Mann with a plan

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

HE’S been beaten up, kid­napped, dou­ble­crossed, had his house fire­bombed and for­tune threat­ened, and his lover is dead. Life is, ac­tor Gabriel Mann ad­mits, kind of tough for Nolan Ross, his char­ac­ter on hit US drama Re­venge.

“If I were Nolan, in real life, I’d prob­a­bly hit the gym and take some self- de­fence classes, but that’s just me,” Mann laughs.

“I’d also prob­a­bly use some of his money to get him a re­ally good shrink.”

And things don’t get any eas­ier for Ross in the cliffhanger end to Re­venge sea­son two, which airs on Aus­tralian screens to­mor­row night.

It’s a fi­nale which de­liv­ers a few an­swers, poses some new ques­tions, and for shock value, sees a shock con­fes­sion and dis­penses with an orig­i­nal cast mem­ber.

It also of­fers hope for a third sea­son in which Re­venge re­turns to its roots af­ter be­ing panned in some cir­cles for los­ing its way this year.

For a time, the ac­tion spread far be­yond the rich and spoiled Hamp­tons, cloud­ing cen­tral char­ac­ter Emily Thorne’s ( Emily VanCamp) quest for re­venge on the rich and spoiled Grayson fam­ily for her fa­ther’s death.

Mid- sea­son, the sto­ry­lines swung back to The Hamp­tons, and the sea­son- en­der fur­thers the re­demp­tion by lay­ing a few of the sto­ry­lines con­cern­ing shady or­gan­i­sa­tion called The Ini­tia­tive to rest.

One thing that has re­mained con­stant is the tight al­liance be­tween Mann’s Ross and VanCamp’s Thorne al­though Mann ad­mits some­times he can’t un­der­stand why.

Asked why Ross a rich techy nerd with a dis­taste for phys­i­cal hurt, con­tin­ues to put him­self in harm’s way for Thorne in­stead of opt­ing to go away some­where safer to en­joy his mil­lions, Mann says it’s more than loy­alty.

“It’s a danger­ous al­liance, but in Nolan’s

Noth­ing is quite what it ap­pears. Ev­ery­body has se­cret.’ a dirty lit­tle

world that first sum­mer was prob­a­bly the most ex­cit­ing he ever had, so once he touched the flame, he wanted to go back,” Mann says.

“Emily is such a huge infl uence on his life, so I guess if she needs some­thing or asks him for some­thing he’s prob­a­bly go­ing to com­ply to the best of his abil­ity.”

In sea­son two, he cer­tainly has, and Mann has en­joyed un­cov­er­ing the new facets of his char­ac­ter.

“That’s the beauty of this show. You’ve got th­ese re­ally strong per­son­al­i­ties, and there’s al­ways some new twist to ex­plore, some wrin­kle that’s thrown up, some an­gle to line up.”

“Noth­ing is quite what it ap­pears. Ev­ery­body has a dirty lit­tle se­cret.

“Watch­ing in­no­cent char­ac­ters slowly get cor­rupted by this world they’re liv­ing in is part of the in­trigue.

“Any char­ac­ter that walks in clean to the Hamp­tons usu­ally ends up walk­ing out pretty dirty, and we usu­ally fi nd out they have about 10 skele­tons liv­ing in their closet.

“And usu­ally that skele­ton gets dragged out on a video tape, on se­cret cam­era, or any­thing that can be broad­cast in a num­ber of places.

“It’s hard to en­ter the or­bit of all of th­ese peo­ple with­out some­how be­ing touched in a good way, or a very, very bad way, and usu­ally it’s a bit of both. Nolan is no ex­cep­tion to that.”

Ross’s big sto­ry­line this sea­son saw him fall in love with his com­pany chief fi­nan­cial offi cer, Padma ( a sur­prise given that his sex­u­al­ity was al­ways “am­biva­lent”), only to see her kid­napped, and now dead, as the fi­nale looms.

But his re­la­tion­ship with Thorne re­mains the one con­stant no mat­ter how danger­ous, ex­as­per­at­ing or strained.

Mann de­scribes that re­la­tion­ship as “al­most a sib­ling re­la­tion­ship” al­though there is a small army of fans who call them­selves “NolEms”, who would love to see the duo hook up on screen.

“Look, Nolan’s al­ways been a bit am­bigu­ous and left ev­ery op­tion open, but I’m pretty sure Emily would never go there,” he laughs.

“But the beauty of this show is you can mess with all those re­la­tion­ships”.

First though, there’s that sea­son fi­nale to sur­vive, and in re­cent in­ter­views, Mann has given lit­tle away about what’s in store for Nolan Ross.

“Things will be­come ex­tremely danger­ous and pre­car­i­ous,” he hinted.

“This won’t be nearly as sim­ple as get­ting him out of iron shack­les.”

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