Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) has a terrifying new protege on “The Following,” but she’s terrifying in an unexpected way. Meet Mandy (Tiffany Boone), the teenage girl who ended up murdering her mother in cold blood just to keep Joe in her life. This no-longer-innocent young girl is so attached to Joe that she’ll do anything to keep him around, and that’s not a good sign for anyone standing in her way.
Zap2it talked with Boone about Mandy’s next move now that she and Joe have met up with his followers, whether or not she feels guilt for murdering her mother, and much more.
Zap2it: Mandy has gone through a few major life changes since the start of Season 2. Her mom’s dead, she torched her home, and she’s on the road with Joe. What’s her mental state right now?
Tiffany Boone: I’d say that Mandy is a little confused. She doesn’t know who she should be killing or who she shouldn’t because she doesn’t know what to do. She killed her mother because of her love for Joe and now she’s confused about what the rules of this game are. She’s still figuring everything out. Now that she’s gone to Lily’s house, she’s starting to become a little overwhelmed by everything she’s seeing in all the people in this beautiful house she’s just walked into.
Joe seemed a little taken aback that he had to explain to Mandy that they couldn’t just kill anyone who came across their path. Should Joe be worried about Mandy?
I think Joe should probably be worried about Mandy because she is so naïve and it’s not in her nature to kill. I think she’s just learning what has to be done. I think she should be watched because she doesn’t know. She doesn’t quite know what the rules are and because of that, she’s going to make some mistakes.
On the flip side of that, should Mandy be worried about Joe? Do you think he really has true feelings for her?
I think she should be worried about Joe because you never know his true intentions. In the third episode, when Mandy does kill her mom, Joe was threatening to kill her in order to save himself. I think she should be careful about whether or not he truly cares for her. I think he does as much as Joe Carroll can care about anyone but a person should always be careful in a relationship with Joe Carroll.
On a show like “The Following,” where the death count is especially high for the bad guys, are you ever worried about the fate of Mandy?
[Laughs] I came on the show worried about the fate of Mandy! But I watched the first season and I knew what I was getting into and I think that’s a part of what makes the show so great. Really, no one is precious except for Kevin Bacon. It’s designed to be a show where characters are going to fall and you’re going to care about these people only to have the danger of really losing them. There’s no guarantee on this show. I just came into it happy that I had a job and every day I get to be on set, it’s great. I love the opportunity I’ve been given, and when it’s done, it’s done.
So what’s coming next for Mandy and Joe now that they’ve met up with Lily?
I will say, it may not all be as pretty as it looks at the moment. I think when you put two strong personalities like Joe Carroll and Lily Grey together, there might be trouble. And I think everyone is excited to see how Mandy and Emma handle each other, because there might be some confusion there. This house is going to bring about a lot of trouble.
How is Mandy going to handle being in that international house of murderers?
Well, Mandy comes from like the backwoods in Arkansas. And now she gets to see all these places she’s never been and hear all these accents she’s never heard in this beautiful house and you’re going to see her really enamored by the opportunities that are laid out for her. She’s going to be confused, too, about which direction to go in and where her loyalties lie.
What can you tease about Monday’s (Feb. 17) episode?
In this Monday’s episode, you will see Lily and Joe kind of figuring each other out. And I think there’s going to be some settling of the relationship between Emma and Joe because as you could see it was a really emotional reunion between them. They’re not done figuring things out between them and you’ll see what happens with that relationship in the next episode.
What are you most excited for fans to see from Mandy this season?
I’m excited for people to see where the relationship between Mandy and Joe goes and I’m also excited for people to see how Mandy grows. Everyone was very shocked when she killed her mother and there are a lot more surprises ahead so I’m just excited to see how they respond to all the interesting choices that she’s going to end up making.
As a young girl, I’d imagine you don’t really have life experience in murdering anyone — or at least I’d hope you don’t. So how did you approach a role like Mandy?
[Laughs] No, I don’t. As an actor, I always want to do things that I wouldn’t normally do in real life and be in circumstances that I wouldn’t come across in my own life. I certainly haven’t had to kill anyone in real life and I hope I never will [laughs]. I just look at it as she is doing everything that she’s doing out of love for Joe Carroll. So rather than playing it as, she’s just a murderer with a desire for blood, she’ll just do whatever is necessary to keep her relationship with Joe, to have him love her. It’s a very human and basic desire to try and get love wherever you can. That’s how I approached it.
So you don’t think that Mandy had homicidal tendencies before Joe came along? What if he hadn’t entered her life?
I don’t necessarily think that she had those homicidal tendencies. She would have just lived a plain life in Arkansas, or maybe she would have followed in her mother’s footsteps of becoming a prostitute. I don’t think killing was in her nature but as the season goes on, I think the audience can decide whether or not she’s a born killer.
Speaking of her mom, does Mandy feel guilt for murdering her? Or has she just moved on?
I think she definitely does feel guilt. Last episode, you saw she became kind of quiet in the kitchen when she told Joe, “I’m okay, you’re my family now.” I think there is some guilt. There was actually a scene that we did that was cut from the episode where Mandy was really emotional and missing her mom. So while she feels guilt, I don’t think it’s weighing her down where she can’t move on. She feels bad about it, but it’s what she had to do.
“The Following” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.