Talk about an exit! ABC’s Revenge ended on Sunday, May 10 with two deaths, a wedding, betrayal, and plenty of revenge-ing. Us Weekly caught up with star Madeleine Stowe, aka Hamptons empress Victoria Grayson, the morning after the episode (and her character’s epic death), to discuss all things finale. The actress, 56, dished on how she said goodbye to Victoria, if the show could’ve continued into season 5, her countless face-offs with Emily Van Camp and the most burning question remaining from the last hour: Did Amanda really receive Victoria’s heart?!
US: You have so many fans here at Us! Thank you for keeping us so entertained for four years.
Madeleine Stowe: I’m so glad you feel that way. We had writers who — we can’t believe what they had to go through. It’s a hard, hard, hard show to do, 22 episodes, four seasons. I’m amazed that they’re still walking and talking. They’re really good people and show runner Sunil Nayar is a wonderful man.
US: Let’s talk about the finale. In the final scene, Amanda had a nightmare that suggested she’s the recipient of a heart transplant — Victoria’s heart! Was that actually what came to pass for Amanda?
MS: It was absolutely real. We wanted Amanda to be haunted by something. She can never be totally rid of [Victoria]. So they created this recurring dream — and Amanda’s a very credible witness. We believe everything that happened. You have to believe in the credibility of this young girl. So the answer is, in the first draft, we actually started shooting and it was Victoria’s heart. We wanted to leave the audience with a greater sense of a haunting. Because Amanda wouldn’t know.
US: Sunil recently said that when the finale episode was shot, it wasn’t known whether it would be a series finale — it sure felt like a series finale to Us!
MS: I didn’t think I should be coming back for season four. Not because I didn’t love the show, but I really felt that Victoria’s journey ended in a certain incarnation at the end of the last season. And if you looked at all of our finales except maybe at the end of season two, the show could have ended. I’ve always said that Victoria has always had a death wish. So I knew last fall that this would be my last season. This is something that we were working towards. But when they were shooting that last episode, they did not know whether it was the end of the show or not.
US: What future do you imagine for the characters who have survived? Can Amanda really get her fairy tale ending?
MS: I think it’s going to be a little tricky for Amanda to have a great life when you’ve got somebody else’s heart in you. I was doing some research and some people were actually suggesting that a heart has its own intelligence which I find really fascinating. So take that as you will but does Victoria have a black heart? Maybe she has a good heart.
US: How did you and Emily Van Camp prep for your showdowns? And what is the mood like on set? Lighthearted or intense?
MS: It’s really interesting, I come from a different philosophy with respect to the work , and I find my work different than Emily does. She comes into it prepared and pretty much knowing what she’s going to do. I kind of like to zing around a little bit. It’s a very different thing stylistically, so I had to make adjustments. When I worked with Jennifer Jason Leigh (in season two) for example, she’s very similar, because we came from the same generation. But on the same token, I think Emily is enormously prepared and a quick study. In the final showdown, she was wonderful, she came in ablaze with a lot of fury that she had worked toward and I think she did not anticipate that I was going to have to take a hint which was, this woman’s completely ready to go.
US: How did you say goodbye to Victoria? Did you take any mementos from the set?
MS: I wore a lot of L’Wren Scott; her clothes really seemed to suit Victoria. Vera Wang was another designer — those two designers really allowed me to inhabit the character. It was L’Wren Scott that designed the dress I blew myself up in. Which, by the way, I argued with Sunil and I said, “this is how I should go Sunil!” He said, "No Madeleine." It was so perfect, she blew herself up in the house, please let it happen. So he would laugh at me. But my wishful thinking, that’s how Victoria should have gone. In that red dress. If I could have one other thing, it would be the Grayson family portrait. From season one, it was always hanging at Grayson Manor. And I look at Josh [Bowman] and I look at Christa [Allen] and they’re so young. You saw them mature as human beings over the course of the show. That’s a beautiful pure moment. And Henry’s in there, and I miss Henry [Czerny].
US: Favorite Victoria moment?
MS: I absolutely love the walk to the plane at the end of season one, because I thought it was a great culmination of her emotional journey; she’s still hopeful in life, but she’s also ready to go down doing the right thing and she still screws Conrad over in the process, so I think that’s great. I love the moment on the beach in season one when she thinks Daniel’s been shot and she’s kind of hysterical and he comes to and says “mom”; it’s so pure, she runs to him and throws her arms around him and says “don’t say a word.” It’s the perfect motto of her life . I don’t agree with it as a human being and I had real problems getting past it., but when she murders Aiden [in season 3], it’s so utterly bizarre. That was really strong.
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