Post Mortems
Prison Break Kellerman Dies

Prison Break's Paul Adelstein Weighs In on Kellerman Twist: 'I'm a Bit in Denial'

This week on Fox’s Prison Break, Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell paid a visit to Paul Kellerman, dead set on getting to the bottom of the Department of State director’s involvement in Michael Scofield’s faked death and notorious escapades since.

But by the end of the tense encounter — during which Kellerman explained that the powerful puppet master dubbed Poseidon is a rogue former CIA operative who now “pursues his own ideology,” which Abu Ramal must figure into — one of the gents was gunned down, first through the window from a distance, and then at close range by Van Gogh.

Nearly a decade after first interviewing Paul Adelstein about Prison Break, I invited him to discuss slipping back into Kellerman’s oft-slithery skin, the debt of gratitude he owes the revived Fox series and the denial he is in about his on-camera fate.

TVLINE | Life sure comes full circle for you and I, doesn’t it?
It does, doesn’t it?

TVLINE | When you heard a Prison Break revival was brewing, did you hope to be involved?
Oh my God, yes. I was thrilled. Thrilled and desirous.

TVLINE | What was the secret to slipping back into Kellerman’s skin?
I dont know. I was scared, it had been a long time. I went back and watched a bunch of the episodes, which was so fun to do. And I dug through the garage to find the sunglasses and the ring and the pin, all that stuff I had… And once I put that suit on, I felt good to go. It seemed to click in. And then it was great working with Sarah [Wayne Callies, as Sara], because we’re close and she’s such a wonderful actor. She’d been [filming] for a few weeks already, so she was helpful on that front.

TVLINE | I think one of Kellerman’s calling cards is his intonation — he’s speaks rather matter-of-factly, yet says such intense things.
Yeah. He has away about him, and that was part of the fun of it. The scary thing is you don’t want to do an impression of yourself. Time has passed, and maybe his edges have softened a bit, but once I got into the scene work I saw that he very much had the same M.O.

TVLINE | Could you have predicted, back when you and I first interviewed for Prison Break, that you would go on to work non-stop as an actor afterward, as well as produce two successful Bravo series [Girlfriends’ Guide and Imposters]?
No. [Laughs] Absolutely not. It’s been a good run, knock wood. Prison Break was a wonderful place to work, and they allowed me to do Private Practice essentially, because they were kind enough to let me known early on that I wouldn’t be in Season 3. A lot of times, shows can’t or won’t do that, so I owe them a debt of gratitude for that — as well as for a great role on a show that was still popular. People still talk to me about Prison Break all the time, it’s really never stopped.

TVLINE | Is one of the joys of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce that you don’t end up beaten and bloodied, like on Prison Break and Scandal?
[Laughs] Yeah, that was a surprise on Scandal. I didn’t know that Leo was going to get [tortured]. But yes, it’s a joy on Girlfriends’ Guide to be far away from violence.

TVLINE | You do sometimes end up naked, though.
Which is a certain kind of emotional violence, I suppose.

TVLINE | Was it sad to realize that this Prison Break episode would be Kellerman’s swan song?
Uh, I don’t see it as his swan song. If you listen very carefully, maybe there’s a little sigh on the floor off-camera. I mean, it’s Prison Break — in all seriousness, how can you ever really know if you should believe what you see? So as an actor, I’m a little bit in denial; I’m hoping that if theres more Prison Break that I can be involved. If Kellerman is dead, or if the show is over and this was the last time I got to play him, yes, there was something nostalgic and sad about it. But I never thought I was going to get to do [the role] again, so it felt like a bonus anyway.

TVLINE | If he is dead, are you glad he died in the name of truth, trying to do the right thing?
Yeah — given the character’s progression, it’s nice to see that he was in fact trying to be on the right side of the fight at the very end.

Want scoop on Prison Break, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. Diane says:

    Love Kellerman. I’m in denial too.

  2. Kennedy says:

    No! Not Kellerman!! Yes yes…I do believe I heard a sigh too! Ha ha! Love him!

  3. M says:

    Is it weird I think he’s really hot?

  4. Sean says:

    Bring Kellerman back somehow!!!! He’s the man!!

  5. Joey Padron says:

    Good interview with Paul. Surprised Kellerman died. it was good to have him back on the show even if it was for a little bit.

  6. Gift says:

    Guys, his hotness is not the issue here. Sara’s husband really had a hand it this! I knew it could go that way but I thought maybe not. I wish kellerman didn’t have to die. But as usual T-bag has his own sense of humour. Really loving this show. Good work.

    • Nelly says:

      I knew it in the first second i saw him..that sara’s husband is working with the bad guys..i mean it was kinda obvious..they are not going to bring a new guy into the he could just play her has to be something more about him. And well they kinda need a reason to get rid off him in the end

      • Leesa says:

        I never liked Jacob, he seems quite shady. Could be because I want Michael and Sarah to get back together . Last nights episode was action packed and I loved when Lincoln told those bad guys to leave his brother alone. I’m curious to see if sara will help Teddy with his wound.

  7. Wrstlgirl says:

    Sad to see Kellerman go, he was always a fun addition to the show. Since there is no Prison Break recap this week I’ll just put this here, cuz I need to talk, hahaha!!! Here goes.

    I was literally laughing my butt off that Lincoln was out risking his life for a damn key he didn’t even need, lmao!! Some of us had already guessed that Jacob was Poseidon, so it’s nice to have it confirmed so early, unless it’s just a red herring. Poor Sara. But I still don’t understand why Poseidon wants Sara alive in order to be led back to Michael. If he put Michael in Ogygia what does “led back to Michael” mean? Is she his insurance that when/if Michael escapes that prison that he’ll head straight for her and Poseidon will then know where he is and won’t have to search for him. I’m also wondering if this is how Sara is back free in the states. Did Michael make a deal that if he went undercover for these people that they would pardon Sara and she could return home with there son? And/or if he didn’t agree to do it they would kill her??

    • T-Bag said to Kellerman that he had got pardons for everyone except him, so personally, i think that may be how Sara got her pardon!?!?

      • Wrstlgirl says:

        Could be, I just really hope they address it at some point. It’s a huge plot hole. I wonder if maybe when we see Sara and Michael come face to face she’ll tell him how she got back into the U.S. and met Jacob, etc. We’ll see.

  8. Leesa says:

    Just as gorgeous Michael is still alive , could it be possible that Kellerman might somehow still be alive?

    • Gift says:

      Well I’m suspecting he didn’t really die. That Man might have shot some where else to fool the other agent. I hope so.

  9. Dominique says:

    i’m really upset with this and i actually refuse to believe it. two episodes is all we got here? that’s it? that’s lame. i know the show is primarily about the brothers, but kellerman has always been my favorite. he is such a fascinating and complex character. i hate this.
    we never actually *saw* him get killed, just like we didn’t see it in the season 2 finale way back when, so i’m choosing to believe he’s not dead.

    • Im with you. They did not show him dead for a reason. Gunshot to the right of the chest, hes a strong survivor. The guy just shot to let the girl think he did. Reasons we will find in later episodes.

  10. Am not believing he really died died….what’s the point being part of the cast on the revival episode then die after few episodes again… no no…..