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ABC’s freshman hit Revenge is unapologetically melodramatic, and star Emily VanCamp wouldn’t have it any other way.

Despite their shared names, Revenge star Emily VanCamp is nothing like her character, Emily Thorne. Emily VanCamp was raised in Port Perry, Ontario, surrounded by a loving family and attending ballet class. Emily Thorne was raised in a juvenile-detention center after her father was wrongly convicted of treason and later died. Emily VanCamp is charming, witty and generous to those around her. Emily Thorne? She’s infiltrating a wealthy Hamptons community to exact revenge on the people who set up her father. Let’s just say we’re glad that the former, not the latter, called in to give us the scoop on the hot show.

American Way: Revenge is a huge success. Why do you think the show resonates so much?
Emily VanCamp: For one, it’s just a very juicy throwback to the old soaps. But also, revenge is such a universal theme that everyone can relate to it. And it’s fun to see a bunch of rich, mean people be taken down by a young woman.

AW: Do people come up and share their own stories of revenge with you?
EV: Definitely — how they live vicariously through my character and how they have revenge that they wish they could exact on someone. And I think my dad is pretty happy — he says it’s his favorite character that I’ve played because he doesn’t have to worry about people messing with me!

AW: How vengeful would you say you are, personally?
EV: I was raised more along the lines of forgiveness. And I haven’t had the same experiences as my character. [Laughs.] I believe in karma in that if someone behaves badly around me, they’ll have to deal with that and the world on their own terms. It’s not up to me specifically to deal with.

AW: Your scenes with Madeleine Stowe are delectable. What’s the magic ingredient?
EV: We just really enjoy each other and don’t take it too seriously. We operate from different places as actors, but somehow, it just works. That subtext is the fun stuff to play. We have a blast.

AW: The entire cast seems to be having a blast.
EV: We all love each other. We’re always at my house or we’re traveling together or out shopping together. We were just in Vegas together!

AW: You grew up with three sisters. There must be some juicy stories of payback there.
EV: I have to be careful because my sister is actually sitting right next to me right now! Oh, there are probably a million!