Wentworth MillerSource Your high quality source for Wentworth
4 October 2008   1 Comment

Q. Where do you continue to draw from for your portrayal of Michael?
A. That’s a good question, because finding inspiration can sometimes be a struggle. My character is and has always been the head conductor on the exposition express, and as an actor, that can feel constrictive. When your job is to explain things to the audience (and there’s an awful lot that needs explaining episode to episode) that doesn’t leave room for much else. It can make fleshing out the character and grounding his emotional life in some kind of reality a real challenge. I’ve often thought that Michael is frequently more than human and frequently less than human, but very rarely just human. But at the end of the day, that’s his role in this very specific universe, and I have to wrangle that as best I can. Because if I don’t do the narrative heavy-lifting, who will? Linc? I don’t think so. (Although that would certainly make for an interesting episode.)

Q. How do you feel about the direction of the storyline for season four of the show?
A. I’m relatively happy with the show’s new direction. The brothers can’t be on the run forever and we certainly can’t send them back to prison. I feel like it’s time for Michael and Linc to stand and fight and take down the bad guys once and for all. And, in an ideal world, the network will give us that opportunity. I really think that after all we’ve put the characters (and the audience) through, we’ve earned the right to a final showdown, a really satisfying conclusion, and hopefully that’s where this season is heading. Hopefully the powers-that-be will allow us all to exeunt when the time is right.

Q. What have been the best and worst aspects of filming the show for you?
A. Obviously these are uncertain times, so it’s nice just to have a job. On the flip side, I’ll confess we all wish the show received a little more support from the mainstream media. (Actually, make that the American mainstream media. Our foreign support has always been remarkable and very much appreciated.) Obviously we all know that when you put your work out there into a public forum, you invite criticism and commentary. A degree of negative feedback is only to be expected. Still, it takes hundreds of people hundreds of hours to put together a single episode, and it takes one person five seconds to dismiss the whole thing with the stroke of a key. And sometimes that can seem a little unfair. But that’s the nature of the beast, isn’t it? It’s what we all signed up for.

Q. The cast of the show has changed throughout the show’s four seasons, how do you all keep up the chemistry between you all?
A. Yes, the cast has changed but the core has essentially remained the same. And those people are like family at this point. The chemistry is just there. I don’t have to think about Michael’s relationship with Mahone. I just get it. And when the writers flub a beat, when they miss an opportunity for some little nuance between our characters, we know right away. And sometimes – but not always – we get to fix it. And I think that’s about our skill as actors but it’s also about the fact that we’ve spent so much time walking this road together. Sarah and Dom and Wade and Amaury… We built this show, and it’s been clicking along ever since for four seasons. And that’s a really long time in this business. Which is why it can be so sad when one of us says good-bye. It feels like a real loss. One less person who remembers the things you do, one less person who was there when the whole thing began, who can remember a time before everything that came after.

Q. Do you have a really memorable moment from filming the show over four seasons?
A. I think one of them would have to be the day the producers came to the set in Dallas and told us we were shutting down because of the writers’ strike. A few people started crying. So much of this business – for all of us, not just the actors – is about waiting around for someone, usually someone you’ve never even met, to say, “okay, yes, now you can work.” And when they say “stop” you have to stop. And that can be a difficult pill to swallow. But at the same time, I think we all understood how important the issues were, what was really at stake during the strike. Personally speaking, the writers had my support, but I also felt for everyone who suffered during those long months off.

Q. Are you surprised about the longevity that the show has seen?
A. Yes and no. This business is a crapshoot. You never know what a TV audience is going to be in the mood for. At the same time, I’ve always thought we had a pretty smart formula. The show is specifically designed to keep you coming back week after week to see what happens next. What has surprised me is how many times people – journalists, specifically – have asked me some variation of that same question. “How long do think the show can go?” They’ve been asking that one since the pilot, and Dominic and I have actually decided we’re going to retire that question. Four seasons in, with millions of people all over the world enjoying our work week after week, we shouldn’t have to defend ourselves anymore. We shouldn’t have to justify our continued existence. Don’t like the show? Surprised we’re still on the air? Wondering how long we can stretch this sucker out? Too bad. Change the channel. No one’s going to stop you.

