From show creator Kevin Williamson, the hit psychological thriller The Following has returned to Fox for its second season. This time around, when Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) finds himself in the middle of a horrific new murder spree, the FBI calls on Ryan and Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) to speak with the lone survivor, Lily (Connie Nielsen), in order to help them solve the case. Ryan is reluctant to re-engage with the FBI, but finds a valuable ally in his niece, Max (Jessica Stroup), an NYPD cop working in the Intel Division, who helps prove his suspicion that Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) reign of terror is far from over.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, one of the newest additions to the cast, actress Tiffany Boone, talked about how she came to be a part of the show, auditioning with scenes that never actually made it to the show, why she was scared to watch Season 1, that she likes how grounded and strong the acting is, adjusting to never knowing where her character is going next, what it’s like to work with James Purefoy, how emotionally draining the show can be sometimes, her favorite episode, and whether she’s ever been tempted to try on one of the Joe Carroll masks. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
TIFFANY BOONE: It was actually just a normal audition. I had an incredible amount of auditions that week, and it happened really fast. I did the first audition on a Tuesday. I auditioned for Kevin Williamson on Wednesday. I tested on Friday. I booked it on Monday, and then, I moved to New York on Sunday. It was very fast. It was a whirlwind.
Had you been familiar with the show?
BOONE: Yeah! I had actually watched from the very first night it premiered, and I was so freaked out that I was like, “I’m going to have to watch these all in a row, with the window shades up, during the day.” I’m such a scaredy cat. I hate horror films. But later on, I binged watched it and loved it, so it’s a real blessing to be a part of the second season. This show really plays to your worst fears.
If you’re such a scaredy cat, what did you like about this show?
BOONE: The reason why I think the show is great is that I thought the acting in the first season was so grounded and so strong. Everyone’s characters did bad things, but you could understand where they were coming from, a lot of the time. You found yourself sympathizing with characters that you wouldn’t think you would. So, even though I don’t like a lot of horror or violence, because the acting is so strong and because it’s relationship based, it’s something that I wanted to watch. And the second season is even more like that. We delve into the psyche of these characters and the relationships that they’re building, which almost makes it scarier.
When you did this audition, did you know much of anything about the character?
BOONE: It was very secretive. The audition sides I had didn’t even show up in the actual show. I knew very little. I only knew what was on the page. Kevin Williamson gave me a slight hint, but then was like, “But, don’t tell anybody.” So, I knew very little. All I had to go off of was what was on the page. But, it’s was so well written. Kevin and the writers do a great job. It was enough on the page for me to understand where she was coming from. It’s also good to come into Season 2, knowing that so many people died in Season 1. I’m not coming in blindly and going, “Oh, I’m going to be on this show for five seasons,” because I’m probably not. The women on this show don’t have a great chance.
What were you told about who this girl is?
BOONE: I was really just told that she’s an innocent young girl who falls into being a part of this really dark world. What you’re gonna see is pretty much how she navigates that. Being a teenager is hard enough. And then, being a part of The Following is even harder. She has a very pure heart, and that’s tested, every week.
When you work on a show like this, where you really are learning who your character is, as it goes along, is that hard to adjust to, or do you like working that way?
BOONE: It’s hard to adjust to because you don’t really have an idea of the arc. We normally get scripts a day before, which is difficult. It’s a challenge, but I’m an actor because I love those kinds of challenges. It’s definitely a great learning process. At least we’re all in the same boat. Except for Kevin [Bacon], the rest of us have no idea what’s happening next. But, that’s fun.
What’s it been like to work with James Purefoy?
BOONE: I was so scared to work with him. When my friends watch the show now, they’re like, “He’s so amazing! He’s so intense!” James is the goofiest and sweetest guy. To me, I’ve started to look at him as a mentor. He’s helped me along. This is the biggest thing I’ve done, and he helps me every week. He’s just so sweet and so funny, and he makes you feel so comfortable. I’m lucky to be able to work with him.
Is Mandy in the environment that she’s in because of circumstances put here there, or is she there by choice?
BOONE: She becomes a part of The Following without necessarily choosing to. Being a young girl, she’s falling into a lot of circumstances. That’s different than when you met Emma, in the first season. She was young too, but she made all of these decisions. The parallel between our two characters is interesting because I’m a young girl coming in, but I don’t have the same point of view as Emma Hill. I think people will enjoy seeing our journey, alongside each other.
BOONE: It depends. Especially working with people like James who are goofy, I don’t feel like it ever gets too dark on set. Everyone is very supportive. You can do a scene and then be able to just brush it off. There are times when I’ve done scenes and it really drains me. It’s not like I’m shaken up or scared or having nightmares, but I’ll feel like I need a nice long nap that includes 10 hours of sleep, after that. It’s emotionally draining. Normally, what happens when I do those scenes is that I get so hot. I’ll come out of a scene and I’ll be sweating bullets. I’ll be like, “What’s happening? I need to walk outside.” But once I get some fresh air, I’m like, “You’re just acting. Snap out of it! This isn’t real life.” Thank goodness, it’s not real life.
Do you have a favorite episode?
BOONE: I would say that my favorite episode is Episode 3. That’s when we really started to give an idea of who Mandy is and who she wants to be. That’s when she fell into The Following.
Were you ever tempted to try on one of the creepy Joe Carroll masks?
BOONE: No! They sit in hair and make-up, all the time, and I have no desire to put one on. I’d probably officially have nightmares then.
The Following airs on Monday nights on Fox.