The cult of evil
A former FBI agent has to race against time to put a serial killer back in his cage in The Following.
The Following (2013-2015) is no ordinary action series with a detective chasing a killer. It’s a lot darker – not only is serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) sadistic, methodical and violently macabre, the man told to hunt him down is struggling with his own demons that threaten to destroy his mind. Former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) caught Joe the first time, when he stabbed 14 women to death. But can Ryan do it again when Joe leaves a bloody trail of bodies after he escapes his maximum security prison? It will be tough, says Kevin, especially as Joe has built himself a cult of bloodthirsty, devoted followers. “I knew from the first read that it was going to be dark. Just not this dark,” Kevin adds.
MEET THE CAST
Joe Carroll is played by British 1
actor James Purefoy (John Waller in locally shot mini-series Roots, 2016). “Joe Carroll isn’t your average serial killer,” explains James. “Imagine a brilliant, malignant, nihilistic serial killer who finds a way to bring other serial killers together to form a cult. That’s who Joe is.” Before his murder spree, Joe was a professor at Virginia State University who was obsessed with poet Edgar Allan Poe and his belief that there’s nothing more beautiful than the death of a beautiful woman.
Claire Matthews is played by 2
Natalie Zea (Carrie in 2012 and 2013 on comedy series Californication, 2007-2014). She is Joe’s ex-wife and mom to his son Joey (Kyle Catlett). She was one of Joe’s colleagues at varsity and she had an on-off relationship with Ryan after Joe’s arrest.
Ryan Hardy is played by film star 3
Kevin Bacon (Ren in 1984 dance movie Footloose. “He’s surrounded by death,” says Kevin. “Ryan is a workingclass guy who caught a serial killer and since then, he’s lost direction in his life. He is a troubled alcoholic. Only when Joe escapes does Ryan feel like he has a purpose. That brings him back to life.”
Mike Weston is portrayed by 4
Shawn Ashmore (Iceman in 2014 superhero film X-Men: Days Of Future Past). He’s a rising talent in the FBI and wrote his thesis on Joe Carroll. Ryan is his hero and Mike helps hide Ryan’s alcoholism. NB! See more on p71.