Actor Michael Emerson has a talent for engaging binge-watching TV fans with his memorable characters. When I wrote this 2016 piece highlighting a few little known facts about Emerson, readers seemed anxious to get the scoop and they still are.
Person of Interest actor Michael Emerson just might be one of the most fascinating guys on television. His journey into show business hasn’t been a straight line and given that Emerson isn’t all over social media posting selfies, there’s that cool mystery guy thing going on as well. Below are 5 reasons why the Emmy Award-winning actor is a real person of interest.
It was a long and winding road to prime time for Michael Emerson.
Acting was Emerson’s first vocational choice. Until it became a financially feasible career option, he supported himself with odd jobs in retail, landscaping and house painting while doing community theater in his spare time.
Emerson once worked as a freelance illustrator.
Like many creative types, Emerson’s talent extends beyond acting. After college, while in New York City pursuing his acting career, Emerson took art classes at The New School and pursued work as a freelance illustrator for about 10 years. Acting was still his passion, but he admits that for him, rejection in the illustrating world was less painful. “It’s not really an easier racket than acting is,” Emerson says. “For some reason, I guess it had—the rejection of an illustrator’s life is less penetrating than the rejection of an actor’s life. So I was able to manage that. But all the while, I still nursed that old dream of being an actor…”
Emerson has believably portrayed a serial killer, a sociopath and a sensitive brainiac billionaire.
Not one to be typecast, the highly acclaimed actor has convincingly played memorable roles that are polar opposites. From The Practice’s serial killer William Hinks to Person of Interest’s life-saving billionaire Harold Finch, Emerson knows how to rock a role, then check it at the door and master the next fascinating one that comes his way.
“It’s a Freudian nightmare,” Emerson says about the couple’s Lost connection.
Unlike Harold Finch, Emerson is not computer savvy.
Emerson can talk a good game when it comes to tech, but the actor is clueless when it comes to conquering a virtual virus. “I’m the worst at a computer,” he says. “I need to ask my wife to help me solve really simple computer operations. I’m terrible with tech. But I’m good with jargon. I can sound like I know what I’m doing.”
Listen to the podcast interview.