This may be a little old but I had not read it before. It’s got some good stuff  in it.

What’s your favorite memory from Lost?

I don’t have one favorite memory from Lost; I have many. For starters, one of the greatest days of work involved strangling John Locke. That event was shocking and we spent an entire day shooting that scene, but there was so much focus and quietness on the set that day. It was like everybody knew we were making one of the greatest scenes of Lost. Terry brought an insane, dark depth to the playing of that scene that made my hair stand on end. As a craftsman and as an actor, I will never forget that day. We were making magic.

How much are you going to miss the show?

I’m going to miss it immensely. When will there ever be a part that is more delicious than Benjamin Linus? There were scenes of dangerous intimacy alongside scenes of action – and I got to play with guns, ride horses and fall into holes in the ground. It was a magical experience and it’s something I will never forget. I’m sad that it’s over, but we’ve got some wonderful work to look back on.

How did it feel to return to Hawaii for Season Six after your Emmy Award win for Season Five? Did that change anything for you?

No, it didn’t change a thing. To be honest, you try to forget about any awards or publicity. They don’t translate to your working day. Everybody was very sweet about it when I first came back from Los Angeles and everybody congratulated me, but it was soon forgotten. I was fine with that.

Did you have any idea how the show was going to end when you started work on Season Six?

I didn’t have a clue. I really thought I would be able to see it coming. I thought that the path to the end would begin to be clear as soon as we started filming, but the contrary was true. The ending was more obscure in Season Six than it was in Season Five.

How did you want Lost to end for Benjamin Linus?

I didn’t have a wish for the end of the story except to survive to the finale. That was all I wanted. I wanted to be able to film the finale episode with the rest of the cast – and thankfully, my dream came true.

What do you think of Benjamin Linus?

Benjamin Linus is a question mark. I think the writers tried to keep him morally ambiguous but interesting, so he irritates and interests people at the same time. The writers were very smart with Benjamin. It was tough to keep that balance in place for four or five years. That’s a long time for people to not know what’s going on. I have always found him fascinating in that respect.

How similar are you to the character you portrayed for six years?

I’m not very manipulative in real life and I can’t even tell a lie. I’m a very bad liar and I’m a bad manipulator, so it’s fun to play someone who gets away with these things. He can say the most outrageous statements and keep a straight face. I could never do that.

What was the worst thing Benjamin Linus ever did on Lost?

The most shocking thing I had to act was the massacre of the Dharma Initiative. The producers made it appear even worse in post-production than how we shot it. When we shot it, I did not personally set off a canister of poison gas in the van with my father and watch him die before my very eyes. When I saw that, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s so harsh.’ It shook me a little.

Did you ever disagree with anything the writers had in store for Benjamin?

I would never go to the writers and complain. I just assumed that everything was for a reason. I know it sounds a little crazy, but Ben has said some things that were extremely cold. I used to think, ‘How will he come back from a line like that?’ But Ben was there to entertain as well. It might have been more important to have a stunning moment than it was to have perfect character logic at all times.

Did you ever know what was in store for your character?

I was happy if I had a script in my hand before the camera started rolling. It wasn’t like we took a meeting and went through the storyline and plots week by week. We never knew what was coming up on the show.

Did the cast talk about theories on how the story was going to progress and end?

Everyone did. Everyone on the show would give their ideas, but we didn’t have a clue if we were on the right track or not. Our theories were never as talented as the online fan theories, though. I stopped coming up with theories towards the end of the show because I was never right. However, if you sit around with Jorge Garcia, you inevitably have to start trying to figure out everything because he loved talking about things like that. He would always pay attention to the online chatter more than the rest of the cast. I used to depend on him to fill me in with what the prevailing theories were.

How intensive was your work schedule during Season Six?

The schedule for every season of Lost was always fragmented. I would have 10 insane days of work, but then I wouldn’t work for two or three weeks. That’s when I would go back to the mainland and spend time with my wife. Then I’d head back to Hawaii where huge chunks of plot would have been explained during filming, but I wouldn’t be aware of it.

Did you find it frustrating to have three weeks off where you don’t hear anything about the storylines?

