SciTechBlog   « Back to Blog Main
May 17, 2010

Geek Out! Michael Emerson reflects on 'Lost'

Posted: 08:10 AM ET

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From sci-fi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it, you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this interview if you haven't seen the most recent episode of "Lost!"

Now that we have some sense of where Jacob came from - albeit only a vague one - "Lost" will return for two more episodes and hopefully answer some questions about the mysterious island, time travel, timelines, and more. We certainly have not seen the last of Benjamin Linus, nor do we know whose side he's really on anymore.

CNN's Geek Out! chatted with Michael Emerson, who plays Ben Linus, about his experience on the show. We're told he'll have a larger role in this Tuesday's episode than the last two, in which he didn't appear at all. Although the audience feels some sympathy for Ben now, who knows how long that will last?

CNN: Did you know when you first came on "Lost" that you would be a major character?
Michael Emerson: No, thank goodness I didn’t know. It would have made me so nervous. I think I could have possibly screwed it up. As it was, I had no more nerve than you would normally have going to a strange show and doing a guest spot. I was only going to do a few, and then come home. I think I only packed for a month when I first went out there. Now it’s four and a half years later.

What did you think when you read about the alternate universe in the script?
Emerson: Like usual I said, "Well, how does that work, and what does it mean?" Then you start thinking, is it more real than the island narrative? Is it less real? Are they both equally real? Is one some kind of fantasy or dream, or possible alternative in the mind of the creator? You know, it’s still hard to know what a lot of things mean on the show. But also very exciting to me as an actor to get to make an entire second character without leaving the show of 'Lost.' He’s Ben, clearly, but a completely different version of Ben and that was one of the chief pleasures of the final season.

How would you describe the difference between the two Bens?
Emerson: It’s the same Ben but a different complete palette. The Ben of the island is in vivid primary color, and Teacher Ben is in more muted color, more like the real world.

So, he has many of the same impulses, but in a much different amount. So, he has some ambition, but it’s a much smaller ambition. He has some sense of manipulation, but it’s a much milder, a much lighter version. That was what was fun about playing the flash sideways.

Did anyone tell you what the flash sideways meant at the time?
Emerson: No! No one tells you, but then we don’t really ask, either. For years, we’ve been doing this show, and mostly we just do it on faith. I don’t have to know exactly what it means to play it, if you know what I mean. I just show up, do my work, basically play it straight on the day, and then when I see it broadcast, a lot of times, then I’ll figure out what its meaning or context is. But sometimes not even then.

Was there anything scary or weird to you in the show?
Emerson: Sometimes they would shock me by making Ben more villainous than even I imagined. The massacre of the Dharma Initiative was a shock to me, and the strangling of John Locke was a shock to me, but those are great episodes too, and memorable work. So, I perform whatever they write, but sometimes you think, “Wow we’re really going there? OK. Here we go.”

Do you feel your character is inherently good or evil, or in a gray area?
Emerson: He’s definitely in the gray area. He always was, but it’s even grayer now, I think. We’ve reached a place where I think he has a lot of audience sympathy at this point. It may not be permanent. But right now, we’re so much more familiar with him, and he’s definitely not the scariest creature in the show. At this point. (pause) Heh heh heh.

Is there anything you wish your character had done on the show?
Emerson: No, I don’t think so. I think it’s been really complete, and full, and consistent, and I’m very happy with the way Ben is resolved at the end.

Tell us about a funny moment while filming.
Emerson: I will always love the scene where Hurley and I shared a candy bar on a log in the rain forest. That was hilarious. We still talk about it because we keep analyzing it as if it were a comic bit, and we feel like it’s missing one beat to make it truly funny.

What's a portion of the show you're particularly proud of?
Emerson: I’m happy about the scenes where Ben … when the unhappy child in Ben reveals itself. When he gets angry or defensive or loses his customary control. There aren’t many of those kinds of moments. When Ben, for example, kills Jacob, that’s a place where all his adult civilization, he loses it for a moment. And the unhappy teenager … some part of Ben is frozen in development at a young age and never matured, and I like that about the character and I like playing it.

Do you feel like your classical acting training helped you on this show?
Emerson: Sure. I think that having done classical work is always a help. I just think it gives you … it’s a skill set. Once you’ve done that hard work of trying to crack open and illuminate difficult language, then contemporary language seems easier, and you can bring those more highly tuned skills to bear on texts that might not ordinarily seem exceptional, but you may be able to make it exceptional.

How was it having your wife on the show with you?
Emerson: It was fun. I love working with my wife [Carrie Preston, who was in "The Man Behind the Curtain" in Season 3], and it was unique to have her be in Hawaii working on the same show. We didn’t have any scenes together because she was playing my mother, so she had to give birth to a little baby me. It was kind of strange, but it was fun to go to the set, and she’d be clocking out, and I’d be clocking in. It was so crazy to go, "Hello honey, how was your day?” in the middle of this jungle.

