Interview with Nico Tortorella of "The Following" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Nico Tortorella

Interview with Nico Tortorella of "The Following" on FOX 4/24/13

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: The Following Conference Call
April 24, 2013/10:30 a.m. PDT

Joanna Wolff
Nico Tortorella


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 answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

Iíd now like to turn the conference over to your host, Ms. Joanna Wolff. Please, go ahead.

J. Wolff Hi, everyone, and welcome to The Following Conference Call with Nico Tortorella. The Following season finale will air this Monday, April 29th at 9 p.m. on Fox. For more information, photos, and clips, please head to So, without further ado, I will turn this over to Nico.

N. Tortorella Hello, hello.

Moderator Our first question will go to Jamie Ruby with SciFi Vision. Please, go ahead.

J. Ruby SciFi Vision. Hi, again, Nico. Itís great to talk to you again. You know, I told you last time that Jacob needed to kill Emma. You really should have.

N. Tortorella I know, I know. But itís all about the drama and it all just kind of unravels.

J. Ruby No, I know. Can you talk about filming your death scene?

N. Tortorella Yes, for sure. I found out probably a week beforehand and that was the last scene that I got to shoot with Valorie Ė sheís actually calling me right now, which is hysterical. It was intense and dramatic and emotional. It was my goodbye to her. Weíve had such an incredible season working together.

The neck prosthetic piece that I had on my neck was a big, whole ordeal. It took four hours to put that piece on and then it was all rigged up with the blood. It was a lot.

J. Ruby Wow, I didnít know they went through all that for that. Thatís cool. So, what do you think, all in all, that youíve learned about yourself in filming the show? Whether as an actor or just in general?

N. Tortorella Just enjoy the moment, you know, because you never know when itís going to stop. In good and in bad, this too shall pass.

J. Ruby Great. Well, excited to see you in future stuff, especially Odd Thomas. Good luck.

N. Tortorella Thank you so much.

J. Ruby Thanks.

Moderator Thank you and weíll go to Lori Rackl with Chicago Sun Times. Please, go ahead.

L. Rackl Nico, thanks for talking to us.

N. Tortorella Hi, Lori. Yes, for sure.

L. Rackl Hi. Since, you know, youíre from Wilmette, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about growing up here and what got you into acting.

N. Tortorella Yes, it was fantastic. I went to New Trier and I started on stage when I was pretty young, like, eight or nine I did a show at Wilmette Childrenís Theatre, which was The Wizard of Oz. From that point on, I stopped playing sports Ė I was playing hockey and lacrosse Ė and started working in Chicago theater.

I worked at the Northlight Theater in Skokie, the Mercury Theater on South Port. I did a show there for three years, actually; it was called Over the Tavern. I studied at Goodwin and Steppenwolf. It was just an amazing city to be introduced to this world. Itís such a great middle point between L.A. and New York and such an awesome starting place. I wouldnít trade it for anything.

L. Rackl I understand that your grandmother, she owns an antique shop out here, is that right, in Glenview?

N. Tortorella Yes, Resale & Antiques in Glenview.

L. Rackl Does she pass along Ė is that where you get your love of antiques and vintage clothing and all that?

N. Tortorella Thatís where it all started: me traveling the garage sales and auctions with my grandma. Thatís when they planted the seeds.

L. Rackl Are your folks still here?

N. Tortorella My folks actually moved out to L.A. once my brother and I moved out there. Theyíve been there for a couple of years now. But I still have this huge Italian family all scattered throughout all of Chicagoland, so Iím back as much as I can be.

L. Rackl Thank you.

N. Tortorella Absolutely.

Moderator Thank you, and weíll go to Samantha Sobolewski with TV Guide Canada. Please, go ahead.

S. Sobolewski Hi, Nico; thanks so much for talking to us.

N. Tortorella Hi, Samantha. Yes, for sure.

S. Sobolewski So itís been a rollercoaster of a relationship between Jacob and Emma. How did you feel about it being Emma who ended up actually killing your character?

N. Tortorella Well, I think that it made the most sense, in terms of the drama, and just really the love story between the two of us and her love story with Joe Carroll. Honestly, maybe aside from Joe Carroll, I wouldnít have wanted it to be anybody else.

