Rebecca Mader on the set of "Lost" with Jeremy Davies and Elizabeth Mitchell, far right.
Hero or ...
"Lost" actress Rebecca Mader is clueless about her character's motivation but loves the role
Why are the people from the freighter on a mission to capture Benjamin Linus? Rebecca Mader, the British actress who plays anthropologist Charlotte Lewis on the new season of "Lost," doesn't have a clue. And she's one of them.
"I don't know if I've come to save the day or ruin the day," she said from Los Angeles. "This is so unique, to play somebody when you've got so little information. But I actually quite like it. It's kind of fun to theorize. It's really challenging but it's really fun."
The 29-year-old former model came to the United States in 1998 and began acting in 2000. By then her modeling gigs for the likes of L'Oreal and Colgate simply paid the bills while she pursued her passion. Her credits include stints on "Guiding Light," "All My Children" and "Private Practice" as well as a role in "The Devil Wears Prada."
Asked if her hair has always been the same color, Mader laughed. "Since the day I was born! Having red hair was the bane of my life -- until I got older, when I realized it was good to be different. But growing up with it was a nightmare. I used to get bullied at school, and people would call me horrible names." Obviously, the trait that sets her apart has become a blessing. As Mader said, "the bills are getting paid."
Until her audition for "Lost," Mader had not seen a single episode of the ABC series. "I ended up watching all three seasons in three weeks," she said. "Sometimes I watched 10 shows a day! Then I was really excited to have the part."
Though she didn't perform all of her own stunts (like somersaulting out of a tree into a lake), Mader volunteers for -- and relishes -- the physical challenges because she wants everything "to look authentic." For such occasions, she stays fit with Pilates, yoga, hiking and consistent attendance at the gym.
Mader, a former model, is shown glammed up.
Mader admires the intricate writing for "Lost" and says she's fond of her character, whom she equates to a "female Indiana Jones." In the past her typical roles required full hair and makeup; this time, she welcomes a change. "I just wanted to rough it. I wanted to roll around in the mud with a gun." She chuckled. "Be careful what you wish for!"
During the six episodes she shot here, Hawaii became a second home. "I can't wait to go back next month," she said. "When the strike ended, I went out and bought a new bikini!"
Not that Mader, with her flawless peaches-and-cream skin, languishes in the sun. On her days off, she doesn't usually go outside until after 4 p.m. -- and only with lots of sunscreen. But that only seems to enhance her affection for the island. "It has a totally different energy," she said. "I love Hawaii."