I didn’t worry about it because I used to busy myself with other things. I’d try to return to the life I had before Lost. I would never call Hawaii to find out what was going on. I’d just focus on my life at home. It’s funny because at times I was extremely out of touch with the show. Actors would come and do guest spots, but they’d leave before I even knew they had visited Hawaii.

What was the most challenging aspect of working on the show?

The physical challenges were the hardest aspect of filming Lost. Running through the jungle at night can be quite tough on your body. It’s bad enough if you’re dry, but they would always find a need to have it raining. It’s after midnight and you’re running around on slippery leaves and roots. I felt like a broken ankle was always waiting for me in the jungle.

Did you enjoy any of the physical challenges of the show?

It’s fun to be on an action show and run around in the jungle, but it’s tough. I thought I had gotten to an age where I would do no more fighting, but then I get on Lost and that’s half of what Benjamin does all the time. I enjoyed it, though. I had fun riding horses, fighting and shooting guns. You don’t get to do things like that every day.

What was your most challenging stunt?

The horse riding was tricky for me. There’s an episode where Ben wakes up in the Sahara and some Bedouins or Berbers come at him with guns. They’re riding on the back of Arabian horses, but those horses were very nervous. There were guns shooting and the horses were going crazy, but then I was told I had to shoot a guy, take his horse and mount it with one hand while holding an assault rifle in the other. It was impossible. I could not hoist my tired old body high enough onto that horse. Plus, the horse didn’t want to stand still. Every time the guns went off, the horses would run away and someone would have to chase them back to the set. That was a very long day.

It sounds like your role was extremely demanding at times…

Every day was physically demanding because of repetition. Even if you’re just sitting in a chair and holding your pose, you have to deal with tension in your body. On a rough day, you are running, tackling, fighting and shooting – and that was extremely challenging for me. I wasn’t getting any younger and no matter how careful I was, I would always feel beaten up by the end of the day.

Did you sustain any injuries on the set?

I did, but it was nothing major. You turn your ankle and you stub your toe. You catch a piece of flesh from your hand in the action of a pistol. You get some bruised ribs or you hit your head on a tree trunk. It comes with the territory. It was fine.

So what’s next for you?

I’m currently looking at offers, but I haven’t signed up for anything yet. The one thing I will be doing is going back to the beginning of Season One of Lost and watching the DVDs all over again. I wanted to review the entire series before Season Six started airing, but I didn’t have time, so I’m going to go back to the beginning with the DVDs shortly. I think it’s going to be great to experience the entire series with new eyes. I look forward to seeing it all over again. It’s going to be a lot of fun to relive the entire experience.

Source: Stale Popcorn


Michael Emerson Interview: Loved Labor of Lost

By Tim Lammers

Normally this time of year, actors nominated for Emmy Awards find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of excitement as they wait with bated breath for the big night to come around.But a strange feeling has overcome “Lost” star Michael Emerson, one of those in the running for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. As the winner of the coveted trophy in last year’s race (and a nominee the year before) for his role as the enigmatic other guy, Ben Linus, Emerson is feeling, well, nothing.”It’s funny — I haven’t even thought about what I will say if I win. I so do not expect to win that I’ve been basking in the glow of being a nominee and not feeling any responsibility whatsoever to become a winner,” Emerson said, laughing, in a recent interview.A journeyman actor born, raised and educated through college in Iowa, Emerson first played Shakespeare on stages in Florida and Alabama before landing in off-Broadway productions in New York — which was followed by a few film gigs mixed in with some guest television roles in Los Angeles. An Emmy in 2001 for Outstanding Guest Actor on “The Practice” notwithstanding, Emerson really didn’t find the monster success he was looking for until he landed on the lauded ABC series in a role filmed on the big island of Oahu in Hawaii — a role that he thought was going to be limited, at best.Before he was cast in “Lost” — which debuts on Blu-ray and DVD (Walt Disney Home Entertainment) Tuesday as a “Complete Series” deluxe boxed set for the first time — Emerson said he was a casual watcher of the remote island survivor show at best.

