Jessica Stroup, best known for her role as Erin Silver on “90210,” now stars in FOX’s psychological thriller, “The Following,” as Max Hardy. Max is a cop working in New York City, who becomes obsessed with helping her uncle, Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) capture the illusive Joe Carroll. In an exclusive interview, Stroup talks about her big break on The CW and what it’s like working with Bacon.
Q: This is a big change from you last role on “90210.” Can you talk about your experience on that show and your transition into playing Max?
Yeah, of course. I had a blast being on “90210″ for four years. It was a huge stepping stone for me and was really bittersweet. In one aspect, it takes up a lot of your life working on a constant basis for four years, but you get so used to playing a character and working with certain people they become like your family. We didn’t know it was coming to an end. We all thought we were going to get renewed. It basically just happened really quickly. When it ended I wanted to make sure I choice the right next step. I had to find a different character. So when I was looking I focused on strong female characters. Someone completely different. What is funny is that I watched “The Following” during season one. It was one of my favorite shows. So to be offered a chance to be on it was a beautiful transition. Max doesn’t mess around. She has lost everything in her life and only has Ryan left. Since last season, he has really straightened himself out and she wants to make sure to keep her uncle on the straight arrow.
They work on their relationship together as the show progresses. It’s new, but it’s a work in progress. What makes it easy is working with Kevin Bacon. He has been great to work with. I look forward to working with him every day. I learn from him and my experience with him has been just incredible.
Q: In one of the most recent episodes that aired, Max and Ryan had a beautiful moment where he thought she might be dead. It was a great scene that showed his love for Max, but also his new weakness.
Yeah, everyone he loves dies. So of course it’s a big deal being a part of his life. That particular scene was beautiful, there has been a building of this relationship. I don’t think he wants to let her in his world so he constantly fights her and tries to keep her out of whats going on. However, Max is pretty strong willed and wants to be there for her uncle. That scene represented that he now knows he could trust her and he needs her in his life. Ryan has become like a father to her. It’s just really touching that they can have this relationship. It’s such a moment of real connection. As the episodes go forward we see them building and moving forward.
Q: Now I don’t know about you, but I picked up on a little of a Mike and Max relationship, sort of love connection. Is that something viewers might get the chance to see?
Well, as you know this isn’t the type of show where we are going to see them really loving one another. Max and Mike start off not connecting. They get off on the wrong foot. But yes, I do see them building a relationship throughout the season. I can’t really say if it becomes more of a connection on a partner level or a relationship level. But I do think they both come together and realize that they are in it together. There isn’t too much more I can say about their situation. You will have to wait and see.
Q: I know “The Following” runs a tight lipped set, but is there anything you can tell us about the rest of the season?
Well, Mike, Max, and Ryan all go rogue for quiet a bit. Just like last season they aren’t sure who they could trust. It’s going to be great. There are such pretty cool scenes coming up with those and Lily and her family. You know last season there was a mission to get Joey back. These big epic scenes are picking up the pace of the show and soon you are going to see all of these characters interacting a lot more than ever before. To go back to your Max and Mike question, I think Mike goes to some dark places this season and Max is there to witness a lot of it. There is something to that. I think the fans are right that the show is both dark and light this season. It’s just going to get crazy. We are filming episode 13 right now and I just can’t wait for the fans to see it.
Catch Jessica Stroup on “The Following” Mondays on FOX at 9 p.m. EST.
Photo Courtesy of Fox
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