Archive for the ‘interview’ Category
The New York Times has a wonderful article about Michael Emerson and his wife, Carrie Preston. Here it is for your enjoyment:
A Farmer’s Breakfast, and Then a Wander
|The actor Michael Emerson, 59, of “Person of Interest,” and his wife,
the actress Carrie Preston, 46, of “True Blood” and “The Good Wife.”
Credit Dave Sanders for The New York Times
When the actor Michael Emerson, 59, walks around Manhattan, it’s not unusual for people to stop him and ask if he’ll pose for a picture. The television shows “Lost” and, currently, “Person of Interest” have made his spiky hair, thick-rimmed glasses and long sideburns a giveaway. He takes it in stride, even on Sunday, which he designates a day of leisure, reserved for meandering, cultural events and time with his wife, the actress Carrie Preston, 46 — who herself is recognized for her roles in “True Blood” and “The Good Wife” — and her extended family. The couple live with their rescue dog, Chumley, 4, near Columbus Circle.
HELLO, SUNSHINE Sunday is the most domestic day of the week. It’s the day when I feel the least pressure to get anything done. We get up fairly late, I suppose, around 9 o’clock. We throw open the shades that make the room dark and we make the bed. We’re like a synchronized team. We each have a shade to raise.
SQUARE MEAL Then we divide forces. Carrie gives Chumley his morning walk and I prepare the breakfast. Frankly, she’s sharper in the morning and I’m probably the better cook, so it makes sense. Plus, that relieves her of having to do the late-night walk, which is maybe a little more sinister. I make kind of a heavy, farmer’s, protein breakfast. Bacon and eggs, that kind of thing. She used to join me in that, but lately she’s making these green smoothies.
|Mr. Emerson cooking bacon and eggs for a Sunday breakfast
at his Manhattan apartment.
Credit Dave Sanders for The New York Times
READING AND WRITING Then we take care of the paperwork, or I should say the electronic work. I may read the paper for a bit while she starts on the computer. Then I’ll join her and I’ll get my laptop out and try to answer correspondence and get a handle on the week to come.
SHIFT GEARS Around noon, we’re still in our jammies, and that seems wrong somehow, so we need to get crackin’ and someone needs to shower first and then we get out of the house. She usually has more organized activities than I: a get-together with lady friends, or a rehearsal or a reading, or a meeting about one of her many film or TV projects. I dawdle longer.
|Mr. Emerson and Ms. Preston are often recognized by fans of their shows.
Credit Dave Sanders for The New York Times
MAN ABOUT TOWN If the weather’s fair, I like to take Chumley to Central Park and just walk around, do a bit of promenading with him. I dress more formally than a lot of the other boys do. If I’m going to be out and about on the town, I will generally wear a tie and a vest. Not necessarily a jacket.
FANS APPROACH I get recognized. It happens regularly, by two sets of fans: younger people who are fans of “Lost” and older people, oftentimes their parents, who are fans of “Person of Interest.” But now, I think the balance has shifted. Carrie’s so present on so many shows, with her vivid red hair, that people pick her out. Now I’m the one that people, they say, “Excuse me, could you take our picture?
Mr. Emerson exploring the “Out of Hand” exhibit
POSSIBLE DETOUR My default mode is to wander. But if I see an interesting little show or some kind of artwork or some kind of play, I may go to see that as well. I went recently to see a show of Czechoslovakian pop-up books. It was at the Grolier Club. There’s all kinds of funny little exhibition and gallery spaces around this town.
VISITING Sunday is, more often than not, family dinner night. So we go to the in-laws, who have kids, and we’ll either order in or somebody will cook. We pick up the peripheral goods on our stroll down Ninth Avenue. You know, baguettes and beer and red wine, and whatever is required.
WHO’S ON TV? We’ll watch some TV event. It could be a show that either Carrie or I have a role in that everyone hasn’t seen already. Often it’ll be “The Good Wife,” which is on Sunday nights anyway. If Carrie’s on, we definitely make time for that. Or everybody will watch that week’s “Person of Interest.” There’s a lot of hooting and laughing and snide comments. And we get to do the behind-the-scenes commentary.