Q. How did you get involved in Wentworth Miller Fans For Charity and how can people become active participants in Wentworth Miller Fans For Charity?
A. I was invited to participate. Actually, initially I was also asked to choose the charity, but I declined. I don’t think it’s my place to dictate to the fans and I shouldn’t be telling strangers how to spend their money. So I let the organizers choose the charity and then pledged a donation to whatever cause they deemed worthy. In the end I thought the whole thing was handled beautifully. I was very proud that this was done in my name.

Q. There are many national and international fan sites dedicated to you, and to the show, how do you feel about having such a large fanbase?
A. Knowing I have fans around the world means everything. The entertainment business is a global enterprise, and more and more I feel like we’re starting to cater towards foreign markets. The idea of a movie only being judged on the merits of its domestic box office, or a TV show only being judged on the basis of how many U.S. fans are watching and buying DVDs, is a dated one. That said, with so many people in so many different countries trying to keep up with me and the show, I sometimes worry about how much gets lost in translation, especially when it comes to press. Let’s say I give an interview to a foreign magazine. Assuming the journalist isn’t one of the many, many journalists out there who don’t think twice about paraphrasing or making up quotes or even stealing quotes from other interviews – they’ll do their best to accurately translate everything I’ve said into their own language. But even with the best of intentions, mistakes will be made. Then that interview is published online, which is when it’s re-translated by all the fans who want to read and share what I’ve said in their own language. So in the end you wind up with an interview that’s been translated multiple times and a series of “quotes” that don’t even remotely resemble what I originally said. But some people take those quotes as gospel, and that can lead to misinformation and misunderstanding. At the same time, I don’t have the energy or the resources to police my representation in the media, so 9 times out of 10, I’m willing to let it all slide. Which is why I tell people if you don’t see me say it on camera, don’t believe I said it. You have to take everything you read with a grain of salt, especially in the entertainment business.

Q. Do you have vision for the end of the show that you’d like to see come to fruition and what would that vision be?
A. My personal favorite (and this would never happen) is that the show ends with a massive explosion – fireworks, car crashes, bombings, characters dying left and right. Just mayhem. And then the picture freezes and we suddenly rewind all the way back through the show, episodes and scenes flashing by, and then we finally come to a stop on Lincoln’s face the night he was supposed to go kill the Vice President’s brother (or whoever that guy was – it’s hard to remember now). And this time he chooses not to go. So he never goes to the parking garage, the Company never gets him on tape at the scene of the crime, he never goes to trial, never goes to prison and nobody has to suffer or die. He just walks away. And we never even see Michael. The last shot is just Lincoln disappearing around a corner, choosing a different road, making a different choice. I think that would be a really powerful way to end a show that, at its core, has always been about choices and consequences.

Q. Michael has many heroic attributes to his character, but with all heroes, there are also weaknesses and flaws. What do you think Michael’s flaws and weaknesses are?
A. I think you could argue that Michael’s strengths are his weaknesses, and visa versa. He’s loyal to a fault, committed to a fault, organized to a fault… Every single one of the seemingly positive attributes fueling his actions can and sometimes do push him right over the line, right into that shadowy place where you can’t tell him apart from the bad guys. But that’s what I like about him. That’s what makes him, for me, identifiable. He’s not interested in being a “hero” with a capital “h.” He’s not interested in anyone’s acceptance, approval or sweet understanding. He’s just doing what he feels he has to do, what he feels is necessary. And he’ll let the cards fall where they may.

Source: http://starrymag.com

  • Mary
    Posted on October 13, 2008

    OMG What a brilliant man.

    And haha Linc? He’d probably give up halfway through and head-smash someone out of frustration 🙂

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