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Just months after the death of his father, Daniel Grayson has suffered the same fate.
In Sunday night’s episode of ABC’s Revenge, Daniel (Joshua Bowman) had a revelation in which he realized he wanted to distance himself from his family’s evildoing and to be a good father to the baby Margaux (Karine Vanasse) is carrying. But he tragically died after rushing to Emily’s defense during a physical altercation with Kate (Courtney Ford), the FBI agent who was secretly working for the mysterious Malcolm Black. (Read a full breakdown of what happened here.)
On Monday, Bowman talked to The Hollywood Reporter about how he learned of his character’s fate, what he’ll miss the most and why he thinks the show will ultimately “end in tears.”
So how did you learn of Daniel’s fate?
Me and Sunil [Nayar, the showrunner] sat down for breakfast before the season started, and before the writers were in the writers’ room to start penning the season, and we talked collaboratively about the potential arc of Daniel and where we could go, and we both reached a sort of decision that it would be a good thing for the story to move it forward, that Daniel would reach his demise this season. I think for the story, it was a good decision. It was executed very well. We decided he would be redeemed right up until the end, and he would do some sort of heroic act for Emily particularly because obviously that was the ultimate sacrifice and highlighted how tragic a character Daniel Grayson is and was, and we actually did it very well. [Writer] Ted Sullivan did a fantastic job and was instrumental in getting us into that place, along with Sunil and the writing team. I watched it last night, and it was quite sad, actually.
What has the reaction from viewers been like?
I don’t have social media but my girlfriend [VanCamp] and I were talking about it. We watched the episode together, and some of them were quite upset, which I guess is a sign of good writing and the way Sunil and his team executed the death, that obviously got a good reaction. Obviously if people are sad, that is a good reaction, and creatively I think if people are like, “This is a bad thing,” then we’ve done a great job. If they are like, “Thank God,” then it’s a different story.
How hard was it for you and Emily to shoot your death scene?
We all have created a fantastic bond on the show and I think it was the same with Henry [Czerny, who played Conrad], Barry [Sloane, who played Aiden], and Connor [Paolo, who played Declan]. When someone leaves the show, it’s always hard; you create a family bond. You see your colleagues every day and on the weekends. There are blood, sweat and tears. It’s definitely emotional for me to leave, for sure.
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Daniel and Emily had developed a fun relationship in which they’d become “frenemies” this season.
It was an interesting dynamic, and I really liked it. Those were probably some of the most fun scenes because it was a very strange divert, but obviously they had a lot of chemistry. There’s something there when he finds out who she is, and it sort of came full circle. There was the possibility of continuing that dynamic, but I think Daniel is the sacrificial lamb. He had to go in that manner.
Joshua Bowman as Daniel (Photo courtesy of ABC)
Daniel went from naive, optimistically hopeful student to accomplice in his family’s wrongdoings to remorseful father-to-be. Which was your favorite to play, and are you satisfied with his overall arc?
I honestly had a lot of fun doing all of it. Whenever he was so devious, that was a lot of fun, which was the better part of two seasons. I had a lot of fun playing his naughty side. I loved working with all the actors on the show, and I just can’t really pick any one moment. I learned so much from all the actors — they are all so bloody good — and I just feel very humbled to have been in that environment to explore this character and his relationships. He literally went full circle. A couple seasons ago, it was sort of getting very confusing, and I didn’t know where [the storyline] was going. But it really rounded off nicely.
As a viewer, are you hoping that Emily and Jack [Nick Wechsler] get together in the end?
I thought that in the beginning. But I think it’s all going to end in tears. I don’t think there’s going to be a happy ending. Anyone who wants a fairy-tale ending might be in for a shock. But who knows? I don’t know what will happen, but I think it’s going to end in tears. Have you seen a happy ending on the show yet?
What’s next for you?
There’s nothing in the works yet. I’m looking at various projects. I may jump into a different medium and try film or theater or cable. I want to jump into a very different character and see what happens.
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