ABC has another hit on its hands with Revenge, the critically-acclaimed drama series that found a home at 10 PM on Wednesday nights, right after the network's hit comedy block. Fans can relive the entire first season with Revenge: The Complete First Season, currently available on DVD, before the Season 2 Premiere airs on its new night and time, Sunday, September 30 at 9 PM ET. Series star Emily VanCamp recently talked about the first season, and what fans can expect in the upcoming episodes. Take a look at what she had to say.
What attracted you to Revenge?
Emily VanCamp: As soon as I read the script for Revenge, I fell in love with the project. I wanted to do something different from Brothers & Sisters, so I waited for the right show to come along - and Revenge was exactly that. I didn't want to jump into the next project unless I really felt excited about it, but I was enthralled with Revenge. We had no idea if the audience would respond to the show and we didn't know if it would do well, but I really wanted to do the pilot and see where it went from there because the script really spoke to me. It was certainly the most challenging role I read that pilot season, and it was the most juicy and exciting part. From the beginning, I could see myself enjoying the show for a very long time.
Is it easy to play a character like this?
Emily VanCamp: A lot of research goes into a role like Emily. It's a lot less about drawing on my own personal experiences, but drawing on more of the pool of research that I had to do. There was a lot of thinking and a lot of developing the character, which was so much fun for me. I was ready to do that. I really wanted to tackle something different and I really wanted to be challenged. I was really excited.
Have you felt any pressure in being the star of the show?
Emily VanCamp: Absolutely! There's an immense amount of pressure that came with this role. I never really experienced anything like this before, but I just had to take it day by day. It's so much about remembering that it's about the process and just enjoying every moment of being on set and getting to play this great character.
Is it easy to deal with the pressure?
Emily VanCamp: People are either going to like the show or not. You can't obsess about it too much or you'll drive yourself crazy. Now that the show has become popular, we can breathe a little bit and I feel like the weight has lifted. That makes it much more fun to work on. I can relax a little, at least for a little while.
How much do you rely on your cast mates for support?
Emily VanCamp: To be honest, this really is an ensemble cast. We all like being around each other and we all want to make the best show possible. We're also really appreciative and glad to be here. For me, there are a lot of long hours involved in creating Revenge - but it certainly doesn't feel like that because I'm incredibly happy. The show focuses on this one girl's journey of revenge, but we're all doing this together. We're all in the grind together. Plus, there are so many other storylines explored as well, which makes it that much more interesting for everyone involved. They've all been wonderful.
What can you tell us about Emily's feelings for Daniel Grayson at the start of Season 1?
Emily VanCamp: I think Emily struggles with this person that she's become and, ultimately, that little girl that she longs to feel like again. It's a major struggle, and at the end of the day she's still a young woman who does have the potential to feel love. At the start of the season, she's really shutting that part of herself off - but Daniel is not who she thought he was and she is torn.
In what way is Daniel different?
Emily VanCamp: Emily imagined it would be much easier to infiltrate the family through this guy because she thought he was just another high-society boy. In fact, he turns out to be the opposite and he's actually really good. That's why she struggles with whether or not she has feelings for him, and whether she's taking this too far with him. The lines are really going to blur between what she truly feels for him and how much she's using him. She struggles with that, and also with her relationship with Jack. It's a constant struggle for Emily.
Do you feel there are more questions to be answered about Emily?
Emily VanCamp:Definitely. How many people were involved in the framing of her father and what else has she done? Where did she go for those eight years where she learned the art of revenge? What did she do? Was she in the military? Those are fun questions to answer - and I hope they get answered soon.
Do you believe in revenge?
Emily VanCamp: If it's justified, I suppose I believe in revenge - but I'm more into the idea of positivity and forgiveness. I'm not going to lie, it's a lot of fun to play and to live all these feelings through the character, but she's definitely not like me.
Why did you decide to sign up for another television show?
Emily VanCamp: Every time I finish a show, I always say that I'm going to leave that part of the business alone for a while and tackle other things - but I'm always drawn to it. To be honest, I absolutely love doing television. It's a huge attraction for me.
Has it been an enjoyable experience working on Revenge?
Emily VanCamp: I'm very lucky. I'm working with an incredibly supportive, amazing cast, as well as producers and brilliant creators who are writing great scripts. I have been doing this for a very long time, even though I'm still quite young - but it's been an incredible experience and I'm enjoying every moment. In fact, I have a lot of 'pinch me' moments on the set, which is great.
Can you describe any of your 'pinch me' moments?
Emily VanCamp: I'll have 'pinch me' moments in my trailer when I get really excited about the new scripts. Ashley Madekwe [who plays Ashley Davenport in the show] thinks I'm the biggest dork in the world! She's seen most of these moments, but I can't help getting excited about the storylines and the plot. I feel like Mike Kelley has put together this group of really great people, and I love that I get to go to work and have so much fun with them. It's an amazing feeling. At the beginning, it felt explosive because we all wanted to make a great project and make the audience happy, but also have fun while we were doing it. I have an incredible sense of gratitude all the time.
Will Emily feel any guilt as she exacts her revenge in the show?
Emily VanCamp: Emily has spent eight years building up a wall so that she can do this and she has nothing to lose. I feel like this revenge is a way for her to stay connected to her father, and the moment that she forgives is the moment that she has to let him go. If you look at it that way, that's a massive motivation for her.
Will anything stop Emily?
Emily VanCamp:She's constantly being challenged. This is a moment in her life that she thought was going to be quite easy and fulfilling; that's where it's going to get interesting. Feelings are going to arise and she's going to be challenged in that way. This is also the first time that she's ever been around a group of people for that amount of time. I think she's always been traveling and avoiding human interaction.
How long can she continue before people start to get suspicious?
Emily VanCamp: She's had eight years to really, really plan this out. Even though it's suspicious, she's really covered her bases in terms of being able to know anything on paper.
How difficult was it to get the audience on Emily's side, especially considering she's so full of vengeance?
Emily VanCamp: I've talked a lot about finding the balance for this and, at the end of the day; it's a moral discussion in terms of how people feel about revenge. Emily is quite justified in what she's doing. These people stole everything from her. They are horrible people. They do really bad things. I think, on some level, everybody can connect with that theme of revenge, whether they act on it or not. That's where the balance with the audience comes in.
Do you see Emily as a sociopath?
Emily VanCamp: Well, what happened to Emily was so incredibly traumatic. She had such a happy childhood, but then she was torn away from her father and she had to grow up in the foster care system. Her teenage years were really rough. She didn't really have, beyond her father, anybody who truly cared about her. It was all taken away from her and so she's lived with that guilt and pain for years.
Does she care for anyone apart from her father?
Emily VanCamp: This is not somebody who has family or friends. She's protected herself and she's deliberately chosen not to make any kind of real human connections with people because, like I said before, her only true connection to love is this relationship with revenge and her father. I think that's what keeps her on track.
Can you give us any clues about Season 2?
Emily VanCamp: The Season 1 finale is filled with about five cliffhangers, so we deal with those and the repercussions in Season Two. There is also a new villain who is amazing; he gives the show new life and broadens the definition of revenge in that he takes it beyond the Graysons and moves it into a whole other realm for Emily.
Who would be your dream guest star on Revenge?
Emily VanCamp: I think Michael C. Hall should come on to the show as Dexter and help Emily out a little bit. Come on, what a crossover! Maybe he should be one of her revenge gurus? That would be awesome.