A Half-Hour with Lost's Most Compelling (Living) Character
Speaking to Ben Linus Michael Emerson is odd. While you never hear the Machiavellian mastermind on Lost actually laugh, his real life doppelganger lets out everything on a spectrum from giggles to guffaws. And like any obsessive fan of the show (is there any other kind, at this point?), Emerson loves to speculate. Here, he dishes with GQ on Ben's sex life (or lack thereof), why he can't see the guy as creepy, and what to expect from the rest of season six. And in true Lost fashion, he answers a few questions, but makes us wonder about a whole mess of others.
So Ben's eulogy for Locke last week. Wow—spectacular. Wasn't it? The beauty of it is that of all the people standing at that grave site, Ben is the one really mourning the passing of John Locke. I sent an e-mail to the writers of that episode and thanked them. That eulogy's one of the best things they ever gave me, I think. I lucked out.
You've gotten several of those heartbreaking, tender moments, almost always as a result of awful events the character set in motion immediately before. It's so great, the range and juxtaposition of the stuff I get to play. It's just...delicious.
There's a great new gag clip of you petitioning the showrunners for a more robust love life for Ben. Do you think Ben is a virgin? [pause] Wow. In the days when it looked like he had warm feelings for Juliet, I did give some thought to his experience or inexperience in romance... [pause] Wow! I don't know. If he is...experienced...who would it have been with? And where? And how? It's a possibility—it might go a long way toward explaining his personality, if he is a virgin.
[Check out last week's episode reactions from GQ's Lost Council of Nerds and Jesse Lee's School of Lost podcast.]
Ben's a teacher in this new timeline we're seeing. How the hell does the schemer, the plotter, the master manipulator in Ben get satisfaction teaching high school history? Is that the same Ben we've been watching for four years? What's interesting about these flash-sideways—or whatever you want to call them, these parallel realities—is that all the characteristics of your personality are there, but the mix is different. Everyone has the same set of characteristics, but in wildly varying quantities. We look for the characteristics we're accustomed to, and the payoff is that we find them, but we find them altered.
This was something the writers and directors told you. This is just my personal analysis after having played a lot of it—because there's more of it to come. I don't know which storyline is truer; I don't know if one is more real than the other. But that answer is presumably to come.
Glad we're in the same boat. Absolutely. I read the stuff online—the speculations, the questions, the frustrations. It completely echoes the discussions we have when we're sitting around on the set.
Click on the link to read the rest of the interview. source:GQ