Jon Michael Hill Interview

Jon Michael Hill, the actor behind Elementary's streetwise Detective Marcus Bell, discusses his character, the glorious weirdness of his craft and life on the hit drama series.

What can we expect to see from Detective Bell in Season 2? 

A couple episodes in we can expect detective Bell to be out in the field with Holmes and Watson quite a bit. There's a familiarity that has built over the past season that makes for an even stronger investigative team. Bell may be a little more vocal in questioning suspects as well.

Your character wasn’t in the original Conan Doyle novels, but did you go back and read up on them anyway?

I did. There's a lot of them. So I'm continually working my way through them in between the books in my own queue. It was fun to discover how absolutely consumed Sherlock is in his work and how animated and outlandish his behavior can be. He's really very exciting.

Will your character ever get to outsmart Sherlock?

Um... doubt it. But never say never.

This isn’t your first role as a detective, but you’re also renowned for your musical roles. Is it weird going from stage to crime scene?

First of all, renowned is generous. Second, is it weird? Hell yeah. Everything about what we do is weird. Standing on a stage in front of a bunch of strangers in clothes that aren't yours, convinced that the scenery around you is the actual place you say it is at any given place and time... is weird. So is staging a fake murder on a real street and planting clues for yourself to find while huge machines capture your every breath and twitch. It's all very weird.

But as far as the transition, the same principles hold true: Belief, fighting for something, living in the moment, striving to tell the truth beyond the pretense. In the same way Sherlock catches a scent and "The game's afoot," the challenge of reaching people by working truthfully through an art form that makes it as difficult as possible is what gets me up everyday. It's weird and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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