From Nov 2013 – These talented actors from Person Of Interest sat down at my NYCC Roundtable and gave us the news on this new season.
What about shooting in New York City ?
Kevin Chapman: One of my stories and I may have told this at the event, was that Fusco and Reese having a private conversation in a public place. We were approximately six inches from each other.We had two camera going, sixty five crew members, a little old lady walked between the two of us and hit on the elbow on the way by as if I were in her way and kept right on walking.That was in season one.That was one of the first times we were out in the streets of New York, so it was kind of, “Ok.This is what we’re up against.” Jim Caviezel: A lot of times the cameras are hidden.They’ll be across the street.I remember I had my trench coat on, a person came over and completely blocked the camera and said, “I love your show” while I’m on the phone with Finch.So I said, “Hey turn around.You’re on Candid Camera.”
Jim Caviezel: I was mentioning to Greg Plageman, our Executive Producer that Reese is like Darth Vader maybe because he becomes good.Maybe Reese is similar to that character, very dark.
Tony Tellado: Where do you think Fusco is this year ? He’s under the cloud of HR whom he defied.
Kevin Chapman: Fusco is swimming in a tank full of HR. Carter has been sent out to become a patrolman once again.She’s been demoted.Fusco knows that Carter is out for revenge.She’s seeking revenge for the loss of her boyfriend.The dynamic has definitely changed.I think Fusco has a level of unpaid gratitude to Carter for her support at the end of season two when things got real dark for Fusco.You weren’t quite sure your were going to make it through the other side.The thing that Fusco is looking to do is to be a friend and be a supporter to her knowing that HR is now in business with the Russians.He wants to help her in this task but also prevent her from getting them both hung.
Tony Tellado: For John, there’s a new team member but the machine is all over the place.Finch and him are not sure what to do.
Jim Caviezel: John is in the people saving business.If the number comes up and he’s has to do some killing, he’ll take care of that.The victim or perp, who ever the bully is, he’s a bully killer.The machine can go wrong.There’s common ground there so could Reese.He shoots people in the knee and pops them in the arm, things like that.Because he can.He can go off too.
What about the logistics of shooting in New York City ?
Kevin Chapman: It all depends on what’s being shot that day. Production may be there but we might be on a day off or we may be on a splinter unit or we maybe doing inserts.
Jim Caviezel: We’re working nights. I worked all week.
Kevin Chapman: I was at the studio on Thursday and Friday.
Jim Caviezel: I shooting two episodes, one then another.
Kevin Chapman: Our production is a nine day period.Nine work days per episode.Usually on the ninth day, it’s a tandem unit.So we’re finishing the last day of say, episode one and starting the first day of episode two.On that ninth day, there’s always a double unit going.Sometimes you’ll shoot two scenes in the first unit then have a hour break. Then you’ll have to re-costume and go completely across town to the other unit and shoot two scenes there.It depends on what’s happening. It’s very challenging shooting in New York, it really is.It so vibrant. New York is really a character in the piece. I don’t really know if Person Of Interest has the same level of success in any place but New York.As a city New York is so transient. People are constantly coming and going from all walks of life.
Jim Caviezel: Different languages. Different cultures.
Kevin Chapman: It gives the writing staff such a broad canvas to paint with.
Jim Caviezel: Just in the span of five minutes standing in the street, ten different languages are spoken.
What was the most interesting place you shot in New York ?
Kevin Chapman: That old boat receiving facility where everyone was supposed to go before the Titanic capsized. We shot at kind of a receiving hall where the ships would come in and everyone would kind of grab their bags like a boat terminal.That was the terminal where all the people in the Titanic were supposed to go there to get their bags. That was cool. It has since closed down and primarily used for filming purposes.Little pieces of history like that are pretty cool places.
What about using the flashbacks to give insight to the characters ?
Jim Caviezel: I love it. More turns.More letters in the alphabet.There’s much more dimensions.I go back to Momento.Jonathan and his brother, Christopher have an element of bringing something alive with cinematic quality to it.Plageman said that Jonathan had never done this before.He set the bar so high but he brought me in and I was used to it, all of that extra work.In order to get that you have to have multiple stories.Be able to go left right and avoid being predictable.The backstories are fascinating. My relationship with Fusco. Reading the script, Jonathan talked about a CIA operative, are they into sex, drugs or power ? What is their thing ? Can you buy them ? if you can buy them, then you have to dispose of them.Because you cannot trust them.So Fusco is buyable. There are things about Fusco that he really likes. But what has kept John alive is that his glass is half empty approach with human beings.
Tony Tellado: How has it been establish this relationship with Finch. That must have been fun to play to where you started to where you are now.
Jim Caviezel: It was really interesting on the day I got to meet Michael Emerson.The opening sequence when we’re walking down a dark alley.We’re turning to each other in a silhouette shot . We’re literally walking down the street getting to know each other.He’s a fascinating man. I never watched Lost.I was always working shooting.That was one of the first conversations we had getting to know each other.You couldn’t find two guys more left than right.
Kevin Chapman: I think that’s one of the things that makes the cast so interesting. If you line up each of the cast members shoulder to shoulder , there are no two cast members alike.Everyone brings their own little dynamic.Fusco gives it a sense of gravity. It grounds the entire piece for that character because you have this CIA Operative, this billionaire, you don’t really know how much money he has. You have this cop that has a military background but you’re not really sure what her military background is.These are characters that could easily take flight in a place of disbelief.Then you see this shlep of a cop and you say, “I see that.” It brings the piece to a place of levelness.
Tony Tellado: I loved his redemption
Kevin Chapman: It’s great.One of my favorite scenes in the series so far is the pilot where Fusco and Reese first meet in the car. Fusco is taking him to Oyster Bay to kill them and they’re laughing. Fusco thinks he’s going to kill him and Reese is going, “You have no idea what’s in store for you.” That whole conversation is great. You’re talking about a whole bunch of characters that everyone in the cast has trust issues.It kind of all mashes together and it all works.
Special thanks to CBS, Warner Bros and New York Comic Con