FIRST TO BED It grieves me on Sundays to have to cut family night short, because it’s one of the chief pleasures of the week. But I have just never adjusted to the early mornings of the TV world. If I have to be in bed at 9, that’s just too grim. It’s too grim to go down and have a bite to eat and then go to bed before the schoolchildren.
SUNDAY NIGHT BLUES I still get the old, childhood, Sunday night feeling. The end of playtime and the beginning of responsibility comes over you. The Sunday night blues. It never goes away. I’ll take a Benadryl maybe. A Benadryl and a dull book.
Larger versions of the photos featured in this article are available here.
Michael Emerson revealed in his newest interview in The Loop, Canada’s TVGuide, that he will NOT be attending the LOST Reunion scheduled this September in 2014. He claims that to be very involved with his CBS hit (Person of Interest) to have time to make the event. This new information will sadden a lot fans who have booked or are thinking of booking their lodgings for that event. Here’s the article for your reading information:
While Tuesday’s episode of Person of Interest (“Last Call”)–the first one back after the Olympics hiatus–appears to centre mainly on Finch (Michael Emerson) and his efforts to go undercover as a 911 operator, don’t expect a reappearance from the love of his Finch’s life, Grace (Carrie Preston, True Blood). Not yet at least.
At a recent junket for Person of Interest and a number of other Warner Bros. shows, Emerson told TV Guide Canada that it’s entirely possible for a Grace/Finch reunion in the future. In fact, he said, it seems inevitable
“Certainly the Harold and Grace storyline is not over,” Emerson said without hesitation when asked about Preston’s future with the show.
“It’s a question of scheduling,” he added. “[Preston's] day job is True Blood for HBO. They need her attention and her services probably most of the time. But some day that show will be over and maybe she will be more available…”
As POI fans will recall, Preston was last seen in the November 2013 episode “God Mode.” At this moment in time, Grace assumes that her former fiancé, Finch, is dead, with him having previously faked his death to protect her from the dangers that come with knowing about The Machine. If Preston were to appear in a future episode, Grace would either have to learn that he’s actually alive, or simply be seen in flashbacks.
At this moment, Preston is busy playing Arlene Bellefleur on the set of True Blood. She’s also done a number of cameo spots this year, appearing on recent episodes of The Following and The Good Wife. Her schedule should open up a bit by the end of this season, however, seeing as her Following arc wrapped nearly as soon as it begun, and The Good Wife is prepping to finale in the spring. Plus, as Emerson previously alluded to, True Blood has announced that this will be its final season.
While his wife is shooting various shows, Emerson remains tied up with everything POI. He’s so involved in the CBS hit, in fact, that it looks like he won’t be able to make another much-awaited reunion–the Lost 10-year reunion–happen.
“I would love to be there, but I can tell you right now that’s it’s not going to work out,” Emerson, who played Ben Linus on Lost, told the journalists attending the New York junket with regards to appearing at a previously scheduled Paleyfest-hosted commemorative event. “It’s in March, I think, and I will be here shooting.”
When it comes down to it, it sounds like he’s a one-show, and one-woman, man.
Michel Emerson was scheduled for an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. He was asked 536 questions—yours truly asked one of them, but alas, my question was not picked by him—and he answered quite a few of them.
I will post all the questions and answers in this blog in a few days. (I want to differentiate the font to make Michael’s answers easier to read. But till then, you are welcome to view it here. Just be forewarned that not all questions and answers are available at that site.
Great news for Michael Emerson fans, especially fans who’d like to communicate with him online. Michael Emerson will be doing an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on reddit>” this Monday (February 24, 2014) at 5:30pm EST! So gather your questions and either click on the reddit link or click on this graphic and you will be directed to the right place.
