Posts Tagged ‘person of interest’
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 »
By LAURI NEFF
NEW YORK — Michael Emerson has played a serial killer, a mysterious, villainous Island leader and currently stars as a billionaire computer genius on “Person of Interest.”
But he says playing the romantic interest for his real life wife has been his most unsettling role.
Emerson plays the off-beat Harold Finch in “Person of Interest,” which airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern. His wife Carrie Preston has a recurring role as Finch’s former fiance, who believes he is dead
The couple has acted together in a few independent films and Preston even played Emerson’s mother in an episode of ABC’s “Lost,” but this was their first romantic pairing. This season even showed the characters’ first kiss.
“Neither of us are the kind to get a lot romantic work in front of the camera so for us to get a big old languid first kiss with music underneath it and everything — that’s a first in my career,” he said.
Emerson said having his wife play his love interest can be tricky: “It’s a little hard to turn off her wife-ness to me to make her just this other character.”
Still, the Emmy-winning actor said he’s happy to have his better half on set — even though he didn’t help get her there. “Maybe Jonah (writer Jonathan Nolan) called me on the phone and said, `Would you have a problem if we asked your wife to play a character that we’re working on?’ And I said, `No.’ That’s how much I politicked to get her the part. I was completely unaware of it.”
Preston, who also appears in “True Blood” and “The Good Wife,” also found working with him a little strange but that nothing was more bizarre for them than watching the kiss on TV.
“We both sat and watched it together at home on the sofa and we got all kind of giggly and shy about it. It was like we didn’t know how to look at each other,” he said. “It’s like, `Oh God, there we are. We’re kissing.’”
Sandra Gonzales has and interesting blurb and videoabout Michael Emerson and his wife Carrie Preston in the EW website. Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video (so I am including the link) and, besides, most of you must have seen it on TV during the last week of November. Here it is again, anyway.
‘Person of Interest’: See Grace and Finch’s first date — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Real-life husband and wife Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston might make you melt on this week’s Person of Interest.
In the episode, airing Thursday, viewers once again see Grace (Preston), Finch’s (Emerson) former fiancé who believes he died in a car accident. Only this time, she’s seen in a flashback to one of the pair’s first dates — and it’s a bit of a heart-tugger.
EW has an exclusive look at the “unquestionably” sweet moment [here].
While I was out sick, I was awaiting for permission to post these huge photos of Michael Emerson. I received my permission, so I am posting them in them Michael Emerson Photo Gallery. Granted that they may be outdated, but nonetheless, they are beautiful pictures and are big enough for color prints for autograph seekers.
Here are some teasers:
To view the larger size, as well as additional photos, click here.
This blog is really about Michael Emerson, but Carrie Preston is his wife and many times when she is interviewed, she talks about her husband. And she does in this article from Vulture as well, enjoy:
Carrie Preston is best known as Arlene Fowler on True Blood and Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife, both wacky characters in their own right. But she’s only making a cameo in her latest film, That’s What She Said, which she directed. The comedy, now in limited release, is an adaptation of the play Girl Talk by Kellie Overbey (which Preston also directed) and features three very different women: an optimist looking forward to a prospective date (played by Marcia DeBonis), a cynic who no longer believes in love (Anne Heche), and a nymphomaniac who uses sex to feel better about everything (Alia Shawkat). In the case of the last, if a partner isn’t readily available, she’ll retire to the nearest public restroom or hop on a subway train, which has a vibrator effect on her. Preston chatted with Vulture about orgasms on the subway, women in Hollywood, and modern dildos.
You really get the sense that you’re in the real New York with this film — not a glamorized, idealized version of the city.
It was really important to me to depict that. This morning, it was pouring rain. Pouring. I’m wearing heels and a very tight dress, and I had my hair all down and everything. My sweet husband [Michael Emerson] cut together from an old poncho a little hair tie for me — and I looked like the biggest bag lady! I had a hair tie that was blue, I had a black raincoat, a red umbrella, and a pink purse, and boots, with my high heels in a bag. And looking like that, I took the subway because I’m never going to catch a cab in the rain. It’s not Sex and the City, and I feel like the movie tries to capture that.
