'The Following's' James Purefoy: Less of a psychopath than Anderson Cooper

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He may play a psychopath on "The Following," but James Purefoy isn't crazy in real life. The actor behind Joe Carroll is, in fact, less of a psycho than Anderson Cooper.

This surprising bit of information came out when Purefoy was a guest on "Live with Kelly and Michael" on Friday (Jan. 24). With Cooper substituting for regular host Michael Strahan, talk quickly turned from the fictional lunatics of "The Following" to real-life psychopathic behavior.

It turns out that Cooper hosted a segment on the psychology of psychopaths in January and even linked to a "Psychopath Test" online. Both Cooper and Purefoy had taken the test before the "Live" interview and cheerfully discussed the results.

"Fortunately I scored very low," Purefoy explains when asked how he did. The same could not be said for Cooper who started protesting about possible inaccuracy before admitting, "I don't remember [my score], but it was alarming."

Does this mean Cooper is a psychopath? He probably isn't, but there might be more psychopathic tendencies in the news host than in the "Following" actor.

Without a real crazy person in the role, what makes Joe Carroll so popular with the show's audience? Purefoy has a theory: "He's got a good sense of humor. He's got a sardonic wit to him. I think people find themselves enjoying his company on the one hand, and then being horrified with themselves for enjoying him."

That seems about right.

Photo/Video credit: FOX