Posts Tagged ‘LOST’
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.
Here’s a wonderful interview that Michael Emerson gave Parade Magazine:
Parade Rewind With Michael Emerson: Secrecy on Person of Interest, Why He’s Glad He Married an Actress, and His Archeologist Dreams
by Erin Hill
Person of Interest star Michael Emerson stopped by to chat with Parade about growing up in a small town in Iowa, his Lost legacy, his days as a magazine illustrator in New York City, the benefits of being married to a fellow actor (Carrie Preston), and more.
You play Harold Finch on Person of Interest. What do you enjoy most about this role?
I like that Harold Finch is a language role. That he speaks well and has a particular way of speaking and I like the challenge of the technical material, the jargon that he uses. I think it’s funny.
Finch is a software genius. Are you much of a tech guy in real life?
No I’m not. It’s a shameful confession that I have to make, but I don’t do well with electronics. In our house, my wife Carrie is the electronics genius and needs to help me almost on a daily basis with simple things like email and going online shopping!
Have you picked up any tricks and tips along the way as Finch?
Well, I’ve picked up some paranoia along the way. I’m very conscience now of surveillance cameras. I’m very conscious of where my cellphone is at all times and the ease with which it can be hacked or bluejacked and that your whereabouts your habits your location can be in the hands of someone else.
You’ve played some intense characters over the years. How do you come up with your character’s delivery?
I tend to think of the character’s I play musically, like they are an instrument and there is a score to be played and I’m allowed to determine the grace notes or I’m allowed to determine pitch and melody on my own. I think of what is the most possible unexpected delivery of a line or tone of a line. And sometimes that has interesting results.
Does that stem from your theater career?
I think I would have no success in front of the camera had I not been on the stage for so many years because the stage is even more about language than the camera world is, and your job as a craftsperson is to find interesting ways to deliver lines that may or not be beautifully written. It helps if they are.
Where did your love of theater come from?
I suppose like every little kid, I liked make-believe and dressing up. Luckily, I never set it aside. And then when I was 10 or 11, I saw some kids at the local high school do a play and I was dazzled by how funny and glamorous they were. God only knows what it was like if we saw a video tape of it now — we might be horrified — but there was a boy that went to my church and he played the insane uncle in Arsenic and Old Lace and I became his fan for life. I thought if it was possible to be that cool and funny and glamorous doing anything that I wanted to do that as well.
What were you like in high school?
I was a skinny, little loud mouth with glasses!
What was it like growing up in a small town in Iowa?
I grew up in a tiny little farm town in Iowa. Toledo, Iowa. And I had a good upbringing. It was a quiet, safe place. Middle America. It really was. My parents still live in Iowa, I make it back there.
What was it like making the transition from Iowa to New York City?
I went to undergraduate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and that was a great culture shock. Moving from my little town to the big city of Des Moines. I was so homesick and anxious about it all. Eventually, you get caught up in your work at college and you forget about that, but then it did kind of knock the wind out of me when I moved from Des Moines to New York City in the middle ‘70s when it was a tougher, grittier town. I didn’t know how to begin an acting career. I had been taught how to act, but not how to engage in the business of acting, so it was all I could do to get a roof over my head, so I lost track of that dream for many years. I became a magazine illustrator until my mid-thirties when I found my way back to the stage.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I don’t think I thought about being an actor until I was 15 or so. I think before that I used to read a lot of books about ancient civilization and I think I thought I wanted to be an archeologist. I think I do still want to be an archeologist! I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to make the break properly, but I always thought that would be so great to dig around under the pyramids or go into the jungles or look for lost civilizations.
What do you remember most about being on Lost?
Working on Lost was kind of like being a character on that show. The characters were on a remote island in the middle of the sea and I as an actor was on a remote island in the middle of the sea, cut off from the life I had on the mainland. It was rare that I got to see Carrie and a kind of lonesome undertaking, kind of solitary, so there I was. There was a lot of overlap between the fictional character I played and the life I was leading in the playing of it. You know, running around in the jungle and standing on the beach looking at those sunsets and you think this doesn’t seem like my real life at all! Its kind of wonderful, but where is everybody?
