With the series finale airing Sunday, we look back (and forward) with the primetime soap's 29-year-old star.
To say that a lot’s happened on Revenge would be an understatement. The scorching-hot show about a dish best served cold saw Emily VanCamp spend four years as Amanda Clarke as Emily Thorne, plotting and scheming and pursuing her complicated agenda against the mighty Grayson family. And with the show ending Sunday, May 10, at 10 p.m. ET, Emily—VanCamp, that is, not Thorne—talked to EW about ending the series after four seasons, handling her character’s final moves (no, she’s not telling whether she survives the show), and gearing up for her next project: Captain America: Civil War.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it like filming your final scene? Did you know by then that it would be your last one for the show?
EMILY VANCAMP: My last scene was with Gabriel [Mann] and Nick [Wechsler], and they’re two of my very, very close friends. At that point we weren’t completely sure, which is kind of a bummer because it would have been nice to know that we were playing these characters for the last time—they’re so special to us. But at the same time, it’s almost nice that we didn’t know because it would have been almost unbearable to get through.
What were your thoughts when you heard this would be the series finale?
Well, it had been talked about a lot over the course of this season because we all knew, at a certain point, [Emily] has to get her revenge. So it was always a discussion as to how many episodes we could actually draw out of this story without disrespecting the fans and drawing it out so long that it becomes uninteresting, you know?
I think we did a really fantastic job of wrapping up the story within four seasons, and it just sort of felt like, well, if we come back, it’s going to have to be something totally different. I’m kind of happy that ABC allowed us to end this thing without keeping us in limbo. It’s a much nicer way to end.
So four seasons felt like enough?
Four years is a wonderful amount of time to do a TV show. Four’s been my lucky number: [I did] four seasons of Everwood, of Brothers & Sisters, of Revenge. You don’t have time to get sick of it, but you get to really flesh out these characters and develop them over a long period of time. I was always really happy with four.
What did you and the cast do when you found out? Did you call up Gabriel and Nick?
Oh yeah, we have several group feeds going, so you know, sending pictures of seasons 1, 2, and 3 back and forth. I think Gabriel sent 20 pictures to us. [Laughs] We were definitely going through the emotions of it all, but I think it’s bittersweet.
Do you think the finale will provide closure for fans?
Yeah, I do. I’ll put it this way: I think they’ll be satisfied. I think a couple of things happen that they’ve been waiting for for a long time. In the grand scheme of Revenge, I feel like we exhausted all of the different story possibilties. I think we’re ending in a good place, and I think it’s time to move on, as sad as that is.
A lot of story has been packed into four seasons. Do you have a favorite plot twist?
[Emily’s] dad returning was one of the fun ones. She’s been fighting to avenge her father’s death for all of these years, and then there he is, so navigating that relationship was very tricky but really fun. I was really inspired by James Tupper, who plays my father, because he brought this new energy, and we talked at length about what that relationship means.
What about a favorite memory from set?
We had some really fun beach days. When it was still kind of like the original core group, I remember I felt like a kid again. Like, how lucky am I to show up to work and have it feel so great and have so much fun? To this day, I feel so grateful, too, I love every day. But I remember that first season, it was so exciting, you know? The show was very well-received, we were super energized, and there were some days from that season I will especially look back on probably forever. They were just “pinch me” moments.
Did you take any souvenirs?
You know what I think I would take, now that I know it’s done, is the infinity carving on the porch. I don’t want to take anything huge, but that to me was very symbolic of the show, and what it was all about.
What are you working on next?
I’m actually heading to start filming [Captain America: Civil War] next week. I can’t tell you where, when, how—I don’t want to get in trouble! [Laughs] But I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be fun, it’s gonna be pretty epic.
Speaking of epic, I hope you’re still okay with going to the Hamptons after shooting four years of Revenge.
I know, right? To this day, I’ve only been to the Hamptons once, for one day, which is hilarious to me, because we film in LA. So yeah, I’m definitely going to always have a different perspective of what the Hamptons is than anybody else, I think.
Right, I’m just imagining you going there and immediately being on your guard.
I know, I feel like inevitably I’m going to have to watch my back.
An edited version of this interview ran in Entertainment Weekly issue #1363, on newsstands Friday, May 8.
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