Emmy Watch: Madeleine Stowe looks back at the 'Revenge' finale
Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, EW.com is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.
Thanks to a surge of great roles for women on cable and in broadcast, Supporting Actress in a Drama could end up being the most competitive category when Emmys are handed out Sept. 23 on ABC. With the balloting process beginning June 11, EW asked Madeleine Stowe to reflect on Revenge‘s first season and what episode she would submit if she’s fortunate enough to hear her name read as a nominee next month.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Should you garner a best actress nomination, have you decided what episodes you would submit?
MADELINE STOWE: We haven’t discussed it all. It’s not a familiar world for me. Really, what I liked, if there is a single moment, it’s the particular scene in the finale that is entirely silent. It was really kind of spectacular for tying in the entire story. The scene begins with this incredible crane shot that our director did that starts at the side of the plane and booms up, and you see these cars driving up to this plane. There was a great sense of fatalism there. I think it’s an incredibly compelling way to close the story. It’s very interesting because the initial idea was to just have a car roll up and you don’t see anything. And then you cut to a report. I said to Mike [Kelley, show creator], it would be much more interesting if you actually see Victoria walking to what could be her death and having to make that choice, knowing all the warnings and everything else. I had long discussions with the director about that approach, and we thought it would be wonderful if you saw most of it on her back, approaching the plane! [Laughs] She looks up the plane, and for me that moment was all about the character finding the truth, determined to go through with it and try to repair the horrible damage she created.
(Watch the scene here!)
And what a great choice in wardrobe, wearing all white!
To me, everything you put on has a meaning. And initially, the cinematographer and the director saw her all in black, but [Stowe suggested] ivory, because to me it was about purification. It ended up working really well. I love long pieces of storytelling without dialogue. And then the camera goes into Charlotte, which is really compelling and heartbreaking. Then Conrad burning these photographs and coming apart because he knows what he’s done. And the show ending on Emily, who is sitting in shock. All these things that Emily has put into motion have failed miserably. There are serious consequences here.
Are people already asking you on the street if you are dead?
I’m going to be really honest about this: When this was shot and when it was written, there was not an indication whether the show was going to be picked up. If the show wasn’t going to be picked up, it was a spectacular way to end that story, with no resolution whatsoever for anybody, the idea that revenge just brings terrible things to people. And I thought, if the series didn’t go forward — we were all talking about this — what a great way to end it! You’re talking about Victoria’s death, the ramifications on her children, and the things that Conrad did. Everything spiraled of control and Emily is left with nothing.
What a pickle now, though! Have you talked to Mike Kelley about what’s going to happen to Victoria now?
The writers just came back and they are figuring it all out.
Do you have an idea? Have you given him any ideas?
Anything can certainly change. I’m just very proud of the choices that were made. Here is one episode of this character’s life, but her life is just one of the pieces of many moving parts. That’s how I honestly feel. We served that first season as well as we could. All the characters did.
Do you have a wish list for Victoria?
I don’t have any wish lists! I don’t ever think about it. The finale was a really wonderful piece of work. I feel a very deep satisfaction over the way it was concluded, and all that went into supporting the theme of what happens to this young woman, in all of her damage and all of her hurt.