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Starpulse Exclusive: 'Lost' Star Michael Emerson Talks About Jungle Creatures, Last Season's Finale (Part 2)

November 8th, 2007 8:00am EST
Michael EmersonIn part one of our interview with Lost star Michael Emerson, the man who plays the complex character Ben Linus explained that we can expect to see a lot of action, blood and violence in the upcoming season. Here he describes what it's like to work in the jungle and gives us one more tidbit about what we can expect next season.

How long does it take typically to shoot one episode?
It takes, I don't know, eight or nine business days. It's like shooting half of a feature film.

Are you there all day?
When you're called you are. The crew certainly is. We must have the hardest working crew in television. I can't think of another show that's out in the woods as much, I mean on location and shooting action they way we do on our show. It's not just at the hospital or law office. People are running through the jungle constantly with stuff blowing up and people hanging from trees and falling in caves and stuff like that.

Are there a lot of bugs?
There are. They have a really sneaky kind of mosquito here in Hawaii. The like of which I've never seen. You have the bite before you know they were there. They're really little and really sneaky. The bite is a little more painful than a mainland mosquito, I think. But no snakes. It's a snake-free zone.

While you're in the jungle are there any animals that interrupt or natural things that come into play when you're trying to shoot something?
Sure, there's all kind of wild beasts. There are birds. Sometimes we have to stop because a flock of 10,000 Myna birds alight in a tree where you're shooting. And they make a tremendous racket. The crew will go out and shoot blank guns in the air trying to scare them away, but it never seems to work really. There are places in the jungle where there are peacocks, and they make this tremendous screeching noise. One night we were working in the dark and there were wild pigs in the woods with us, rooting around and crashing around in the underbrush. There's never a dull moment.

You seem to have a great time doing this.
It's really memorable. I keep a little bit of a journal about what we're doing here because I don't want to forget all the crazy details of the things we've been doing here for the last year and a half.

It's so hard to wait so long for the show.
I'm sorry about that delay, and I hope the strike doesn't throw off the airing schedule. But at the very least we'll have six or seven that will be ready to go.

I'm going to try one more time to get a little more scoop from you for the next season ... can you reveal any tiny tidbit about what we can expect this season?
You can expect the return of a character that you thought was gone. (Editor's note: perhaps he's speaking of Michael played by Harold Perrineau? ABC has already confirmed he will be returning in the new season.)

I know you guys are pretty tight lipped on this stuff.
I don't know what sorts of tortures or penalties they would put me under if I revealed anything that was really a juicy spoiler. It used to be better because during a normal season we're only a week or two ahead of the air schedule. So I usually don't have any secrets to tell. Now that we're so many weeks ahead of the viewers I do actually have secrets in my head. But I won't give them to you, I tell you, I won't give them to you [laughs].

I used to read all the spoilers...I'd rather just be surprised on the screen when it comes up.
That's right because the surprise will come in a much better package that way.

Like the season finale with the future. I didn't know that was coming. I was psyched that I didn't read it online somewhere. I avoided it at all costs.
I was too. Maybe I'm dense, but I had absolutely no warning about that.

It's better that way, I think.
Matt (Fox) had been cagey on the set. You think something is up when your script is missing a couple of scenes when there's blank pages. I said, 'OK, what's this?' I said to Matt one night, 'So what's in the scene?' He said, 'It's something so great, I cannot tell you. But I'll tell you this. It has revived my faith in what this show is and what it can be.' And I thought, 'Oh, my God. What could it be?'

So only he and Evangeline knew at that point?
That's right. Only they were given those scripts.

Well I look forward to February.
I think it will be worth the wait.

READ PART ONE OF THE INTERVIEW

Interview by Noelle Talmon
Starpulse.com contributing writer