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The Following Cast and Characters - Starring Kevin Bacon as Ryan Harding

Updated on March 30, 2013
The Following Cast and Characters
The Following Cast and Characters

The Following Cast and Characters

The Following is a new crime serial killer drama coming to Fox in the January 2013. It is touted to be one of the best new tv shows in 2013 and is the first time Kevin Bacon has agreed to be the lead on a TV show.

Viewers will be intrigued to hear that The Following was an idea that was pitched by Kevin Williamson. He's the man behind other great TV shows such as Dawson's Creek and Vampire Diaries. However, The Following is more along the lines of his popular movie series, Scream.

Keep reading to find out more about the cast and characters of The Following and why these will be some of the most compelling characters to watch while curled up on your sofa this January.

James Purefoy as Joe Carroll
James Purefoy as Joe Carroll

James Purefoy

Fans of James Purefoy will recognise him from roles such as Marc Anthony in Rome and he most recently played the role of a past lover of Victoria Grayson in Revenge. He was also a con artist and very passionate, shall we say.

Other roles have included King Lot in Camelot and he made an appearance in Episodes.

Joe Carroll

If you're looking for a new favorite villain then it could be James Purefoy in the role of Joe Carroll.

Joe Carroll is the main antagonist in The Following TV show. He's a convicted serial murderer and was serving his sentence in a high security facility when he some how managed to escape. Carroll originally killed young females on college campuses until he was finally caught. Only one of his victims managed to escape and now Carroll is looking to finish what he started.

Carroll has a wife and a young son. He also has a magnetic personality and is able to draw people to him. He's also very charming, in a dangerous way, and seems to have a cult like following, hence the name of the show.

When Joe Carroll escapes, his least favorite person in the world, Ryan Hardy, is called in to apprehend him.

Kevin Bacon as Ryan Harding
Kevin Bacon as Ryan Harding

Kevin Bacon

Geez if you don't know Kevin Bacon where have you been? Hey you might even be 7 steps from Kevin Bacon.

Kevin Bacon normally does movies rather than TV. Some of his best known movies include Footloose, Tremors, Flatliners, the disturbing Sleepers, Hollow Man and X-Men: First Class.

Ryan Harding

Ryan Harding is a retired FBI agent. He originally caught Carroll, but is not on the FBI's christmas list.

He wrote a book about the capture of Carroll and this has had negative effects. However, when Carroll escapes he is encouraged to come out from retirement.

The audience quickly discovers that Ryan Hardy is no angel. He is also a deeply flawed character and doesn't always make the best decisions. Hardy slept with Carroll's wife and never called her back and it looks like Carroll knows about it.

However, Hardy is good at his core and will do anything he can to catch Carroll, and to make sure the last surviving victim remains unharmed.

Will he be successful? You'll have to watch The Following to find out.

Natalie Zea as Claire Matthews
Natalie Zea as Claire Matthews

Natalie Zea

Natalie Zea is most recognisable from her role as Winona Hawkins on Justified. However, she has been in lotf of TV shows including Hung, Dirty Sexy Money and The Shield.

Claire Matthews

Claire Matthews is the ex-wife of Joe Carroll.

She is contacted by the FBI when her husband manages to escape the maximum security prison. However, she only agrees to talk with Ryan Hardy, as their relationship is of a personal nature.

Claire believes Joe is only motivated by one thing and it isn't freedom.

She believes her husband is solely concerned with finishing what he started - killing the last surviving victim.

Will her insight help Ryan Hardy find Joe Carroll or is she working both sides off each other...

Kyle Catlett as Joey Matthews
Kyle Catlett as Joey Matthews

Joey Matthews

Joey Matthews is the son of Claire Matthews and Joe Carroll.

Joey was named after his father and his mother would do anything to protect him.

Kyle Catlett is very young and has made appearances in Mercy and Unforgettable.

Jeananne Goossen as Jennifer Mason
Jeananne Goossen as Jennifer Mason

Jennifer Mason

Jennifer Mason is doing her best to put all the pieces together and is working closely with Ryan Hardy.

She's also with the Agency and is doing her best to try to apprehend Carroll before it's too late.

Whereas Hardy is retired, she is very much an active member of the FBI and if she can solve this crime it would be a benefit to ger career.

Jeananne Goossen is no newcomer to TV series. She was most recently seen on the new Alcatraz TV show as a medical examiner. Before that she was also on NCIS and Riverworld, which was a TV movie.

Shawn Ashmore as Agent Weston
Shawn Ashmore as Agent Weston

Agent Weston

Agent Weston is also a key member of the team responsible for tracking and apprehending Carroll.

If you recognise Shawn Ashmore then you were probably a huge Smallville fan, where he played the photographer Jimmy Olsen, or you seen him in X Men as the kid that could control ice.

Valerie Curry as Denise
Valerie Curry as Denise


Not many details are known about Denise's role in the show yet, but will probably get more information as we get closer to the air date. There is rumor of her being a member of the cult.

Valerie Curry was in Veronica Mars back 2006.

Nico Tortorelli as Will Wilson
Nico Tortorelli as Will Wilson

Will Wilson

Will Wilson could be a member of the cult...

Will Wilson started off as a model for the Ford agency. He then went on to play Cole Shepard in The Beautiful Life. Although he has darkened his hair for the role of Will Wilson, his most memorable role is actually where he played Razor, working in a pizza store in Boulder Colorado in Make It or Break It. He has also had a role in Scream 4, another Kevin Williamson project.

Which character do you like best?

See results

Which of The Following Cast and Characters Are Your Favorite?

There's no denying that Kevin Williamson has managed to draw a great bunch of actors to play roles in his latest TV adventure, The Following.

Hats off to Williamson for being able to lure the likes of Kevin Bacon to TV and in a starring role no less!

I think fans will be hard pressed to decide which of the main actors from The Following cast they actually prefer. On the one hand, Kevin Bacon is a veteran actor and always pulls out a stellar performance. On the other hand, James Purefoy is always charasmatic and enticing. He is able to draw you in and you end up loving him, even if you don't love his character.

What is undeniable, is the relationship between these 2 characters. When you see how they play off each other in the scenes it's really believable and will have audiences dying to tune in each week to discover what Joe Carroll's real plans are and how he plans to use his cult followers to achieve his goals.

You can vote on the right for you favorite The Following characters of Joe Carroll or Ryan Hardy.


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    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thx vox and I think Kevin Bacon will create a huge Following lol...

    • vox vocis profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds interesting and the trailer looks very promising! I like Kevin Bacon - the role suits him well! Looking forward to this serial. Great job with this article :)


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