‘Revenge’ Interview: Gabriel Mann Is Just As Intriguing As His Character


“I’ve been doing a lot of different things for a while now, but it’s just kind of so thrilling to be doing something that you genuinely love so much. I don’t know what that says about me, but I love Revenge so much. It’s just turned out to be something incredibly fun. It’s just a pleasure.”

For Gabriel Mann, who plays the truly indescribable Nolan Ross on the ABC series Revenge, the show for him and for audiences is instant gratification. Well, based off of this very first moment with him, it was clear from the start that the same could easily be said for the actor.

“In really the very short time that we’ve been on the air we’ve already covered so much ground…you may think you’re waiting for this answer, but we’re going to give you this one too on top of it. And we’ll give you that one, and we’re going to do a cliffhanger. How you like me now?” he quips with excitement explaining what the show brings every Wednesday night to viewers. Like is by far an understatement and so is our absolute obsession with Mann.

To many he’s the one to look out for on Twitter when a new episode arrives on our television sets. He’s just ecstatic to watch and just as ready to reach out to fans. We thought Nolan was a favorite on the show—but clearly Gabe is favored on a whole other level. Recently I spoke with Gabe and truth be told—we were able to fit in just as much information as the shows able to do week after week. From the origin of Nolan to the red sharpie return and romances abound, Gabe fills us in on his Hamptons roots and how appreciative he’s been in getting to go along for the ride.

Becoming The Privileged CEO Of Nolcorp

Nolan Ross’ introduction to audiences was simple, to the point and yet very open for questioning–as was every character of the series. But we know better now.  He’s a lot of things but Gabe will be the first to tell you that in reality—he’s pretty indescribable. “He is…actually, no. I can’t,” as he pauses trying to think of the words. “He is the definition of ambiguity and at the same time, he very much wears his heart on his sleeve so that in and of it self is ambiguous. There’s something very genuine and something very covered and I think at the core of this character is really this deep loneliness…I think that’s why when he meets Emily he’s so immediately ready to go on this journey with her. I mean in terms of professionally, there’s not really much he needs, or wants or can do. I mean he can get into politics, but who’s going to vote for him honestly? That’s kind of what’s beautiful about him. There’s a lot of room to find out the ways he covers up his pain.”

“What’s been really interesting more recently is it seems like more and more Nolan is one of the sole voices of reason in this powder keg that’s about to explode. He’s like Chicken Little running around saying the sky is falling and no one wants to believe him.”

There have been a lot of changes for Nolan since the pilot. With only 15 episodes in he’s gone from seeking Emily’s approval to seemingly paying off people for a friendship in return. Now he perhaps is even beginning his own path to making the dark Hamptons a place where police don’t have to mark off a crime scene every time a guy named Tyler comes to destroy and blackmail. Okay, a little too late but as viewers have seen the series hasn’t even scratched the surface on what Nolan is capable of.

In Revenge it seems that every character has a fault, whether it be a relationship that went south or the hope in reaching the end of a debt unpaid, seeking vengeance until the endgame. Nolan’s actions are quite the contrary at this point but as shown, anyone can be led to an inevitable pitfall. “At the same time his emotions dictate what he does occasionally, and as a result there’s a lot of fall-outs which you’ll see coming up,” Gabe reveals. “It’s allowed me a real multi-dimensional character to have fun with and not having ever played anything for the amount of time that I have now played Nolan, I was convinced that I’d be jumping out of my skin sort of ready to play another guy. You know, he’s still fascinating me.” Again, we’ve only scratched the surface.

“If Nolan’s character were an animal, I would call him—he’d be an eel. He’d be an eel with very sharp teeth. He can be very slippery and he’s slick and he’s smooth. But he’s got bite.”

