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‘Prison Break’ Star Wentworth Miller Is Back Behind Bars

[IMG:L]We know Michael Scofield would do anything to help his brother, Lincoln Burrows. He plotted to have himself arrested, detained in the same prison, and then planned a master break out to save him from being executed for a crime he didn’t commit. But would Lincoln do the same for him? We’ll soon find out as the third season of Prison Break unfolds. This year, the tables are turned as Lincoln [Dominic Purcell] walks free, finally exonerated, and Michael sits in a Panama prison.

“Michael has no big brother to keep him safe. No tattoo to refer to. He’s very much chum in the water,” Wentworth Miller said of his character’s latest dilemma. Miller tells Hollywood.com what exactly lies ahead for Michael.

Hollywood.com: How do you think fans reacted to Michael going back behind bars?
Wentworth Miller:
What I got was a surprising sense of enthusiasm. It felt fresh somehow, even thought it’s a return to form. It’s a very new prison, a new environment, and Michael is a new man in this situation. Lincoln is the one on the outside. There is still the government conspiracy, the brothers brought down the president, but that was a completely hollow victory. He was just a puppet and there was someone else pulling the strings. There is still a lot of mileage left to the story. So the reaction that we have gotten from audiences is, ‘We’re glad Michael is back in prison. We are not glad that he separated from Sara again.’

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HW: Michael sacrificed his freedom for Sara in the season finale, taking the blame for killing Agent Kim. Can these two lovebirds finally move on now that they are even?
WM:
Michael and Sarah had to sort of take their moments under a hail of bullets, and at the end of the season, when he was able to sacrifice his freedom for her. I think that went a long way to settling that score, but since he is also responsible for what happened to her father indirectly, the question is whether you can ever really settle that score. We’ll find out.

HW: Michael was on the run most of Season 2. How do you feel about him going back to prison?
WM:
One of the defining characteristics of Michael in the first season was his cleverness. He was always the smartest guy in the room and he was always up to something. Second season, once the plan had been completed and they were out on the road, there was a lot of ground to cover–literally and figuratively–and suddenly [Alex] Mahone was being clever, and Kellerman was being clever, and Michael was no longer the smartest guy in the room. That gave me freedom to flex his emotional and psychological side. What I missed was that MacGyver-type element to the character and I’m seeing a return to that in the third season, which is really fun, too.

[IMG:R]HW: Michael isn’t the same guy who landed himself in prison in Season 1 and he’s committed actual crimes now. Can he escape the life he’s created–or is he doomed?
WM:
It’s more interesting to me to look at it as how far across the line can a good man go before you can no longer call him good. I personally feel that Michael’s psychology at this point is, ‘Maybe I belong in prison. So many people have gotten hurt in the course of me trying to get my brother exonerated. Out of all these sins, all of this guilt and responsibility weighing on my shoulders, is there no other way for me to atone for this? Maybe I should be serving my time because to break out of this prison would be one more crime he’s committed.’

HW: Will Michael and Lincoln get much face time this season?
WM:
We did get to work together, which was great. They also have a kind of visitation cage setup at the new facility so that Linc and Michael can continue their interaction. Lincoln is of course working actively to get Michael out of prison.

HW: Do you know long this season you’ll be behind bars?
WM:
I’ve gotten hints that we’ll be around for at least several episodes, but I’ve also heard that the network is so excited with what they’re seeing, that it looks so cinematic, I get the sense that we might stay there a little longer than we planned just because we introduced a wealth of new characters. It’s a very complicated, intense, and high pressure situation. People also, at the end of the day, I think, love Prison Break and I think that’s what made us a success to begin with.

HW: What can you tell us about Robert Wisdom’s new character?
WM:
He came to us from The Wire where I think he spent a couple of seasons. He’s the kingpin in this new Panamanian prison and Michael’s relationship to him is adversarial. At the same time you get the sense that it might turn into a Joseph in the court of Pharaoh kind of thing because Michael is after all a structural engineer. This is a facility that was left to rot X number of years ago. Things aren’t working. There is a way I think that Michael might be able to make himself useful to the powers that be, which might ordinarily squash him like a bug.

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HW: Will there be other new series’ regulars?
WM:
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, who is playing a very mysterious woman named Susan B. She has been interacting with Dominic and the two of them apparently have a great amount of chemistry on camera. There is also an Australian actor. No, he’s U.K. by way of Australia named Chris Vance. He is playing a character named Whistler who is an inmate we meet on the inside and figure he is not what he seems to be. He might have something to do with the company, the conspiracy that maneuvered Michael into this.

[IMG:L]HW: A plant maybe?
WM:
Well, that remains to be seen!

HW: What about Michael’s best friend, Sucre? We heard he’s coming back this season.
WM:
Of course, we couldn’t let go of that Odd Couple dynamic with Michael and Sucre.

Reporting by Gerri Miller

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