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Before the airing of the Season 5 premiere of Person of Interest,  MStars News had an exclusive interview with actors Michael Emerson and Kevin Chapman talk about the return of Harold Finch and Lionel Fusco in the war between The Machine and Samaritan.

From the beginning, former billionaire Harold Finch (Emerson) and ex CIA operative John Reese (Jim Caviezel) raced against the clock to prevent violent crimes before they could happen. With the help of the artificial intelligence known as The Machine, they managed to save innocent lives right when their numbers popped up. But they never expected to go up against an even greater threat known as Samaritan.

In the fourth season finale,YHWH concluded with Team Machine fighting for their lives. With no gun whatsoever, Finch walked out in slow motion alongside Reese and Root as they started shooting down Samaritan’s agents. Finch had a briefcase with a blinking light, signifying the Machine’s fading heartbeat.

MStars News: Fusco had a close call when Elias (Enrico Colantoni) and Dominic (Winston Duke) were shot down by Samaritan.

Kevin Chapman: Fusco has a lot of unanswered questions. He kinda goes rogue a little bit. He’s conducting his own kind of investigations. He knows that there is something going on. But he’s not sure what it is. But he intends to find out.

MStars News: What is Harold Finch’s mindset now when the show returns?

Michael Emerson: He’s in full improvised mode. It’s a mad scramble. They’re all doomed! [Laughs] They’re all doomed because Samaritan is in charge. They have to go even deeper underground. Priority one is to reboot The Machine. Without The Machine, there’s nothing they can do.

MS: The role of Fusco has allowed you to show off your dramatic and comedic side. Do you prefer when the tone of the episode turns lighter or more serious?

KC: The comedic side is my personality. It’s me being a clown! [Laughs] It’s always great to play a character with a sense of duality. Is he a good guy doing bad things? Or is he a bad guy doing good things? It goes from performance to performance. You try not to judge the characters. You leave that up to the viewership; how they see the character. It’s always nice to play someone on the dark side.

MS: Last season, Reese attempted to teach Harold how to use a gun. Will Finch have to change his stance on guns after the fourth season finale?

ME: As the threats surrounding them, dire and terrifying, Mr. Finch might have to make some adjustments to certain ethical decisions. He might have to think of the possibility of violence.

MS: How is Finch’s relationship with Reese at this point?

ME: Mr. Finch is depressed I guess you can say. Things are not going well. He’s not sure that the thing he’s built is doing what it should be doing. Was it all possible for not? He and men like him have seen the world and wonder if it’s doing mankind any good. I do think he needs something. It’s a crisis of faith. Maybe he needs a little bucking up.

MS: Do you feel the pacing of the show has changed because the season came down to 13 episodes?

KC: I don’t think our pacing has increased at all. I think we’ve maintained that. I think the writing has gone to a new level. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised. We’re a show that does 9 million live. And then another 3 to 4 million. It’s a very unique situation. You have roughly 13 million people watching you every week.

MS: In the fourth season finale, The Machine called Finch its “Father.” Will we see more of that relationship develop in the remaining episodes?

ME: I thought that was an important scene. I’m really attached to that business of that relationship. Mr. Finch tries to put a show of no personal feelings for the Machine. And yet, you see that the Machine is so human. Now he’s just confused. His parental instincts have stuck. He has feelings for the thing he has made. It’s sad and wonderful at the same time.

MS: Because this is the final season, what strikes your mind when you look back on Person of Interest?

KC: We talked a lot about topics that the world really didn’t address. You look at the Eric Snowden stuff. We were talking about that stuff 2 years prior to that stuff. That’s really cool to me to be a part of something like that. It makes people look and go and, “Whoa! Maybe there is something!”

CBS recently started airing the Season 5 premiere of Person of Interest. MStars News interviewed actors Michael Emerson and Kevin Chapman and they talked about the return of Harold Finch and Lionel Fusco in the war between The Machine and Samaritan.

