'LOST': WHO'S NEW IN SEASON 3
Castaway cast hopes to last
The stars take nothing for granted on a show with so many twists
Unlike the first episode of "Lost" last year, which answered simmering uncertainties about the hatch, the Season 3 premiere introduces fresh faces and a slew of new questions into the mix, setting the stage to either frustrate or further enmesh fans of the multifaceted show.
The "Lost" Season 3 premiere airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KITV/ABC
Love triangles, action-adventure, a puzzling underwater locale and the usual dose of peculiarity ushered in a new year of the Emmy-winning ABC series at Sunset on the Beach Saturday night beneath a bright moon and a cloudless sky, four days before the official season begins Wednesday.
The remarkable opening of the show earned wild cheers from the crowd before launching into a flashback about Jack's divorce from Sara.
"Lost" fan Kawena Schuman found the episode somewhat "confusing." But she admitted that the chaotic atmosphere, including people calling out to their favorite stars, diverted her attention from the screen several times. What mattered to her more than watching the show before the rest of the world was the opportunity to see the actors up close. "I got to shake Kate's hand!" she said enthusiastically.
Indeed, Evangeline Lilly and her castmates dazzled the capacity crowd as they managed valiantly to chat with the media about their characters, the show and their efforts to become kamaaina amid one constant shriek for their attention.
Josh Holloway (Sawyer) was reduced to shouting into tape recorders held within inches of his face, and had to turn around to tell fans he'd be with them in a moment -- which launched more screaming.
Holloway said viewers could count on a change in Sawyer -- to a point.
"The fact is now there's a bigger enemy, so he can use his particular skill set, if you will, toward someone more appropriate, which can make him seem like a hero." Then Holloway laughed before getting pulled -- literally -- to waiting television cameras. "But don't get confused!"
Terry O'Quinn (Locke) believes the show has "to prove that it has legs this year, has to prove it wasn't a fluke. Last year was a little rougher than the first year, so I think it's got a lot to prove. I think it's kind of a make or break year."
Matthew Fox (Dr. Jack Shepherd), however, felt none of that anxiety. "I think there's a little bit of pressure on the people who write the show, but I can tell you they thrive on that."
Though Fox shot two feature films during the hiatus, he credits the television show with giving him those opportunities. And playing Jack to the best of his ability remains his priority.
Jack is obsessed with being in control of his environment, Fox said, and now, "we see him in a situation where he has absolutely no control over anything.
"He's a challenging guy to play ... he's supposedly your hero or your leader, but he's also really complex and flawed."
Dressed in white linen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) said that despite his significant role, he remains wary about the long-term status of his gig. "You never feel comfortable; I think that would be an error on a show like this."
Though he enjoys living in Hawaii, the lack of privacy has changed his life dramatically. "Black movie stars are pretty rare," he said, and even more atypical in the islands, making him unusually recognizable.
But judging from the furor of the evening, that may be the case for all of them. "I have little experience with it, to tell you the truth," Michael Emerson (Henry Gale) said of the devoted horde. "It's somewhat shocking and confusing."
But there are also plenty of benefits to working in Hawaii. "I'm a theater boy from New York City, so the only location I've ever known is dusty old theaters and rehearsal halls," said Emerson. "Here, one day I'm shooting on a cliff at Makapuu, and the next day I'm in the rain forest in Manoa Valley, and the next day I'm on the beach on the North Shore. These are crazy beautiful places that we get to go. I'm in a real action-adventure show, which I seem like unlikely casting for, but there you have it."
Emerson seems to have embraced the new demands on his skills as he plays an ambiguous character who "sort of walks the razor's edge between a perceived villainy and a perceived vulnerability."
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
"I've surfed since I was a teenager, and I've always wanted to come to Hawaii, and now that I'm here, I've been surfing morning and night," says Rodrigo Santoro, who joins the cast as one of the Others.
