‘Lost’s Michael Emerson: ‘Smokey’ Can’t Kill Ben

by | February 8, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Interviews, Lost, Matt's TV News, TV News

Michael Emerson as Ben on Lost (ABC)

Michael Emerson as Ben on Lost (ABC)

ABC’s ‘Lost‘ (Tuesdays at 9/8c) kicked off its final season by yes, answering a question here or there, but it also introduced a slew of brand-new players and sure-to-be-bedeviling mysteries. We coaxed some Season 6 insight from Michael Emerson, who deliciously portrays the mightily fallen Benjamin Linus. Plus, which on-screen moment did the Emmy winning cast member find to be “unbelievable” in its shock value?

After “NotLocke” (aka the Smoke Monster) orchestrated Jacob’s death, why didn’t he just turn around and kill Ben?
That’s a good question and I wondered it myself. But there is a reason why he can’t do that.

Does Ben suspect he has done a bad thing by killing Jacob?
I really don’t think Ben indulges in regrets. We’ve seen him make huge, possibly bad choices all through his life, but he just keeps moving forward. It may not be a good trait, but it is his.

We like to assign the trait of “good” to Jacob, in contrast to the apparently evil “Man in Black.” Yet Jacob, with his dismissive “What about you?” comment to Ben, came off as, well, a uncompassionate tool. Maybe he’s not quite as good as we believe?
That’s what I think, also – or at least his agenda is more complicated than we can know. It’s certainly not as simple as we thought. And yes, [Jacob] rather begs for his own death in a way.

Watch a preview of Tuesday night’s episode:

With his dying breath, Jacob famously said to NotLocke, “They’re coming.” How long until we find out who “they” are?
It will be a while, unless I’m missing something. I’m not yet sure what that remark means. ['Lost' was filming its 13th episode at the time of this interview.]

Might we see Ben in the “flash-sideways” reality where Flight 815 arrived in Los Angeles safely?
Oh…. That’s a hard one to answer because these dimensions of time and space are… porous. And I think that’s about as much as I should say.

‘Lost’s Mysterious “Man in Black” Is Back

I’m going to name three of your ‘Lost’ cast mates. You tell me what you’ll remember most about working with each. Let’s start with Terry O’Quinn (Locke).
Breathless moments of danger in small spaces.

Naveen Andrews (Sayid).
Terror.

And Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet).
A great dinner companion.

Which scene was the most memorable to shoot?
They fall into different categories – the dramatic, the humorous, and the absurd. My favorite light-hearted scene is cooking dinner for Juliet; it was so much fun, so out of character and so absurdly domestic of Benjamin. And in my entire life as an actor I will never forget shooting the scene where John Locke is trying to hang himself, I talk him out of it, and then I strangle him. Unbelievable.

What’s one thing you won’t miss about the ‘Lost’ experience? Jorge Garcia has mentioned Hawaii’s mosquitoes, Daniel Dae Kim spoke of having to learn Korean at the last minute….
I won’t miss guns, explosions, and horseback riding.

‘Lost’ Star: Final Season Answers “Major Questions”

What do you hope to do next – another series regular TV gig right off bat, return to the stage…?
I think it would be nice to take a little break from the routine of television and mix it up for a little while. Maybe I could finagle my way into a little part in a movie, or do a play back in New York. I sure hope I get a change of pace – I’d like to do something funny.

You have a “connection” over at ‘True Blood,’ maybe you could do a one-shot over there.
I am known to some people over there, yes. [Emerson's wife, Carrie Preston, plays Merlotte's waitress Arlene on the HBO series.] When are they going to call me up and put me to work, I do not know. [Laughs]

Want scoop on ‘Lost’ or any other TV show? Have a burning question you want answered? Email MattMtvguy@gmail.com and read The Big Tease every Tuesday at Fancast!