‘Lost’ was always on in my household because my wife (“True Blood” star Carrie Preston) was a fan of it from the get-go,” Emerson reflected. “I watched it intermittently so I didn’t pay close attention to it, so when the job offer came, it seemed like … a job offer. No one was calling to say, ‘Here is a life-changing role for you — you’re going to work in a tropical paradise for the next five years of your life,’ it was, ‘Can you come out here and do the next three episodes?’ I needed the work and it seemed like a good part so I was happy to do it.”As it turned out, Emerson — who first appeared on the show in 2005 as Henry Gale (later to be revealed as Ben) — not only had his role extended on the show, he enough soon became the leader of The Others, the chief antagonist of the survivors of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.”No one was more surprised than me when it turned out to be this great part,” Emerson said. “I’m glad that I got it the way I did. I had never had any luck in my acting life getting on a pilot or getting in the front door of a series, so I guess it was appropriate in a way for me, at least, to come in the back way to do a part that turned into a keeper. It relieved me of a lot of nerves because I was already in with the show before I even realized it.”But the potential of being one of the regular cast members was one thing. Guessing the arc of the character in store for him was something Emerson never could have imagined.”After doing a-half-dozen episodes in ‘Season 2’ out there in Hawaii, they kept saying, ‘Don’t go home — don’t go home quite yet.’ I began to think, ‘Wow, this is turning into something really good. I began to see the logic of how it was good for the show. They needed an adversary for the show. They need a face and a voice onto whom the audience can project their fears and anxieties,” Emerson said with a laugh. “By the time the season was over, I was thinking that would keep me around.”

Without question, one of the driving forces behind the success of “Lost” over the past six years has been its continually unfolding mysteries, which even extend into the deluxe boxed set (housed in a box topped by a miniature replica of the island, no less) where more secrets, including the highly anticipated 12-minute epilogue “The New Man in Charge” (featuring Emerson and fellow star Jorge Garcia), await.During the show’s run, perhaps the biggest nail-biter was the series finale of “The Complete Sixth Season” (also out on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday), where the ultimate fate of each major character was realized. Even though he participated in the filming of the finale, obviously, Emerson said he was no more in-the-know than anybody about what the final outcome would be.”For the finale, I didn’t have a complete script, so I didn’t really know how the series ended until it was broadcast,” Emerson said. “It contained a scene that I never got — a key scene where Jack (Matthew Fox) talks to his father (John Terry) and where they really were — it was crucial.”For the sake of not revealing the finale for those new to the “Lost” experience, the scene took on some spiritual overtones.”I thought that they really pulled it out of the fire. It was great,” Emerson enthused. “It was better than I expected and better than I could have hoped for.”Staying true to the form of the series, the finale invoked several different interpretations among fans and critics. That’s not such a bad thing, the 55-year-old actor said.”While I thought it was a great finale, that’s to say that it didn’t confuse me,” Emerson said. “I wasn’t sure what it all meant after I had watched it, but I knew in my heart that it had a satisfying conclusion. I thought it was poetic in how it speculated on what the machinery of (the character’s fates) is like in a lovely way.”While Emerson will reunite with several his “Lost” co-stars Sunday for the Emmys, he well-knows that, as a working actor, his days from seeing them will be few and far between. And while he and co-star (and fellow supporting actor nominee Terry O’Quinn) are shopping around ideas for shows, they’ll likely be staying on the mainland when the projects materialize — a locale far different from the island that held the fascination of television viewers for six seasons.”I haven’t really had a chance to miss Hawaii yet, even though I made good friends there and it’s a beautiful place with its sunsets, rainbows, the rainforests and the mountains,” Emerson said. “It’s all quite wonderful, but you don’t pay quite that much attention to those features when it’s the place you work and living outside of a suitcase, and where you’re missing your loved ones and real home.”

