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Interview With Emily Vancamp For The DVD Release Of Revenge: The Complete First Season

ABC’s popular thriller Revenge follows the story of Emily Thorne [played by Emily VanCamp], a new arrival in the Hamptons. By all appearances, Emily is a friendly and sophisticated ‘girl next door’, whose disarming charm and generosity allow her seamless access to the restricted circles of Hamptons’ high society. But the affluent, exclusive world she’s immersed herself in is tied to a dark family history, and Emily Thorne is anything but what she seems. When Emily was just nine years old, her father was framed for a horrific crime by neighbors he trusted, and was sentenced to life in prison. Emily never saw her father again and spent her childhood consumed by rage, loss and betrayal.

Now, 17 years later, she has returned under an assumed identity with one endgame: REVENGE. Emily’s goal is unwavering, and her sharp mind is always five steps ahead. However, when her past begins to catch up, her true heart may get caught in the crossfire as she prepares to battle with Victoria and Conrad Grayson [played by Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny]; the high-brow Hamptons couple that hide many of the secrets about the events that destroyed Emily’s life.

With Revenge: The Complete First Season about to be released on DVD, we catch up with actress Emily VanCamp – who plays Emily Thorne and Amanda Clarke in the show – to find out more…

What attracted you to Revenge?
As soon as I read the script for Revenge, I fell in love with the project. I wanted to do something different from Brothers & Sisters, so I waited for the right show to come along – and Revenge was exactly that. I didn’t want to jump into the next project unless I really felt excited about it, but I was enthralled with Revenge. We had no idea if the audience would respond to the show and we didn’t know if it would do well, but I really wanted to do the pilot and see where it went from there because the script really spoke to me. It was certainly the most challenging role I read that pilot season, and it was the most juicy and exciting part. From the beginning, I could see myself enjoying the show for a very long time.

Is it easy to play a character like this?
A lot of research goes into a role like Emily. It’s a lot less about drawing on my own personal experiences, but drawing on more of the pool of research that I had to do. There was a lot of thinking and a lot of developing the character, which was so much fun for me. I was ready to do that. I really wanted to tackle something different and I really wanted to be challenged. I was really excited.

Have you felt any pressure in being the star of the show?
Absolutely! There’s an immense amount of pressure that came with this role. I never really experienced anything like this before, but I just had to take it day by day. It’s so much about remembering that it’s about the process and just enjoying every moment of being on set and getting to play this great character.

Is it easy to deal with the pressure?
People are either going to like the show or not. You can’t obsess about it too much or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Now that the show has become popular, we can breathe a little bit and I feel like the weight has lifted. That makes it much more fun to work on. I can relax a little, at least for a little while.

How much do you rely on your cast mates for support?
To be honest, this really is an ensemble cast. We all like being around each other and we all want to make the best show possible. We’re also really appreciative and glad to be here. For me, there are a lot of long hours involved in creating Revenge – but it certainly doesn’t feel like that because I’m incredibly happy. The show focuses on this one girl’s journey of revenge, but we’re all doing this together. We’re all in the grind together. Plus, there are so many other storylines explored as well, which makes it that much more interesting for everyone involved. They’ve all been wonderful.

What can you tell us about Emily’s feelings for Daniel Grayson at the start of Season One?
I think Emily struggles with this person that she’s become and, ultimately, that little girl that she longs to feel like again. It’s a major struggle, and at the end of the day she’s still a young woman who does have the potential to feel love. At the start of the season, she’s really shutting that part of herself off – but Daniel is not who she thought he was and she is torn.

In what way is Daniel different?
Emily imagined it would be much easier to infiltrate the family through this guy because she thought he was just another high-society boy. In fact, he turns out to be the opposite and he’s actually really good. That’s why she struggles with whether or not she has feelings for him, and whether she’s taking this too far with him. The lines are really going to blur between what she truly feels for him and how much she’s using him. She struggles with that, and also with her relationship with Jack. It’s a constant struggle for Emily.

Do you feel there are more questions to be answered about Emily?
Definitely. How many people were involved in the framing of her father and what else has she done? Where did she go for those eight years where she learned the art of revenge? What did she do? Was she in the military? Those are fun questions to answer – and I hope they get answered soon.

Do you believe in revenge?
If it’s justified, I suppose I believe in revenge – but I’m more into the idea of positivity and forgiveness. I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot of fun to play and to live all these feelings through the character, but she’s definitely not like me.

Why did you decide to sign up for another television show?
Every time I finish a show, I always say that I’m going to leave that part of the business alone for a while and tackle other things – but I’m always drawn to it. To be honest, I absolutely love doing television. It’s a huge attraction for me.

What is the attraction of TV?
I love building a character that hopefully has longevity; that I can take through a long journey. I love feeling connected to my characters in that way and TV really allows that. I feel like I’m constantly practicing my craft, but I also love the stability of it. I love this character. It was really important for me to choose something wisely because I know how long you can be connected to a show. This is the character that I know I will have so much fun with for a very long time.

Is there a specific genre of television show that you’d like to try next?
I’d love to try everything. I’m open to it all. I haven’t done comedy yet. Well, not much of it – but I think that would be fun to tackle. I’d also love to do a zombie movie. I’m obsessed with the zombie genre, so that’s definitely on the list.

You started your career as a ballet dancer. Why did you move to acting?
I always knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to pursue ballet as my career. I thought about it, but in order to be a ballerina, you have to love it so much because it becomes your life. When I started taking acting classes, it gave me a different sense of excitement and freedom and joy that I wasn’t getting from ballet, so it was an easy transition. Once I started working more steadily as an actress, I knew that part of my life was over. I was fine with it.

How do you stay fit and trim?
Pilates has been one of my favorite activities. I’m also outside all the time, so I love hiking and I love to do just about anything outside. The other day, someone told me about a big camping trip around New Zealand, which is supposed to be a really lovely journey. At some point, I’ll definitely make that happen, too. I just need to finish the next season of Revenge first. I can’t wait.

DVD Release Date: August 21, 2012

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