Penny Dreadful's Reeve Carney Teases Dorian's Season Finale Transformation

It’s not easy being Gray.

As the freshman season of Penny Dreadful comes to a close this Sunday (Showtime 10/9c), Dorian will once again cross paths with Vanessa Ives — and this time, he’s looking for answers.

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TVLine spoke with Reeve Carney — who plays the man with the hidden portrait — about romance, bromance and working with director James Hawes (Doctor Who, Enid).

TVLINE | Are you excited for the finale?
I’m excited, but also sad because there isn’t another episode to look forward to this season. Now I’m going to have to re-watch everything. They leave you wanting more — which is a good thing.

TVLINE | What Dorian will be up to in the finale?
You get to see a different side of Dorian from what you’ve been seeing for the rest of this season. I haven’t seen the final edit and how it plays out, but I was very excited to have the opportunity to try something that affected him.

TVLINE | Dorian’s going to be meeting Vanessa again. How does he feel about her running off like that after they slept together?
It’s complete shock and confusion, not quite being fully aware of what it is that’s causing her to react in that particular way. That’s how it begins and I think that’s all it is. There’s not a sense of true understanding of what has just transpired at that point. … It’s the first time in a very long time that Dorian’s experienced any form of rejection.

TVLINE | Dorian and Vanessa are really drawn to each other, almost supernaturally so. Could he be actually falling for her?
It feels like that to me. I think that he’s drawn to her in a way that he’s not drawn to anyone else. Even from the first meeting, there was something there, something unique.

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TVLINE | How do you feel about their relationship?
I would say that they’re disenfranchised from the world around them, more so than even any of the other characters. There’s something about those two particular characters; there’s a sense of liberation and freedom that they tend to walk in that I think unites them in a way.

TVLINE | There seemed to be a connection between Ethan and Dorian as well. What do you think about their relationship?
In Ethan, Dorian sees someone who’s similarly fearless and pretty much game for anything. I don’t think either of them expected that night in Episode 4 would have ended the way that it did. I don’t think that was the intention really. It’s a different kind of energy that Dorian has with Vanessa. It feels more like brotherhood.

TVLINE | James Hawes directed the last two episodes. What was it like working with him?
He’s fantastic. One thing that I particularly enjoyed with Jim was that he would take us aside once for maybe four or five hours and go over each episode and every scene in every episode and the scripts — what our intentions and what our relationships between the characters would be. By the time we got onto the set, we were on the same page so it was clear as to whether or not we were diverting from the original game plan, which I found to be quite helpful.

Are you excited for the season finale of Penny Dreadful? Hit the comments with your thoughts.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jason Paul says:

    Totally enjoying this show. Fun gothic horror for the summer.

  2. paul says:

    LOVE Penny Dreadful and can’t wait for the next season!!!!!

  3. Tracytv says:

    Tried to watch this show on three separate occasions. Each time I was bored out of my mind within the first half hour. I tried. It’s okay to not like things :)

  4. Dan says:

    I’m not sure I buy the idea that the night with Ethan was so spontaneous. I remember watching it thinking it felt like a seduction from early in the episode but I never expected it to pay off.

  5. Sean says:

    So excited for the finale, but it’s going to be unbearable wait for season 2.

  6. LABete says:

    This is the best show on TV right now! I cannot wait to see how the season ends this Sunday! Reeve is wonderful as Dorian Gray, and I love Dorian and Vanessa together; they are like the ultimate soul mates.

  7. Lizzy says:

    I like the show overall but I agree that it is quite boring. It progresses way too slowly, and the whole possessed by demons thing gets annoying really fast. Or at least, the way the main actress portrays it is annoying.

  8. Jamie Garner says:

    Stumbled upon the show by mistake and LOVE IT!!! Dorian and vanessa are my favorite. She has a sexy voice and he just has a sexy alluring way. Can not wait for the finale, but then will be counting the days until the return of season 2 Penny Dreadful.

  9. Shani or says:

    Reeve Carney is the perfect dorian gray. and so so sooooo pretty to look at. please more ethan and dorian next season. GREAT SHOW.

    • lechatnoir says:

      He is a dreadful Dorian gray . He’s been miscast . His faux British accent and contemporary teeny bopper looks annoy me. I dont know why they didn’t hire that english bloke who played Dorian a few years back. He not only looked the part has an actual Belle epoque British accent complete with an era body language.

      Everybody else is fine Green , Dalton and the rest of the cast carry the show perfectly.

      • nic says:

        Wow. Don’t be so rude. He just looks little young for the part, that’s all. He is doing his best with the accent. And that “English bloke” you mentioned could have gotten this part if he wanted it. But he didn’t, so no point in bringing that up.

        • tp says:

          Which English bloke is that? The last Dorian Gray I saw was Stuart Townsend. While I agree that his look is very modern, I said to my daughter he looks like a hipster, I think his portrayal of Dorian is pretty good.