Person of Interest’s story arc, from the beginning, is about the former billionaire Harold Finch (Emerson) and ex-CIA operative John Reese (Jim Caviezel) racing against the clock to prevent violent crimes before they could happen. With the help of the artificial intelligence known as The Machine, they manage to save innocent lives right up to when their numbers popped up. But they never expected to go up against an even greater threat known as Samaritan.

In the fourth season finale, YHWH, concluded with Team Machine fighting for their lives. With no gun whatsoever, Finch walked out in slow motion alongside Reese and Root as they started shooting down Samaritan’s agents. Finch had a briefcase with a blinking light, signifying the Machine’s fading heartbeat.

Enjoy the interview: Read the rest of this entry »

Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Emerson said the following about the end of Person Interest series:

“I had always thought it was a possibility. Other people in the company seemed to think it would go on forever. I wasn’t super-surprised.”

Here’s his interview in Examiner.com Read the rest of this entry »

I found this article here. I would have loved to hear the radio show. Maybe it will be available in a podcast form sometime in the future.

20 Questions with Michael Emerson

Posted 05.15.2015

20 Questions With Cultural Creatives

Brought to you by MoreArtCulture

This week, a very special “Up North” edition featuring Emmy-winning actor Michael Emerson. Currently starring in “Person of Interest” on CBS, Emerson is a successful and recognizable talent both on screen and on stage; including roles in the hit series “LOST,” “The Practice,” and “Without a Trace” on television and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar WildeThe Iceman Cometh, and Hedda Gabbler on Broadway.

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Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Emerson graduated from Drake University with a degree in Theater in 1976 and moved to New York City where he worked as a magazine illustrator for many years. It was a relocation to Jacksonville which revived his interest in acting and he pursued it as a career in the South during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

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It was during that period the Emerson met local theatre creative Ian Mairs, and the two became instant friends and collaborators. The two teamed up once again for Swamp Radio‘s “Up North” episode, which you can listen to on WJCT 89.9 FM on Friday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. In the episode, Emerson reads a piece entitled “Pascagoula” by Michael Carroll, a childhood friend of Mairs originally from Arlington. “Ian is a big fan of Michael’s short stories,” Emerson told us. “He showed them to me and I thought they were extraordinary— plainly, almost serenely told with a fine wit, keen observation, a powerful sense of place and a carefully understated sense of heartache as a life-companion. He has the ability to take your breath away with a sudden interruption or twist of plot.”

Emerson as Valmont in "Les Liaisons Dangereuse" at Theatre Jacksonville.Emerson as Valmont in “Les Liaisons Dangereuse” at Theatre Jacksonville.

1. Where are you from originally?
I grew up in a very small town in Iowa.

2. Where do you live now?
My wife and I divide our time between New York City and Los Angeles.

3. What connects you to Jacksonville?
I don’t have the connections I once had in Jacksonville although my good friend Ian Mairs continues to be a force in the arts community there. St. Augustine was a true artistic home for me and I have dear friends there and think of it all the time.

4. What’s a city everyone in Jax should visit in order to experience their arts + culture?
I do think it is inspiring, or at least informative, to visit the culture capitals of the world (New York, Paris, Tokyo, etc.) but I get excited about cities in the USA that have particular characters— places like Charleston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Austin and so forth.

5. What are you most proud of so far, career or artistic-wise?
I’m proud of my Midwestern roots, my college degrees, some drawings and teaching I’ve done, my good fortune in marriage, much of my work in the Theater and my unexpected TV career.

Emerson in New York City.Emerson in New York City.

6. Favorite neighborhood in Jax?
San Marco, where I lived for several years, and Five Points, where there were fun things to do in those days.

7. What’s a great exhibition, show, or cultural event you enjoyed this past year?
I was stunned by the Matisse show of cut-paper work at the Museum of Modern Art and the Native American Art exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum. In the theater I was impressed by FUN HOME on Broadway and the interactive theater piece THEN SHE FELL. I saw the Italian film THE GREAT BEAUTY late but can’t stop thinking about it and I adore the cabaret artists THE SKIVVIES.

