The Fol­low­ing

Sea­son 1 SABC3 (*193) 23:00 Ac­tion

TV Plus (South Africa) - - 6 MARCH -

There’s no fun hav­ing a per­fect TV hero, es­pe­cially when they’ve got a dif­fi­cult job to do… like for­mer FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Ba­con) in thriller se­ries The Fol­low­ing (2013-2015). Ryan is called in by the FBI to help catch es­caped se­rial killer Joe Car­roll (James Pure­foy). Things were so bad the first time hunt­ing Joe that Ryan was pushed to break­ing point men­tally and he’s now drink­ing heav­ily just to get through each day.

“Ryan has killed so many peo­ple and he has seen so many peo­ple killed,” says Kevin. “There’s a large el­e­ment of blood on his hands and there’s a haunt­ing that he’s un­able to es­cape.” Kevin adds that “there needs to be flaws” in char­ac­ters be­cause “that’s the first thing au­di­ences buy into. With­out that emo­tional roller­coaster of ups and downs, you just get some­thing that’s ‘nice and fluffy and av­er­age’”. Fans need to be hooked on char­ac­ters they’re bond­ing with and it’s what takes ac­tors time to de­velop, to get into their char­ac­ter’s head. “We try to keep fo­cused on the emo­tional con­tent and what’s go­ing on per­son­ally with these char­ac­ters,” ex­plains Kevin.

And that’s a whole lot when it comes to Ryan Hardy. For­mer var­sity pro­fes­sor Joe was al­ways a step ahead of Ryan, who was one of the FBI’s top agents and that irked Ryan. “Joe’s a pro­fes­sor – he’s no fool and he had ev­ery­one run­ning around like head­less chick­ens… and again now thanks to his cult of fol­low­ers,” ex­plains Kevin. The 58-year-old adds that Ryan’s flaws drew him to the char­ac­ter and it’s the same for view­ers. “The flaws hu­man­ise Ryan but make him vul­ner­a­ble too, in a fig­u­ra­tive and lit­eral sense. Ev­ery time he goes into a phys­i­cal thing – whether it’s a fight or a chase or what­ever – there’s this tick­ing time­bomb. And we added vodka and sad­ness and iso­la­tion… I like that!

Agent Ryan Hardy and his neme­sis Joe Car­roll.

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