Comic-Con 2012: Person of Interest Is Keepin' It Interesting


"It's pretty simple," Jim Caviezel explains as he sits down at our table with Person of Interest co-star Michael Emerson. "He's the smart one, I just shoot people."

"Thanks for coming," Emerson says, pretending the interview was over.

If it were that simple, we wouldn't be so obsessed with last season's biggest hit that's an odd couple-ish vigilante superhero procedural with heavily serialized elements, explosive action, and goofy humor. And though creator Jonathan Nolan definitely had a plan in place, the show works so well because it's constantly readjusting itself to be the best it can be.

"I think a lot of the brilliance here is the writers picking up our mannerisms," Caviezel said when I asked him about Harold Finch and John Reese's relationship, which bounces back and forth between strictly professional partnership and old married couple and has become one of the cornerstones of the series' attraction.

"It's true," Emerson agreed. "They notice some of the things about how we are together when we're not on set, and they'll incorporate that stuff. And they've gotten to know us better as actors so they can write to our strengths. They watch carefully the things [and interpretations] we bring to scenes, and then they'll write at that. But it is a balancing act. At the end of the day, they are men on a long drawn-out suicide mission, so there is a gravity about it. But they do like to temper it with a baby episode, or an ecstasy episode, those sorts of things."

Because they haven't started filming the second season and Nolan hasn't told Caviezel or Emerson all the secrets of the show, but I had to pry about that awesome image from the finale of Reese staring directly into the security camera and talking to the machine about getting Finch back.

"If [Finch] doesn't get rescued, I'm done," Caviezel said of his character. "For his own purposes, it's his friend."

"But that is a whole new deal," Emerson said, and when you read this quote, it's important to read it in Emerson's voice. "If Reese partners up... with.. a machiiiine."

"It's huge in this," Caviezel said. "There's a brilliant thing that happens in [the Season 2 premiere] where I throw a moral question out to the machine, and the machine has to think, 'What do I do?'"

Showrunner Greg Plageman said that in Season 2 well find out a lot of answers to the lingering questions from Season 1, including a lot of Finch's backstory with his fiancée, what happened to Nathan Ingram, and how he got his limp.



Notes

– Taraji P. Henson, who plays Detective Carter, really wants to see Carter wrestle with more moral questions and really put her character to her test.

– Movie star Caviezel was interested in bringing film to television, and that's what attracted him to Person of Interest in the first place. He says an average show does 80 set-ups per episode, and POI averages 140 set-ups per episode.

– Caviezel brightened up when talking about gun training. The man enjoys his firearms!

– Emerson may have let slip a bit of scoop. He said the Person of Interest in the Season 2 premiere is a former Lost actor. During the panel, there were reports that Ken Leung, who played Miles on Lost, was featured in the Season 2 teaser.

– Caviezel also does a ridiculously good impression of Homer Simpson. Hearing him do it might just be the most bizarre moment of my life. (Apologies for the audio quality, but it had to be posted anyway)

– The title of the Season 2 premiere is "Contingency," and Nolan says it has three meanings, one of which relates directly to Nathan Ingram's contingency plan with the machine. He said he loves titling episodes in ways that are obvious and not so obvious.


Psst! Check out our complete Comic-Con coverage for the latest news, photos, and more.

Comments (23)
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The audio is a little rough but, that is so cool! He really does a good Homer Simpson! And it's really weird to see Jim Caviezel in a polo shirt, I'm so used to the suits, ha ha. Anyways, the idea of Reese and the Machine working "together" makes me laugh a little since the Machine is well...a Machine, a computer to be exact and Reese is not exactly good with computers. But' it'll be an interesting premiere for sure. Since not much has really been said about what happened to Nathan Ingram I am looking forward to some answers about that. And now that Fusco and Carter know that they're both working for the same side, things will either be more or less tense between them and it could go either way, I'm hoping for less but there will probably be that trust issue between them but maybe they'll turn their collective annoyance towards the real culprits: Reese and Finch, which also could be interesting.
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love this show.
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Wow, must have been quite a treat to interview those 2!

Can't wait for season 2
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What about Reese's former partner..that lady is alive!!is she goin to be a foe or a friend?



Cant wait for season 2!!



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POI greatest show on tv, love this awesome show, cannot wait for season 2.

POI Brilliant creators and LOVELY cast keep up the good job, we love you.
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Thanks for sharing the clip of Mr. Caviezel doing the Homer Simpson impression. That was, for the lack of a better word, awesome. :)



I cannot wait for season two!
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I was sceptical about this show in the beginning ( too much action for me) but it just gott better and better and more complex as it went along. That is not always the case.
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Such a fantastic show. And it seems like the people doing it are having a great time. So hopefully that means there will be many seasons of this show in the future. I loved that they didn't wrap everything up from the whole season in the season finale. I am still wondering what happened with Reese's old partner. And what Elias is going to do from prison. And what next. I truly hope that they don't wrap up Finch's abduction within the first episode, I would like to see at least 3 episodes of him and Reese on their own. Reese trying to get him and Finch trying to escape. But whatever they choose to do it is going to be great. This was one of the few shows that didn't disappoint and really just crafted their season quite well. Can't wait till its back.
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That was a rather short panel ,but also funny. Can't wait for season 2.

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Where's the season 2 trailer?
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They haven't begun filming season two yet? That's surprising. I thought shows that begin sometime in September have been filming a few months already. Sure, they need to find out how the viewers react to the final episodes in May and then start writing full speed, but I thought they already have the outline for season two and a production schedule done in May. So I though they begin filming the second season shortly after the first has concluded. I'm surprised they wait this long.

Hm, apparently I learned something today. TV.com is an educational platform.
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JJ Albrams is good director and story teller but he a crap show runner that does not know how to deliver shows week in week out or do a descent star trek film.



I expect large gaps in season 2 waiting for new episodes.
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I'm also really surprised but it's always a good thing if the shooting schedules overlap with the airing time. Or everything has to be produced in 2 months - that could have negative implications.
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...it's important to read it in Emerson's voice. "If Reese partners up... with.. a machiiiine."



I'm actually quite surprised at how amusing I found it to read that in his voice.
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I hope this season will last a few more seasons. I need some great long-lasting show to make up for the loss of Fringe and Breaking Bad when they end, and this show could be just that. Great stories with very good writing, and the interactions between the main characters/actors are so fun to watch. The little tidbits of information makes it sound like season 2 won't disappoint (not that I was expecting it to).
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Audio isn't working? I'm not in the U.S. so might that be the problem?

I really wanted to hear Jim do a Homer impression.

Also so excited for Season 2, fantastic stuff.
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Just saw that it's also on http://www.tv.com/news/comic-con-2012-tim-price-and-jen-discuss-day-3-audio-29110/ somehwere after 20 minutes in.
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Hi, just download the mp3 at

http://image.com.com/tv/images/genie_images/story/2012_usa/p/poi_simpson.mp3



(you can find the link in the source code if you don't trust me).
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Thanks XY! That worked for me too but in Mozilla, don't know why Chrome isn't cooperating...

BTW I might have clicked on "Flag" first instead of the "Reply" button... sorry

:-S
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it works! thank you.
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The audio type is a common one so it does work outside the US. I don't know much about tech stuff, but as I understand, you need a Quick Time plug-in to play the file. (I'm also outside the US, and it does work for me.)
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Staff
We're be adding more audio files into stories, so if you do notice things wonky, let us know and we'll try and fix them. There should be no regional limitations to these...
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I CAN'T WAIT FOR SEASON TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is really all that needs to be said.
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