INTERVIEW: Revenge Star Henry Czerny on Patriarch's Endgame — "Conrad Ends Up as Eckhart Tolle"
Henry Czerny is well-versed in the art of Revenge. As patriarch of the dysfunctional Grayson clan on the hit ABC sudser, the formally-trained Canadian actor gives just as good as he gets, when Conrad faces off against malevolent wife Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) and/or diabolical daughter-in-law Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp).
I recently caught up with Czerny at TCA. He shared how the Graysons will continue to contend with Emily, now that she's under their roof. He also offers insight into Conrad's goals for his children and reveals which self-help guru he hopes his character eventually takes after.
Daytime Confidential: It seems like the Graysons have Emily where they want her. Now that she is in their house and has lied for them that Lydia shot her, how else are they going to torture her?
Henry Czerny: By living. The Graysons are going to torture Emily by somehow continuing on with their lives as despicable and dysfunctional as they are. That’s what’s going to continue. Emily’s going to get out of some stuff and get into some stuff, as one does when one goes for revenge. At the very beginning, Mike Kelley put on his description for the series for the first episode a Confucios saying, "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." In our pursuit of something we believe should happen, we have to get dirty in a way that the other people against us got dirty.
DC: Is Emily really infertile, or did the Graysons just fake that as payback for her faking tests to make it look like Conrad had Huntington’s disease?
HC: I can’t tell you that. You have to watch. What would be the point of me telling you? Good God. It would be like sitting down with Margaret Atwood and having her tell you the novel.
DC: Conrad sacrificed Lydia pretty quickly after getting her back.
HC: We’ve all come to see Conrad, I think, like the character of Teddy in Shutter Island, where the truth is revealed, but within hours he has removed the truth because it’s too complicated. He goes along again having forgotten everything that has transpired in the past except the stuff that suits him. I think that’s how he survives.
DC: Are we going to see any more of his swinging bachelor pad in the city?
HC: Unfortunately, not right away I don’t think. But I think that was a pretty amazing twist, a very kind of oddly titillating twist. It was kind of weird, passing that down to his son. I’m sure it happens more oftem than we know. Do you want to go there? I don’t know.
DC: Given the way things have turned out for Lydia and Victoria, I don’t think so.
HC: Yeah, but what a way to go. Like the people who share traffic lanes on Friday nights on their motorbikes. It’s crazy, but what a way to go.