8. If you could steal something from another city and bring it to Jax, what would it be?
I would steal a busy downtown nightlife. I mean it.

9. Why did you choose to read Carroll’s “Pascagoula” for the Swamp Radio “Up North” episode?
Ian asked me to choose one of the stories to record and I didn’t have to think long because I already had a favorite, Pascagoula, and it was a manageable length. It’s one of those great stories in which nothing much happens except that happiness and hopelessness are balanced and accepted. The narrator’s voice is very particular and it was hard to find the right sound for the story. He is wry and understated, almost bemused, carrying as graciously as possible the weight of too many sadnesses and too many disappointments. In short, a neutral tone, dispassionate and nonjudgmental. At peace. I like the speaker very much and I like the way he sees the world. And the North Florida details are perfect— no good story gets very far without conjuring a real world and Mr. Carroll can do it like few others.

10. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
There can’t be much that is unknown about me except my insecurities and my domestic obsessions.

Emerson as Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet" at Shakespeare in the Park, Metropolitan Park.Emerson as Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet” at Shakespeare in the Park, Metropolitan Park.

11. What’s your signature?
An increasingly wobbly scrawl but I do attempt to make all the letters.

12. How do you get “in the zone?”
Terror and discipline are instinctive motives for me now and the “zone” is more accessible with each passing year.

13. Where can people find your work?
TV, YouTube, old periodicals.

14. Can you tell us something people don’t know about becoming a working artist?
It is an exhausted subject, I think, but patience and a kind of artistic privacy are important for sure. It has been useful for me to remind myself that a career in show business is not a race.

15. What would you most like to see change in Jax?
More pedestrians, more nightlife, more fashion, more eccentricity.

Emerson in "Person of Interest" on CBS.Emerson in “Person of Interest” on CBS.

16. What’s a favorite production you were involved with in Jax?
I was proud of my Shakespeare work with Pam Hanks at UNF and a production of Tennessee William’s OUTCRY with Cynthia Kimball at River City Playhouse. I directed a production I’ll never forget of LAUGHING WILD with Ian Mairs and Valerie Anthony and a nice TWELFTH NIGHT at Shakespeare in the Park. (If anyone remembers such a thing.)

17. It’s a Friday night – where are we most likely to find you?
On Friday nights I’m either filming, dining or at the theater. (And of course there is a dog to be walked.)

18. What would you write as an epitaph on your tombstone?
My epitaph will say “Actor” and there will be a brief quote from Shakespeare.

19. Where can we follow you on social media?
I think there is a Facebook fan page but I’m not personally connected to social media. It’s all I can manage to answer my emails.

20. What’s up next for you?

There is no end-date for PERSON OF INTEREST yet but when it is over I will have a chance to return to the stage, do some independent film or make a study of birds and plants. And maybe tackle the long books.

Emerson as Brian in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" with the Jax Actor's Theatre.Emerson as Brian in “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” with the Jax Actor’s Theatre.

You can watch Emerson in Person of Interest on CBS Tuesdays at 10/9c, and catch him reading “Pascagoula” as part of Swamp Radio‘s “Up North” episode, Friday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. on WJCT 89.9 FM.

Plus – don’t forget to get tickets for the live recording of the next Swamp Radio episode, “How’s Your Summer?” at The Florida Theatre! Friday, June 12th at 8:00 p.m. Special musical guests include The WillowWacks, Herd of Watts, and Mama Blue.



All these photos and more are available in larger forms here and the theatre photos are available here.

Michael Emerson, who is best known for his roles in “The Practice” and “Lost,” stopped by Studio 11 LA to talk about his show CBS “Person of Interest.

Michael Emerson discusses Person of Interest’s finale with the team at KTLA 5 Morning News:

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Larger versions are available here: Michael Emerson Photo Gallery

Michael Emerson Photo Gallery has just acquired new photos taken during the events that he recently attended. Enjoy:

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For the larger versions of these photos click here.

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