Posts Tagged ‘LOST’
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.
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.
Seasoned performer who found stardom through ‘Lost’ and ‘Person of Interest’
He may not be a household name, but Michael Emerson became a household face by virtue of his role as the sinister Benjamin Linus in Lost, the leader of the group called the Others on the show’s hallucinatory South Pacific island. Emerson, born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1954, was already a theatre veteran with a string of intermittent TV performances to his credit. Now his ascent became rocket-assisted as he appeared in all of Lost’s six seasons except the first, winning an Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy in 2009.
Lost ended in 2010, leaving even faithful viewers bewildered by its mystical and metaphorical ending, but the following year Emerson was cast as the enigmatic billionaire Harold Finch in the mystery-drama series, Person of Interest. It was created by screenwriter Jonathan (aka Jonah) Nolan, collaborator/brother of film director Christopher, and like Lost, the series is made by JJ Abrams’s Bad Robot production company. Not a bad pedigree, since Abrams’s entertainment juggernaut has also launched Alias, Fringe, Undercovers and Alcatraz on TV, and the movies Cloverfield, Star Trek, Super 8 and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The prepost
After a relatively slow start in the US, where it airs on CBS, Person of Interest has suddenly boomed in its second series, and now ranks in America’s top five shows. Season two is currently showing in the UK on Channel 5 on Sunday nights, where it may not topple the likes of Mr Selfridge and Call the Midwife, but is pulling a million-plus viewers and rising.
The show centers around the eccentric relationship between Emerson’s Finch and Jim Caviezel’s John Reese a former CIA agent who had suffered a psychological crack-up following the death of his lover, and was living as a hobo in New York. Finch has devised a computer system for the government called The Machine, able to hoover up data from all manner of surveillance sources to predict terrorist attacks. However, Finch found that it could predict “ordinary” crimes too, though it could only identify an unnamed “person of interest” who was involved, without specifying whether they’re perpetrator or victim. Finch rescued the burned-out Reese from the gutter, and now sends him out as investigator and enforcer on Machine-specified missions…
(1) ADAM SWEETING: What was your first glimpse of Person of Interest?
MICHAEL EMERSON: I read a pilot script. It was sitting on JJ Abrams’s desk. Terry O’Quinn [from Lost] and I had been trying to cook up some kind of project together because we get along so well, and nothing was quite clicking. I thought come on, this is Bad Robot, and I said “what have you got?” So they gave me this thing that Jonah Nolan had written, and I thought it was exciting and I liked the high-tech, high styleness of it and its noir quality. And the fact that it was set in New York City was really appealing, though right now I’m feeling like it’s a bad bargain weather-wise because it’s been really a cold snowy winter here and we shoot outdoors quite a bit, so the work has been kind of tough and bone-chilling lately. I guess I was spoiled by the climate in Hawaii [for Lost], but really the island I prefer is the island of Manhattan.
(2) Is JJ Abrams very hands-on?
No, I think JJ’s role in this particular case was to be the sort of broker or bringer together of the artistic parties. I think he has bigger projects that take most of his attention. But it feels like a Bad Robot show and I’m happy to be part of what seems to be a kind of repertory company of actors who work on JJ’s projects. I just like the stuff he picks. There’s always an element of mystery or the thing untold or the black box into which we cannot see, and I share that feeling with him. That’s where there are some similarities between Lost and Person of Interest . Like all Bad Robot shows it bounces around in time a little bit, it has some central questions that will never be answered, there’s an air of mystery about it. Jonah tried to create a state of paranoia where no-one can be trusted which includes the conventional authorities, although we do have good cops and bad cops.
When I got on Lost I came in the middle of series two, and I think they had peaked in terms of viewership. It was never the same again after the first season, but those who stayed with the show were more fanatical than any TV viewers I’ve been around. I think half the people that talk to me on the street now are still watching Lost, maybe they got the box set. Everyone wants to take you to task for the ending. Finally I met someone the other day who said “I just want to tell you I think the ending was beautiful”, and I said “well thank you for that, I’m glad I didn’t have to make my pitch.” Read the rest of this entry »
Jimmy Aquino and Michael Emerson have been friends for many, many years. If you ever listen to any of the many interviews that Mr. Aquino has done with Michael Emerson (CNI) , you can sense how relaxed Michael Emerson is when talking to Aquino. You can also sense that they have a history together and that they do like each other. Here’s a great and recent interview Jimmy Aquino made for Stated Magazine. There are some new information even for the die-hard Michael Emerson Fan. Enjoy~Edith
By Jimmy Aquino, Pop Culture Contributing Editor
|You can view the larger version of this photo here.|
Back in April, I sat down with my friend of 20+ years, actor Michael Emerson, and recorded a lengthy interview for my podcast Comic News Insider (you can hear the full interview in Episode 396, but do forgive my babbling). Following his Emmy Award-winning performance as Benjamin Linus in Lost, he has gone on to star as Harold Finch in the hit CBS action drama, Person of Interest.
