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Quick Take With Jon Lindstrom

Avery Pohl (Esme) said she suspected in her first scenes with Ryan that he was her father. When did you figure it out? “I had that same sense, as well. They don’t just suddenly have someone appear and start doing scenes with you unless there’s some backstory somehow. You know, Avery is a very serious actress. She wants to do her best all the time and she’s a real pleasure to work with because of that, aside from being just a lovely person in real life. So I did go to Frank [Valentini, executive producer] and just say, ‘You know, we’ve got a young, very talented actress working here who really is committed. I think we might have something really good here and I think we need to make the most of it. I know you don’t always like to share [where a storyline is going] and for good reason, but we need to know [the history between our characters] so we can really infuse this with as much depth as we possibly can.’ And he said, ‘Okay, I’ll tell you, you just can’t tell anybody else.’ I said, ‘Fine!’ So yeah, we knew for quite a while and we absolutely started to play those things [before the secret came out on air].”

And how did you feel when you learned that the Chamberlain bloodline was continuing via Esme? “I thought, ‘Good!’ I mean, we know this guy was out doing really weird things — crazy, killer, murderous things for all those years we thought he was dead! We thought he was just a hit man, one who enjoyed his job just a little too much! But I think it’s great, not only because of Ryan’s lineage and, you know, having some progeny but because this will absolutely affect Kevin, and how he sees the world and his brother and his niece and all that. I’m looking forward to seeing how it is going to play out.”

We got Avery’s perspective on her experience shooting the big reveal scenes which had some interesting layers to them, shall we say. What do you recall about performing those? “It was me who said, ‘Okay, guys,’ to the crew. ‘Let’s get this out of the way, right now: one, two, three, ewwwwww.’ Because it was creepy. It was very odd. And to be honest, in the hands of a lesser actress, it could have been taken in a much different way. But I think that’s how committed Avery is to trying to hit the notes right — you want to get the creepy, but you didn’t want the sex. Their creepy is based on something else. It is based on a mutual love of the dark.”

Were you at all bummed that Ryan regaining his ability to speak meant that your days of exclusively acting with your eyes were over, and there were more lines to learn? “[Laughs] No. I’m happy to start talking again. Ryan always has a lot to say and it’s more fun when you can speak.”

He’s still only got the one hand, though! “I sometimes wish I had both of them because you can kind of get pushed into a corner with that. The trick is, how do you make it work for you?”

That’s something you hear actors say, that they don’t know what to do with their hands. “Oh, yes. You know, I just did a movie with Chris Cooper and Robert John Burke and having the privilege of working with those guys and watching them, my goodness, they never seem to not know what to do with their hands! But yeah, I guess it actually gives me a little bit of an advantage [when I’m playing Ryan] because I’m always aware of this one hand and I know that I can only do so much with it.”