LOST Media Mentions - DarkUFO

Thanks to Tanya for the following.

I am standing in a lift with Evangeline Lilly. She smiles at me and stares at my feet.

"Pretty shoes," she whispers to her publicist, then turns around to me and repeats it in a louder voice.

It is late 2007 and we are going up to her room in a swanky Auckland waterfront hotel. The 28-year-old, who plays Kate Austen on TV show Lost, is here with then-fiance, former fellow cast member Dominic Monaghan (they've reportedly since split).

Her biggest wish, she claims, is to holiday in New Zealand incognito an increasingly challenging task for the woman voted eighth in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World the previous year.

With the Hauraki Gulf's sparkling blue water as a backdrop, Lilly's porcelain skin and petite features look like they belong in an old-fashioned oil painting.

She wears a white knitted shawl, tank top and jeans, with her hair done up in a French twist a far cry from paparazzi photos of her cavorting in the sand on Hawaiian beaches dressed in teeny-tiny bikinis.

She starts making us tea before it's gently suggested that perhaps this isn't the best use of interview time. But neither is she some naive, small-town girl, unused to dealing with media attention.

I ask Lilly if she's planning to do any surfing or tree-climbing while in New Zealand (her nickname on set is "Monkey"), and she laughs resignedly.

"I'm capable of doing adventure sports but they don't interest me. I know the media has painted this picture of me, that I'm this intense tomgirl/tomboy who's all about extreme sports but that's just a load of crap. I mean, I love to climb trees, I love nature, I surf, and I like to use my body. But 99% of my spare time is spent reading, writing, walking I like docile activities."

Born in Canada to a devout Christian family, Lilly's early life was far from glam and glitz. She went to the Philippines as a missionary at the age of 18 and lived in a grass hut for a while. From these humble beginnings, Lilly was plucked from the streets of British Columbia by an agent from Ford Models and the rest, as they say, is history.

"For me, it [working in the Philippines] was one of the best experiences of my life. I've never been back, but I've visited Rwanda, which was very different, yet on a lot of levels similar. It's hard because unless I feel that I can truly commit to that place and those people, I can't face it again. Ironically, and probably very naturally, at 18 years old, I was not at that place in my life."

Asked if she will return to doing charity work when the show finishes, she says: "No, because I've never stopped. It's not a matter of picking it up again. I've been doing humanitarian work since I was 14, and while working on television ... as fun as it is, it's never not been a part of my life."

Lilly is famously tight-lipped about her romantic life she's been known to end interviews when questions get too personal. What she will talk about, though, is Lost the critically acclaimed series about survivors of a plane wreck stranded on a mysterious island.

She's not big on theories "they're not as interesting to me as the characters. If it's about the characters, for example, the final episode of season three [which features a flash-forward that reveals Lilly's character survives and gets off the island], then I've got my theories".

She admits that what interests her most is the relationship between Kate and Jack, rather than when, where or how they escaped the island.

"What are the numbers, what is the mystery of the island, the monster I have no theories on those, I don't care. It could turn out to be it was all a hallucination and I'm fine, as long as they resolve the character issues. For me, that's the crux of it."

Lilly speculates that in the flash-forward at the end of last season, there is still something "heavy and intense" between the two.

"I don't know if that comes from six months on an island, never ever consummating this intense passion they have for each other. Or whether it comes from consummating it and they've lost it, or if that comes from being together and continuing a relationship from afar. There could be so many different possibilities."

If other TV shows can be said to keep their plot details under lock-and-key, Lost keeps them in an underground dungeon guarded by fire-breathing dragons. Cast members often get scripts for the episode they are shooting just 24 hours beforehand.

The fourth season of Lost a show well known for its plot twists and rabid sci-fi fan base sees the return of original core cast member Harold Perrineau and the departure of Monaghan.

Perrineau's character construction worker Michael Dawson was last seen sailing away from the island at the end of season two.

Monaghan's character, Charlie Pace, was written off at the end of season three when he drowned to save a friend. If Lilly is upset at Monaghan's departure, she kept it well-hidden. Now that the pair are no longer together, Tinseltown gossip has it that it was the strain of a long-distance relationship (she's based in Hawaii, Monaghan now in LA) that ended it.

Both of Lilly's parents are "Losties" the nickname given to Lost fans.

"When my dad comes to visit, he always wants to read all the scripts because they're usually a little bit ahead of what you see on the screen. And I let him, I let my dad. Don't tell the producers, they'll kill me! When he comes on set, I'm like `Mum's the word, dad, you don't know anything'."

Lilly describes the secrecy surrounding the scripts as frustrating.

"It can be the greatest thing ever, because you just throw yourself into your work spontaneously and what comes out is visceral, real and you're in the moment.

"Other times it is insufferable because there have been times when I've read something and thought why would my character do this, I don't understand these decisions, I don't want to play them this way."

Producers of Lost have said that the show will run for three more seasons concluding in 2010. It is unusual for a hugely popular primetime network show to have such a clear goal in mind, but Lilly thinks it's a brilliant concept.

"We wanted a TV show that sets a bar and for us to go out that way, setting a precedent is so cool. I mean how impossible is that scenario that we start in an ideal and end in an ideal?

"It's like relationships, usually you start in an ideal and it goes downhill until it turns to squat.

"Television shows are usually like that they go on until they're crap but our show will pull everyone's attention for the next 48 episodes because everyone knows we're headed full-tilt for the end."

Source: Stuff

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