Interview: WENTWORTH MILLER from PRISON BREAK (August 2008)

Prison Break - Wentworth Miller

Earlier this week, I took part in a conference call with Wentworth Miller to talk about Season 4 of PRISON BREAK, which is returning September 1 at 8pm for a 2-hour season premiere on Fox.

I have to admit, Wentworth Miller, is quite fun to talk to, he laughed a lot and gave quite a few insights into the new season.

Here are the highlights from the call:

– We all know by now that Sarah Wayne Callies is returning this Season, and Wentworth Miller is really happy about that, he mentioned that he felt her absence during last season.

– There were some rumors that when Prison Break would come to an end that Michael might die. And how does Wentworth Miller feel about it? Well, he would be okay with that, maybe it’s the price to be paid. The show has gotten to a point where it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys and he wonders if redemption is possible. Maybe Michael has to die.

– For this season of Prison Break, they are taking everything they know works and tossing it out. They are reinventing the show.

– Turns out his favorite seasons are 1 and 3, because he feels Michael works best behind bars as a character. Season 2 was his least favorite season. He felt like he was in the shotgun seat, Michael was more reactive than active.

– This season, it’s time to take on “the puppet master.” Michael and his “team” realize that they can’t flee anymore and they have to fight now.

– Here is an interesting fact, rumors of Sarah Wayne Callies’ return started during the strike.

– So how did the writers pull off Sara’s return? Well, they wrote it as plausible as possible (I wonder what that’s code for…). Wentworth Miller mentioned how Prison Break is sort of fantastic in its own way, so I guess we can deal with the fact that it wasn’t really Sara’s head in the box.

– Here is the good news about Sara’s return, they do not tease the audience with it, she will be back in the first episode.

– Here is a general fun fact: we saw Michael wear mostly long sleeve shirts last season and that was to cover the tattoos he is still supposed to have. Turns out there was one good thing about it, it made Wentworth Miller sweat a lot, which added to the realistic aspect of how hot it was supposed to be.

– In order to balance such an intense character, Wentworth Miller enjoys watching “The Office,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” and more comedies to relax.

– Although he enjoys playing such an intense character, he would like to maybe do a romantic comedy after Prison Break is done.(I’m totally there!)

– One of the new additions to the cast this season is Michael Rapaport who plays Don Self. He is sympathetic to Michael and Lincoln. He is Charlie to the Angels, but there is something off about him, which we learn more about as the season goes on.

– Question about his hairstyle: Well he actually already had his head shaved when he got the part. It was Dominic Purcell who had to shave his head to match Wentworth Miller’s.

– Can Michael be happy? Can he find redemption? According to Wentworth Miller, when Michael thought Sara was dead he crossed some lines (like arranging the death of an inmate). He is now a changed man and Sara doesn’t really recognize him. He will have to do something really extreme to make it even.

– After three seasons, the show has become a collaborative effort between the writers and the cast. Wentworth Miller sees the initial script as a blueprint for where to start from.

– What about the relationship between Michael and Lincoln? It has been sort of a push/pull between the characters. Michael first took on the role of big brother and then Lincoln became the big brother again. At this point in time, they are setting their mutual debts. Lincoln has a chance at a new life this season, but because of Michael’s sacrifice, Lincoln will follow him on his quest.

– There is a potential new love interest for Lincoln this season.

– Some of the other new characters this season include:

  • James Hiroyuki Liao as Roland – He is part of the “A-Team”
  • Cress Williams as Wyatt – He is an assassin who is tracking Michael, Lincoln, Sara, and Mahone.

– Mahone and Michael will resolve their issue. Mahone is sort of the latest father figure for Michael (even though he might not realize it). He is also a reflection of what Michael could become: a good guy who turned bad.

– Everybody is meeting in LA (that includes Sucre and T-Bag). They are changing the playing field this season. They are shooting in Downtown Los Angeles a lot. Although there is one episode that was shot in Las Vegas.

– Wentworth Miller said it’s like “6-7 Alpha boys in a cage fighting, but they have to work together to get out.”

– If Wentworth Miller could bring back one character, it would be Agent Kellerman (Paul Adelstein) because he is the symbolic of a character that works best in the show. It’s not black and white, but gray.

– After being with the character for so long, Wentworth Miller is used to a lot of his ways to the point that he doesn’t need to do as much homework. For example, he mentioned that he knows his relationship with T-Bag so well, that all it takes is for him to stand in front of Robert Knepper and he gets it.

– So is Prison Break coming to an end? Well, they can’t run forever, and this season may be one of the final laps. You need to know when to end it. Wentworth Miller pointed out that they have killed so many people, but yet they are still running with T-Bag. When is enough, enough? “It really makes my character look bad (laughs).”

– Finally, when speaking of whether Prison Break has jumped the shark Wentworth Miller said: “I think we’re inventing new sharks.”

So there you have it. Now all you need to do is tune in on September 1st at 8pm for the return of Prison Break on Fox.