PERSON OF INTEREST: Jim Caviezel Reflects on ‘Terra Incognita’
January 11, 2016 by Marisa Roffman
PERSON OF INTEREST fantastic fourth season (which is, finally, streaming on Netflix) dove deeper into the dueling artificial intelligences_, but one of the finest hours was decidedly human: “Terra Incognita,” as a dying Reese (Jim Caviezel) hallucinated a do-over with Carter (Taraji P. Henson).
“This felt like a great way to put those characters back together again, and get the opportunity for them to have a last goodbye, from their perspective,” PERSON OF INTEREST creator Jonathan Nolan said at the time.
Caviezel pointed to the hour as a particularly important one for Reese. “Last year, during the scene in the car with Carter where he doesn’t realize he has all these protective things around him — he was devastated by the loss,” he shared late last year on the set of the show’s upcoming fifth season. “He was in love with her. But because he’s so good — like special operators can do, they can separate heart and mind. They can compartmentalized so much that when he lost Carter, he never realized that he loved her. And very deeply. That loss, he’ll never get that back. In human behavior, he starts to play a new kind tape in his head, that this is what really happened, when it didn’t happen that way. Now, it gives him a purpose [going forward].”
The hour also posed a challenge for Caviezel as an actor. His first reaction when he got the script? “Fear. Tremendous fear,” he said. “Yes, I’m happy I have the script. But the anxiety is, ‘Can I pull this off? Can I do it?’ And I have to think, people who say they aren’t [afraid], I don’t know if they’re necessarily really good at their job. It should scare the hell out of you. And it did.”
But when it came time to film, “you forget [that], and you get it, and you work, and you mull it through,” he said. “And then you forget about everything. Because when you work with someone like Taraji Henson, she brings so much to it; spontaneity to it. Literally, I don’t have to remember anything, I’m just right there, from one moment to the next. She can make you laugh. She had a way with Carter — it just makes me sad she’s not on our show anymore.”
“That was so pleasurable; I prepare for the worst when I go and do these things,” he continued. “But she made it so easy. There was a lot of humor that wasn’t written on the page. Michael [Emerson (Finch)] does that all the time[, too]. Michael comes up with line reads I’m not expecting, but that’s when it’s really fun: when it’s not work. When you get to those moments when you’re working with some really top-notch, talented people. Some of the best in the world. I’m fortunate to have that.”
PERSON OF INTEREST returns to CBS in 2016.
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