In this excerpt from that interview, we go all the way back to his childhood to dig up secrets such as his marching band skills of yore. He talks of how his love of theater began, his journey (with many stops and re-starts) to the path of becoming a working actor, his detour into magazine illustration, rediscovering the acting bug in Florida, meeting and courting his talented and lovely wife Carrie Preston at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, finding success in New York City theatre and eventually TV and film. Great tales of early survival in NYC in the late 70’s, the importance of Shakespeare to the English language, transitioning between Ibsen and Chekhov, escaping the island, faking an ecstasy trip, and never wanting to fight again.
Grab a good glass of bourbon and sip away as you read (and hear in the audio excerpts below) all about the fantastic Michael Emerson.
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.
LOST and SAW fans, once again, Michael Emerson and Ken Leung will be on the same show. Season 2 of Person of Interest will premiere on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9/8c on the CBS Television Network, Ken Leung is guest starring as the new POI while Reese (Jim Caviezel) enlists Detectives Carter and Fusco to get his Finch back. I like how Michael Emerson is able to get some of his old buddies a part in his shows. Here are some photos for your pleasure.
Larger versions are available by clicking on this link or the photo itself.
Finch has created and sold a computer programme to the Government that predicts terrorist acts, and as a by-product also indicates when other violent crimes are about to be committed. While the Government isn’t interested in this, Finch is, although the ‘machine’ can’t reveal whether the person it selects is the perpetrator or the victim.
Meanwhile, there are also plenty of flashbacks for both men as the show reveals how Reese came to be a drunken bum when Finch first meets him, why both are presumed dead, and why the billionaire has been crippled. Former Lost star Michael Emerson, who plays Finch, tells TV Choice more about the series, which also co-stars Jim Caviezel as John Reese…
What’s Person Of Interest about?
It’s a smart idea. I would call it a vigilante thriller for the cyber age.
There’s an interesting reference at the end of the pilot episode where Finch says they are both presumed dead. What happened, and did we detect Finch walking with a limp?
Yeah, he’s crippled for reasons that we will eventually find out but haven’t yet. I don’t know the answer but I think it’s fair to assume since you see him in flashback. You see as recently as five years ago that Finch was physically normal. Something has happened.
And I think the idea that they are both physically dead, it’s the only way that both of them can remain alive.
Would you say that Finch is essentially a good guy?
Yeah. I think he’s a good guy. I tend to think of him that way. It may help me to separate him in my mind from previous characters I’ve played who were morally ambiguous.
One of those characters being Ben Linus in JJ Abrams’Lost. What are your own recollections of Lost and what it meant to you?
Lost was a special kind of show and had a tremendous reach and impact. I’m not sure if the numbers of people who watched Lostare greater than some other hit shows, but their passion for the show, their fanaticism about it was intense. That will follow me wherever I go, for ever probably.
Interestingly, there is a JJ Abrams connection with Person Of Interest since he’s executive producer.
I really do feel like I’m a part of a JJ Abrams repertory company in a way. It’s funny but it’s true. JJ is a guy who is given a great deal of loyalty and reflects it back as well — he will always find work for the actors that have helped him realise shows.
Was JJ Abrams’ involvement a draw for you?
Yeah. I felt and continue to feel that any script that is laying around on JJ’s desk that has his attention probably has something worth looking at in it. JJ can be counted on for good storytelling and a kind of mystery, and that appeals to me. He has that whole concept of the black box and I like it too. I don’t much mind if all the mysteries are answered or everything is tied up neatly at the end. I just like the mysterious journey and the questions.
The premise of Person Of Interest is using technology to predict crime. What’s your take on the whole Big Brother encroachment in real life where surveillance and CCTV cameras seem to be everywhere?
I know the creator of the show Jonathan Nolan always says that London was his inspiration for this notion of a permanent overlapping surveillance system, because anywhere you look from just about any place in town, you can be seen by some camera or other.
And it’s growing more everywhere. It’s not a thing I thought about much, to tell you the truth. I’m not a reader of science fiction — or science fact for that matter — but I’m much more aware of it now, since it’s an issue that we deal with in every form on every episode. And now since we shoot on the streets of New York all the time, you don’t have to look far to see a vantage point from which we could be watched electronically. It’s striking.
What are your thoughts on that, since America is known as the land of the free?
It’s like most things technological — it’s upon you before you have a chance to think about it or before you have a chance to vote on it, it’s in place already.
