Ben Linus Lives On

By Cindy White

We may have seen the end of Lost as a weekly TV series, but there’s still one little treat left for fans, and it can only be found on the new Lost – The Complete Sixth and Final Season and Lost – The Complete Collection DVD and Blu-ray releases, due out on August 24.

For those who haven’t heard already – or seen the leaked footage online – “The New Man in Charge” is a 12-minute epilogue from executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Starring Michael Emerson as Benjamin Linus and Jorge Garcia as Hugo “Hurley” Reyes (plus certain others we can’t reveal), it gives viewers a glimpse of how the island will be run under new management now that Jacob has found his successor. Oh, and it answers a whole heap of lingering fan questions, too.

Of course, when IGN had a chance to talk to Emerson from his home in New York, he couldn’t go into any details that might spoil the surprises, but he did talk about some of the other DVD extras he participated in while filming the series finale in Hawaii. We also asked the Emmy-winning actor (who was nominated again this year) about his plans for a post-Lost future.

IGN: Do you ever go back and watch any of the older episodes
Emerson: I haven’t. I mean, at some point I’ll sit down and I’ll review the whole series, I suppose.

IGN: What about the new special features? Have you seen any of them?

Emerson: I’ve got to tell you, I’m the last person to find out about things. I won’t know what’s in there until ABC sends me a copy of it. If they’ll send me a copy of it [laughs]. It must be so loaded. Something I’ll be curious to see is Jorge and I took a stroll in the Kualoa Valley one cloudy day with a film crew and reminisced about great scenes that we had shot in that valley, which was the most beautiful place we ever filmed. And it was fun and interesting. I’ll be curious to see how that conversation got cut down.

IGN: So you haven’t seen “The New Man in Charge” Yet?

Emerson: I haven’t. I read the script, so I know generally what it does and where it takes you and what questions get answered, that kind of thing, but I haven’t seen how they handled it. I hope it’s really good. I really liked the script, and I can say that I was as excited to shoot that bonus as I was to shoot the finale.

IGN: You were shooting them both at the same time, weren’t you?

Emerson: Oh, there was all kinds of stuff going on. Some days you couldn’t keep track of everything you were shooting. There were days when I was shooting scenes from the finale, scenes from “The New Man in Charge,” DVD extra bonus features, interviews and reflections and then going back to the old locations and walking around. All of that stuff. I tell you, sometimes there was filming of filming of filming going on in that last month. It was so chaotic. I needed someone to just take me by the hand and say, “Here’s what you need to be in next.”

IGN: It must be tough to keep all of that straight in your head.

Emerson: It is. And it’s tough also to hold a lot of narrative tones in your head, because when you’re bouncing back and forth between “New Man in Charge,” which is quite light in tone, and the finale, which is so grave, you have to kind of pinch yourself and say, “Okay, here’s where we are right now.”

IGN: What would you say to the fans who are excited to have a little new piece of Lost after they though it was all over?

Emerson: It’s a very tiny dessert at the end of a very large, long meal.

IGN: It almost seems like it could be a spinoff show all on its own.

Emerson: Well, it does seem so. It leaves the door open that way. I don’t think it was their idea to leave such a door open. And, of course, those writers will never convene again on this material and this cast will never be all in the same place again. But who knows?

IGN: Were you surprised at the questions that remained at the end of the series?

Emerson: I guess I wasn’t very plugged into the reaction to the finale. I know that I was very moved by it. But I did have some questions. And it took Terry [O’Quinn] and I three or four days of talking about the finale before we finally felt like we had settled into an interpretation of it that satisfied us.

IGN: So you talked about it amongst yourselves?

Emerson:Right. And I always think there’s a big difference between reading the script and shooting the thing. And then watching it as a finished product. So many interpretive changes take place, so many variations of tone or pace or compression and so on, that it really is a new thing. A lot of times I can have shot it, but I won’t fully understand what I’ve shot until I see it at broadcast. And that was certainly true for me of the finale.

IGN: Besides the finale, there were so many little things along the way that fans wondered about. It’s really amazing the level of minutia we can obsess over.

Emerson: It is. And I guess it’s flattering that someone cares enough to keep track of the details.

IGN: Do you miss Lost at all?

Emerson: Yeah. I’m also happy that this Lost affair has come to a satisfying conclusion. I can go on. Well, for one thing, I can come home to North America and resume the life I had before I went to Hawaii. So that’s all good. And to have a chance to work on other projects.

IGN: You’ll have a little reunion at the Emmys, right?

Emerson: Yeah. It looks like so many of us will be there. Which is really nice. It’s more fun if you have the whole gang.

IGN: You’ve said that you have been keeping in touch with Terry. What about the other cast members?

Emerson: Yeah. And Jorge. I was talking to Jorge this morning. He’s staying in our house in Los Angeles. And the cable has gone out, so we’re trying figure out that problem.

IGN: So you have these little problems, just like everyone else.

Emerson: [Laughs] Oh my God, yes. We completely live in the non-glamour zone, in the glamour-free zone. Definitely.

IGN: What projects do you have lined up for the future?

Emerson: I’ve sort of slipped back into my old New York actor life of bits and pieces. I’m out there auditioning. … It’s back to the old grind. The old humiliation. It feels like my real life. I do my voiceover auditions and I’ve done some audio book work since I got back. Stuff like that.

IGN: There’s been a lot of talk about you and Terry working together again, possibly in another television project.

Emerson: I think it’s as likely to happen as any other good idea in Hollywood. Which means it’s up in the air and it really depends on a lot of intangibles. But we’re available and inclined to do such a thing. We’ll have to see if anyone can come up with a script. It would be a ways off and it would have to be the right kind of a script.

IGN: How has being on Lost changed your life?

Emerson: I can’t tell yet. I mean, people seem to know who I am more than they used to. And I’m somewhat better treated. I guess I’ve earned some respect during my time on Lost. And the casting possibilities for me are greater than they used to be. And that’s great. But at the end of the day I’m still a gypsy actor and I still have to go out there and I’m prepared to start auditioning again and see what I can get. You’d be surprised how few things are offered to an actor on a silver platter. Even if you’ve been on a hit show. And it’s good. It’s a reality check and you have to keep hustling. You have to stay hungry and keep chasing it.

IGN: Are you concerned about getting typecast in roles similar to Ben Linus? Would you like to do something completely different, like a lighthearted comedy?

Emerson: Well, I would like a change of pace. I certainly wouldn’t want to overstay my welcome as a certain kind of character. But by the same token, if somebody presents me with a script that has a beautiful villain role in it, I’d look at it. I try to follow good writing. I try to follow things that are fresh, interesting. So you take it one project at a time. I don’t know what will be next. If I can get on stage, it’ll definitely be something lighter in tone. Having said that, you watch, the next thing I do on stage will be, you know, Macbeth or something. So who knows?

Source: IGN


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s