m_emerson_news: (Default)
[personal profile] m_emerson_news

Ben's judgment day

4:00AM Monday May 11, 2009
Michele Manelis

When people meet Michael Emerson, 54, who plays the morally ambiguous Ben Linus on TV2's Lost, it's not surprising they're a little nervous. "Occasionally they're a bit worried, and tend to be physically very formal with me. They don't want to hug me. They keep their distance but they keep their eye on me because they're not sure what my next move will be," laughs Emerson.

The two-time Emmy award-winning actor, who takes centre stage in this Wednesday's episode when he summons the mysterious Smoke Monster, is conducting interviews at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles dressed in a black suit and tie, unusual attire for an actor promoting a TV show.

"Well, I am more formal than most people, I think. Over the years I've done so many classical and period plays that I tend to feel a little more comfortable if I have a vest, suspenders and pants that have a watch pocket," he explains, referring to his Broadway and Shakespearean background. "But my wife has a much more hip-hop sensibility. She's quite an elegant person but she's more summery and wears colours. She's a jazzier-looking person than I am."

His wife, whom he met in a production of Hamlet, is actress Carrie Preston, 41, who has also appeared on Lost - as his character's mother. "Yes, there was some humour about it, of course. I hardly ever saw her because when she was giving birth to me, I wasn't in the scene. She'd be at work while I was at home. We were like ships passing in the night," he recalls.

Like most of his onscreen personas, in person, Emerson comes across as a little eccentric. "I'm basically an escapist sort of a person; so I read a lot of fiction. But I also read a lot of history, and I like books about Shakespeare and his era and I read the Greeks and Romans when I can. I like to read the ancients. I'm basically a backward-looking person. I don't think much about the future, and dwell more on the past," he says, which seems appropriate given the head-scratching time-travelling scenarios on the hit show.

Despite his roles in more classically cerebral fare, he regards Lost as the pinnacle of his career.

"Will there be a part that is more delicious than this one? It is crackling and filled with dangerous intimacy. And at the same time there's action. You get to play with guns and you get to fall into holes in the ground."

Emerson continues to be amused by the enthusiastic reactions from fans and, given the history of Lost, he jokes that he was a little nervous about flying to Hawaii when he first joined the cast. "It's not a show that will help anyone feel comfortable about air travel, is it? But then again, people should take comfort in the notion that when a plane crashes on Lost there are no accidents. So if you see me on a plane, don't be alarmed."

With Lost coming to an end in season six, airing its final episode in 2010, Emerson is relieved that the actors are kept in the dark about its conclusion. "The producers don't tell us anything so I don't have to worry about keeping secrets. I want it to be the kind of ending where everybody goes, 'Oh my God, it was right there before my very eyes for six years, and I never thought!'."

Adds Emerson: "As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out as to where Ben Linus is on the moral scale. He displays some kinds of seemingly heinous behaviour but then we're not quite sure what his larger game is. Who might he be saving or protecting? I'm happy that people are in two minds about him. It may be that even when the show is completely over, you still won't know. It would be all right with me if the ending was ambiguous."

Source:  New Zealand Herald

Date: 2009-05-13 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-henry-gale.livejournal.com
I tend to feel a little more comfortable if I have a vest, suspenders and pants that have a watch pocket

He wins serious points in my book if he carries a pocket watch! :-D

Date: 2009-05-14 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mooncove.livejournal.com
"When people meet Michael Emerson, 54, who plays the morally ambiguous Ben Linus on TV2's Lost, it's not surprising they're a little nervous. "Occasionally they're a bit worried, and tend to be physically very formal with me. They don't want to hug me. They keep their distance but they keep their eye on me because they're not sure what my next move will be," laughs Emerson."

I'm glad he qualified that with "occasionally." Who could not want to hug him? People who've only seen him on the show ... and only through Season 3 ... and don't know anything about the real Michael Emerson. In that magazine interview he did a few months back, he even said he kind of likes it that people are formal with him. I was nervous as hell meeting him (not because I thought he was going to lock me in a polar bear cage but because he's just that awesome, and I'm just that shy), but I sure hugged him when posing for that picture! (I think, in my mind, I was kind of half-hugging Ben too.) I hope he didn't mind the lack of formality! But then he says here that occasionally people don't want to hug him ... as if to hug him is the norm. I hope that's true. (He seemed extremely huggable to me.)

"Two-time Emmy-winning actor"? Did I miss one? Or does somebody know something about this year's Emmys already? ;)

I love that he likes dressing up in "period" clothes. :) (He's in the right profession if you like to play dress-up. But I like that he's not afraid to dress the way he wants to regardless of fashion even off the stage.)

Eccentric? Does anybody else find him eccentric? He seems kind of "normal" to me (whatever that means!). I mean, he seems like I'd like to hang around! Then again, I must be eccentric too. Hurray for history and living in the past.

"You get to play with guns and you get to fall into holes in the ground."

... and when you're asked if you're OK, you get to wisecrack, "Never better." (A friend and I are still laughing over that one.)

"Emerson continues to be amused by the enthusiastic reactions from fans ..."

Amused? As opposed to frightened? Oh, good. That's a relief!

"So if you see me on a plane, don't be alarmed."

Thrilled, yes; alarmed? Never! ♥

Date: 2009-05-14 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-henry-gale.livejournal.com
Most normal guys aren't like him, so they dub him eccentric, I suppose.

And I absolutely love his fashion sense.

Date: 2009-05-14 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mooncove.livejournal.com
"he seems like I'd like to hang around!"

Oops, I meant someone I'd like to hang around.

"Most normal guys aren't like him"

Yeah, on second thought, you're right ... alas. (IMO, normal = boring.) I really admire his individualism. I just wouldn't think to call him "eccentric." Sort of implies "weird" or slightly crazy. If there's anything "weird" about him, it's that he's down-to-earth and intelligent and doesn't follow the herd.

Profile

m_emerson_news: (Default)
m_emerson_news

May 2009

S M T W T F S
     12
34 5 6 7 89
10 11 12 13 141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 24th, 2017 06:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios