One of the reasons why Michael Emerson of "Lost" remains of the favorites over here at the The TV Guy is not only because he's a great actor, but because he's a super-nice guy who always takes the time to chat about the show.
Emerson is in the midst of shooting the series' final few episodes and will should be wrapped up in April, though he hints the final five scripts have so much packed into them that he doesn't know how the producers will wrap things up by then.
We chatted Friday about the current season.
PR: So, what did you think when you got the script for the season premiere, with the "Flash-sideways?"
ME: I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what it meant. When the premiere opened (after the bomb had gone off) we were aware that anything could have happened. It was mysterious, the way (the new timeline) was introduced. It felt newer and calmer. But what does that mean? Which one is real? Things (in the new timeline) seem a little off. We're still puzzling it out.
PR: Have you and the rest of the cast given much thought to all of it ending pretty soon?
ME: We're all asked about it so much, but I haven't really noticed. It's not like it's a state of mourning. Everyone is in really high spirits. Collectively, we realize the show isn't going to be around much longer. We're enjoying it while we have it. Plus, it's daunting the amount of material we still have to shoot. (The final scripts) are so loaded with stuff I don't know how we're going to get it all done.
PR: Have you thought about your post-"Lost" plans? Any roles lined up?
ME: Sure, there's some stuff out there. It all depends on the timing. I don't want to just leap into something else. I want to take some time off. I want some time to catch up with my family and friends. Maybe in the fall, I might do some theatre.
PR: Ben Linus is probably going to be one of the great roles of your career, and as an actor, they certainly asked a lot of you. From an actor's standpoint, what are you going to miss?
ME: It never seemed that great a challenge, but I guess it was in hindsight. I'm going to miss the part of not having to look for work! I'll miss the part. I hope I can find something that is equally satisfying.
PR: Ben seems just as confused as the rest of us this season. He's gone from being the leader of the island to someone who has been used by the man in black. What's Ben's state of mind?
ME: He's off his gameplan. He's in a state of unusual vulnerability. But he's still looking for an opening; just nothing much is working right now. He's completely upset, but he still wants to regain his power. It's just going to take a while.
PR: You won your first Emmy for "Lost" a few months ago. You had been nominated before but didn't win. How did it feel to finally win and did you set your expectations low because of the previous losses?
ME: The Emmy is a very nice honor, but it's an exhausting and anxious day. I'm still trying to figure out what it means. It allows you to turn off those voices that say 'What kind of job is this for a grown-up?' or that voice that says 'Fraud!' It's others in the big league acknowledging your work. (In the past), I had let myself hope for it and ended up mildly disappointed. This year, I tried not to think about it much. It's just an honor to be nominated.
PR: Ben is certainly one of the more iconic villainst to ever come along on TV, and "Lost" is certainly groundbreaking. How do you think they will be remembered?
ME: It's a little hard to tell while I'm still in it. I think we want to let some time pass, and then see how well it holds up. I think 'Lost' did a number of new things, especially the interactive way it linked up with fans. The way fans are so passionate about it that they wanted to immerse themselves in the show, that's something we really haven't seen.
Emerson is married to Macon actress Carrie Preston, who is a star of "True Blood" on HBO, another series with a passionate fan base. Emerson noted it was funny that both of them should be working on shows with that similar passionate fan base at the same time.
"Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m.) drew 15 million people last week for its premiere, and features a new, Kate-centric episode tonight. Like Emerson said, I'm just trying to enjoy the ride while it lasts.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: After "Lost," there's a new episode of "The Forgotten" (ABC, 10 p.m.)
CBS's lineup is all-new, in case you didn't get that from the umpteen Super Bowl promos, featuring "NCIS," "NCIS: LA" and "The Good Wife."
Ellen DeGeneres kicks off her stint as "American Idol's" new judge tonight (Fox, 8 p.m.), followed by the sneak peek of a new series, "Past Life," in which a psychic and a detective solve cold cases.
There's a new "Biggest Loser," (NBC, 8 p.m.) followed by the last-ever "Jay Leno Show" at 10 p.m.
On cable, there's a new installment of "White Collar" (USA, 10 p.m.)