The subway scenes, you mean.
Illegally filmed, by the way.
Both scenes employ methods that people might want to borrow: first, Anne Heche’s pretense of having Tourette’s to get people to move away from her, very handy; and second, Alia Shawkat’s technique of getting an orgasm from the train’s vibrations.
You wouldn’t believe it, but we actually shot Anne’s scenes in a very crowded subway. That was my costume designer and script supervisor who were sitting next to her, because we didn’t have any money for background. People sort of looked, laughed a little bit, and then went right back to whatever it was that they were doing. They couldn’t have cared less: “Eh, Anne Heche doing something weird, whatever.” Same with the orgasms. No one batted an eye. Although that was very subtle — you had to know. But Alia was changing costumes on the subway in between the takes, so we were on the subway holding up coats to help her change clothing, and there was a camera operator, a boom operator, and me, so it was pretty kamikaze to shoot. We were doing this, mind you, at three in the morning, and on the A train — but, still, the subway was alarmingly packed at that hour.
Is the A train the best train for orgasms?
I wouldn’t know because I’ve never tried it, but in theory, yes. [Laughs.] There’s no O train, so I think it’s the A. There are fewer stops, so you definitely have a longer run at it, to get the rhythm going. It’s a good stretch. You could do it all the way to JFK. I love that in the movie, when she says she has spontaneous orgasms on the train, people ask, “Which train? Which line?” I mean, she wants to know exactly where she needs to go to get it on.
Where did you get Alia’s dildo for when she wants her orgasms in slightly more private locations?
The props woman on the film, she went everywhere, and she would send me these pictures and videos of these sex toys, and I was like, “Too much!” They all had these wings and things, and I was like, “Does no one just make a plain vibrator anymore? Can you find something that’s not out of a science-fiction movie?” Most of them have all these appendages, and for that shot, I just wanted a phallic symbol. I didn’t need it to be an alien thing on the floor that was moving around, so we had to craft that.
This started as a play in 2004, long before raunchy female comedies became en vogue again.
When Kellie wrote this script, there were no Bridesmaids running around. There was no Bachelorette happening. There were no Girls on HBO. There was none of that. I’m happy about those — I love Bridesmaids; I was there opening night — but I feel like Hollywood has amnesia. Do they not remember the silent films that were almost all starring women? Do they not remember the screwball comedies? Do they not remember Lucille Ball? They don’t, and they forget, and we’ve had some major amnesia, and we’re starting to come back into it. But if I’m going to watch men grabbing their crotch onscreen since the beginning of the talkies, we need a tit for tat.
I thought it was because Marcia’s character had just shaved at first, but she’s grabbing her crotch because of a yeast infection.
Movies don’t usually address any of that, any of the stuff that we do. Here’s a woman holding up a centerfold, shaving, trying to live up to an ideal, and you know she’s not going to. She represents many, many women in the world that Hollywood will never give a leading role to.
Unless you’re Melissa McCarthy.
And then they make an exception. And I’m glad that’s happening. But it’s very rare. As a feminist and a woman who believes in representing all females in film, I thought the only way to do that is to make it happen yourself. If we sent Kellie’s script to Hollywood, this would not be the cast. They would just want someone who puts glasses on and goes, “Oops! I’m adorkable!”
You’re on hiatus right now for True Blood. Any discussions yet with the new showrunner [Mark Hudis] about how things might change for Arlene and Terry?
No, but he’s wonderful, and he’s a big supporter of Arlene and Terry, so I’m curious to see what they’ll do what with our characters. Right now, I’m doing a three-episode arc on my husband’s show, [Person of Interest], playing his fiancée. We’re doing flashback scenes, and it’s so fun to be working with him, to be on set with him and see how he works with that character. It’d be fun if he could ever cameo on True Blood, too!