Pop Culture

Forget Big Brother, 'Person of Interest' cast is more worried about New Yorkers

Jeffrey R. Staab / CBS / Today
From left to right, James Caviezel stars as Reese, who is specially trained in covert operations, and Michael Emerson stars as Finch, the wealthy software genius who invented a program that can identify people about to be involved in violent crimes.

CBS' new drama "Person of Interest" may take a look at the government (and others) snooping on civilians to weed out terrorists, but it's not the everpresent surveillance (cameras on street corners, cell phones and more) that the cast is worried about. It's the civilians of New York, where the show is filmed.

When a reporter asked if the cast had noticed all the devices tracking their moves in the city, star Jim Caviezel said, "I’m less concerned about the cameras around the set when we’re filming. I’m more concerned about New Yorkers. When I’m beating up people in the middle of the street, a lot of the New Yorkers think, 'Well, look at that guy beating that guy up in the middle of the street.' Someone might actually come over and want to take a swing at me for doing it!" The actor plays an ex-CIA agent who tries to stop crimes that get past the government's system.

"It’s a problem when the cameras are too far away," said Michael Emerson, who plays tech billionaire Mr. Finch, the man who created the surveillance system. "The civilians on the street have no idea that there’s a fictional situation at hand, and so they may react unpredictably to moments of violence."

While having our every single move, conversation and e-mail tracked by the government does seem a bit creepy, Emerson's Mr. Finch and Caveizel's John Reese use it to prevent crimes the system has deemed unimportant.

The new "science fact" drama (as executive producer Jonathan Nolan called it) premieres Sept. 22 at 9 p.m.

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