Then, after you had your questions answered, CBS will have a live chat with Michael Emerson on Tuesday (February 25, 2014) at 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT. Click on the graphic to be directed to the right place. Have fun and good luck, everyone.
I am, once again, informing you that Michael Emerson was NOT able to meet his obligation to chat with fans. This time, he was supposed to answer fans questions over at reddit.com. A tweet from @reddit_AMA informed us that the event will be rescheduled. I guess Michael Emerson must be extremely busy filming Person of Interest. Things should calm down in the end of spring when the show is wingding down. As always, as soon as I find out something, I’ll post it here.
Apparently, CBS pulled the URL that directed fans to the site wherein Michael Emerson was going to chat with his fans over Twitter. Moreover, the Facebook event that was also going to direct the fans to the chat event was removed.
I apologize for this inconvenience. I don’t know why this event was cancelled nor why CBS and Person of Interest production staff chose not to address the cancellation with the fans. I think that this was a disservice for the many Michael Emerson fans. Whether it was Michael Emerson who chose not to do the chat—he has indicated through many of his personal correspondences with his fans (via snail mail), as well as through his many interviews, that he is not techno savvy—or whether other circumstances made it impossible to continue with the plan, it would have been the right thing to inform the fan.
In an article written by Kate Benz and published by TribLive.com, on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 9 pm, Michael Emerson personifies his Finch character to that of a superhero. Enjoy.
It’s an ironic existence when it becomes hard to tell whether your life is imitating art or art is imitating your life. For two-time Emmy Award-winner Michael Emerson, one would think that starring on the hit drama “Person of Interest,” in which an enigmatic billionaire and an ex-CIA member use heavy surveillance to intervene in violent crimes before they happen, might resonate with audiences.
But for Emerson, who made an indelible mark with fans during his stint on “Lost,” the likelihood that viewers are drawing parallels between real life and scripted television are slim to none. For him, it seems as though it’s the furthest thing from the minds of the 17 million that tuned in to watch the premiere of Season 3 in September. Maybe it’s the concept of a guardian angel, or the idea of the modern-day vigilante. It might even be the notion that superheroes do indeed exist. If you know where to look for them.
“Person of Interest” airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on CBS.
Question: Is the concept of “The Machine” striking a particular chord with audiences given concerns with the NSA surveillance program?
Answer: I would guess that it does, but that’s not the thing that people come up and talk to me about, which is surprising. I keep thinking, because our show is so accidentally topical right now, that people would be constantly coming up to me and drawing the parallels between the fictional Machine of our program and the prism system of the NSA. But I don’t know if people go to scripted television to get an airing of current-events issues. More people come to me and ask me about the dog than ask me about The Machine.
Q: People seem hungry to embrace the idea of someone watching over us, protecting us from harm.
A: Maybe it’s universal. I mean, all of literature has the ongoing theme of the avengers, the heroes. That’s an ancient idea, and I guess it is a comfort to live through dangers and violent acts and come out unharmed and right prevailing, all of that. And I think our show, just beneath the surface, is kind of a superhero show. It goes by so fast that you don’t stop and think, “That’s sort of convenient that happened at that moment,” and stuff like that. We are like caped avengers, only without the cape.
Q: When it comes to your Finch character, is he a modern-day vigilante or just some guy with a serious God complex?
A: Well, I suppose that’s in the eyes of the beholder. I think he is an avenger — but a kind of unwilling one. He’s done this, as we’ve seen, as a tribute to a fallen comrade. It’s a way to make his lost friend live on. And also to nurse their dream of justice.
Q: Even when intentions are good, are there consequences to interfering with fate?
A: Sure. Always. One of the themes of our show, I think, is you can never get things right unless you have perfect information, and even in a world of super computers, perfect information is hard to find or hard to identify even if you have it.
Q: Given everything that Finch represents, when it comes to “Ignorance is bliss,” would you say yay or nay on that sentiment?
A: No. It is a low kind of temporary bliss, but not to be wished for anyone. I just think consciousness is important and that it should always be growing.
Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-8515.
The article I’m quoting next is from Modern Dog and is not about Michael Emerson (although, there is some mention of him), but it is about his two great loves: his wife and his dog Chumley. Enjoy.
True Blood’s Carrie Preston on Her True Love
Whether you care to credit Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series for the spawning of all things vampire-crazed or instead believe Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula is responsible, there’s one thing we can all agree on. Blood sucking is alive and well in Hollywood. Since 2008, vampire fans looking to sink their teeth into a high caliber episodic television drama in a more on-going way have flocked to Alan Ball’s True Blood on HBO, based on author Charlaine Harris’ literary series The Southern Vampire Mysteries. In its five-year-thus-far run, viewers have come to feel passionately connected to their much-loved cast favourites. One friend, upon learning I would be chatting with Carrie Preston—the woman who brings True Blood’s waitress and four-time divorcee Arlene Fowler Bellefleur to life—asked if I’d be okay letting Carrie know that True Blood vampire Eric Northman would one day be my friend’s husband. Not having the heart to tell my friend that a) Eric is a fictitious character and that b) he sucks human blood, I nonetheless could appreciate just how close she felt to the believability and authenticity of the hit show’s characters. After all, it didn’t take me long to get a sense of that overall feeling of genuine authenticity when I caught up with Carrie over the phone. True Blood success aside, this Juilliard grad boasts an impressive background which includes thespian credits ranging from Shakespearean plays to guests stints on programs like Desperate Housewives and various Law & Order offshoots to recurring roles on The Good Wife and Person of Interest, not to mention a host of appearances on the big screen as well. Yet, it doesn’t stop there. For as busy as she keeps herself professionally, she always makes time for a lucky little dude called Chumley.
MD: Congratulations on your recent Emmy win for your role as Elsbeth Tascioni in The Good Wife. How rewarding an experience was that?
CP: Well, it was so unexpected. I certainly wasn’t thinking I would be nominated much less win the thing. When you consider every episode of every TV show has at least five or 10 guest actors on it, the category is quite vast. So for it to be narrowed down to six people, it was quite an honour. I felt like I’d already won just by being nominated. Then to actually hear my name called… it was quite extraordinary. I went into an out-of-body experience… and I don’t think my feet have touched the ground since.
MD: Where are you based today, and where are you from originally? CP: I’m originally from Macon, Georgia. I have lived in New York City for 23 years now and I also live in LA. But I still consider myself a southerner. I definitely feel like I’m from there and I’m proud of it.
MD: Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?
CP: Yes, I did. I was one of those kids who started doing community theatre when I was very young. My older brother, John Preston, is an actor and he started doing plays and I wanted to be like him. Once I got bitten by the bug, I knew I was hooked.
MD: You’ve appeared in a number of big name films (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Doubt, Vicky Christina Barcelona), and yet you are achieving huge success on the small screen as well. Do you prefer being able to dig into these more regular, on-going roles?
CP: I wouldn’t say I prefer it. I prefer to be working. I don’t have any judgment when it comes to what medium I’m doing it in. I certainly spent a great amount of time on stage. And both in front of the camera and behind it. I’m a filmmaker, so I obviously have a great amount of respect for storytelling and all its avenues. Television is a medium I love to watch and I love having a consistent job—that’s a gift. But yes, I like to create a role and sustain it for a while to see how it evolves…
MD: What do you love most about your character, the very sassy Arlene Fowler Bellefleur?
CP: I love the mixture between the comedy and the drama that the writers give me. It’s always a fun challenge to find that balance and make it work. It’s a necessary alchemy. It’s what makes the show work.
MD: Have you always been an animal lover?
CP: Yes, growing up in the south we spent a lot of time romping around the back woods. We had all kinds of pets growing up. Frogs, hamsters, mice, and even rats at some points, and certainly we had cats. And we had one beloved dog that had the great fortune of living for a long time. That was when I definitely fell in love with dogs.
MD: Who was that dog?
