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The Following: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy and Kevin Williamson Preview TV's Next Big Thriller

THE FOLLOWING Patrick Ecclesine/FOX

How do you get someone like Kevin Bacon to star in your TV show? Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries) apparently has the key.

"When it came time to cast Ryan Hardy I was like, 'Well, we need someone like Kevin Bacon. We should get someone like Kevin Bacon,' thinking we'd never get someone like Kevin Bacon," Williamson tells us. Turns out, Kevin had all the ammunition he needed in the form of his pilot script.

"I knew that I wanted to do something that was heroic. And I knew that if I was going to do something heroic the guy would have to be complex and have vulnerabilities…and have a certain kind of damaged nature," Bacon says to us about his retired FBI character. "The show moves at a breakneck speed, and every time I get a new script, I pick it up and what I'm mostly amazed at is that both from a plot standpoint and from a character standpoint, there are so many things I don't see coming."

Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy kiss and tell...literally!

What fans will see coming during the first episode is the chemistry between Bacon and James Purefoy, who plays serial killer Joe Carroll.

"We just felt it," Bacon tells us about his first scene with Purefoy. "He's a fantastic actor and incredibly well prepared. What's funny about those scenes with me and James is they go really fast. We shoot those things in no time."

Make no mistake, the tension between Ryan and Joe is very real and very dangerous. "Joe Caroll doesn't want to kill Ryan Hardy. He just wants to cause him exquisite pain," Purefoy reveals. "[They're] in this strange dance of death with each other that will keep going on and on and on until one of them dies."

To get more scoop from The Following cast, including the story behind Natalie Zea's character and Williamson's theory on the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game, check out our exclusive interviews below.

The Following premiers tonight on Fox.

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