Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
Michael Emerson, 58, was villainous Benjamin Linus in Lost and now stars in crime drama Person Of Interest as cyber billionaire Harold Finch.
In Person Of Interest you play a tech genius/cyber vigilante who has built a system that predicts violent crime. How close are we to the Orwellian world depicted on the show?
I think we’re closer than anyone would care to say. I’ve read books that suggest the American government might have already tried to create a really sophisticated surveillance system with pattern recognition software. I think I live in an Orwellian world now! I feel like we’re on the cusp of some great cultural shift where machines will take on a dimension of power we never dreamed of.
The show is produced by JJ Abrams (Lost/Mission Impossible III/Star Trek). Was that the attraction?
Sure, I saw the script in JJ Abrams’s office and thought: ‘That’s really cool.’ It’s from [British film-maker] Jonah Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan. They collaborated on Memento, the Batman movies, Inception and so many wonderful dark action thrillers that are based on puzzles and fractured narratives.
Are you a techie yourself?
I’m not very good with electronics and computers. In our household, my wife is the tech engineer. I’m always saying: ‘Honey, come here. I can’t make the thing delete.’ My expertise in the show is definitely play-acting on my part.
You’ve been married to actress Carrie Preston (True Blood/The Good Wife) for more than 12 years – what’s the secret to a long-lasting relationship?
We both have interesting work that satisfies us, we have empathy and we handle each other tenderly and worry about each other. We have been fortunate that we’ve both had success. I suppose it would be hard to be an actor couple if one partner was a big success and the other one was languishing. Also, we each picked someone whose ego was not going to get in the way of things.
Lost was such a phenomenon. What was it like joining the cast?
I wasn’t a regular viewer of the show before getting the part. I didn’t realise the passion level that existed among its viewers. When I was offered a guest spot, it struck me as another job, albeit one that was shot in the middle of the Pacific. I didn’t expect to stay so long in Hawaii. Then I thought: ‘I might turn out to be a regular on this show,’ and that’s what happened. I was never able to go home. I was off to the races; suddenly people knew my face and nothing was the same after that.
How did Lost change your life?
Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I was making a real living. I thought: ‘Well if you stick with your craft, your eventual success will make up for the lean years.’ It was a shock being recognised. It’s a challenge for a person who’s kind of shy like me. You have to adjust but it’s a good way to meet people.
What was it like finding success in your mid-forties?
I’m happy that it happened rather than not happening. But I was never that unhappy. Once I found out what my calling was in my thirties, it honestly didn’t matter much to me if I was famous or making a handsome living. I just loved acting.
But you had to do other jobs to pay the bills?
Yes, I taught, I was a magazine illustrator for many years. I designed posters, I built scenery and I directed plays. I also built decks and painted houses. But I didn’t feel punished by it at all because in the evening, I knew I was going to rehearsal or to a show and I was so happy.
What has been your greatest extravagance since then?
I have been an admirer of tribal rugs for many years and I finally just bought a Turkish rug I had admired in a store window. It’s so beautiful. Now I walk into my living room and there’s that rug, which is a piece of history. It just tickles me. But it was reasonable – only a few thousand dollars.
You’re the voice of the joker in the new animated films, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, (Part 1 and 2). How was that?
It was challenging and daunting, when you think about how closely people follow those big superhero franchises. Thank God I hadn’t seen The Dark Knight when I was engaged to do this work because I might have thrown up my hands and said: ‘This is impossible.’ You don’t want to be The Joker who follows Heath Ledger. But it was a different medium and I think it’s come off fairly well.
Do you have any major goals?
I think it’s every actor’s dream to be on a London stage some day. But I’m one of those people who doesn’t have a five-year plan. I wish I knew more about botany and the names of birds and ancient civilisations. Those kind of things will be the projects of my later years.
To view the larger version of the photo featured in this article, just click here.
Well, it happened again. Back on December 12, 2012, I wrote a blog entry about my health woes. Little did I know that in 15 days, I would be back in the hospital again.
