PERSON OF INTEREST: Kevin Chapman on Filming Reese and Fusco's Rain-Soaked Fight Scene, Losing Carter, and What's to Come - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

PERSON OF INTEREST: Kevin Chapman on Filming Reese and Fusco’s Rain-Soaked Fight Scene, Losing Carter, and What’s to Come

January 6, 2014 by  


PERSON OF INTEREST ended 2013 on a high note: the series killed off one of its regulars, which, yes, brought heartache, but the move/risk also allowed the cast and writers to shine in a major way. (And the run helped cement its spot as one of the best shows currently on television.)

To get a little bit more insight about what’s to come, I talked with Kevin Chapman (Fusco) about Samaritan, Reese and Fusco’s huge fight, grieving Carter (and missing Taraji P. Henson on set), and more…

What can you tease about what’s in store for PERSON OF INTEREST in 2014?
Kevin Chapman: Well, if you saw the last episode, there was some talk about this new program, Samaritan, which I am sure is something we’re going to explore. And the fact that Carter is now gone, she was an important member of the precinct. There’s a lot of the old cops coming out and the new cops coming in, and they’re all looking to Fusco for guidance, which is something that is totally foreign to him.

Will the Samaritan project — and its ominous “unknown” status that was teased  — be something the show focuses on heavily in the early weeks of 2014, or is it going to be a slower reveal throughout the rest of the season?
KC: To be completely honest with you, Marisa, I really don’t know. Being on the show now for two-and-a-half years, there are certain words you hear that you know you’re going to explore that a little more extensively… [the] machine or an AI…that itself, we’ll probably explore more of in the show, but I’m very curious to see where that goes.

Completely fair. Fusco’s relationship with Reese has always been complex, but in the last episode, they literally came to blows. First off, how was that for you and Jim Caviezel (Reese) to film?
KC: That was crazy! We had a rain machine that was dumping down gallons and gallons of water on us. We had two stunt doubles who did basically the body slam and they did Fusco being thrown into the keg barrels, but everything else was Jim and I.

It was cold, it was wet, and it was just a crazy time. [Laughs] So it’s funny, I picked Jim up at one point and lifted him over my head like I was going to body slam him, and I thought the producers were going to have a heart attack with their screaming [protestations as we filmed]. And I was like, “Don’t worry, fellas, I’m not going to drop him.” [Laughs] That was an insane night. I was wrecked beyond wrecked. We both had wetsuits on underneath our clothing, and our wetsuits were wet, to give you an idea of how much water was being dumped on us. Cinematically, I thought it looked fantastic.

Oh, it was absolutely gorgeous.
KC: What was funny, is I remember getting a call from one of our producers…and he was like, “You read the script?” And I was like, “Yeah.” And he was like, “That fight scene with Reese and Fusco?” And I was like, “Yeah, it’s going to be great.” And he was like, “I got a favor to ask.” And I was like, “What’s up?” And he was like, “Would you mind if we do it in the rain?” And I was like, “In the third week of November?” But it all worked out. It was great.

After that fight, have they reached a new place in their relationship? Or are Fusco and Reese feeling their way around where they stand, especially as they deal with their grief over losing Carter?
KC: I think what’s been great with Fusco is that he’s really showing that redemption is possible in a world full of corruption. I think that everyone being freaked out and pissed off that Carter is dead, I think that will subside to some degree, and I think eventually it will be back to business as usual. I think the scene with Fusco and Reese at the bar was something that kind of took their relationship to another place.

And it was really special to see Fusco telling Reese that he was a guy who did things he wasn’t proud of and then some people came into his life and helped him, and Fusco told Reese that Reese helped him the same way Carter did; Reese had just a big a place in his life that Carter did, and we’ve lost her, and now [Fusco] can’t lose [Reese] as well. And I thought that was the subtext of that whole scene. And when he realized he couldn’t get through to him, when he realized that Reese was still riddled with anger, the only thing he knew to do was take him outside, and I’ll be the punching bag [so Reese can get his anger out], but when it’s all said and done, it’ll be all business as usual.