      • The actual point of Reeve Carney’s look in Penny Dreadful (I think) is that “Dorian Gray” in Penny Dreadful is not exactly Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray. Reeve Carney says in an interview that when he told Penny Dreadful writer John Logan that he had read Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, Logan said: “That good but, we’re going a different way”. Personally, I think Reeve Carney’s character was given the name “Dorian Gray” to distract people from noticing that his character is the main character on Penny Dreadful in active pursuit of Vanessa Ives. Reeve Carney also said in an interview that he hasn’t seen any Dorian Gray Portrait.

      • Skittles&Bits says:

        Do you mean Ben Barnes? If so, I must agree that I prefer BB’s portrayal of Dorian Gray to this guy. Even so, this guy isn’t dreadful exactly; more like he’s putting a new spin/his own touches on the character to give it new life.

      • AW says:

        because Reeve Carney is hot. No british dude would ever look as good as he does. I think he’s a great actor too. Honestly I love him in this role.

  10. blackswan says:

    Eva Green is a great actress in this show and the Character is not boring .
    There are lots of people who dont know this show ( Eva Green bashing why ? )
    she is the heart of the Penny Dreadful

  11. blackswan says:

    Eva Green is a great actress in this show and the Character is not boring .
    There are lots of people who dont understand ( sorry my mistake ) this show ( Eva Green bashing why ? )
    she is the heart of the Penny Dreadful

  12. roz12 says:

    Penny Dreadful is just dreadfully short! I’m preparing myself for a bad case of withdrawal syndrome :( I absolutely love it and strangely enough, it often moves me to tears. Vanessa’s suffering leaves me devastated -specially the last three episodes-which doesn’t happen to me often -this is tv, after all!

    And I know it’s not cool to say Josh Harnett is ok but, living in Europe, I was not acquainted with this actor at all, and the truth is I find his performance nuanced and subtle and I am enjoying him and the whole cast and show enormously. But my favourite -sad, broken, dangerously fragile- characters are Vanessa and Ethan. Bravo Penny Dreadful.
    Regarding Dorian Grey, he could’ve been played by any androgynously good looking, decent actor. Here he doesn’t particularly stand out IMO but I wouldn’t say he’s not bad at all either, accents apart!
    PS: And the opening is as gorgeous as the rest of the show.

  13. susan says:

    Love Penny D. Reeve Carney is literally mesmerizing. it goes beyond basic sexiness. There really is something otherworldly seemingly emanating from him(or the best FX on the planet :)). I am hooked!

  14. nic says:

    the cast is not the problem! they are all very talented. the problem is that there is not enough monsters and horror. this show calls itself a horror series, but the scariest thing I’ve seen so far is Vanessa Ives’ rat nest hairdo. lol. (no disrespect to the beautiful Eva)

    • uber vee says:

      If you are familiar with the literary genre that spawned these characters then you may have noticed too that the “monsters” are not the obvious blood dripping, deformed, fanged abominations. The real monsters are inside the humanly flawed characters.

  15. Anniem says:

    I love this show. I never knew of Eva Green before (being American) but love her performance. Her eyes have such expression and she is so talented! Timothy Dalton is so well known and is fantastic as Sir Malcolm. Reeve Carney was also new to me and is a perfect Dorian Gray – he and Eva have a natural chemistry that cannot be faked. I so look forward to the next season!

  16. H. says:

    I love the show, and most of the cast, but I’m still struggling with Dorian. His character and the Dorian/Vanessa dynamic have a lot of potential on paper, but I haven’t been able to connect to either him or the relationship on screen. Eva Green is so good, Dorian ends up looking completely out of her league – I don’t see the chemistry. I hope the finale gave Reeve Carne some great material so I can change my mind about his performance.

  17. shaquetta says:

    I love it when is it coming back.

  18. mitchell gilmore says:

    cannot wait for season two, the show keeps me on the edge of my seat. now that sir malcolms daughter is dead what will the group do as a team now

  19. AW says:

    I love this series. Everyone acts fantastically and it’s just a great show. I really hope Dorian Gray comes back in Season 2. Reeve Carney is the BEST Dorian Gray ever. No contest!

  20. hAl says:

    Reeve Carney is absolutely spellbinding. I cannot even conceive the notion that he has not done a spectacular job. He does have many talents, and acting is one of them. For those of you who see no chemistry, that is something I do not understand. It is just natural- for example, take the scene where Vanessa is having her photo taken for the first time; when she asks what he will do with that piece of her soul, his answer was “Protect it,” and you can clearly see the sincerity with that sentence. Also, when he is speaking with her about the concept of eternity. I suggest some go and re-watch some of these episodes. He has done a spectacular job, and he certainly does do well acting along side Eva Green, which would be a difficult endeavor for anyone, I’d imagine. Also, he is the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes upon. I understand everyone having their own opinion, but Reeve Carney is essential to this series, and I can promise ratings will drop if he is not in the next season, which I believe he will be there next season. The cast for this series was chosen brilliantly, let us keep it that way. Yes, he looks young, he’s Dorian Gray, but he’s the same age as I- 31, and if no one has noticed, yes, this series intertwines great literature in history, but with its own TWIST. Reeve Carney, you’re amazing, sorry some people don’t recognize talent. Or, perhaps it’s just jealousy.