy Glanzman with TV Fanatic. Please go ahead.

Stacy: Hi. Yes, this is Stacy. My question is how protective will Ryan be of Max this season now that sheís joined the FBI?

Kevin: You know, I will throw myself in front of a bus for Max and, you know, she Ė we have a Ė you know, one of the craziest and most angry that I get in the course of the season has to do with something that happens to Max. It has to do with her not being protected in a way that I find absolutely unacceptable. So, yea, sheís Ė I have a sister who lives in Florida, but I donít really know her that well and weíre not that close, and Maxís dad was killed in 9/11 and so sheís really it. My parents are both dead. Sheís my family, so, yeah, Iím protective.

Stacy: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Tony Cowell with Best Magazine. Please go ahead.

Tony: Hi, Kevin. Thanks for talking to me.

Kevin: Thank you.

Tony: The Following is seen, certainly in the UK, as being quite dark. Was that a factor in you agreeing to do the project?

Kevin: You know what? As I went through this process of trying to figure out what I was going to do in television, I started to realize that the things that I was drawn to, both as a reader and as a watcher, were things that had very high stakes, life and death situations. While I enjoy light material and I certainly sometimes wonder what itís doing to me to be going to such a dark space all the time, I canít help it. Iím drawn to the high stakes and thatís what this show offers me.

Tony: Just as a follow-up, Kevin Spacey has worked in British theater for a number of years. Would you ever consider working in Britain?

Kevin: Absolutely I would. Absolutely I would. Itís always been a Ė itís a bucket list dream of mine to come and do some theater. I started out Ė when I moved to New York in 1976, it was really all I wanted to do. I mean, I quickly realized that off-Broadway was pretty difficult to make a living just doing that but I did a lot of theater and I love the theater in London.

Thereís such a strong tradition of theater and of actors having to cut their teeth on the stage and to me that Ė it becomes very, very clear, you know? Iíve worked with quite a few British actors and some of my best experiences have been with them and I feel a sort of kinship with that kind of history of having to, you know, work through on the stage. So the answer is a resounding yes. I would love to.

Tony: We look forward to seeing you. Thanks, Kevin.

Kevin: Thank you.

Moderator: Our last question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with Please go ahead.

Jamie: Hi, again. I was just wondering if you could talk a bit about working with Shawn this season.

Kevin: Shawnís a Ė Iíve seen Shawnís journey from the beginning of The Following and I wasnít really that aware of his work. In the scenes that we did in the first season, the beginning scenes, you could see that he was skilled and enthusiastic but, kind of like the Mike character, who really knew that he was going to be able to go to these really dark places because heís not a guy that hints to that in any way.

Heís Canadian and heís like really nice and really calm and sort of secure and like a really solid kind of guy and yet we have taken him through so many really, really, rough, difficult things on the show and he continues to just hit homeruns all the time. This season is no different. Itís great for him. You know, he comes into it in a really dark headspace.

Jamie: Right.

Kevin: Heís probably a little bit more Ryan than Ryan is at the beginning of the season.

Jamie: How do you think Ryan feels about him and Max? We havenít really gotten much of that yet.

Kevin: About him breaking up with Max?

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: You know, I feel like while sheís my niece, and Iím incredibly protective of her, I also feel like the beginning and the end of how I feel about the men in her life is whether or not theyíre nice to her. Thatís how I feel about my niece, my own nieces, and thatís how I feel about my daughters. I can like the guys or not like the guys, it really Ė I donít feel like itís really my place to judge them, except to the extent that they are good to her.

Thatís going to be Ė there are great storylines there between Mike and Max and Tom, her new boyfriend who, you know, one of the things that the writers set up, which is so great, was that you got this guy, Tom. Itíd be one thing if he was an a******, itíd be like kind of easy. Of course, here comes Mike and the guyís an a******. Of course, you know, thereís a very easy choice there, but heís not. Heís a good guy. He works hard. Heís in the FBI. Heís SWAT so heís a bad a** and you canít really fault the guy. So I think that makes for a much more complicated kind of decision making process, both for her and for Mike, and letís remember that heís the one that split. She begged him not to.

Jamie: Good point. Thanks so much.

Kevin: Thank you.

Joanna: Alright. Thank you, everyone, for joining today and thank you, Kevin, for your time. As a reminder, the third season of The Following premieres Monday, March 2nd at 9 p.m. on Fox. Have a great day, everyone.

Kevin: Thank you, everybody.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, this conference will be available for replay after 12:15 p.m. Pacific time today until February 26th at midnight. That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and using AT&T Executive TeleConference Service. You may now disconnect.

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