The TV Addict and Wentworth Miller in Los Angeles, August 2008
With the two-hour season premiere of PRISON BREAK premiering tonight, this TV Addict thought that this would be as good a time as any to run our exclusive interview with star Wentworth Miller who was kind enough to take some time out of his hectic schedule to sit down with me at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles.
So I couldn’t help but notice that once again PRISON BREAK seems to have re-invented itself.
Wentworth Miller: Yeah, one of the hallmarks of the show is that we’re not afraid to take what we already know works, clear it out and re-invent it season after season. Which is risky, but I think it’s paid off so far.
Does it make it easier as an actor knowing that every season is going to be completely different?
It does keep things more interesting than your average procedural drama where the only thing that changes episode after episode is how the victim died. As an actor, it gives you a new playground to play in, which is really fun.
Speaking of new playgrounds, are you happy to be back home shooting in Los Angeles?
I liked being in Dallas and I like being on the road. It was different and lent a certain environmental difference to the show. So many shows shoot in Los Angeles, it’s almost been shot to death. I think that shooting in Chicago [season one] and Dallas [seasons two and three] really gave the show a very different visual look. That said, it’s nice to crawl into your own bed at night and you can’t put a price on that. We’ve been on the road for the past three years and it’s nice to come home.
I imagine one of the negatives of Los Angeles is the price of fame with the Paparazzi seemingly everywhere. Do you think the invasion of privacy that comes with being a television star is a fair trade? Was it something you were prepared for when you signed up the show.
I don’t think it’s possible to prepare for something like what happened to me in the first season. Because the show kind of blew up and I had to learn a lot of things on the run. I spent four or five years in acting class. They’d talk about diplomacy, politics, they didn’t talk about public relations and the paparazzi, so all of that stuff was quite new to me. I’m still trying to figure out what it all means and how it all works. It’s an ongoing process and I think it’s a little different for TV versus feature films because when you do a movie, you shoot for a couple of months, do press and then it goes away. With TV, you shoot the show ten months out of the year and it’s an ongoing process. If I said yes to every request from the FOX PR department I’d be talking about the show 365 days a year all around the world. It’s a much more intense and concentrated experience.
Are you surprised by how well the show has translated across the globe?
It’s been incredible. In my opinion, the show is kind of a modest success in the States. We have a fiercely loyal audience but the numbers haven’t changed drastically from the first season. But overseas where PRISON BREAK is the number one selling DVD in Japan, 135 million people are downloading the show every week. Those are big numbers. It’s been surprising and gratifying to know that you’re part of a story that is crossing cultural barriers, linguistic barriers and touching people’s lives, entertaining them in some way shape or form all around the world.
I’m constantly amazed with the number of non-english speaking comments that are left on theTVaddict.com
The show’s appeal is universal and to know that you’re part of something like that is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s really gratifying.
Are you happy that Sara’s back?
I am. I love working with Sara. I think she adds something very unique to the show… like estrogen. I think she brings a side of Michael out that you don’t get to see when he’s facing off with say T-Bag. Mahone or what have you. And she’s a fan favorite and the fans made their opinions known post her departure. They were heard and respected and are a very part of this process. They are why we do what we do. I’m very glad the powers that be recognized the mistake had been made and did everything they could to bring her back.
Following tonight’s shocking turn of events on FOX [and GlobalTV in Canada], be sure to return to theTVaddict.com for a post-game wrap-up with Wentworth Miller.