CP: She was Tess. We named her after (the Thomas Hardy novel) Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
MD: Rumour has it that you and your husband, actor Michael Emerson—best known for his roles on Person of Interest and Lost have a pretty special fur-kid. How did Chumley come into your life?
CP: It was something we’d been dreaming about for a long time. We really wanted to get a dog. But we were unable to work it out because Michael was shooting Lost, which shot in Hawaii and is challenging when it comes to travelling with dogs. We’d been planning for it for a long time, logistically. We would talk about it and dream about it. One day we were walking in the West Village, past the old speakeasy called Chumley’s. Michael said: “You know what would be great a name for our dog? Chumley!” I would wake up on various days and randomly ask him: “So, where’s Chumley?” When we knew he was going to be finishing Lost and when we knew his actual end day… well, I would go on PetFinder.com for years and torture myself with all the dogs I wanted to adopt… and then when I knew it was finally going to happen, I knew I needed something small that didn’t shed because I’m slightly allergic. I saw all of these adorable dogs and this picture of this little guy just lifted itself off the page. I wish I had that picture. He had these little squinty eyes. Like a little old man. The description written up by A Dog’s Life Rescue just made it sound like this is the dog for me. I started calling and trying to convince them that I was the one for this dog. When I met him, it was love at first sight. Thanks to A Dog’s Life, we have the love of our life.
MD: A Dogs Life Rescue? They’re based in New York?
CP: No, LA actually. They’re an incredible group.
MD: I love that when you were ready, you adopted a dog rather than bought a dog.
CP: We really wanted to make sure we were adopting a dog that needed a home.
MD: So, what kind of dog is Chumley? And I don’t just mean breed. I mean, personality.
CP: We think he’s a mix of poodle and Maltese. Just by his looks and behaviour. He’s very serious, very smart, very loving and cuddly but also fiercely protective, of me in particular. He sits by the door so I know when anyone is coming. He’s not yappy, thank goodness. And he’s a great traveller, which is good because I take him everywhere with me.
MD: As the baby of a bi-coastal couple, I suppose Chumley has a fair share of his own frequent flyer points. Any tips for people who may be debating whether or not they should fly with their dog?
CP: Get the dog used to the travel case. Make it a place they actually want to go… make it a safe place. We started early—before we took him on the plane—getting him used to the bag. We would put him in and give him a treat then we would drive to a park. So he would know there’s fun to be had. Now, he knows he’s going with us. We put the bag down and he jumps in it. He got it really quickly.
MD: And how old is this little traveller?
CP: We think he’s four. He was around eight or nine months old when we met him.
MD: Given that yours is perhaps a business that can be perceived as being somewhat superficial, how does Chumley help keep you and your husband grounded?
CP: You really nailed it on the head. In our profession there’s a real mercurial nature to everything. A lot of unknowns. It’s very erratic. There’s nothing steady about it. And having a pet is very steadying. It gives our day a focus. He gets four walks a day. And it’s us doing it—well, sometimes a dog walker depending on our schedules. It’s a way to get yourself out of the work and onto the ground. To focus on something that needs your attention…. He gets us out of our heads and into our hearts.
MD: Having two such busy television stars as a mom and dad, is it safe to assume Chumley knows his way around a set?
CP: Yeah, he does. He’s gotten used to the trailer. As long as we bring his bed. Sometimes it’s better for him, if both of us are working, if he’s at home and the dog walker comes. But if we have a light day on set, it’s so wonderful to have him in the trailer. Everyone loves him at work. They all fight over him… “Oh, can I walk him?”
MD: What have you learned about life from Chumley?
CP: I didn’t realize how big my heart could get. I feel it’s expanded tens of thousands of times. It reminds you that there are creatures in the world that need us. And I am pleased to know that I am there for him. It gives me a real sense of pride and love and purpose. We don’t have kids and we understand that he’s not a baby, but he’s a creature who can’t do things for himself and he needs us just the same. I’m glad he chose me.