By MARC SCHWARZ (northjersey.com)
Now that the man behind the mask has been revealed, Bruno Campos can talk about one of TV's best-kept secrets - the identity of the Carver on "Nip/Tuck."
The two-hour finale last Tuesday drew a record 5.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched episode ever of an FX series.
Campos, speaking by phone from his parents' home in his native Brazil, provided insight into Dr. Quentin Costa, the not-so-mild-mannered plastic surgeon, who dons a mask to become the Carver.
When did Campos find out he was the Carver? From the moment he was brought on board at the end of the previous season. Series creator Ryan Murphy told him, "I have this idea for this third doctor that will be a synthesis of McNamara and Troy. He'll be as talented surgically as McNamara and as interested in the sexual world as Christian is. There will be a difference: He will not have restraints. So he does not have the doubt that Sean does as to whether or not to perform certain surgeries, and he does not have the guilt that Christian goes through. He's much more predatory that way. We're going to do that and he's going to have this alter-ego. He's going to have this social-political agenda that he enacts."
Was he always the man behind the mask? Yes. "I have blue eyes, and I would wear brown contact lenses to make sure no light reflected in my eyes."
When did the rest of the cast find out that Costa was the Carver? Campos' first scene on "Nip/Tuck" was at the end of the previous season when he slashed Sean (Dylan Walsh) in the shower. "So Dylan knew, and then I was brought in as Quentin, and then I came in and slashed Christian. Then Julian [McMahon] knew. But not everybody knew. Kelly Carlson [who plays Kimber] didn't know until I was actually kidnapping her a year later because I hadn't worked with her before that. My attitude was if you didn't know, I wasn't going to tell you."
Was it hard to keep it secret? "It was the longest secret I ever had to keep."
Who on the cast didn't believe Costa was the Carver? Joely Richardson, who plays Julia McNamara. "Even though she heard that I was doing it, she just couldn't believe it was going to turn out to be me.
"I did make a bet with Joely. I don't know if it was the right thing to do. But she kept telling me everyday, 'I don't think it's you, I don't think it's you.'
She wrote me a check for $100, and I'm framing it. She put in the memo space, 'I lost.'Ÿ"
What's Campos' take on the Carver and Dr. Costa? The Carver is "a child" of Drs. McNamara and Troy. "He's kind of a reaping of what they sow. He's their natural antagonist. He's their shadow.
"Quentin Costa is also their mirror. Like the Snow White mirror, the dangerous mirror. Be careful what you ask for because you'll get some twisted version of your fantasy. That's what Quentin and the Carver represent."
Is there any difference between the Carver and Quentin? "There was an issue of whether this was going to be a Jekyll and Hyde thing or a Clark Kent and Superman thing, where one character differs so greatly from the other. For me, it was always it's Hyde and more Hyde. When he takes off the mask and he's Costa, he's still the same guy. He's not sweet and innocent. It's not a multiple-personality thing. He just has this suit he likes to wear when he's doing that particular ritual."
When did Campos find out that Quentin lacked male genitalia? The day he got the script for the final episode. "I knew something was coming because there was that scene with Joely in the hot tub and we didn't have sex. I started to suspect, 'Oh, oh, something's going to go wrong with me real bad.' So I'm walking around the next day on the set and everyone's looking at me funny."
The last sighting of Quentin, he and his sister were stalking another victim in Malaga, Spain. Will he return to Miami? Campos admits he has no idea, but the possibility certainly exists. "You just can't kill the bogeyman. He's always going to live under your bed to some degree."