When I started on the show I thought, ‘Oh, this is a science fiction show,’ and it’s happened before I thought about it twice. The people of any country or city aren’t really asked whether they want such a system in place. It just happens on its own.
The pilot episode of Person Of Interest drew 13.2 million viewers in America, and quickly got renewed for a second series. Why do you think it’s struck a chord with the audience?
It’s a cool idea and the style of filming is fantastic. I really feel like we’re making half a feature film every nine days. It’s a great look — the promotional materials are very smartly cut together. And it promises and delivers thrills and puzzles, which are two things people like.
You also have to be aware that American audiences have a hunger for avengers I guess — the vigilante, the lone operators that will cut through the red tape and set things right. That’s such a strong theme in the States, and it’s part of what we are delivering. It goes back to cowboy movies and everything like that.
Source: TV Choice
By Tim Surette
“It’s pretty simple,” Jim Caviezel explains as he sits down at our table with Person of Interest co-star Michael Emerson. “He’s the smart one, I just shoot people.”
“Thanks for coming,” Emerson says, pretending the interview was over.
If it were that simple, we wouldn’t be so obsessed with last season’s biggest hit that’s an odd couple-ish vigilante superhero procedural with heavily serialized elements, explosive action, and goofy humor. And though creator Jonathan Nolan definitely had a plan in place, the show works so well because it’s constantly readjusting itself to be the best it can be.
“I think a lot of the brilliance here is the writers picking up our mannerisms,” Caviezel said when I asked him about Harold Finch and John Reese’s relationship, which bounces back and forth between strictly professional partnership and old married couple and has become one of the cornerstones of the series’ attraction.
“It’s true,” Emerson agreed. “They notice some of the things about how we are together when we’re not on set, and they’ll incorporate that stuff. And they’ve gotten to know us better as actors so they can write to our strengths. They watch carefully the things [and interpretations] we bring to scenes, and then they’ll write at that. But it is a balancing act. At the end of the day, they are men on a long drawn-out suicide mission, so there is a gravity about it. But they do like to temper it with a baby episode, or an ecstasy episode, those sorts of things.”
Because they haven’t started filming the second season and Nolan hasn’t told Caviezel or Emerson all the secrets of the show, but I had to pry about that awesome image from the finale of Reese staring directly into the security camera and talking to the machine about getting Finch back.
“If [Finch] doesn’t get rescued, I’m done,” Caviezel said of his character. “For his own purposes, it’s his friend.”
“But that is a whole new deal,” Emerson said, and when you read this quote, it’s important to read it in Emerson’s voice. “If Reese partners up… with.. a machiiiine.”
“It’s huge in this,” Caviezel said. “There’s a brilliant thing that happens in [the Season 2 premiere] where I throw a moral question out to the machine, and the machine has to think, ‘What do I do?’”
Showrunner Greg Plageman said that in Season 2 well find out a lot of answers to the lingering questions from Season 1, including a lot of Finch’s backstory with his fiancée, what happened to Nathan Ingram, and how he got his limp.
– Taraji P. Henson, who plays Detective Carter, really wants to see Carter wrestle with more moral questions and really put her character to her test.
– Movie star Caviezel was interested in bringing film to television, and that’s what attracted him to Person of Interest in the first place. He says an average show does 80 set-ups per episode, and POI averages 140 set-ups per episode.
– Caviezel brightened up when talking about gun training. The man enjoys his firearms!
– Emerson may have let slip a bit of scoop. He said the Person of Interest in the Season 2 premiere is a former Lost actor. During the panel, there were reports that Ken Leung, who played Miles on Lost, was featured in the Season 2 teaser.
– Caviezel also does a ridiculously good impression of Homer Simpson. Hearing him do it might just be the most bizarre moment of my life. (Apologies for the audio quality, but it had to be posted anyway)
– The title of the Season 2 premiere is “Contingency,” and Nolan says it has three meanings, one of which relates directly to Nathan Ingram’s contingency plan with the machine. He said he loves titling episodes in ways that are obvious and not so obvious
– The title of the Season 2 premiere is “Contingency,” and Nolan says it has three meanings, one of which relates directly to Nathan Ingram’s contingency plan with the machine. He said he loves titling episodes in ways that are obvious and not so obvious.
After LOST blog members had the opportunity to interview Michael Emerson. They talked about Michael’s experience as an actor while portraying Ben, his project with Terry O’Quinn, which unfortunately to us Bocke fans, the show never materialized), and his new project, Person of Interest. Here’s the recording, enjoy:
If you feel like skipping, here’s the rundown by After LOST:
First we talk about his current show Person of Interest. Then we talk about his time as Benjamin Linus, the leader of the others. The questions start at (0:57), with a Spoiler line is in effect at (33:41). Outtakes can be found at (42:14).