S. Sobolewski Okay. Can we expect some kind of karma to come Emmaís way in the finale after offing Jacob?

N. Tortorella Absolutely. Thereís going to be some twists and turns to throw her character off a little bit.

S. Sobolewski Finally, The Following ... team up with Kevin Williamson, so what do you like about working with him?

N. Tortorella Thereíre always surprises and you never know whatís going to happen. Heís one of the few masters of his genre. Itís always a pleasure to work with him. Iím excited for what our next project is.

S. Sobolewski Is there any chance youíre going to be working with him in the near future?

N. Tortorella I hope so.

S. Sobolewski Okay, great. Thank you so much.

N. Tortorella Thank you.

Moderator Weíll go to Alice Chapman Newgen with Times-Courier. Please, go ahead.

A. Newgen Hi, Nico, itís great talking to you.

N. Tortorella Absolutely, you too.

A. Newgen What was the hardest thing that you had to work on during the show and why?

N. Tortorella The hardest thing that I had to work on Ė you know, it was probably Paulís death. It was definitely the most challenging scene that Iíve had to work on thus far, as an actor, just because it was utterly, emotionally, completely draining. Probably the most satisfying and gratifying experience Iíve ever had as an actor, as well. It was a long day and that was the last scene of the night and I gave it every inch of what I had available.

A. Newgen Once you finished Ė your character is finished now, what was it like? Was it gratification that I did my part and I think I did a great job and itís over and Iím going to move on? Or was it kind of sad? Or a little bit of both?

N. Tortorella Yes, totally bittersweet. I would have loved to stay on the show for longer and watch Jacobís character unfold a little bit more and see how exactly he got to this place and where he was going. But at the end, Kevin Williamson just has such an amazing way of building up characters to a certain point and then just dropping them out to shock the audience so well. At the end of the day, itís all about the drama and I wouldnít change this experience for anything.

A. Newgen Alright, well, thank you.

N. Tortorella Thank you.

Moderator Weíll go to the line of Bill Harris with Sun Media. Please, go ahead.

B. Harris Nico, do you think itís kind of ironic, or at least interesting in a way, that as we move forward in the story, Joe Carrollís biggest Achillesí heel, I guess, is his love for a woman. Itís whatís driving him, but itís also whatís putting him at great risk.

At the end of the day for your character, it was also the love of a woman, wasnít it? He could have just gotten in that car and gone, but he wanted to take Emma with him. So what are we saying about love on this crazy show?

N. Tortorella Love rules all. It absolutely does.

B. Harris Or ends all.

N. Tortorella Yes, I guess it goes both ways, for sure. When I was in the car Ė when Jacob was in the car with Emma, he turns to her and says Iím leaving with or without you, but I do love you. It was ultimately her decision, her love for Joe Carroll that ruled all. Yes, so it totally is ironic.

B. Harris One quick followup: do you think that this show is kind of pushing the envelope in terms of what weíre seeing on network TV. I canít remember too many shows that have been, I guess, for lack of a better word, extreme on network TV. It seems like every week it goes a little bit further.

Are you guys aware of that when youíre making it? Does it give you sort of a sense of accomplishment or pride or kind of like we really are getting peopleís attention because weíre really pushing the envelope here?

N. Tortorella Yes, for sure. We were kind of the followup to the drama and the intensity that 24 had on Fox, which is on the same level, completely, as The Following is. But itís always gratifying to know that youíre working on a show that is not only intense but itís also social commentary. Itís constantly pushing the envelope, and thatís every actor and filmmakerís dream.

B. Harris Alright, thanks very much.

N. Tortorella Thank you.

Moderator Thank you, and we have a followup from Jamie Ruby with Please, go ahead.

J. Ruby Hi, again. I was just curious, were you surprised that Paul Ė now Iím going to call you Paul and Jacob Ė seemed to forgive Emma so easy? I guess it wasnít that easy, but after a while, because I was kind of surprised.

N. Tortorella Yes, I was surprised to an extent. But at the same time, there were only so many people that Jacob had to turn to in that house. Emma was getting literally slapped back and forth by everybody else in the house, and when she finally turned to Jacob for support, Jacob had nobody else to turn to, so it was either love or not love, and I think Jacob just showed love.

