paul t. scheuring

EXCLUSIVE: 'Prison Break' Boss on Michael's Emotional Breakdown: 'He Was Carrying Too Much Pain Inside'

Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Tuesday’s episode of Prison Break.

How is Michael Scofield going to get out of this?

On Tuesday’s episode of Prison Break, Michael’s (Wentworth Miller) plan to break out of the Yemeni prison goes horribly wrong and ends the life of one of his cellmates as a fatal consequence. Thrown into solitary confinement as punishment, Michael unsuccessfully tries to send one last video message to Sara Tancredi-Scofield (Sarah Wayne Callies), explaining why he faked his own death and the reason his new moniker, Kaniel Outis, isn’t who he wants to be remembered as if he dies. “This whole lie, it was all for you,” Michael tearfully concedes, all hope lost.

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“One thing that Wentworth really brought to it this season was the stoic veneer that Scofield had so often had in the previous four seasons – he was carrying too much pain inside, too much baggage this season to be able to hold it all in,” creator Paul T. Scheuring exclusively tells ET of Michael’s heartbreaking confession, confirming that the video message failed to reach Sara because the phone battery died.

Scheuring hints that this is just “one example” viewers will see of this season of Michael’s vulnerable state of mind.

“He’s very emotional this season, and occasionally, verging on madness,” he says. “You can tell percolating within that the guy’s just got all sorts of pain and confusion and guilt. It really comes to surface a number of times this season and that’s a real testament to Wentworth knowing the character and wanting to go there.”

The unsuccessful prison escape takes a toll on Michael in the next episode, as he has a new “sense of desperation.”

RELATED: 'Prison Break’ Sneak Peek! Sara Gets a Secret Message From Michael

“We wanted to create a ticking clock,” Scheuring says. “At once, you have to get out of prison, but you better do it fast because the radicals are coming and they’re going to take over the country and they’re going to butcher you if you’re still in this prison. And so, you’ve got the devil on your heels and if you don’t get out, you’re basically dead. We wanted to set that up early because I didn’t want the entire season to be about breaking out of prison.”

“You don’t want to make the prison easy to get out of, otherwise a show named Prison Break is dispiriting because you’re like, 'Well that place was a paper basket and you guys just carved your way right out of it,’” he adds. “The prison had to punch them in the mouth at least once, and I think they get punched in the mouth pretty badly.”

While Michael continues to toil behind bars, his brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), saves local Yemeni fixer and activist, Sheba, from being raped by “bad guy” Cyclops, a man she’s known with since childhood, during an intense interrogation scene.


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“I really think in Inbar Lavi, we got a super actress and she was willing to go there,” Scheuring says. “She has this foiled fury beneath her beautiful veneer and when you see that sequence, you’re like, 'I get it.’”

“We wanted to make in the Cyclops character a bad guy, but on some level, an understandable bad guy, which is, he’s the meek one that no one’s ever respected. The woman that he loved didn’t love [him]; his fellow ISIS rebels don’t respect him, and that frustration is bubbling over. It’s coming from a very human place,” he continues. “Hopefully, we told a good enough story as writers, but the director and the actors really brought it home.”

Lavi opened up about filming the scene, which she says she spent a full day working on, calling the entire experience “challenging.”

“The reason that scene is so powerful is because it’s uncomfortable,” the 30-year-old actress exclusively tells ET. “Physically, I felt like my body was taking a real beating and what was interesting was I wasn’t even focused on the physicality, I was emotionally drained. For me, the most important thing when I film such a pivotal scene like that is to be as truthful and as honest as I can be. Unfortunately, we live in a world where that happens; it happens a lot. It was a very difficult scene and it’s such a sensitive topic. As hard as that scene was, I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to actually be in that situation. I feel very responsible to be able to portray that in the most honest and truthful way. I can only hope that we did a fair enough job.”

RELATED: Lincoln Visits Michael’s Grave in 'Prison Break’ Premiere Sneak Peek

Lincoln and Sheba’s connection, initially borne out of necessity, becomes something greater as the season progresses. Lavi was coy (“I can’t say much about it”) on romantic prospects, though she was open about their burgeoning partnership.

“They have a lot in common,” she says. “Sheba and Lincoln are in a place in their lives where they act a lot out of defense. They’re defending themselves, they’re defending others. They protect their community, their people, [and] their families. It can be exhausting and they can relate to each other on that. They also have a lot of shields put up. There’s a safe place for them when they’re with each other where they don’t have to do that.”

Scheuring echoes Lavi’s sentiments, agreeing that a romance is “out of mind for them” at the moment.

“If you put a lead actress and a lead actor onscreen together for a while and you put them in a crucible, they tend to start bonding,” he says. “We want that, but we also don’t want it to be absurd because these people come from very different cultures and they have very specific agendas with their families. It’s not like they can just run off and hop in the sack, and we can spend 10 pages with them dancing the Macarena in Ibiza.”