And so do his clothes. What other Hamptons male elite could get away with wearing red at a Fire & Ice engagement party when the celebration clearly designates the men to wear white? Not to mention looking swag all the while. Forget the memorable one-liners Gabe makes his own, he also has a say in the wardrobe department. “For me it’s more the merrier. Originally it would start in my trailer before we would shoot. There’d be some costume options and they would leave a bunch of them in the trailer for me to kind of say, ‘Oh, well I like this shirt but maybe not that tie but oh maybe that ascot.’ But they quickly learned that if they give me too many options in the dressing room, I’m putting it all on.” His laugh is contagious as he adds, “If you thought the summer wardrobe was bananas, wait till winter wardrobe!”

Luckily he didn’t make us wait until the temperature dropped. He may not have given us every detail but the fact that the winter season will soon match the mood of despair makes us anxious to say the least. Daniel may be carted off in handcuffs soon but the dreary skies will soon corner everyone. Gabe flushes out the idea and states that there’s definitely something creepy and honest about the upcoming setting. More issues have come up and just like staying inside during a storm, there’s nowhere to go until situations are resolved.

“There’s something really eerie about the idea of a beach community in the winter when everything is kind of shutdown. And all of a sudden Grayson Manor—a very empty and isolated structure—becomes like the hotel in The Shining.”


Return Of The Red Sharpie With Flashback Surprises

Surprise kill-offs have come in plenty for the ABC series. Frank Stevens, the recently shot Tyler Barrol and let’s not forget that time that Lydia Davis fell off a balcony onto the hood of a taxi and actually survived. A mere death never looked so stunning. Gabe and the rest of the cast are just as taken aback by the paths some storylines are taken. After all, when someone is out for vengeance it’s come apparent that its difficult staying out of any line of danger. The beach-shooting outcome left even Gabe patting the writers on the back. But alas—we haven’t seen anything yet. That scene is quite minimal compared to what’s to come.

Which reminds us—is it all an inside job at this point? Will the red sharpie ever return again? With no hesitation it’s an absolutely from Gabe. “There are a lot of pictures in that box,” he excitedly replies. “There are a lot of people in that photo to sharpie off.” One psycho coming into town isn’t going to stop Emily’s main mission. “So I would say yes. You would not be revenged without the red sharpie. I mean the red sharpie is practically like the other principle character in the show. The red sharpie is not the body on the beach. Let’s put it that way.”

“I think the unspoken motto at Revenge is ‘Go big or go home.’ …If this was the introduction to what this show is, you have no idea where we’re going with this.”

David Clarke’s tapes, Amanda’s reveal, Daniel’s poetry ambitions. The format is always changing and flashbacks are just another way to leave viewers questioning what else to expect before the credits even roll. Flashback montages have been set in motion and they aren’t going anywhere. “Oh yeah flashbacks! There are a whole lot of flashbacks about to come your way,” Gabe exclaims. “I just got a little scoop and fact about that. I’m very excited about something you will see coming in a few weeks or so. I mean I am fascinated by the Nolan Ross and Clarke connection. There’s so much more to reveal about the origins of that relationship and the truth of it. I think it’s going to completely flip everything.”

For many it may seem common for actors to be completely elated to immerse themselves into talking about a creative project they’re currently working on. But truthfully—people who ever thought that are the same people that probably thought Victoria wasn’t going to stay cold as ice for long. Gabe’s a fan himself and just because the cast is one step ahead with scripts doesn’t mean his anticipation to see what’s up ahead is any less than how fans feel.

Working Alongside Different Characters And New Friends

“Aside from all the other great people who have been coming on the show and so forth, we’ve still got so much left to explore in terms of the interpersonal dynamics and psychologies of some of the core characters. We’re already at 15 of 22 so we’ve got a lot of story to tell.”

Nolan and Emily are a gripping duo. Nolan and Jack have turned into a friendship that no one saw coming. Yet, there are so many more possible interactions to mull over. Gabe would love to interact with more actors on set and hopefully for our viewing pleasure—his ideas come true. Put simply he states, “I just think there’s a gold mine in putting me and Madeleine [Stowe] in a room together and watching what might happen,” he explains. “I am dying to see the storylines that put Nolan in a room with Victoria Grayson.”

