Nico Tortorella and Adan Canto in THE FOLLOWING - Season 1 - "The Poet's Fire" | ©2013 Fox/David Giesbrecth

Nico Tortorella and Adan Canto in THE FOLLOWING - Season 1 - "The Poet's Fire" | ©2013 Fox/David Giesbrecth

On THE FOLLOWING, Fox Monday nights at 9 PM, Kevin Bacon’s deeply troubled former but re-deputized FBI agent Ryan Harding is trying desperately to round up the serial killing followers of imprisoned but confident puppet master Joe Carroll, played by James Purefoy.

One of Joe’s so-far most devoted disciples is Adan Canto’s character Paul Torres, and you have to feel at least a little sorry for the guy. True, Paul is a homicidal kidnapper, but not only is he entangled in an emotionally and physically complex three-way romance with fellow Joe followers Jacob (Nico Tortorella) and Emma (Valorie Curry), but he’s also been stabbed multiple times by Ryan. When we last saw Paul, he was bleeding in Jacob’s arms after both men had been abandoned by Emma, who was fleeing the law. What’s next? Stay tuned.

Talking about playing Paul at a party thrown by Fox for the Television Critics Association, Canto sounds like he’s put a lot of thought into the character and is having a very good time playing bad.

ASSIGNMENT X: Can you talk about your character?

ADAN CANTO: Like [THE FOLLOWING creator/executive producer] Kevin Williamson was saying, these characters are very complex, probably lacked things when they were young. My character needs love – he can’t deal with [his life] alone, and he looks for it wherever he can find it. He needs a place in the world and he’s willing to do whatever it takes, pretty much.

AX: Do you think Paul is jealous of his fellow Followers?

CANTO: Well, I think we all are jealous of each other. That’s when it gets interesting, it gets a little messy.

AX: Obviously, you don’t do the sorts of things Paul does in your real life, but do you just take emotions from your own life and make analogies for what the character is doing or do you just imagine what someone like him would feel?

CANTO: It depends on the situation. Sometimes you just have to find a certain empathy, you have to imagine you’re in a certain place and add to it.

AX: Did you like horror/suspense as a genre before you got involved in THE FOLLOWING?

CANTO: I like drama. I’m very intrigued with people and their psychology and just the way people handle themselves. The way they’re raised gives meaning to everything else. There’s a meaning to everything. I’ve always been a fan of psychology and philosophy, and to me, this is a perfect genre for that. It touches on every detail of that and it allows you to find all of this and feed it to create a character.

Adan Canto in THE FOLLOWING - Season 1 - "Mad Love" | ©2013 Fox/David Giesbrecth

Adan Canto in THE FOLLOWING - Season 1 - "Mad Love" | ©2013 Fox/David Giesbrecth

AX: Did you do any research for this role?

CANTO: I did do research for this. There’s a lot to read on this subject, on this matter, but at the end of the day, I focused on my character’s back story. I created some things on my own, also with Kevin [Williamson]’s support and [director/exec producer] Marcos Siega’s support, but I was focusing more on my character’s psychology, what he was lacking, what he really wanted, what he needed, and how he would go about getting it at any cost.

AX: Did you have to learn how to do anything physically, either how to hold a knife or how to kick somebody, things like that?

CANTO: [laughs] I’ve been kick-boxing for awhile and how to hold a gun – I went to the range with my father when I was a kid. So I know how to handle myself when it comes to that. There’s a lot of support on set. There’s a lot of support – everyone’s great when it comes to that. Nobody wants to get hurt and they don’t want us to get hurt, so they’re taking care of us all the time. We’re spoiled.

AX: Has there been anything on set or watching the show that’s grossed you out?

CANTO: Absolutely [laughs], of course. It’s certainly disturbing – very much, I have to say, how truly disturbing it is. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of this. You have to find a certain empathy to build upon, so it’s complicated.

AX: Do you have any other projects coming up that we should know about?

CANTO: Well, there’s a bunch of things in the works. I just moved back into the States in January, so I’m kind of settling in.

AX: Where had you been?

CANTO: I lived in Mexico City for five years. I was doing theatre and independent films over there.

AX: There’s a big surge in U.S. viewing of Mexican cinema now …

CANTO: Yeah. There is and the screenwriters are getting great ideas and I’ve seen very interesting things. I just personally thought it was time to come back to the States. I was raised half and half [Canto was born in Coahuila,Mexico], in the States as well as Mexico, so I thought it was time to come back.

AX: What would you most like to say about THE FOLLOWING right now?

CANTO: Well, it’s a show that will grasp you despite yourself. You’ll cling to it, as we [who are making it] all have as well.


Related: TV Review – THE FOLLOWING – Season 1 – “The Fall”

Related: Exclusive Interview with THE FOLLOWING star Valorie Curry

Related: TV Review: THE FOLLOWING – Season 1 – “Pilot” – Season Premiere

Related: Exclusive Interview: THE FOLLOWING’s creator Kevin Williamson talks serial killers and Season 1

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Article: Exclusive Interview with THE FOLLOWING star Adan Canto

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