“It has to be this very chaste, very frustrated, very minimalist respect and growing emotional relationship that you can see it in them,” Scheuring notes. “In another time and place, it would be much easier, but there’s not a lot of whole lot of time for it here. We’re hoping to do a nuanced version of it, but clearly, they’re interested in each other.”

Prison Break airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.

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anonymous asked:

Paul T. Scheuring "re-scouting" Joliet doesn't necessarily mean that he's thinking season six. He's probably working a new project. Why would he need to go back and scout a place for a project he's already done for the exact same project? He knows the place already. He's probably just gone back to see it with new eyes for a new project.

you’re right. just because he said he was re-scouting joliet doesn’t mean he’s thinking season six. like i said when i originally posted about this, there’s every possibility he was on a road trip, decided to stop by joliet, and he’s fucking around with all of us. however, i find that very, very unlikely, and i have a laundry list of reasons why. want me to lay it out for you? here goes.

first of all, season five of prison break ended with two characters back at fox river. and while they were able to (poorly) get away with recreating the interior of fox river in vancouver, if they were going to come back with a full fledged season six, they’d need the exterior. they would need to go back on the yard, they would need that location again. and, given that joliet prison caught on fire the week of the season five finale and burned for several hours it makes sense that, if season six is something he’s thinking about, he would need to stop by, even though he knows the location, to see if it was still useable in a way they’d need for the show. 

also, the last time they were there filming was more than ten years ago. even without the fire, buildings age and deteriorate, especially abandoned ones. i live in the area where they filmed season two of prison break, and i drive by several of the locations used on a daily basis, and some of them are almost unrecognizable today. one location that was used as a donut shop back in 2006 is a barbecue restaurant in 2017. time changes things. what was familiar a decade ago might not be so familiar today. a revisit makes sense, especially when that location would likely be vitally important for a season six.

now, if this had been the only thing paul scheuring had posted in reference to a potential season six, maybe i wouldn’t feel so strongly that a season six was on the horizon. hell, wentworth even posted on his instagram, back when he had one, a picture of him outside the joliet prison. but let’s look at some things paul scheuring has said to fans on twitter:

so CLEARLY, clearly, this man is thinking about season six. he’s thinking about revisiting ja (okay cool), giving michael and sara another kid (no no nO NO I DON’T WANT ANOTHER BOY AND THEY’LL GIVE THEM ANOTHER BOY TO HAVE ANOTHER GENERATION OF BROTHERS I KNOW IT AND I DON’T WANT IT THEY NEED A GIRL), and… potentially sending michael or someone to siberia? making michael go to siberia to save someone? and i’m just… leave the scofields alone. let them have the peace they’ve rightfully earned. let michael be with his family. 

combine all of this with some things dominic purcell has said on instagram (i can’t post screenshots because he’s notorious for posting/deleting, but he’s basically implied that he and wentworth are on board and it’s just a matter of time before it happens) and i would bet every dollar i’d ever seen that season six is closer to a reality than we all think. there’s no way paul scheuring was at joliet scouting for another project. he was either there scoping things out for season six or he’s completely fucking with us. i’m hoping it’s the latter, but with all the evidence i’ve seen so far… i don’t think we’re going to be that lucky.

Prison Break: Paul Adelstein returning for Fox revival

Kellerman lives!

EW has learned that Paul Adelstein has joined the cast of Fox’s Prison Break revival, reprising his role as the former evil Secret Service agent Paul Kellerman, who played a key role in the conspiracy that landed Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) in prison in the first place. As revealed in season 4, Kellerman went on to be a U.S. Congressman running for president.

Adelstein is the latest in a crop of original stars returning for the Prison Break revival. Last week it was officially confirmed that Amaury Nolasco (Sucre), Rockmond Dunbar (C-Note), Sarah Wayne Callies (Sara Tanredi) and Robert Knepper (T-Bag) are also back for the new season. The original producing team of Paul T. Scheuring, Neal Moritz, Marty Adelstein, and Dawn Olmstead will also executive-produce the event series, with Scheuring set as showrunner and writer.

Production is set to begin next month in Vancouver on the nine-episode follow-up to the cult 2005 Fox action series. Prison Break is expected to debut sometime in the 2016-2017 season.

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When it comes to what I’d walk over my grandmother not to miss, the answer is Prison Break. Simple as that. I love Prison Break madly, deeply, truly…I’ve scoped the entire run, and even I have only the dimmest idea of what’s going on. And that doesn’t detract from my pleasure even a little bit…What makes this so much damned fun are bright exteriors, crisp cutting, outrageous action sequences, and, most of all, the acting ensemble. I especially enjoy William Fichtner as Alex Mahone — Fichtner’s probably the best character actor on TV. These guys play it straight, so the audience does the same.
—  Stephen King, Why I Love Prison Break