Fan Web sites have encouraged the writers to include a back-story about Henry Gale, but Emerson expressed doubts. "What would it be like?" he asked. "To my knowledge, no back story exists for the character. But the Others are going to be fleshed out in this coming season. They're going to become more three-dimensional."
When asked if he would be around for Season 4, Emerson said he hoped so. But he also recognized the realities. "People make jokes about how tenuous our stay may be. In a way, it's sort of a metaphor for show business is, which is 'enjoy it while you can, because ain't nothing forever.' "
Yunjin Kim (Sun) said she appreciates the laid-back atmosphere in Hawaii. "The fact that I don't ever have to worry about what I look like ... it's such a cool place. People don't judge you by the way you dress. You could just get into your flip-flops and your shorts and your tank top, and you're done. So I just love that freedom."
In some ways, she sees Sun's evolution as a metaphor for Asian women everywhere. "Starting from buttoning your shirt all the way up to getting into a bikini, and now she's actually yelling back and speaking her thoughts," said Kim. "Most of my Asian girlfriends are very smart and sexy and independent, and I think Sun's heading that way."
Henry Ian Cusack (Desmond) has moved to Hawaii, and was definitely treated as one of the established cast. "I absolutely love it," he said. "I'm here with my family, and it's been a wonderful thing. Everything is outdoors for us. And we haven't even started with the surfing and kayaking! It's just a friendly, friendly environment. So different from the U.K."
Noteworthy introductions to the eclectic group included Elizabeth Mitchell, who plays Juliet, an Other who will add conflict to Jack and Kate's mutual attraction. "She's having a lot to do with Jack at the moment," said Mitchell, looking stunning in black leggings, towering heels and a mini-dress she chose because "it looked like vintage Chloe."
When asked if viewers would detect any animosity between Kate and Juliet, she grinned and said, "possibly, yes. But it would definitely be earned. I mean, she would have a reason to not like me." Mitchell, who recently moved to Hawaii with her family, seemed comfortable jumping into a show of this caliber, and emphasized how "accommodating and kind" the established cast has been to her.
Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro, also an Other, talked about little beyond his surfing. "I've surfed since I was a teenager, and I've always wanted to come to Hawaii, and now that I'm here, I've been surfing morning and night."
O'Quinn said the most compelling aspect of Locke's personality is "his quest; it's not that he wants to escape, but he wants to find answers. He wants to know, why am I here? Not only in this life, but specifically on this island. 'Why do things happen the way they happen?' "
Some of the actors, braving outreached hands, flashbulbs and passionate declarations of love from strangers, might have asked themselves the same questions Saturday night.
New cast member Kiele Sanchez, who plays soon-to-be-introduced "Nikki," said her co-workers warned her appropriately. "They did say that today was going to be crazy," she laughed. "And it is."
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Michael Emerson, who plays the creepy Henry Gale, is enjoying the change of scenery Hawaii offers. "I'm a theater boy from New York City, so the only location I've ever known is dusty old theaters and rehearsal halls."
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL /
Emilie de Ravin and Josh Holloway shared a laugh at the "Lost" Season 3 premiere at Sunset on the Beach Saturday.
As puzzling as the TV show
Looking for something to do between "Lost" episodes this season? A set of four 1,000-piece mystery puzzles, titled "the Hatch," "the Others," "the Numbers" and "Before the Crash," might be the perfect antidote to endless hours combing the Internet for clues.
But this is only for people who want inside information (and can manage 1,000 pieces). Each box prominently displays spoiler warnings: "Secrets are revealed! Do not assemble this puzzle unless you want exclusive new insight into TV's most puzzling drama series." Another warning: Each one measures 19-by-26 inches, so someone in your family will have to eat dinner on the floor.
"LOST, Mystery of the Island" jigsaw puzzles are available at Barnes & Noble, online at Lostpuzzles.com and in toy, gift, department and specialty stores. Suggested retail price is $15.99.