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TV Goodness Reports: Person of Interest Panel @ The Paley Center 

Photo Credit: Kara Howland/TV Goodness

On May 1, 2012, CBS’ hit new series, Person of Interest, earned its own evening at The Paley Center. The latest episode was screened, which turned out to be one of the best episodes of the season. It completely worked on all levels. Watching “Many Happy Returns” as a group was a great experience. The fans who gathered in the Center’s theatre, laughed together; applauded in some oh so appropriate places; and were treated to a suspenseful, funny, dark, action-packed rollercoaster ride. The panel was very entertaining as well. It was fun to see all the personalities; and it’s clear that Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson have fun working together.

The Moderator:
Diane Gordon, Editor-in-Chief, The Surf Report

The Person of Interest Panel:

Photo Credit: Kara Howland/TV Goodness

Greg Plageman, Executive Producer
Jonathan Nolan, Creator and Executive Producer
Jim Caviezel, John Reese
Michael Emerson, Finch
Kevin Chapman, Detective Lionel Fusco

What We Learned:

  • Taraji P. Henson (Detective Joss Carter) wasn’t able to be part of the panel because she was shooting a film in Atlanta.
  • The producers want fans to make up their own minds on whether the presence of cameras on this show (which are everywhere and are watching all the time) is a positive or negative thing.
Photo Credit: Kara Howland/TV Goodness
  • Before Person of Interest, Kevin Chapman starred with Jim Caviezel in a film called Unknown — although they didn’t have any scenes together. And he did a couple episodes of Lost, although he never had any scenes with Michael Emerson.
  • A volcano eruption in Iceland — and Kiefer Sutherland — gave Caviezel plenty of time to figure out he wanted to do more television — as long as it was another show like 24. Caviezel and Sutherland were stuck in London after the eruption made it impossible to fly back to the U.S. for a while, which provided them ample opportunity to hang out and talk.
  • They would love to have Enrico Colantoni (Elias) back on the show. After all, he’s not dead. So he could always return.
  • The most challenging and rewarding thing for Caviezel as far as working on Person of Interest is keeping up with the pace of the show.
  • The most challenging thing for Emerson is the fact his character is the bearer of much of the exposition of the show. But he sees it as a great opportunity, because it often sets the stage for when Finch can actually get out of the library trying to do what Reese does. But Finch isn’t as good at it. Oh and Michael loved the baby episode (“Baby Blue”).
  • Loved this quote in which the panel talks about Person of Interest shooting out in New York and all that entails: “It’s not a show, it’s a sport.” That was the show’s Director of Photography that came up with that.
  • The writers come up with so many challenging action scenes but, there was one time, they were told no way. And that’s when writer Denise Thé wanted a Miami Vice-like boat chase scene in the script. But it was winter and the water was frozen, so no go.
  • The cast and crew see New York City as another star of the show. The New Yorkers are often unimpressed with them since the production tends to briefly take over the neighborhoods where they shoot. There was one time when Caviezel as Reese punched two bodyguards and a New Yorker told them they needed to call the police. There was another guy who came up to Caviezel and said how much he “loved his effin’ show.” And Jim responded with: “Great. You’re in it right now.” People wander into the shots all the time. They do have a blooper reel but it’s under lock and key.
Photo Credit: Kara Howland/TV Goodness
  • Caviezel can’t get any spoilers out of the producers. He even resorted to taking the guys to a hockey game and they still didn’t tell him anything. So bribery definitely didn’t work in this case.
  • About his character being able to break people in half? Caviezel can’t do it in real life. “It’s all fiction.”
  • However, he’s gone through a massive amount of training to become the badass John Reese we’ve come to know and love. He’s trained with select Navy Seals and guys that trained in Mossad. Wow. Awesome.
  • We learned that loyal, faithful POI fans call themselves The Irrelevants.
  • When Michael Emerson read the character description from the pilot it said something like Finch was mentally and emotionally scarred. He knew whatever he came up with for that he’d have to do it for the entire series and so he made sure not to contort his body. So, Emerson came up with the limp for the character. And he was so convincing that Caviezel thought Michael really had a limp. When he realized he didn’t he thought his Jesus powers had healed Michael. Hilarious since Caviezel’s best known for playing Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ.
  • According to Emerson, Finch isn’t happy with having Fusco on board, although he’s occasionally useful. But he’s also a liability.
  • Emerson and Caviezel never met until their first scene in the pilot. But they both agree things are working out. According to Jim: “I can’t help but love this guy. I can’t tell him that.”
  • Could there be a Person of Interest movie someday? It’s a good idea. But, really, the show is so inherently cinematic as it is. They try to make a movie every week.

Person of Interest airs Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS. The penultimate episode of this exciting first season airs tonight with the finale airing Thursday May 17.

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