By Amy Amatangelo
Michael Emerson is playing a hero on his new CBS series “Person of Interest.”
For the actor best known for playing master manipulator Benjamin Linus on “Lost” and psycho stalker William Hinks on “The Practice,” that takes getting used to.
“It feels a little strange, and it takes me outside of my comfort zone, I guess,” Emerson recently told the Herald. “I’ve been so in the habit of finding a sinister note, or at least an ambiguous note in my work. I’ve been so busy making audiences question what I’m up to for a long time that it feels anti-instinctual to relax and just be the good guy and not employ all my little bag of tricks.”
In the series the 57-year-old actor plays Finch, a wealthy software genius who created a computer surveillance program that can predict when a crime is about to happen.
“It’s not science fiction to suggest that you can be followed. You can be photo-graphed. You can be listened to really fairly easily. All the technology that we use in the show is real-life existing technology,” he said. “(Executive producer) Jonathan Nolan is fond of saying he wants people to watch the show and then never be able feel the same way about their cellphone, which is the effect it’s had on me.”
The series puts the actor back in New York, where he lives with his wife, actress Carrie Preston (“True Blood”). While on “Lost,” he never truly relocated to Hawaii. “I always got a sublet every season, and at the end of the season, I would pack things in a storage unit and go home to my real life,” he said. “I never felt like that was home. People would buy a house and get killed off the series. You tempt the fates, I think, when you make a gesture that suggests permanence. I try to think of my career as being a kind of gypsy career.”
As “Person of Interest” continues, Emerson said the series will incorporate overarching mysteries into the stand-alone episodes.
“The histories of both my character and (co-star) James Caviezel’s character are part of a big long flashback treatment and more will be revealed every episode,” he said. “Each time the explanation of how they came to be doing this work will become clearer and it will justify them more.”
Source: Boston Hereld