Ever since FOX premiered Lie to Me last season, I’ve been intrigued by Tim Roth’s character, Dr. Cal Lightman. In the show, his talent is simple: he studies micro-expressions & body language to determine if someone is being deceptive. Still, even though it sounds so straight forward and plausible, it does seem a tad bit fantastical. Do I really have a micro-expression?

Shortly after the premiere, I was excited to read that Roth’s character is loosely based on life of psychologist, Paul Ekman. Still, loosely based doesn’t exactly mean that it’s true. Wes Craven has said that A Nightmare on Elm Sreet is “loosely based” on real events and since I’ve yet to meet any gloved gentlemen my dream, I’m still skeptical.

I must not be the only one who’s curious (and too lazy) to read any of Paul Ekman’s books, as Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times sat down with retired FBI Agent, master interrogator and behavioral expert, Joe Navarro to show him some episodes of Lie To Me too see what he thinks.

Here’s what he had to say…

What’s True?

“He doesn’t really hide how he feels and you can read it on his face, how he feels about different things. And I’m often asked that – do I try to hide how I feel about things, and I say that’s just too hard. It’s just too hard.

“If you notice, whenever he makes an inquiry, he tilts his head. Head tilt, other than a smile, is probably one of the more powerful things that we can transmit to say I’m really curious and I’m interested and I’m empathetic. We know that babies recognize it. Mother tilts her head toward the baby, the baby smiles and so forth, so these are powerful things.”

What’s A Lie?

“I’ve seen a couple of episodes here on the show where he immediately points out, oh, you’re doing this, you’re doing that, you’re doing that. And first of all, it makes those people uncomfortable because you become self-conscious… …the minute you begin to call out the behaviors on people, they’ll mask them. So you’ve lost that channel of communication.”

“The one thing that you wouldn’t see in a real setting is sitting across from each other. When people sit, this gets the least amount of work done. Because it’s too confrontational. …in a therapeutic setting or a forensic setting, you would actually sit at an angle so that the person isn’t aroused by you being in front.”

If you found that interesting, make sure you check out the full interview.

He could be completely making this up, but it just sounds so awesome that I don’t care. While I find it interesting, I would in no way feel comfortable being around anyone with such talents. Well, not without a bunch of Botox injections. (Try and check out my micro-expressions then!)

Make sure to watch Lie to Me, Mondays at 9pm on FOX

Source: St. Petersburg Times