The growing relationships between Jack Porter and Emily are also something to stay tuned for. “The beauty of the Nolan and Jack and Nolan and Emily relationships is there’s always more to explore. And as things happen, it ultimately alters the course of where those relationships go.” He even brings his own life experiences into play while he discusses how Nolan should continue on with Emily. “In my experience over time, maybe Nolan would smarten up and say this to Emily at some point: ‘Look, karma takes care of everything. Everybody gets what’s coming to them whether you bring it or life brings it.’” Gabe clearly doesn’t have the same vendettas like Emily does on the show but to him there’s such a beautiful excitement in at least getting to play the part. “I don’t think anybody needs to be hell bent on revenge. I really do believe that life takes care of itself; it’s not over night. Sometimes its not as soon as we like, but you hang in there…Sometimes the best revenge is to smile and do nothing. But in the mean time, if you’re gonna give me freedom to do all of this on the show, bring it on!”

“Anything could happen, and it does! And so its so much fun. I love where we’re at with the show and the story. The way the story’s tracking, I think that there are so many layers that we have yet to even get into. And of course I’m looking forward to Nolan’s next love interest. He’s got such interesting taste.”

As in, taste in Tyler and in a possible future romance. “I’m not going to lie,” he teases with every lingering word. “I find the Ashley Davenport part of it all very fascinating and very intriguing. And when Nolan get’s intrigued, things usually happen,” he begins. “I can’t even imagine where the possibilities of that might go. I mean if we teamed up—danger!” Nolan’s smirks and one-liners are absolutely nothing compared to this moment. Gabe continues to explain how if they ever got together Ashley would probably take off five of his layers and change his hair. The two are the most fashion savvy so of course a Pretty Woman episode sequence should also be considered. That is, if that romance ever emerges, of course.

“I love our core group and I think there are places that each of our characters should venture off to and continue to make things complicated and compelling.”

Minus the complicated aspect, this comment could easily be said about his talented close friends. Otherwise known as his costars. For Nolan it seems like his friendships have landed into his lap unexpectedly and the same can be said for Gabe. Turning to ABC every night won’t be just to see Nolan anymore. It’ll be to watch the actor who plays him because just like his character, words can’t describe how wonderful he is. He’s more than grateful for the opportunity to play in the Hamptons for a while and his love for the actors he works with is undeniable.

New Connections And Twitter Followers

“We’re sort of trying to figure out what’s the logical reasoning behind it. Like, ‘Why now? Why Revenge?’

“I guess it’s kind of like the perfect storm of luck, faith, good timing, good writing and fun acting. I’m not trying to analyze it deeply. I’m so happy to be along for the ride right now.”

The concept, the cast and as Gabe points out, the red sharpie, are all reasons for the success of the show it would seem. The dynamic between the actors and the friendships they’ve built off set hasn’t hurt them either. As Gabe puts it, “We’d go anywhere and we’d do anything for each other. I think that’s created on the show a real sense of trust and allows us to take risks. I think as a result something very entertaining comes out of that…I feel like the luckiest guy in the world right now.”

Gabe couldn’t be more thankful about the opportunity he has in front of him. As our conversation comes to a close his utmost joy for where he is in his life right now would easily make him a fan favorite. “There’s a whole social life built into this show that I didn’t even know I was missing in my own life until I had it,” he sincerely says. Whether on set or during their downtime, after much consideration he really couldn’t decide on a favorite moment with everyone. They’ve all been enjoyable. So much so that any setting would suffice.

“Let’s all move to Utah and have a big polygamist marriage and get a dog because we all love each other.”

If there’s anyone that needs further evidence of Gabe’s appreciation for the series, look no further but his Twitter page every Wednesday night. He’s just as addicted as the audience and just as intriguing as Nolan.

The storylines may drastically change with every new twist and reveal, but compared to Nolan’s changing wardrobe our positive opinion on Gabe will surely stay the same.

Heck, even if he did move to Utah with the cast he would still be absolutely incredible to speak with.  Sincerity like that doesn’t come around too often.

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