Did you do research for your character?

Emerson: I always felt I had instinctively a grasp on this character. It wasn’t that much work to find how to play Ben Linus. But again, I was glad that I have played villains on stage. You play a part like Iago in Othello, and that gives you some ideas about the function of villains in drama, and how they tick, and what makes them exciting for an audience. It was useful that I had the stage background that I do.

Are you friends with other cast members?

Emerson: I hang out a lot with Terry [O’Quinn] and with Jorge [Garcia]. Jorge throws a lot of fun parties at his house so I’m over there a lot. And Terry and I –we’re such a happy acting team that we just get along famously. We’re of similar age and similar background, and I have enjoyed my collaboration with him.

Any plans for acting after Lost?
Emerson: I don’t have anything lined up yet. Something will come, I assume. I’ll be happy if I can do some theater work this year, probably New York, I don’t know what it will be or when. I’ll continue to audition for movies, maybe I can get a little part in a movie some day, and that would be fun.

Posted by:
Filed under: Geek Out!

Share this on:
Rozella Bolla   December 20th, 2020 6:56 pm ET

Substantially, the post is really the freshest on that noteworthy topic. I concur with your conclusions and also will eagerly look forward to your coming updates. Simply just saying thanks definitely will not simply be adequate, for the awesome lucidity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay informed of any kind of updates. Fabulous work and much success in your business endeavors!

Wade Kathleen   December 21st, 2020 8:55 pm ET

Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There's a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thanks

Ione Ohlendorf   December 22nd, 2020 1:51 pm ET

Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

Jonathan Newes   December 24th, 2020 12:12 am ET

wonderful points altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader. What would you recommend about your post that you made a few days ago? Any positive?

Treena Glunt   December 24th, 2020 1:00 am ET

It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Stanley Canarte   December 24th, 2020 1:19 am ET

hello there and thank you in your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did then again expertise a few technical issues the use of this website, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of occasions prior to I may get it to load properly. I were brooding about in case your hosting is OK? Not that I'm complaining, however sluggish loading circumstances occasions will sometimes impact your placement in google and could damage your quality ranking if advertising and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Anyway I am including this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot extra of your respective exciting content. Make sure you replace this again soon..

Gale Stangl   December 24th, 2020 8:31 am ET

This is the fitting weblog for anybody who wants to search out out about this topic. You understand so much its nearly laborious to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You positively put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, simply nice!

Latashia Laulu   December 24th, 2020 9:36 am ET

I do agree with all of the ideas you've presented in your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

zortilonrel   December 25th, 2020 2:58 am ET

Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your site in web explorer, may test this?K IE still is the marketplace chief and a good section of folks will miss your fantastic writing because of this problem.

Tajuana Chadwick   December 27th, 2020 6:24 pm ET

My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Kristopher Bullers   December 28th, 2020 12:09 am ET

Somebody essentially assist to make significantly posts I might state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I surprised with the research you made to create this actual publish incredible. Great activity!

Randell Jasperse   January 12th, 2021 2:26 am ET

very good post, i surely enjoy this web site, go on it   January 27th, 2021 3:08 am ET

CONTENT: This, again, can be a simple considered.
For nearly all of the people, making settlement is the very first thing for
them to build a niche site. Remember though, obtained to post good content to
turn this work!

mega casino slots   February 1st, 2021 8:24 pm ET

Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any
issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I
ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no data backup.
Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

froleprotrem   February 6th, 2021 10:33 am ET

Well I sincerely liked studying it. This information offered by you is very useful for correct planning.   February 9th, 2021 4:09 am ET

I haven?¦t checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

House Clearance Cardiff   February 9th, 2021 7:43 am ET

whoah this blog is wonderful i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, many people are searching around for this information, you can aid them greatly.

Lyle Violetta   February 10th, 2021 7:30 pm ET

How to let the other people know about your blogspot?

mega888 apk   February 25th, 2021 9:19 pm ET

Hello, for all time i used to check web site
posts here in the early hours in the daylight, as i enjoy to
gain knowledge of more and more.

ClarkPring   February 28th, 2021 8:23 pm ET

hteu5 8ssx7 xmry

number 1 weight loss pill for women   March 16th, 2021 10:21 am ET

Hey! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
Anyways, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

ห่วย   March 19th, 2021 2:21 pm ET

538859 716807Keep up the fantastic piece of function, I read few posts on this internet website and I feel that your internet blog is actually interesting and contains lots of superb details. 825328

relx infinity   March 21st, 2021 7:28 pm ET

338284 396595Hi. Cool post. Theres an issue with your site in chrome, and you may want to test this The browser is the marketplace chief and a good element of individuals will omit your exceptional writing because of this dilemma. 413361

mega888 casino   March 25th, 2021 6:45 am ET

A face lift is a type of cosmetic surgery in which your folds among
the skin and also the overall tissues of this area are evolved.
This is carried out help raise the overall skin tone.