Source: WISN


Michael Emerson Says That’s It For The Island and ‘Lost’

By Alex Zalben

LOST: The Final Season

“I was delighted with the way my character was resolved. Like everyone else, I play the character, and I’d think, ‘How are they going to do it? How is Ben going out?’ You know? Will it be in some cataclysmic act of violence or – I couldn’t imagine what they were going to do. So that the ending turned out to be so human, and so quiet… And so reflective… It took me by surprise, and then I thought, ‘Oh this is perfect.’ I couldn’t have imagined it – but it was perfect. So I was pleased with it, and overall, I was happy with the tone of the ending. I think they lived up to the huge pressures and expectations that were placed on them, our writers. I think they did a great job.

“And like any great work of – I won’t say ‘art,’ maybe I’ll say ‘entertainment’ – it was open to interpretation, like a great book, or a great play would be. It’s something you go home and talk about, and argue about. Carrie (wife and True Blood star Carrie Preston) and I talked for days, arguing about the finale, and I think we ended up with a take we were happy with. We ended up being really…satisfied, and we really feel like we have our own satisfying interpretation of the ending.”

Ben vs. Ben

“I was thrilled to be able to play what I felt like were two characters in one show, in this final season. I know they’re both Benjamin, but they’re in different palates. And I know that sideways, or “teacher Benjamin” has some of the same impulses, some of the same qualities, some of the same chemistry of the Ben we’ve always known, but it’s so much more muted. It’s portrayed in a more everyday palate, in a world where there isn’t adventure, and violence. So I thought that was a nice challenge that the writers threw me, and it came at a time when I was happy to rethink the character, and dig a little deeper, and think about how I could make another, a different Ben. So it made me very happy. I would say it was the chief pleasure of the sixth season for me, juggling those two Bens.”

Ben Unfinished

“I feel like Ben – and I’m so proud to be the one character who is left in the grey zone. I feel like Ben became a character out of Beckett or something. He’s made to wait. He’s unresolved. He cannot pass through the gate into a serene eternity. He’s still waiting for forgiveness, redemption – all those things the others have achieved.

“And because I’m a Shakespearian, I was pleased to see, too, how much the ending resembled the end of a good Shakespeare play. You know, at the end of a good Shakespeare comedy, everyone is united into couples, and they walk off, presumably, into a happy afterlife. And that’s sort of how they wrapped up our show. People found their mirror redeemer, the person who gives them unqualified love so they’re allowed to redeem themselves… All of that. But Benjamin doesn’t have that, at least not yet. So I thought, ‘Oh how perfect, that I’m the one left hanging.'”

The New Man in Charge

“We filmed it during the filming of the finale, which, as you might imagine, was a logistical headache. The finale was bad enough – it was like filming a feature film in four weeks. So in our spare time, as if we had any, we’re supposed to be off with another camera unit filming the DVD extra. But I was happy to be picked, and happy to do it. I was as excited about what I had to play in the DVD extra feature, as I was about what I had to play in the finale.

“So I lucked out, and got to be in this really interesting thing. Because I’m a fan of the show too, and I knew that there was this great gap in the narrative that when people saw the finale, they would say, ‘But what about that whole, historic period when Hurley is in charge of the Island, what happens during that time?’ And luckily, we get a little taste of that. A little piece of that world, in the extra.”

LOST, Continued?

“I know that it’s really tantalizing. It made me hungry for more. We didn’t shoot any more. Once that thing is out, that’s everything we ever wrote, or shot, I guess. I could stand a little more… But I guess that’s where we have to leave it, because I don’t think there’s ever going to be any more footage shot about LOST. Certainly not with this company. These writers are never going to revisit this material. And I don’t think… I mean, I can guarantee you they’ll never get this whole cast together again in the same place.”

Typecast As The Creepy Guy

“It’s a great role. You would never say no to a great role because you were worried that you might become a hit in it, and become iconic. I don’t over worry about it, because every time I’ve done something good in my career, and really connected with a part, people in my life worry that I’m going to get pigeonholed. I mean, my stage great was playing Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde. And I played that for two years, and everybody said, ‘Oh my god, are you ever going to be able to bust out of this?’

“And it’s true that for a long time afterward, all I got offered was the role of a flamboyant Englishman. But with time, it goes away. You just have to bide your time, maybe keep your head down a bit, and wait for something to come along that’s equally good, but completely different… And then start that process all over again.

“I have to say, because this week I sat down with a video editor to make a new reel. You know, when you’re selling yourself as an actor, you have to have a little greatest hits video reel to show people what you can do. And as I look back through the material I have for this reel, almost all of it is sinister, and dark, and full of violence and danger and ambiguity. So I thought, ‘Oh, it might be time to lighten this up a little bit.’ [Laughs]”

What’s Next for Michael Emerson?

“I don’t know. My instinct is always to get back to the stage, because it’s what I did for decades, and it’s what I feel most connected to. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I have some ongoing vocal problems that worry me, so I might have to have some doctoring before I can play a Shakespearian lead eight times a week, something like that. I have enough voice for TV and film, so that may be what I do for a while. But the stage is calling me, I must say that. But nothing lined up now. Maybe an audio book.”

Source: Ugo


Video First Look: Ben Takes ‘Charge’ In ‘Lost’

By Jolie Lash


“Lost” may have said its final goodbye to a six-season television run back in May, but in a little over two weeks, fans can jump back in to the drama with a special new mini-episode.

On August 24th, “Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season” and “Lost: The Complete Collection” will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray and both sets include the 12-minute bonus segment called “The New Man In Charge,” an exclusive clip of which premiered on Wednesday. Click HERE to watch the clip.

Filmed as they shot the series finale, the mini-episode, which stars Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy nominee Michael Emerson in his legendary role of Ben Linus, explores some new territory and answers a number of questions the finale didn’t have time for.

“The writers, I think, wanted to give our viewers a little treat, a little dessert at the end of the series,” Michael told on Wednesday morning. “I think that they were also conscious that there was a very intriguing window — a blank space left in the narrative in the finale and that is, ‘What was it like during all that presumably, long time when Hurley and Ben were in charge of things?’ What was life like in the Dharma world during that period? And so I think they decided to give us just a little taste.”

When asked how many decades 12 minutes could explore, Emerson said the footage looks at just a short window of time.

“We just get a little snack, a little tidbit. We witness events, I would say, that happen in the space of two or three days. It’s not necessary consequent, but yeah, two or three days are explored,” he said.

The title of the clip – “The New Man In Charge” – also offers a hint at the material to come.

”[There’s] a sense that there’s a new regime, a new way of doing business. A whole new philosophy,” he said, noting that Ben is a little different too.

“I think we see the Ben we’ve known and loved all these years being himself, but with a little bit of a change of context, a little bit of a change of tone,” he added.

In the clip, exclusive to, Ben is seen visiting some workers in a Dharma factory, a springboard to bigger revelations.

“Those men at the Dharma station, they don’t really know who [Ben] is. So the suggestion is, is that the Dharma network is much vaster and more intricate than was even revealed in the series… That to support what went on, on the island, there was a whole global network, there was a whole machinery set up,” Michael noted.

Michael said filming the extra scenes was rewarding, even if it meant very long days.

“The scheduling was tricky because everyone involved, Jorge [Garcia, who plays Hurley] and I, we had big responsibilities for the finale and we also had to shoot all this other material,” he said. “They gave us the full treatment. It’s fully produced in terms of sets and costumes and cinematography and all of that. I was very excited to do it, I have to say. I felt like the work on this thing was as interesting to me and as exciting as the work on the finale.”

Just days after the DVDs release, fans will see much of the “Lost” cast reunited at the Emmys, where both Michael and co-star Terry O’Quinn are up for the Outstanding Supporting Actor trophy for their roles on the beloved ABC show.

“I just think that the presence of Terry on any slate or list with me seems natural,” Michael said. “We have been a kind of duet act on that show for as long as I have been on it and what would make me anxious is if we weren’t there together. As it is, this is the most comfortable thing for both of us.”

No competition between the pals, Michael said he is thrilled to be attending the award ceremony and celebrating the entire cast and crew’s work on the show, which is up for 12 total Emmys.

“I feel like ‘Lost’ has gotten its due in a way by being nominated in so many categories,” he said. “This is a really good year for ‘Lost,’ so, win or lose, every department in our company will be present there. I think we’ll have a nice party together.”