Stowe’s Resurgence on ABC’s Revenge

Since the premiere of ABC’s drama Revenge last fall, Madeleine Stowe’s star has been shining bright one again…

The 53-year-old half-Costa Rican actress, best known for her role in The Last of the Mohicans and 12 Monkeys even received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as wealthy socialite Victoria Grayson on the soaptastic series.

Madeleine Stowe

But Stowe admits people have been treating her differently lately.

“Strangers will stop and stare and whisper to each other, but they’re very guarded and very careful,” Stowe recently told the Boston Herald.

It could be because Stowe’s character is a perfect antagonist—much like Joan Collins’ Alexis Colby on Dynasty—who dispenses chilly stares and cold-hearted comments with a deceptive smile.

“She’s sort of formidable, but she’s also very damaged in a lot of ways and spends her whole life sort of covering everything up. Her whole life has been a huge cover-up,” Stowe said. “I think the audience is sensing a kind of rage and a willfulness in her. Maybe there’s a ticking time bomb there. I think, in her mind, she’s doing whatever she has to to protect the life that she’s built because what she came from before was pretty devastating.”

Madeleine Stowe

In the second half of the show’s first season, Stowe’s character will embark on a “very tangled” romance with guest star James Purefoy while testing viewers’ loyalty.

“There’s going to be some really disturbing things that she does that are coming down the pike, and whether audiences will hang with her or not is another matter,” she said. “I’m totally willing to go there, but you might end up really despising her. … I’m always saying, ‘Let’s go as far as we can with her,’ and this is pretty startling.”

It’s hard to believe ABC had reservations about Stowe playing Victoria, especially given the critical acclaim she’s received.

“I think the network was a little worried initially in casting me — if I would be too sympathetic — and then I think they ended up finding that there were certain aspects to my nature that worked for the character.”

And Stowe admits playing Victoria has been a challenge, as well as an ongoing balancing act.

“I don’t think I always did hit the right note, to be honest,” she said. “There’s times when I look at myself and say, ‘Ooh, that’s just really pushing it over the edge.’ It’s a very, very delicate balance with her, and it took me awhile to find her.”

Revenge airs on Wednesdays at 10:00 pm ET on ABC.

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