Sarah Shahi on Shaw’s return and that sexy Shoot scene on “Person of Interest”


Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead unless you’ve seen last night’s episode of Person of Interest.

Fans got what they’ve been wanting in last night’s Person of Interest when it comes to Shaw (Sarah Shahi) and Root (Amy Acker) finally down and dirty…well, sort of.


While we did get a major kiss and hot and rough sex scene with the two very different women, we found out at the end of the episode that the act was a simulation in the mind of the imprisoned Shaw, who has been brainwashed by the evil Samaritan to wipe out Team Machine.

But, hey, since this is the final season of the long-running CBS hit drama, we’ll take what we can get any time you get Sarah Shahi back to kissing women like she did back in her days as Carmen on The L Word.

AfterEllen spoke with Shahi yesterday to get her take on tonight’s episode, boob milk, being happy Acker doesn’t have herpes (we’re glad, too!) and whether the damaged Shaw and upbeat Carmen would ever find a way to connect if they could somehow meet.

And while we kept our chat to POI, we’re hoping her Nancy Drew pilot will get picked up by another network since CBS passed because, according to Deadline, it skewed “too female” to which the actress tweeted the below. What was the timing for you having your babies and coming back to work? This was a big episode for Shaw’s return!

Sarah Shahi: I was six-month post-partum when we shot this episode and it was hard! I was still breastfeeding, so I was pumping every two to two and a half hours on set, and it was a very heavy episode for me so it would take me out of it. I was very nervous because it was big and I wasn’t really in that Shaw state when I was doing it. I was very maternal and worried about boob milk leaking through my wardrobe. But, [episode director] Chris Fisher did a great job of getting me through it, and I hope it turned out well!


AE: The fans have been clamoring for things to heat up between Shaw and Root and, well, they heated up pretty quick!

SS: The fans, I think they deserved to see some of that chemistry, and they deserve to see the kiss, and they’ve been along for the ride for a while, and they’ve been very patient. I’m all about tapping into my home girls and I’m glad they stuck around, and I hope it was well worth the wait!


AE: What do you think draws Root and Shaw together?

SS: I think for Shaw, her feelings for Root really crept up on her. I don’t think it was anything she was intentionally setting out to create or to get. We see this through the simulation so it would never happen in real life. I don’t think Shaw would ever go there for Root in real life. I think things are just too complicated in her head, and I think Shaw would have to go through a pretty big transformation in order to let herself go there with Root. I think it’s easier for Shaw to probably have sex with people she doesn’t have feelings for but I think Root is someone who has really tapped into her, and it caught her off guard.


AE: It does seem like more of an emotional connection than anything else.

SS: Yeah, I think that’s something Shaw isn’t familiar with, and it makes her very uncomfortable, and I think Root really enjoys that it makes her uncomfortable. She loves teasing Shaw about it. In her heart of hearts., Shaw absolutely cares for her, but I think she’s too damaged to go there for real.


AE: You’ve done a lot of love scenes in your career, and this one was pretty rough and hot instead of the flowery and sweet variety. How was it to shoot?

SS: It was different because the tone of this was supposed to be like two tigresses fighting for power. Love scenes are always awkward. It was nice to do it with Amy because she and I know each other so well. And herpes is something I’m actually very scared of [laughs], and I know she doesn’t have it, and I don’t have it, so that was really comforting.

But love scenes are completely awkward, and this was awkward just for that reason. The only person I enjoy kissing is my husband, and that’s it so if I’m having to kiss anybody else, it’s acting for me, it’s the work. And then it’s never a closed set. You always have twenty people who are watching, and you’re having to fake this eroticism, and you feel very judged. There’s also that thing of “Oh, is my face too smushed as I’m kissing her? Did I pummel her nose when I went in hard?”


AE: What can you tease happens when Shaw and Root actually see each other moving forward beyond this episode?

SS: We shot this over half a year ago so what do we see? To be honest with you, I truly don’t remember! I just shoot it and move on, and that was, what, eight months ago! The only thing I really remember is when they do see one another, it catches Shaw off guard, but I can’t fake an answer for you because I can’t remember what happens!


AE: When Shaw kills Reese, we find out it didn’t happen but was it tough since it is Jim and you’ve worked together a long time? Or not so bad?

SS: Nothing about that episode was easy as far as I can remember. It’s a pretty big deal for Shaw in her mental state to make the decision to shoot him because it’s not her either. It’s Samaritan; it’s the simulation so to play these two things that are in opposition of each other, which is, one, Shaw, who is loyal to this team and, then, to be under the hypnosis of Samaritan at the same time, all of it was pretty heavy.


AE: I have to ask an L Word question for your fans out there since we’ll never forget you played Carmen.

SS: Good! I don’t want them to either. I love it!


AE: What do you think Shaw and Carmen would think of each other? Could they even relate to each other since they’re so different?

SS: You know, I felt like Carmen was always one of those characters who had a very well-intentioned heart. I thought she was very sweet. She’s probably someone who could get along with anybody. She’d probably think that Shaw needs a bath or two. As far as Shaw, I don’t think she’d get caught dead hanging around Carmen. There’s too much sweetness, too much light there for her.


AE: How is Mom-hood going? You’ve got a handful. (Shahi has a twin boy and girl as well as a six-year-old boy.)

SS: I’ve got 19 children, and it’s good! [laughs] It’s definitely keeping me busy. I’m busier than I ever thought I’d be. There’s not a dull moment in my life. My twins are a year old, and they’re at that age when one takes off in one direction while the other one is off in the other. You have to be in two places at once!


Person of Interest airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS.

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