The Following: Adan Canto

By Hobey Echlin
Adan Canto grew up in a tiny Mexican border town waking to the sound of his mother's singing every morning. "I thought music was all there was," he says. Acting wasn't an option. "Our main product is telenovelas," the 31-year-old says, referring to the lurid soap operas that define Mexican television. But after spending a decade as a singer/songwriter and a year leading a Mexican jazz band, Canto found his way into the theater, starring in the Mexican stage adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother, as well as a handful of indie films. On a trip to Los Angeles just last winter, his theater chops and brooding-but-vulnerable looks (think Jared Leto by way of Rufus Sewell) impressed Fox casting execs. Cut to a year later, and he can be seen Monday nights rubbing increasingly bloody shoulders with Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy in Fox's grisly murder series The Following.

Created by horror film king Kevin Williamson, the blockbuster-sized drama stars Bacon as an alcoholic former fed playing cat and mouse with a charismatic, Poe-obsessed, academic-turned-serial-killer (Purefoy) who's inspired a cult following of murderers. Canto plays Paul, a sexually confused follower willing to assume any identity, allegiance or preference to further Purefoy's literary killing sprees. The show plays out like a cross between The Silence of the Lambs, Copycat and Williamson's own Screa. After just four episodes, it's clear that Paul is arguably the most complex and controversial character in what will be the most WTF hour of primetime this spring. So, how does a guy whose bloodlust is limited to a taste for Italian motorcycles turn into a killer every week? "I connect with Paul's very primal need to be accepted," says Canto. "He'll do anything to be a part of something."

Adan Canto answers our TV survey:

What's the movie that no matter what time it is, or what you're doing, you'll watch if it's on TV?
Fight Club: It's more than entertainment for me. It's a movie I can always learn from, because of its production quality and its philosophical standpoints.

What's your "guilty pleasure" TV show?
South Park. It's good to be politically incorrect sometimes and just laugh at the ridiculous state of things.

What's the best thing about going to set everyday? The worst?
The best in this particular case is the catering. The worst is not being able to have dessert. It tends to make me stuffy and robs me of all energy to work. These guys make amazing desserts.

Jacket and shirt by Field Scout.

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