Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy both said Monday they take work home with them sometimes. Bacon plays former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, who's on the trail of a sadistic serial killer played by Purefoy in the series, which attracted attention for violence in its debut season but also had strong ratings. "The Following" returns for its second season on Sunday.
"He's so profoundly dark," Purefoy said of his character, Joe Carroll. "Anybody who celebrates death and finds great beauty in it, absolutely, there are some fretful nights."
Jessica Stroup, who plays a police officer, said there was something so disturbing that happens to her character this season that it was hard to shake.
She can sleep soundly, but she's looking at her surroundings more carefully while awake, she said.
Series creator Kevin Williamson, the man behind the "Scream" movies, said he finds the second season less violent than the first, at least by his standards. The first episode contains a violent incident on a subway by a character in a creepy mask.
"I don't want it to be gore for the sake of gore," Williamson said. "It is to push the story forward and to make you gasp, to scare you.
"I don't really see it as gory," he said. "I guess it's subjective. I like a little violence."
The veteran Bacon, who's had so many roles in his career that it inspired its own parlor game, said there's something special about this one.
"The connection I feel to the fans of this show is probably deeper than anything that I've experienced in my career," he said.