Actor Michael Emerson says he was thrilled, but somewhat taken aback to be nominated for another Emmy as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as creepy Ben Linus in ABC’s Lost.
“It is exciting, I was surprised. I thought they may have moved on to newer fresher looks. I am flattered someone is still looking at our show,” Emerson told RadarOnline.com in an exclusive phone interview Thursday morning.
Emerson learned about the Emmy nod when his agent called him Thursday in New York and woke him up.
This is actually the third time Emerson has been nominated for an Emmy for his role in Lost. He hasn’t won for Lost, but in 2001, Emerson did snag an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for playing William Hinks on ABC’s The Practice.
He says he’s also thrilled that the show was nominated for Best Drama Series.
We asked Michael how a good kid from Iowa can play such a creepy character like Ben. Do they have anything in common? Said Emerson: “I supposed over time, the more I play him, the more he is kindred to me. I won’t say I’m like him, but I guess I spent so much time playing him. It’s a little more obvious. He’s a good listener, and has a dry sense of humor. He doesn’t make rash decisions, so we have a number of things in common.”
Emerson has a history of playing dangerous or damaged characters, and he says he usually gets a bizarre reaction when fans recognize him on the street.
“They express shock or fear or intimidation, but also really delighted to run into me. They have mixed emotions, kind of a happy terror. They tend to be very formal with me, and not over familiar.”
Emerson — who lives in Hawaii eight months a year while shooting Lost — calls the eventual end of the series a “bittersweet affair.” He adds: “It will be sad to leave a part that is such a good fit to me, a part that brings such attention. It will be nice to take up residence in North America and be closer to friends and loved ones.”
At the top of that “loved one” list: Emerson’s actress/wife Carrie Preston, who has appeared on Lost and now stars on HBO’s True Blood.
As for the most common question he gets asked by fans? The answer may not surprise you. Emerson says: “They think I know how its going to end. I don’t know and I am glad I don’t know.”
So what’s next for the seasoned actor, who has appeared both on stage and screen? “It would be nice if there was a good play. I honestly don’t know what will happen. I will be looking to have a change of pace.”