Exclusive Interview with Kevin Chapman From 'Person of Interest'

Cinema Static's Interview with Kevin Chapman:

Person of Interest is about a man named
Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) who invented a machine that can track people and determine when a crime will occur.  Finch employs an ex-CIA agent, John Reese (Jim Caviezel), to carry out most of the physical labor involved in preventing these crimes.  While Finch and Reese do their thing, they catch the attention of Detectives Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman) & Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson).

(Taraji P. Henson and Kevin Chapman in Person of Interest)

If you've been following Person of Interest, you know how the Detectives are doing in regards to their case regarding Finch and Reese.  (I am not spoiling it for anyone who is planning on watching it on DVD later or who may have serious time-shifted DVR sessions planned.)

Also, if you've been following the show, you know that it just won a 2011 People's Choice Award for Favorite New Drama.  Congrats to the cast & crew on that one!


Interview with Kevin Chapman

Kevin has a great developing career in the entertainment industry.  He’s been a part of 20+ TV projects and roles in close to 30 different movies.
I asked Kevin about Detective Fusco’s initial unwillingness being a helper in the scheme of things, and where that might go.  He confirmed that
Initially Fusco was unwilling in the beginning, but as time progressed he saw the good that Finch and Reese were doing and Lionel becomes a willing participant.
I asked how he likes working with other primary cast members and if he had any juicy cast gossip.  I could not pry any inside scoops out of Kevin, but he made note that both Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel are great to work with and that he previously worked with Jim Caviezel on the 2006 movie, Unknown.

This is the first project he’s worked on with Emerson.  He doesn’t spend an inordinate amount of time shooting with the leads, but he does spend a lot of time on set with Taraji P. Henson, who plays Det. Carter.  Believe it or not, underneath that serious looking facade we see in Detective Carter, Kevin said,
She is really an actress with a bubbly personality.  I like to make her laugh because she has an infectious laugh.
Who’d a thunk!?

Hollywood TV Insider’s Tidbit:

I had taken note that there are different directors for the series, which is different from the movie world.  Kevin enlightened me that in the process of TV,
Directors call the shots but it’s the producers that bring the overall vision that spans the entire season of a show.
Jonathan Nolan is credited with creating the premise of Person of Interest and J.J. Abrams, the executive producer of the series.  I asked Kevin if he see’s these two often…
We don’t see J.J. Abrams that much, being as how busy the man can be.  (Cinema Static note: Production of the Star Trek sequel recently kicked it in gear)  But Jonathan Nolan comes by the set quite often.
Kevin pointed out that Craig Plageman (Cold Case, Law & Order) is the showrunner.

A Little Bit About Kevin Chapman

His first movie project was the 1998 movie, Monument Ave (directed by Ted Demme) and in that same year, he shot the TV movie Vig, directed by the late Graham Theakston.
During our conversation, Kevin confirmed,
I had this classic, fairy tale discovery that we all dream about.  I was running the City of Boston Film Office when I met director Ted Demme.  Demme stared at me for a bit and then asked,
Can you act?
Kevin replied,
I think I’m intelligent enough to.
Demme had him do a quick script read & the rest is history so to speak.
After being bitten by the acting bug Kevin said,
I started looking around and auditioning  and ended up resigning from the Boston Film Office in 2000 and moved to Los Angeles.  I started studying the art of acting because I realized that raw talent alone can only get you so far and I needed to hone my skills in the art to be able to give more to my characters.
He presently has residences in Massachusetts, New York and Los Angeles.  His NY residence is for filming Person of Interest.  He’s married, with 2 children.

Kevin was in the Peabody Award winning TV series Brotherhood.  It showed on Showtime for 3 seasons and he calls it
One of the best unwatched shows on television.
He felt that the reason it didn’t last longer then three seasons was due being aired during the summer time-frame, when folks are on vacations and such.
Of Kevin’s many guest appearances that he’s done, he said that his favorite guest spot was,
My multi-episodic guest arc on Rescue Me.  Denis Leary, knowing I could be funny (they met previously), took a chance and cast me in the Rescue Me (7-episode) guest spot.
At the time of the interview, I had asked Kevin if he had heard anything from CBS on a series renewal for a 2nd season?
What do I know?  I wear makeup for a living.”  (So much for that attempt at another scoop!)
But as we all know, CBS did renew the show for a second season by now.

An Inside Perspective on Acting

He had mentioned how his wife gets to see the show before he does because of his crazy production schedule.  It got me wondering about how different the final product is versus being there and actually making the episode.  Kevin’s reply was rather insightful, stating that,
A show is different to watch than when you’re filming something…  That’s due to the multiple takes with multiple angles that we do on the set.  What’s different is then seeing what was edited and what makes it to the final cut that airs.
As Kevin put it,
The magic is in the edit.
I thought that was an interesting insider perspective on the production process.

Kevin doesn’t have any upcoming projects since he’s pretty busy with Person of Interest and is very focused on it.  As he put it,
To be honest, I want to give the best I can to my character, and give the audience what they expect.  I wouldn’t want to do anything else while working on a hit TV series.
I kept trying to dig for some scoop and asked if he had any good teaser intel for Person of Interest?  He said,
I get in too much trouble giving out things I’m not supposed to.
He added that if he did, Jonathan Nolan (who’s a big guy) said he would
..come to his house and hold him down while J.J. Abrams would beat him with a blunt object.
Yea… OK… there’s some subtle incentive for not passing out scoops!  LOL.  Besides, I’m not going to mess with a man that looks like, well, he ain’t gonna be messed with!

My Rocking Chair Question

In all my interviews, I ask my interview-ending Rocking Chair question…  I asked him to imagine him sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, his life is behind him, he’s retired and life is good.  What would he reflect on during this idyllic moment.
Kevin said that
I got to do something that not a lot of people get the opportunity to do.  I got to work with some amazing people and got paid for it.  I count myself very lucky, that in the most competitive job in the world, I get asked to portray a character for TV and movie fans alike.”
You can follow Kevin on Twitter at ( https://twitter.com/POIFUSCO ).  Person of Interest airs on Thursdays, at 9 P.M..  I also want to toss out a big thank you to Kevin Chapman for taking a few minutes from his busy day to chat with me and to Wendy for making this possible! 

And thank you to you, for coming by and checking out my interview with Kevin!
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