If I ever missed an episode of Lost, I was lost! Did the show ever confuse you?
Oh sure, constantly! In between takes, I would sit around with Jorge [Garcia] and Terry [O’Quinn] and try to figure out what the heck was going on and where could it possibly lead. As if the writers were sending us coded messages that we couldn’t quite decipher!
Tell me about your years as a magazine illustrator.
Being a freelance magazine illustrator in New York in the ‘70s was a fun undertaking. It had a certain low glamour about it, living in Brooklyn and coming into town with your portfolio every day, like they did in the those days before electronic things. We’d come in and drop off our portfolios and magazines would have one day a week at lunch where they’d look at portfolios, and if they saw something they’d like they might call you up to draw a picture for them. I did that for many years and it was fun. But then after awhile, some of the novelty and glamour wears off and then you’re left with this solitary, time-consuming grind at home making these pictures and it didn’t pay all that well, so eventually I thought there must be a better way.
Do you still draw?
No, it’s funny. People seem shocked and disappointed when I say I haven’t touched a pencil to paper to draw in many years. I guess whatever satisfactions I got from illustrating on paper; I now get that same kick by illustrating characters personally.
Your wife Carrie Preston is also an actress. Is it helpful to have a spouse who is also in the entertainment business?
The conventional wisdom in showbiz is that you should not marry another actor, but who are you going to meet and fall in love with? I mean, most of the crushes your ever going to have as an actor are on other actors because you think they’re so damn good. I had such a crush on my wife and we have a happy marriage and I think there are many things to be said for your spouse being in the same line of work. They fully understand the big events, the traumas, the disappointments, the insecurities. They know what it means to have an opening night, to be rejected at an audition, to have things fall through and also conversely to win an award or something like that. So it’s good, we are compatible in that way and can support one another.
What are some of your favorite shows right now?
We watch The Good Wife, partly because it’s a really good show and partly because my wife has this crazy good recurring character on it. We like moody, violent mysteries like The Killing. And we are big fans of Elementary. We watch my show, not that I enjoy watching my own face or hearing my voice coming out of the tube, but I need to keep up on it, it’s a good refresher. That way, people don’t stop me in the street and say, ‘What the heck were you doing in that episode?’ and I don’t even know what episode they’re talking about!
What can you share about what’s in store on Person of Interest?
Right now, there is more Lost-ian paranoia then there ever has been, and I hope it will pass, but we have big stuff coming. The kind of earth shattering developments in character narratives that have to be guarded like state secrets! There’s a lot of high security protocols with the handling of the scripts and certain scenes are given to you on the day that they shoot and scripts are being printed with faked characters and events in them now, so that God forbid anyone should get a hold of one they would be confused as to what’s really going on. I’m hoping that I’ll get it all figured out because obviously my security clearance is not high enough for me to be on top of everything coming down!
Jul 26, 2013 09:33 AM ET
by Sadie Gennis
“I’ve heard some murmurings of some kind of reunion,” Michael Emerson, who played Ben Linus, told Zap2it at Comic-Con. “Whether it will take place at Comic-Con or not I’m not sure. No matter what happens, if anything happens, it will be really hard logistically to put it together.”
While it remains unknown whether the full cast will reunite next year, Comic-Con did feature a mini-Lost reunion of sorts. Emerson hung out withHenry Ian Cusick, who played Desmond on the ABC hit, at the Warner Bros. TV party.
“I hadn’t seen him since the show wrapped, so it was great to see him,” Emerson said. “It’s like family or friends that you haven’t seen in a long time. ‘Oh my God, how are you? How is the family and kids? What are you up to? Is it fun? How you feeling? All of that.”
Well, those of us who are in Facebook are aware of a LOST reunion. Here’s the link:
The Michael Emerson photo gallery has new photos of his appearance at San Diego ComicCon. Here’s a teaser:
Also, Michael Emerson attended the Warner Brothers Party at the San Diego ComicCon. LOST fans will definitely enjoy this photo of old LOST pals:
As usual, larger and additional photos are available here.
