TV Show Convention

THE FOLLOWING: Special Video Presentation and Q&A Panel [NYCC 2014]

The Following Panel

The Following Special Video Present and Q&A Panel from NYCC 2014. For a second year, The Following returned to the 2014 New York Comic Con as fans anxiously await to see footage from the third season of Fox’s hit thriller. The Empire Stage was filled with raging fans as stars Kevin Bacon, Shawn Ashmore, and producer Marcos Siega was joined by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook who moderated the panel covering what’s ahead for the upcoming season.

The panel began with the first trailer of the new season showing what’s to come. The trailer started with a wedding reception where Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy gives a thoughtful speech about being surrounded by friends and family. As his speech voices over the trailer, audiences got to see glimpses of scenes from the season showing where most of the cast ended up from last season. We see that Ryan’s niece Max (Jessica Stroup) and Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) aren’t together anymore as Max is already dating another man. We also get a glimpse at Ryan’s new love interest named Gwen played by Lost’s Zuleikha Robinson. The trailer ends as we return to the wedding reception with one of the waiters pointing a gun at Ryan. Does he survive what happens next? We won’t know till the season premieres early next year, but for now, the cast spoke about what’s coming up on The Following.

Kevin Bacon started the panel by talking about Ryan Hardy’s journey throughout the first two seasons and what he liked about playing the character. He said that Ryan has lost everything he cared about all because of his obsession with hunting down Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). Because of him trying to capture Joe, Kevin says that Ryan has gone into a dark place where it’s going to be hard for him to get out of.

Similarly, Shawn says his character Mike went through the same experience after losing his loved ones after killing Lily Gray last season for revenge on the death of his father. Shawn sees the intensity in Ryan whenever they work a case together and tries to become him in a way. However, the roles happen to be reversed for Ryan as he finally found friends and family despite losing everything. For Mike though, he has lost everything and has nothing to live for after enacting his revenge. Shawn explains that we have seen Mike mature since the first season and has put his guard up on those close to him. Even though we won’t see his family, producer Marcos Siega said that family is what drives Mike from next season onwards.

The last time we saw Joe Carroll, he was taken by the authorities and was never heard of again, or so we think. Marcos Siega revealed that Joe would play a big part in season three saying that he would be like a shark under water and no way to tell when he will pop up. Kevin gave up the fact that the finale of the second season had two endings, one where Joe lived and the other where he died which the latter ended up being aired. In regards to Joe and Ryan’s relationship, Marcos verified that the relationship wouldn’t be in the same veins as NBC’s similar show Hannibal where Hannibal would end up helping the FBI track down killers.

A big theme that would take shape in the third season is Ryan trying to move on from Joe. Shawn talks about Ryan trying to live without Joe as he grows concerned about Mike becoming just like him but doesn’t offer him any advice because he doesn’t know how.

Marcos then went on to say that the first episode of the new season would be like the pilot where it goes back to the characters really drives the show. The panel went on to talking about the new actors who join the cast. Zuleika Robinson who plays Gwen, is described as a nurse and a mother who becomes a potential love interest for Ryan with whom he meets in the ER. More on Zuleikha’s background would be revealed in the second episode, but so far she would become Ryan’s first chance at finding true happiness. Kevin talks us through his past lovers that ended up not being right for him like Joe’s ex-wife Claire, Molly (who ends up being one of Joe’s followers), and reporter Carrie Cooke.

Speaking of love lives, Shawn brings up that his character Mike is the one who ends his relationship with Max in order to continue his search for Lily’s son Mark. After seeing Max with another man, Shawn says that Mike won’t get Max back until he corrects his life.

On how the season will end, Marcos said that he already has an idea of how the season closes before it begins. Marcos explained that a whole plan is mapped out on how the season will end but getting there will be process where some creative thinking has to be processed, especially if someone in the cast has to die. Marcos would tell the actors beforehand on when they will die, just like when he told Valorie Curry, who plays Joe’s follower/lover about her death. Kevin describes how difficult it is to say goodbye to cast members who die on screen, but says that the show must go on with new actors coming into the fold.

With a new season comes new threats as Marcos and Kevin told everyone that Joe’s followers are still out there to strike. Another threat could come in the form of Joe’s former mentor Dr. Strauss whose trial plays over the course of the season. We may also see Dr. Strauss’ other star pupil in some capacity. One question that will be answered in the first episode is who was driving Mark after his escape, revealing to the fans that it is indeed a woman.

Currently shooting episode 2, Shawn speaks about a shocking method of killing that will be described during that episode. With the many ways to die on the show, Kevin says that the blood on the show would be dialed back somewhat, avoiding the stabs that occur on the show. Kevin also spoke about having his wife Kyra Sedgwick on the show. He said he doesn’t know if it will happen due to their conflicting schedules but hopes maybe down the line it may happen.

The panel ended with some audience questions to the cast. One person asked how Kevin and Shawn deal with the heavy stuff that happens on the show and what their mindset is in doing it. Shawn answered by saying that he would zone out by letting go of his emotions to stay in focus. Kevin also answered saying that he would do some research and keep things organic.

Another question was given about Ryan’s heart condition being featured prominently in season one but not in the season two. Kevin said that his character’s heart has stayed strong ever since he started recovering from season two and will stay that way going forward.

The next two questions were asked about Kevin and Shawn’s careers as actors. An audience member asked Kevin what his favorite character is throughout his career. Kevin answered saying that he has no favorites but keeps a snapshot of the films he made and has been lucky for playing many diverse characters. Another member asks Shawn what his favorite death is, in which Shawn said was during the film The Ruins where he gets stabbed to death by his girlfriend.

Returning to questions regarding the show, Kevin answered a question about who the Big Bad will be going into season three by saying that he would be battling himself as he keeps his emotions in tact. A question was also given about the show’s censorship with Marcos saying that Fox was on board with the killings but he remembered a scene where a dog was killed that didn’t end up being aired due to the restrictions of killing an animal on television. On emotional relationships, Shawn says that revenge will drive Mike as well as having a family. Kevin also gives the same answer saying that he would need people in his life to care for.

The Following returns on Fox during midseason 2015.

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About the author

Mufsin Mahbub

Mufsin is a freelance writer from New York who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Long Island University. He has written for publications like HollywoodLife, Clubplanet, and Heavy. He is an avid lover for everything related to TV and film. He has gone to dozens of film screenings, press events, and loves to attend New York Comic Con every year. He gives an honest opinion on every TV show or film that people are going to be talking about.

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