When talking to star Kevin Chapman about his role as Detective Lionel Fusco on PERSON OF INTEREST, one thing becomes quickly clear: he loves every second working on one of primetimes’ hottest new TV shows. Sharing what drew him to the show initially, Kevin did not hesitate to mention it was the high caliber of creators, writers and co-actors that made it so appealing for him. Truth be told, it has become a dream job for him and he feels excited each time he gets a new script. In fact, each episode reads like a page-turning mystery story and he is utterly thrilled to find himself right smack in the middle of it. To work on a show where there is this nearly omnipresent machine that generates numbers corresponding to a person whose life is on the line, is like working in the Land of Oz — and our heroes take turns being the man behind the curtain to save those people’s lives that have entered the cross-hairs of fate. PERSON OF INTEREST is a wonderful twist on the classic police procedure with an embedded fairytale element woven in.
As to the increasingly complex character of Detective Fusco, and what qualities he works to showcase in the character, Kevin emphasized that he strives to show “the truth.” He explained, “That’s what I bring to the character. I bring truth to him. I don’t try to play Lionel so that viewers at home would say, ‘oh come on, he wouldn’t do that!’ Whenever I deliver a line or whenever I make a motion or do anything as Lionel, I try to do it truthfully.”
Similarly, Kevin is no less delighted to find that his character Detective Fusco has taken such a 180-degree turnabout from being the lackadaisical cop “going with the flow” and who nearly killed Reese (Jim Caviezel) in the first episode. For, as viewers saw, Reese quickly turned the tables on Fusco and got him to fall in line with the new game plan in assisting Reese and Finch (Michael Emerson) in their quest to save people whose number is literally up. While Detective Fusco may not have been so eager to play “guardian angel,” things took yet another turn for the character once he realized that there was more at stake than just being Finch and Reese’s inside-man at the police precinct. In the episode when a young boy had been kidnapped that is when Fusco began to see that he was not just being forced to assist against his will, he wanted to help. He is a cop, after all, and that wake-up call made all the difference. So much so, that in a recent episode when Fusco had the chance to kill Reese, he did not even take the opportunity. At this point, Detective Fusco has become an integral part of the team and, for Kevin, it has made the role that much more interesting for him. He loves that Fusco has embraced his inner core strength of truth. No matter what dark places Fusco may have let himself slide into, he is now pursing a path of redemption and discovering who he really wants to be. So, for him and viewers alike, it has been fun watching Fusco go from corrupt cop to a sort of reluctant angel sort of role. For which, Kevin was quick to share kudos to the writers, “The writers are doing an incredible job!”
As for his renowned costars: Michael Emerson, Taraji Henson and Jim Caviezel, Kevin shared that it is an “eclectic” group, but also one that offers an abundance of talent. He is happy to be working with such strong actors and talented producers, directors and writers. He also gave props to creator Jonathan Nolan, who he candidly shared, “I think Jonathan is great. He is incredibly talented and bright. I think we’ve only seen the beginning of Jonathan Nolan. His ability to take a character in a direction that you never thought of — that you never viewed to go in that direction — but he is also is very open to collaboration as, so it’s exciting.”
As for the clever little Easter eggs that Jonathan is so fond of inserting into the episodes, Kevin said that he was not even aware of those hidden gems, but is not surprised that Jonathan is working his magic with those too. He then ruefully admitted, “I’m only one of four characters on the show, so if I’m not on set working Thursday nights, I’m watching the show with everybody else. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff going on that I’m not always are of because I’m only privy to my side.”
As for what has been the most fun for him to do on the show so far, Kevin thoughtfully said, “I think that is yet to come. I mean, every week is a surprise. I’m the kind of guy who likes to take the journey with his character. So for me, when I get a new script, it’s like Christmas. I can’t wait to get home and read it ’cause I’m so curious and so excited to see what Lionel’s going to do next: where’s he going? What’s going to happen to him? So I think for me that’s probably the most fun thing. It is seeing where the journey is going to take me.” So, for him, the best part is just “the experience of the journey.”
Finally, Kevin also revealed that in the most recent episode another fun change has entered Detective Fusco’s life. He gleefully shared, “Lionel gets a new partner!” As to how Fusco reacts to that, Kevin laughed and said, “He’s not a big fan, but he gets by.” It makes for a fun new relationship to explore and a chance to showoff more facets to a character that is becoming a fan-favorite. Everyone loves watching a fallen angel become a guardian angel and Detective Fusco is earning his wings!
To see more of Kevin as the detective-with-a-heart-of-gold on PERSON OF INTEREST, be sure to tune in for all new episodes after the New Year on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. on CBS. Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv
Tiffany Vogt is a contributing writer to TheTVAddict. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).