Why You Should Be Following Shawn Ashmore

Shawn Ashmore
Michael Lavine/FOX
Shawn Ashmore

Killer cults. Sexually confused kidnappers. Creepy-ass Poe masks. What is a nice Canadian boy like Shawn Ashmore—who plays baby-faced FBI Mike Weston—doing on a show like The Following?!

OK, this show is messed up. Has it made you more paranoid about meeting people on the street?

Yes. Because it’s never the ones you expect! [Laughs]

Since your twin brother Aaron is also an actor, do you get recognized for work you haven’t actually done?

Oh yeah. This is the first TV series I have done in 10 years — I did a Nickelodeon show called Animorphs and the Disney Channel’s In a Heartbreat. It’s my brother who was on Smallville and Warehouse 13. But we both did Fringe, and that was an amazing experience to work together.

What’s like working with Kevin Bacon?

He has a presence. Not only is he a movie star, he’s also a great actor. And those don’t always go hand-in-hand. When you are doing a scene with Kevin Bacon, you know it.

We’ve learned from executive producer Kevin Williamson’s Vampire Diaries that he has no trouble killing series regulars. Have you been warned not to get too comfy?

That hasn’t happened, knock on wood. [Laughs] But it’s always a possibility. This is the kind of show I like. When you are all of a sudden aware that a character that you love could be killed, or potentially be a killer, the stakes are high. So when a gun is held to a regular’s head, you don’t immediately think they will be OK. You never know.

And you guys really don’t, right?

Ashmore: I still get scripts and am like ‘whoa!’ They’re jaw-dropping. As an actor on a show like this, when we finish shooting an episode, it’s a cliffhanger for us, too.

Given how scary the show is, is horror you kind of genre?

I can take violence. Slashers, monster movies, no problem. Ghost stories, I’m terrified of. I don’t mess with the supernatural stuff. With a serial killer, I have a shot. You can’t fight a ghost! [Laughs]

This story was originally published March 11, 2013.