Collider sat down with The Following star Natalie Zea to talk about her work on The Following, Justified, and Californication. She also talks about her character’s depth and what it is like to work with Kevin Bacon.
Your work on Californication, Justified and The Following has overlapped. Are you just a workaholic, or were all those opportunities too good to pass up?
ZEA: Yes, I’m at my best when I’m working. I just recently learned how to find balance and deal with downtime and take advantage of it. It’s not going to last forever. It will be fine. I will be working again, eventually. But, breaks are not great for me. I get frustrated sometimes, if I have a long break and somebody says, “Oh, that must be nice!” I don’t dig ditches for a living, so I don’t really hate going to work. I chose this for a reason. I would much prefer to be over-worked than under-worked, hands down, no question.
What’s it been like to work with both Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy on The Following?
ZEA: It’s intense. That confrontation I had with James was actually the first scene that I shot for the series. It was like, “Move to New York, find a place to live, and let’s beat the shit out of each other!” It was intense to have that be my first scene. I had never met the crew and, all of a sudden, we’re beating the shit out of each other. I love those scenes. I love working with James. I do it very rarely, but I know that when I do, it’s going to be heightened, so I really look forward to it. Even though it almost never happens, when it does, I know it’s going to be good. And what can you say that hasn’t been said about Kevin? It’s ridiculous how perfect he is. I don’t want to be too hyperbolic, but he’s perfect. There’s nothing wrong with the guy. He continues to ask questions, as an actor and a person. He continues to be humble. He continues to be realistic. He continues to grow and play. I just think he’s the bee’s knees, man. He can do no wrong.
What do you think it was that drew Claire to Joe Carroll. Do you think she was under the same spell with him that everyone else seems to be?
ZEA: In the history that I wrote, it was a family thing. It was an abandonment thing, and he provided for her something that she didn’t have at home. A lot of the original tidbits that I made up for her past have been squelched because of certain references in the flashbacks, but I’m still going on that. It’s something way more deep than just that he’s got a lot of charisma. I give her more credit than that. Who knows exactly what it is?
Storylines like the one with Claire’s son getting kidnapped tend to get dragged out for awhile. When will that start to see some resolution?
ZEA: Look, I’m not going to lie to you, it does get dragged out and it’s intentional. With this show, it’s all about the fine line between earning something and surprising the audience. And Kevin Williamson knows how to do that very well. He knows how to turn something on its head, way before you think it’s going to happen. But also, the major consequences don’t happen unearned. This is something that needs to be earned. As a viewer, you need to be as frustrated as Claire is that this kid is not being found. Otherwise, who cares? It has to get to that point before a resolution can take place.
You can read the rest of the interview here.