Back in November 22, 2012, 14 days after I came home from the hospital, I went in to the emergency room (ER) with what I thought was a cough caused by bronchitis. I was given antibiotics, but unfortunately, the cough didn’t get better. It got worse. I was coughing nonstop and the cough was suffocating me. Many of my friends kept telling me that I may have whooping cough, as all my symptoms (the type of cough, duration, and intensity) fit the classic Pertussis symptoms.
I went to my pulmonologist for help. He gave me prednisone (a steroid), which stopped the cough for a few days. However, I soon needed to be off this steroid because it affected my muscles and I was unable to climb stairs and get off sitting positions. My proximal and girdle muscles were so weakened. Fortunately, as the steroid left my body, my muscles returned to normal.
As the cough didn’t get better, I kept returning to the ER, only to be given some medication that didn’t work and a few days later, I’d be back in the ER again. On December 27, 2012, I went in by ambulance and was admitted as an asthmatic patient. In the hospital, I was given megadoses of a steroid called dexamethasone (decadron). As decadron is 6.6 more powerful than prednisone, my muscles once again were attacked. I stayed in the hospital for 13 days and then I was transferred to a nursing rehab facility. I had to be weaned off the powerful steroid slowly (it took over 1 month), and I had to relearn to walk again, as I was now confined to a wheelchair.
I am finally able to function a bit. I still have difficulties getting off chairs, but once I’m up, I can walk as if nothing happened.
And the for those of you who are wondering what my cough was, here’s the answer: I had WHOOPING COUGH (Pertussis). If you are wondering, I had whooping cough when I was 5 and I was vaccinated when I was 30. But, because many new parents are choosing NOT to vaccinate their children (please heed my words, the vaccine is less dangerous than the actual disease), pertussis is on the rise. Specially susceptible to reacquiring the disease are teenagers and adults. I also found out that pertussis requires revaccination every 5 years. So, go get the the DPT vaccine. You won’t suffer the way I did. And, by the way, the steroids that I was given was fruitless. Nothing can stop pertussis once you get it. It has to run its course. I wish I had known that. I wish I was not misdiagnosed.
Former LOST stars Michael Emerson (Ben Linus) and currently acting as Finch on Person of Interest; Carrie Preston (Emily Linus–Ben’s mother), currently acting as Arlene on True Blood; and Terry O’Quinn (John Locke), currently acting as Malcolm Doran on 666 Park Avenue met at a New York restaurant. Oh the fun of seeing these three actors together again.
Larger version of this photo is available here.
In the spring of 2012, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, CENTERSTAGE asked 50 of the country’s leading playwrights to answer a simple question: What is my America?
These 50 monologues, ranging from the political to the personal, form a tapestry of ideas and explore our particular American moment–the people and notions that make the country what it is today.
The responses, by writers including Anna Deavere Smith, Neil LaBute, Christopher Durang, and Lynn Nottage, will be released on our special My America website:
centerstage.org/myamerica. The first set is now live and the remaining will be released on Tuesdays running through Election Day.
You can sign up to receive updates when each batch of videos are released, join the conversation by sharing the videos, and learn about the playwrights.
Here’s a sampling of some familiar faces involved in the project:
My thanks to KS for this report
Larger photo of Michel Emerson is available here.
Carrie Preston, Michael Emerson’s beautiful wife, tweeted the following on September 6, 2012:
Congratulations, Michael and Carrie on your 14 year anniversary. Here’s wishing you many, many more.
Jayme Deerwester, whose Twitter bio says that she is ah online producer for USA Today’s TV coverage by day, swim/bike nerd by morning (and occasional evening); foodie-come-lately, tweeted the following about Michael Emerson.
Michael Emerson at a benefit for Reading Opens Minds in Los Angeles, which was held on July 1, 2012.
Additonally, here’s a video wherein Michael Emerson reads A Christmas Carol