Is David Clarke alive on ABC’s ‘Revenge’? An interview with James Tupper

James Tupper

America’s guilty pleasure nighttime soap, “Revenge,” wraps its first season Wednesday night at 10 on ABC. Fans of the show have been hit with twists and turns since its September premiere, so we enlisted star James Tupper, who plays the (supposedly) murdered David Clarke on the series, for some clarity as to what’s really going on in this Hamptons murder mystery.

What can you tell us about the finale?

[Creator Mike Kelley] is amazing because he’s really an artist. What he’s managed to figure out is this incredible, intricate, detailed story where every week it seems that every single person is in peril. [Laughs.] It’s fun for us because we crack open a new script and at the end of a reading, everybody’s like, “Oh, my God, I’m going to jail?” “This person’s dead?” He’s great at surprising people constantly.

How much do you know about what’s going to happen in future episodes?

I’m following it like everybody else. We get it probably six weeks before you guys and we just read it then make it. But I have a general idea where it’s going. At the front of every script there’s a big confidentiality agreement that we all sign. So I’m not gonna tell you, but I will tell you that it’s alarming. He’s not locked into having all the same characters.

Is your character really dead?

My God, I have to tell you: I was pushing a stroller with my 3-year-old in it, and a woman yelled at me from across the street, like, “You’re not dead, are you?” It’s the question I get asked the most often and I get asked everywhere. It’s fine, I love it. I love how invested people are in it — it’s awesome. You know, as far as I know, I think I’m dead so far.

The rumor is that star Emily VanCamp is dating her co-star, Josh Bowman, who plays Daniel.

I heard that rumor. I can’t confirm or deny it. I really don’t know, actually. I mean, they get along great on set. They’re discreet.

How do you feel about the show being people’s guilty pleasure?
   
When I first started getting interviewed about the show, they were like, “I’m calling it my guilty pleasure.” I realized that it’s so fun to be that dramatic, and allow yourself to go there that people feel guilty. [Laughs.] I think “Revenge” is a lot of fun wrapped up in this sinister, pretty serious world where lots of things are at stake.

What do you think is it about Emily that viewers can’t get enough of?

Every guy relates to Daniel not quite having the whole story — like, “What?  You’re who?” Emily has mastered the Mona Lisa smile. That’s the great female mystery: “Do you love me, or do you want to kill me? I can’t tell.” [Laughs.]


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