J. Ruby Just in your own opinion, if they had gotten away and left, what do you think would have happened? Do you think that he would have caught them? Do you think that she would have turned on him down the road?

N. Tortorella In my opinion, if we had gone away, a whole little Bonnie and Clyde story would have been a perfect season two, but Iím not the writer.

J. Ruby Well, tell them they need a spinoff. Alright, thanks a lot.

N. Tortorella Thank you.

Moderator Weíll go to Philana Ng with Hollywood Reporter. Please, go ahead.

P. Ng Hi, Nico. Thanks for doing this, I really appreciate it.

N. Tortorella Absolutely.

P. Ng You kind of mentioned that you want to work with Kevin again. What are you looking to do in terms of a followup? Are you looking for other TV projects, like horror, drama?

N. Tortorella Iím actually shooting a movie right now called Hunter and Game, which is a fictional documentary about an electronic music group. Itís super comedy and hysterical and a lot of improv and itís been a great followup to working on such a dramatic show like The Following.

But I want to do it all. I donít want to get locked in any one type of genre. Some type of romantic comedy after The Following would be just fine with me. But working with Kevin Williamson and Iím reading a bunch of amazing scripts right now; some in the suspense genre and other completely not, some period pieces. I just want to constantly be working with amazing directors and amazing actors and just always pushing the envelope on what I can do as an actor.

P. Ng Are you actively seeking TV projects or just whatever comes your way?

N. Tortorella Itís both. I love the consistency of working on television. You donít get that in working on film, but itís all about the right projects. Iím reading different stuff every single day, so actively seeking.

P. Ng Awesome. Thank you.

Moderator Weíll go to Jamie Ruby with Please, go ahead.

J. Ruby Hi, again. Would you Ė you talk about that you want to keep acting. Would you ever be interested in doing something behind the scenes, like directing or anything?

N. Tortorella Yes, for sure. Especially after working on The Following and we had so many amazing directors come in and Iíve learned so much from just being in this industry for the short amount of time that I have been. Is it something that I want to do right away? No, I definitely want to stay in front of the camera and learn more from as many people as I can. Somewhere down the line, yes, writing and directing and producing and all encompass would be fantastic.

J. Ruby Awesome. I was curious Ė you talk about different types of projects and that youíre happy to do any different kind, but is The Following the type of show you would normally watch? Do you like suspenseful horrors? What do you watch, in general?

N. Tortorella Not necessarily. I watch a lot of Comedy Central. Theyíre doing a lot of really cool new shows, like The Nathan Show and The Ben Show Ė I guess itís Nathan for You. Itís kind of like the real reality TV, like behind the scenes reality TV thatís happening right now that Iím into at this moment. But in terms of big dramas like this, Iím a huge Game of Thrones fan, but Iím also a huge Girls fan. Iím kind of all over the place, really.

J. Ruby Okay, great. Thank you.

Moderator Weíll go to Alice Chapman Newgen with Times-Courier. Please, go ahead.

A. Newgen Hi again. Iím from the Atlanta area and I was wondering if you think there might be something for you in a project down the road in this area?

N. Tortorella In what area is it? Iím sorry.

A. Newgen Atlanta.

N. Tortorella In Atlanta. We actually shot the pilot for The Following in Atlanta, which was great. Thereís amazing antique shopping all outside of the Atlanta area. I had a lot of fun there.

You know, thereís so much thatís shooting there, Iím sure I will wind up back in Atlanta at some point.

A. Newgen Great. Alright, thank you.

Moderator Weíll go to Jamie Ruby with Please, go ahead.

J. Ruby I thought of another one. With The Following, were they real strict with the lines or did you improv at all or add things?

N. Tortorella Kevin was kind of stickler on staying to the books. There were a few places where I was able to adlib a little bit, but not really. The way he writes is pretty consistent and he wants you to say what he writes.

J. Ruby Okay, great. Thanks.

Moderator At this time, there are no questions in queue. Please, continue.

Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference for today. This conference will be available for replay after 12:00 noon today running through May 1st till midnight. You may now disconnect.

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