Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

Is Leland human? 'Evil' star Michael Emerson doesn’t know, and he's cool with that

SYFY WIRE talked with Michael Emerson about his less-than-angelic character on Paramount+'s Evil.

By Vanessa Armstrong
Michael Emerson on Evil

Season 3 of Evil is almost here, and from what we’ve seen in the trailer, it looks like things are going to be just as sinfully bonkers as the two seasons before it.

In the lead-up to the season premiere, SYFY WIRE talked with Michael Emerson, who plays the decidedly evil Leland Townsend on the show. While Leland is clearly up to no good, it’s intentionally not clear what his ultimate end goal is.

It turns out that Emerson doesn’t know what exactly makes Leland tick either. 

Michael Emerson (Evil)

“I confess I don't know what his endgame is, and I'm happy not to know,” Emerson told SYFY WIRE. “I played villains on other shows, and I always enjoy the ambivalence of having a lot of things unknown in the landscape of the narrative.”

That doesn’t mean that we don’t know anything about Leland, of course. “We understand what his agenda is in certain situations with certain plotlines, certain episodes,” Emerson conceded, before adding: “But the overarching plan, his real mission with a capital ‘M,’ it goes way back and it has a lot of parts. I can't even tell you, honestly, if he's human or not.  I mean, he has his own sigil — what does that mean? Is he the most human-like of the demons, or does he have some other form that he takes sometimes that we have yet to meet? I don't have answers to that. But he just he carries on and he's juggling a lot of activities and doing a pretty good job of it.”

There is one thing, however, that Emerson thinks his character enjoys. "I think Leland likes to have public scenes with [David Acosta, played by Mike Colter] because it's a chance for him to give a coded performance for David's benefit that no one else will understand except the two of them."

You can check out what specific activities Leland is juggling and see scenes of him taunting David when the third season of Evil premieres on Paramount+ on Sunday, June 12. 

Looking for more supernatural mystery-solving? Stream SurrealEstate now.