By Bekah Wright | Compass – Tue, Apr 9, 2013
Watch the characters Michael Emerson plays – i.e. Harold Finch on CBS’ “Person of Interest” and Ben Linus on the former ABC series “Lost” — and there’s definitely something they have in common – their brilliant minds are always at work. The same could be said for the actor, himself. Which leads one to wonder… how does he spend his vacation? And, might The Machine have come in handy on his honeymoon?
What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
Carry-on or check-in?
I’m a big fan of checking luggage, even if it’s small enough to put in the overhead container. I want to be civilized; I don’t want to be struggling, pushing fat things into skinny places over people’s heads. I want to just zip in and sit down.
Window or aisle?
What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
We take so few, my wife (actress Carrie Preston) and I. Quiet time somewhere where the world can’t get at us.
Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
I joined Carrie in Barcelona when she was shooting the Woody Allen movie “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” We stayed on for a little while after she was done working. It was just the most delightful city. It was a walking city; not so jammed with things you have to do, with a city like London or Paris, so it was relaxing.
Any favorite spots there?
We had breakfast every day at a café in an old, cobbled square behind a church. It had a nice, old Europe romance about it.
What’s the worst vacation you’ve taken?
We chose poorly for our honeymoon. We were tired, stressed out and had been going 100 miles an hour for weeks. We decided to go to London. All of a sudden there were so many things we thought we had to do – shows, historical sites, museums. We crashed and burned. It was within a week of our marriage and I’d say one of the darkest times in our marriage.
Where has been your favorite film/television shooting location?
We worked at some stunning locations in Hawaii on “Lost.” Those black rock outcroppings on the southeast side of Oahu are unbelievable. They’re like something from another world. I’ll also never forget spending three months shooting “The Legend of Zorro” in San Luis Potosi, a town in Mexico most tourists don’t go to. That was the most cultural immersion I ever got. In three months you have time to become a kind of citizen in a foreign town like that.
What’s the most unusual souvenir you’ve ever come back with?
For a long time, I tried to collect cultural masks from places I visited. They’re hard to get home because they’re fragile. You end up trying to figure out if they should be carry-on, or checked in your bag surrounded by underwear. Now I’m more interested in textiles – weavings, hangings or rugs. Those you can just fold up and throw in your suitcase.
Ever try a food you wished you hadn’t?
Nothing that bit back in the moment. I did find, after three months in Mexico, the heaviness of the cuisine was beginning to take a toll on my stomach. But it was good!
Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in?
We stayed in Rome a few years ago at the Grand Hotel de La Minerve; it’s on a little square behind the Pantheon on the Piazza de La Minerve. The Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is there. It was once a Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva, then the church was built on top of it. The hotel had sufficient luxury to be comfortable, but yet it felt from another world, too. It was so perfectly placed in the middle of everything. You stepped out the front door and you were in just the place you wanted to be in Rome.
Biggest regret you’ve ever had while on vacation.
I always have the same great – that I over-structure my time. My secondary regret is that there isn’t enough time.
The one thing you’re willing to splurge on above all else?
Carrie and I are fond of saying our prosperity should buy us convenience if nothing else. What I’ll splurge on is not having to wait on a bargain. Or being able to take a more direct and comfortable mode of transportation. I don’t mean first-class air travel, because I’m not sure that’s a good deal, I mean taking a higher class or train or hiring a car when traveling in a foreign land. Those kinds of things are worthwhile.
Three songs (or artists) on your travel playlist?
I intentionally don’t listen to music on the flight. I don’t know why people don’t want to look out window or read. There are about five or 10 things I’d do before I’d listen to music.
Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
I grew up in a tiny little farm town, Toledo, Iowa. As tiny as my hometown is, there’s a charming, old opera house, Wieting Theatre. I performed plays there as a teenager. My grandmother played the piano accompaniment to silent movies there, too.
You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
The windswept islands off the west coast of Scotland.
Larger version of the photo featured in this story can be viewed here.