Back in 2009, Michael Emerson did an interview for the Jacksonville Magazine. You can see the result in the Michael Emerson Photo Gallery. Here’s the teaser:
Click here to view the larger version.
Emmy-winning actor Michael Emerson has performed on Broadway with Paul Giamatti and Kevin Spacey, appeared in the top-grossing horror film franchise of all time and currently stars on an ABC drama that Time magazine named one of the 100 best shows of all time (he won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for The Practice, by the way). And he has Jacksonville to thank. Emerson moved to Jacksonville by way of New York City in the mid-’80s and quickly got involved in the arts community.He acted in a number of productions at Theatre Jacksonville and served as its technical director of theater. He also taught drawing at Flagler College in St. Augustine. “I had a good life in Jacksonville,” he says of his six years in the River City, “and found myself as an actor.” These days, Emerson and his wife, Carrie, are “tri-coastal,” living in New York and Los Angeles for seven months and Hawaii when he’s shooting Lost. But he’ll always have a place in his heart for Northeast Florida.
1. Saw was the most dangerous shoot I’ve ever been on, and I was glad to escape with only minor injuries. I had cracked ribs, lumps, bruises and scrapes all over me. I couldn’t sleep on my right side for weeks.
2. I played a Polynesian witch doctor in the fifth grade play. My first Jacksonville role was Iago in Othello at UNF.
3. Nothing makes me more nervous than public speaking (as myself). Talk shows? … Terrifying!
4. I have worked as a landscaper, carpenter, painter, shipping clerk, teacher, designer and director—but only waited tables once. I lasted three hours in the dining room of the Des Moines Country Club before I poured coffee on a lady. I wasn’t asked back.
5. People understand (in their rational minds, at least) that I am not really the character I play on Lost. But some of them are cautious around me, behaving rather formally and keeping a safe distance.
6. I always wanted to be an archaeologist. Still do. I like archaeology because I am a person oriented toward the past and because it is a kind of detective.
7. Director Sam Raimi gave away the part I was playing in the film For the Love of the Game to his brother.
8. I’ve never been very comfortable with guns— never held one in my life except in front of a camera.Strangely, I’ve carried guns in almost every role I’ve played in movies and TV. Hell, you can’t ask someone to pass the salt on Lost without drawing a gun!
9. I learned to act for the camera by doing training films for the U.S. government in Brunswick, Georgia.
10. Sixteen years later, I still have a storage unit in Jacksonville, which contains 500 vintage Lps, all of my graduate school papers and original sketches from my life as an illustrator, and an assortment of canes, swords, wigs and trophies from my North Florida theater days. I never had an apartment with enough space to keep them, but this year I’ll finally empty it out. I think.