Those who hate the wrinkles they have along their forehead or who desire
to get rid of frown lines can achieve this by with this
procedure. It's not a everyday sort of cosmetic procedure, but
it remains a fairly invasive a specific. For this reason, individuals needs to consider regardless whether it could be the best option for their personal needs.
For many, it can be thrive choice for creating an added youthful appearance.

In many cases, the woman ogled sure isn't aware of your
silly actions of the ogler. Despite the fact that she notices him, she may just ignore him, despising him as lewd, uncultured and foolish.

Bachelors are always on the lookout on your perfect partner or
one to have fun with. Quit smoking do n't need to make any dedication to anyone and want to remain cost-free.

I had an experience recently whilst latter process.
I'm in the process of creating a new blog in WordPress
for Inner Clarity. I chose a web hosting company based on a
recommendation from another coach. This whole blog scenario and its set-up is completely new to me, so I've been getting lots of mental exercise learning about cpanel,
Fantastico, and MySQL, etc. Could be a foreign language, right?

How does an individual benefit when this bad habit?
(E.g. I will feel better about myself; I often be more successful; when I respect myself and think I am deserving, others will respect me the also think I am
deserving; Let me be happier when I stand up for myself; I will gain confidence;
I will gain friends that accept me for myself; Let me gain friends
that have similar values as me). Knowing valuable will motivate
your teen to adhere to track once the going gets tough.
This will solidify precisely why the old behaviour has to be modified.

You can drive in order to your store by establishing advertising is an abbreviation for.
You save yourself the trouble of searching for provide directions or help and advice.
Your customer will just require read your
ads then they will have a good opinion of your services and products.
Of course, these display stands can be quite handy when a person in a trade show or exhibit, but need
to know not dismiss their uses in your everyday business

Go to bookstores, social gatherings, business meetings, anything you can. Twinkle you're there, just make
it a habit to go to a small conversation inside weather or
whatever is on your mind, as long as it is a neutral topic
(avoid, say, politics).

A renovation can offer you the youthful appearance you are trying to find by removing many of this lines and wrinkles in the facial tissues and muscles.
It can offer lasting results. Discuss your options
with your surgeon ascertain if this is an excellent option for
use in your specific will need. When it is, it can make
a profound difference in your views and also you overall seem to be.
Many people get a boost of confidence of the usb ports.

mega casino   March 26th, 2021 12:36 am ET

It really one among the the best internet marketing strategies
going because permits you to leverage your. It's also good to pretend
learn more than you go about doing. Blogs make it possible for a great deal of creativity.

diamond painting disney   March 30th, 2021 6:50 am ET

793385 996249This is genuinely interesting, Youre a really skilled blogger. Ive joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking far more of your magnificent post. Also, Ive shared your web site in my social networks! 369837

male sexual enhancement pills uk   April 3rd, 2021 5:20 am ET

This is very interesting, You're a very professional
blogger. I have joined your feed and sit up for searching for extra
of your fantastic post. Also, I've shared your website in my social networks

30 mg sildenafil chewable   April 3rd, 2021 7:26 pm ET

sildenafil 10 mg tablet sildenafil 100mg price india

Bangalore Escort Services   April 4th, 2021 10:30 am ET

I guess the most important thing is to steer clear away from spam moderators by putting comment that actually MATTER. Anyways, I’ll be using these blogs. Thank you so much!

mega888 casino   April 4th, 2021 12:25 pm ET

Hiya! Quick question that's entirely off topic.
Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
If you have any suggestions, please share. Thanks!

alprostadil cream for sale   April 5th, 2021 5:20 am ET

alprostadil prices in canada alprostadil injection video

levitra generic vardenafil   April 5th, 2021 9:25 am ET

why vardenafil dosage over 65 vardenafil vs tadalafil

tadalafil generic   April 7th, 2021 3:12 am ET

tadalis sx buy tadalafil

dewa jitu   April 12th, 2021 1:39 am ET

675769 366707Aw, this really is an incredibly nice post. In thought I would like to put in location writing like this moreover – spending time and actual effort to create a excellent article but exactly what do I say I procrastinate alot via no indicates seem to get something accomplished. 813936

zithromax order online   April 13th, 2021 1:02 pm ET

zithromax is used for generic for zithromax

3win8 slot   April 15th, 2021 2:55 pm ET

It really is truly the best internet marketing strategies going because
permits you to leverage as well as effort. You can start by using free marketing
tools to be a blog or social media tools like twitter.

vardenafil cost   April 16th, 2021 1:18 pm ET

how does vardenafil work vardenafil sublingual generic

video of transurethral alprostadil admimistering   April 18th, 2021 12:44 pm ET

alprostadil cost transurethral alprostadil

cialis through canadian pharmacies   April 21st, 2021 2:16 am ET

do you need prescription for canadian prescription of cialis in usa canadian pharmacy cialis without prescription

Leave Your Comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP