Breathe deep, “Revenge” fans: You have only two more months to wait until ABC’s juicy primetime soap returns September 30. And the premiere can’t come fast enough, since last season ended with both a figurative bombshell, with Emily learning her mother is still alive, and a literal one, with Victoria’s airplane exploding in a ball of flame after she stepped onboard. Lucky for us, we got to visit the “Revenge” set today (with a Manhattan Beach soundstage standing in for the Hamptons) and get some clarity on where Emily’s quest for vengeance is headed this season. But one big plot piece is still under wraps…
- We expected to see series star Madeleine Stowe back in ice-queen mode as Victoria Grayson -- but she was nowhere to be found on set. So are the producers just trying to preserve the illusion that Queen Victoria is no more? Or is the wicked witch (gasp!) really dead? Not even the cast knows; the actors all said they’re still in the dark as to whether Stowe’s retuning for Season 2. But Stowe apparently hasn’t cut off all contact with her castmates; when pressed for info, Gabriel Mann, who plays geeky tech billionaire Nolan Ross, joked, “I’m not saying we don’t text…”
- Film actress Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Single White Female") just signed on last week to play Emily’s thought-to-be-dead mom, so she wasn’t on set yet, but show creator Mike Kelley gave us some good insight into Leigh’s ”very unhinged” character, telling us she has “deep psychological issues… Emily’s going to be doing a lot of reflecting on whether she’s genetically programmed to be unhinged.” Mann also let it slip that none other than Sharon Stone was rumored to be in the running to play Emily’s mom. Stone vs. Stowe? We’re actually a little sad we didn’t get to see that.
- Margarita Leveiva, who plays Emily’s trashy friend Amanda, caused the biggest stir by showing up to the set sporting a prominent baby bump. So is it the real thing? Nah, just a prosthetic, she says: “It’s really fun to wear. You know how pregnant ladies keep touching their bellies? I find myself touching mine a lot.” Leveiva also revealed that Season 2 picks up two months after last season’s finale, with Amanda now eight months along with Jack’s baby. But though her pregnant belly is coming between Emily and Jack, Amanda still wants to be BFFs with her old juvie cellmate. “Emily’s her only close friend, and she has no family,” Leveiva says, “so the love she has for Emily will always be there.”
- Now that Daniel and Emily are split up, they’re both moving on to new romantic interests this season. The finale hinted at this, but Joshua Bowman (Daniel) confirms that his character and social climber Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) are an item to start Season 2. “But I don’t think it’s anything serious at all,” Bowman admits. “He’s still on the hook with Emily, really. He misses Emily.” (Aw!) And Emily breaks away from the Jack-or-Daniel debate and finds a third option for herself in Ethan, a mystery man from her past played by British actor Barry Sloane. Let the love games begin!
- Hope you liked the flash-forward format of Season 1, where we saw the deadly results of the Fire and Ice engagement party first and then flashed back to see how it all happened, because Kelley says Season 2 begins the same way. “We open with a flash-forward to the end of summer, again, to a real terrible event that occurs, and then we bring the audience back to the beginning of the summer.” Kelley also revealed that, like the first season, Season 2 opens with a quote, this time about destiny, and says this season is all about “free will versus fate.”
- Today’s set visit took place inside the lavish Grayson mansion, which is actually built entirely on a Manhattan Beach soundstage. (Ah, the magic of Hollywood.) The set includes the grand entryway, complete with a crystal chandelier and a portrait of the Grayson clan, Conrad’s dark-wood-heavy office, and the family’s living room, including Victoria’s iconic calligraphy-covered chair… or throne, if you will. And even the cast pays homage to Queen Victoria’s throne: With Stowe gone, Connor Paolo, who plays Jack’s little brother Declan, was excited to finally get a chance to sit in it. “I get the Queen Chair!” he exclaimed. You better hope Victoria is really dead, buddy... because if she catches you in that chair, you'll wish you were.
Get caught up on "Revenge" by watching the season finale in full right here: