*Taraji P. Henson says the subject matter of her new CBS drama “Person of Interest” is a bit unsettling and has made her side-eye the reach of her own electronic gadgets.
While Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel play a billionaire technology wizard and ex-CIA operative respectively who team to stop murders before they can happen, the Emmy and Oscar-nominated actress – who turned 41 on Sept. 11, plays an NYPD detective trying to solve crimes the old fashioned way.
“There are police officers that can be quite cynical because they see enough dead bodies in a day, and you gotta laugh to keep from crying. Well she’s more of a caring police officer,” Taraji said of her character Detective Carter during interviews for the series last month. “Not that all police officers don’t care. But she won’t crack the joke. She gets a little more emotionally involved with some of the people that she interacts with.”
In the pilot, airing Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBS, Carter – an Iraq war vet, is hot on the trail of a suspect whom she has pegged as ex-military. “She identifies with that, and that’s what drives her to find out who this guy is,” Henson said.
While the series is written as a traditional crime drama, the technology used by Emerson and Caviezel to identify persons of interest is all real – from surveillance cameras that now occupy street corners in major cities, to smart phones and tablets with GPS trackers noting your location at all times, to government-run satellites that can listen in on your phone conversations.
It’s this aspect of the show, says Henson, that can be rattle the nerves. Below, the actress recalls an uncomfortable technological momnt involving the camera on her iPad.