September 29, 2014
IGN talks to Amy Acker about Person of Interest’s new season, hiding from Samaritan, flirting with Shaw, and being a badass.
Person of Interest kicked off its fourth season last week with “Panopticon” – where most of our heroes found themselves with new anonymous “hiding in plain sight” lives that came complete with day jobs. Except for Amy Acker’s Root, of course, who seemed to be gliding by on whatever aliases and identities that The Machine previously cooked up for her in seasons past.
I had a chance to talk to Acker about Season 4 and the new safety protocols now that the Samaritan AI rules the roost. Roots words may mean even more now than they ever did seeing as how Finch seems to have forsaken The Machine, and all machines, entirely. So I asked her about that, along with her “good pain” flirty relationship with Sarah Shahi’s Samine Shaw.
IGN: So does Root have a day job like the rest of them or what? It looks like she’s getting VIP treatment.
Amy Acker: Yeah, it’s true. Root is playing by a few different rules than the rest of them because she’s always had these different identities. And so I think as the season goes along we’ll get to see a lot of the ways she’s able to stay out of Samaritan’s eye. And some of the other things she has to do to keep off the radar.
IGN: Shaw working at a cosmetics counter seems like a bit of a practical joke pulled by Root. With help from The Machine.
Acker: [laughs] Yeah, to me I feel like it was. I mean they didn’t really write it that way, but in my mind I think The Machine and I were laughing together and thinking ‘Oh, this will be funny. Let’s have her do this.’ But I do like that Shaw has a normal job because when I come visit her she can’t run away. She has to sit there and talk to me.
IGN: Your scenes with Sarah Shahi are always so fun. You guys started out with extreme violence and now your relationship’s changed so much.
Acker: I love having scenes with Sarah. We have a lot of fun together. I mean, like you said, we started off with me torturing her with an iron but somehow that sort of kicked off this relationship with we have with one other. Where we think it’s fun to torture each other to threaten to inflict pain upon one another. I guess everyone has their own way of flirting. I just like that they let us toy around with each other. And, for Root, it’s almost her way of getting the upper hand on Shaw is that she knows how to push her buttons. And then she’s flirting with her. And then at some point it started to feel like they really cared about each other and are now going out of their way to make sure the other one is okay.
IGN: What can we expect from Root this season?
Acker: Well, that’s the fun part about Root. You never know what to expect. At least I feel that way with her. With these scripts I’ve gotten to do so many different things that I’m always sort of anticipating what’s coming up. But they keep us kind of as much in the dark as you guys are. So we’re usually barely ahead of you when it comes to finding out what comes next and waiting for the next crazy things they’ve written. But yeah, I think my main purpose, at least going into this season, is to just make sure that our team understands that there are new rules. And that now we can’t do things the way we did last year. And that if they want to keep worrying about the numbers then they have to be a little more careful. And also that they need to realize that ultimately our goal, our main purpose, still needs to be to fight for The Machine and to somehow keep trying to work against Samaritan.
IGN: Is Finch going to need an intervention? Because he doesn’t seem to want to work for any machine right now.
Acker: I feel like I gave him a pretty good talking to last week. At least I got him to sort of get up and start really paying attention. And then The Machine stepped in and showed him that she is really looking out for him and trying to help in any way that she can. I don’t think he’s a hundred percent on board yet as the ringleader, but he’s definitely getting there.
IGN: You’ve been on a lot of shows that have a passionate fanbase. What’s your experience been like with Person of Interest fans?
Acker: I always think it’s great to go to Comic-Con and interact with the crowds like that. When you’re on TV you don’t always get to see the people who watch the show and feel how they’re responding to it. It’s been fun to get to go and experience it with an audience and find out what people think. And now I think a lot of people who tend to be ‘superfans’ of shows are not as big of a fan of procedural shows. It’s funny how many people will now say, about Person of Interest, “I thought that was a procedural show and then I started watching it and it’s really not. It’s awesome and there’s all this mythology.” And I’m like “I know. Tell your friends!” So it just seems like people are getting more and more excited about it. And the writers keep giving us great stuff and adding layers to everything and bringing stuff back. And bringing great characters back like Elias. It’s been fun to see that people are as excited about watching it as we are about making it.
IGN: You’ve also gotten to do some really badass things on this show, like hold two guns and shoot enemies without even looking.
Acker: It is really so much fun. [laughs] I’m like “Can I do that part again? Where I don’t look but I shoot the guy?” And you know sometimes we’ll have new directors come in and they’ll be like “Well don’t you need to do it this way?” You know, because they haven’t gotten the whole backstory about the things I’ve done in the past. So one was like “I don’t know if she can have two guns” and I was like, “Of course she can have two guns. I’d love two guns!”
IGN: We didn’t see any of it in the premiere last week, but can we expect to see Root in action soon?
Acker: I think there’s some fun action coming up from Root, yes. I’m still trying to keep everybody laying low but it’s hard to stay out of trouble in this particular world.
Person of Interest airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c on CBS.