It was a really interesting choice on the writers’ part to see that evolve and have the [idea] to put it on the page. That in its own way is going to evolve back to business as usual eventually…there’s an underlying love there, but I don’t know if there’s an underlying mutual respect there. I don’t know if there ever will be. Because Reese’s idea is that Fusco was compromised. And you never trust anyone who has been compromised. So I don’t know if he’ll ever really trust him 100%. It’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds.

The team members lost Carter, but you guys as actors also lost Taraji on set, too. How has it been without her there filming with you?
KC: For me, it was probably the biggest blow, because her and I, we hung out. We went to basketball games together, we did dinners, we always hung out. We’re both are silly and like to laugh, so I miss working with her already.

[In the past] it was Michael [Emerson (Finch)] and Jim and the library crew, and it was us in the precinct. It was almost as if we had two separate sets running. It’ll be interesting to see how that all shakes out: whether they bring someone else in to the precinct, because it seems like the library now has Michael, and Jim, and Sarah [Shahi (Shaw)], and Amy Acker (Root). And Fusco’s in the 8th, by himself. So it’ll be fun to see how that unfolds from the writing staff.

They have us fleshed out for the season, but I don’t know what it is. I pitched the idea of seeing Fusco’s ex-wife. We’ve seen my son, but we haven’t actually seen my ex-wife. So I pitched the idea where my ex-wife is in trouble and Fusco has to reluctantly help her, and they’re like, “That’s great, but we just don’t have time this year.” I’m sure [executive producer] Jonah [Nolan] has it all mapped out the way he wants it to go. So we’ll see how it unfolds.

There was an interesting dynamic between Fusco and Shaw in “The Crossing.” Has that been explored further, or are you still waiting to get more of that?
KC: It’s on the back burner. I think it’s going to be one of those relationships that when it comes around, the sense of depth will be there, especially on Fusco’s side, anyway. This is a woman who saved the life of his child.

I think that’s such a great moment when Shaw says [in “The Crossing”], “Fusco, he’s OK, but I couldn’t be there for you.” And Fusco says, “You did good.” That, in the moment, and when Fusco drops off his son and Shaw jumps in the back seat [of the car] and she starts giving Fusco a hard time, and he looks at her and says, “Thank you. No, really, thank you.” — those are my two favorite moments so far working with Fusco and Shaw.

PERSON OF INTEREST returns with new episode on Tuesday, January 7th at 10 PM on CBS.


PERSON OF INTEREST Video: The Cast and Producers React to the Filming of ‘The Crossing’
PERSON OF INTEREST: Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman Talk the Carter Twist in ‘The Crossing’ and What Comes Next
PERSON OF INTEREST: The Cast and Producers Tease ‘The Crossing’

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2 Responses to “PERSON OF INTEREST: Kevin Chapman on Filming Reese and Fusco’s Rain-Soaked Fight Scene, Losing Carter, and What’s to Come”

  1. Ghost on January 7th, 2014 12:13 pm

    Love Kevin Chapman and the deep humanity of Fusco. But in my view Fusco was definitely expendable and redundant while Carter was the beating heart of the show and indispensable. Choosing to eliminate Carter was a creative mistake of the highest order because so many intriguing story lines were buried with her: Elias and her ascendant mob connections, Reese’s struggle to rediscover his damaged humanity, her skepticism about the dangerous invasive powers of the machine, her prickly friendship with Finch, even Carter’s budding alliance with Shaw.

  2. Me Myself And I on January 7th, 2014 8:30 pm

    That pisses me off when people say that Fusco should’ve been the one to die. It would have been traumatic for ANY of the Fab Four to die, not just Carter. It seems to me that Taraji’s fans need to get over the fact that she never intended to stay for several years on POI (she said that to Letterman). She only wanted to do a few years so she could go back to doing movies. There are plenty of other storylines to follow, and while I agree Carters death sucked, not all the storylines revolve around her.