Daniel Dae Kim, left, and Matthew Fox took questions from reporters in the press line at Tuesday's party celebrating the DVD release of "Lost: Season One."

Still Lost

What a difference a year makes. In 2004, when "Lost" was introduced with all the pomp and circumstance that ABC could muster, entertainment reporters had trouble keeping the actors' names straight. The most engaging question most of them could muster was, "So, what's your character like?"

Coming up for 'Lost' fans

Friday: Daniel Dae Kim, who plays the troubled Jin, stars in the horror-thriller "The Cave," opening nationwide. Kim filmed "The Cave" in Romania, after shooting the pilot episode of "Lost." He plays Alex, a filmmaker following a group of American cave divers beneath the ruins of a 13th-century abbey. Dae Kim also stars in "The Onion Movie," a sketch comedy by the editors and writers for the satirical weekly The Onion. It's due out by the end of the year.

Sept. 6: The "Lost: Season One" DVD box set goes on sale.

Sept. 14: The opening episode of Season 2 will be shown at a special "Sunset on the Beach" event in Waikiki, a week before it is aired nationally. Red-carpet arrival of cast members starts at 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 21: The second season begins on KITV/ABC at 8 p.m. -- the day, coincidentally, being actress Maggie Grace's 22nd birthday.

Oct. 14: Grace stars with "Smallville" lead Tom Welling in the horror-thriller "The Fog," a remake of John Carpenter's 1980 film about a A quiet seaside town terrorized by vengeful ghosts.

A hit season later, the characters of "Lost" and the show's twisting mysteries have become embedded in the television landscape. Last week, at a party marking the DVD release of the first season's episodes, the cast fielded questions ranging from the impact of instant celebrity, to the evolution of their characters, to "What's in the hatch, anyway?"

Daniel Dae Kim
Jin Kwon

As half of a non-English-speaking Korean couple, the controlling Jin began last season obsessively protective of his wife, Sun.

But the show's creators --J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof -- made a promise to him during the making of the pilot.

"I wanted all the characters to get a chance to get fleshed out, and they said, 'Just be patient and you'll see,'" Kim said. "They told me, 'There's much more to your guy than what you just see in the pilot.' They were right, and they've been true to their word."

Even Kim doesn't know how the Jin character will develop in season two.

"If we keep going in the direction we started last year, we're in good shape," he said. "Jin is starting to integrate himself into the fabric of the group and starting to speak a little more English. Now I'm learning how to speak Korean with an English accent.

"The more those things happen, the more he will be counted and relied upon and him relying on others. That means more of a central character."

Tim Ryan

The show's title was beamed onto the ground at the outdoor party at the Turtle Bay Hilton.

Matthew Fox
Dr. Jack Sheppard

He gets more screen time than any other "Lost" cast member, and Matthew Fox knows that most episodes require physical work, and "my shirt will be off."

"I worked really hard this summer trying to lose a few pounds because ... I am supposed to be a survivor who doesn't get ice cream and sweets," he said.

Some changes for Fox will be more crucial. Last season, Jack had to resolve some personal issues to become a leader. Season two presents a new route.

"Jack will have a very different journey, a philosophical journey," Fox said. "The whole man of faith vs. the man of science and the struggle going on between him and Locke. Jack'll have to let go of some really strict science dogma, given the situation in which he's living."

His favorite theory about the true nature of the island is that it is purgatory.

"Based on what's happened so far, 'Lost' is about us finding redemption so we can move on emotionally, individually and spiritually to a better place.

"We had just better not be dead."

Tim Ryan


Dominic Monaghan
Charlie Pace

The character of Charlie, with his heroin addiction and personal troubles, intrigues Dominic Monaghan.

"I like playing a wounded, kinda broken type of person. But I hope at some point he'll face those demons and realize he must grow up a little bit, change and evolve."

Monaghan says he "never knows even a little bit" what the writers have planned for Charley.

"Oh, you can be sure I always let them know what I'd like to see and what I don't like, but ultimately the actors -- at least me -- have zero influence on them," he said. "The actors on this show are puppets on the end of the writers' strings."

Tim Ryan


Jorge Garcia
Hugo "Hurley" Reyes

Jorge Garcia is affable and friendly, much like his character -- only without that "curse of the numbers" thing that's been hanging over Hurley like his own personal dark cloud.

A magical ride has led the actor here, one that started with a fortuitous airing of an episode of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

"Last May, the day before I went in for an audition for 'Lost,' the 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' episode I was in finally aired. It was shot the previous February, and I played a street drug dealer that (creator and star) Larry David approaches, trying to buy some 'medical marijuana' for his dad, who has glaucoma."

Garcia's small turn was memorable enough to be brought up at the following day's audition. He was impressive enough that the character of Hurley was written for him, which was "good in the sense that it caught the general vibe of my personality."

The impact of "Lost" worldwide didn't hit home until he and some cast members visited London before the series started airing in Europe. "Believe me, nothing prepares you for the experience of screaming Scandinavian teens at the Tower of London."

Coming up: Garcia will star in the indie comedy "Sweetzer," a romantic comedy set in Los Angeles, where women have taken to burning the paint off cheating men's cars.

Gary Chun


Terry O'Quinn
John Locke

Both O'Quinn and co-star Naveen Andrews are Emmy nominees in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Asked if the nomination is a capper in a career spanning a quarter-century, O'Quinn matter-of-factly said, "It's all part of the job, a nice stop along the road. It was a good break for me to get this role, and the recognition from the Emmy Awards is a side feature of it."

Now, about season two:

"What can I say about the first episode?" He pauses, then smiles. "Well, I can tell you that Locke went down the hatch. And I can say that fans won't be disappointed by what's found down there."

O'Quinn's character of John Locke has the pivotal role of supporter and spokesman for the mysterious island and the powers it holds over the crash survivors.

"I think this next season will be more entertaining, where things pick up speed."

The belief that "Lost" will be a lasting acting gig for him has meant that "my wife and I are in the process of moving here. It seems as good an opportunity as any, since I'm here nine months out of the year doing the show."

Gary Chun

Evangeline Lilly
Kate Austin

A fugitive from the law, Kate was traveling with a U.S. marshal when the plane crashed. Lost viewers don't know much about her crime or even if Kate is her real name.

"I don't know, either," said the Canadian-born actor. "Every episode, I learn just a tiny bit more. I like it that way. It keeps me excited."

Lilly says being on "Lost" has changed her life.

"Sure, I still have my friends, my family and my brown hair," she says laughing. "But nothing else has been the same for me since the pilot aired."

Lilly likes her character the way she is, but knows the writers "will make Kate grow."

"'Lost' is a very big metaphor for every single character's mental state," she said. "Nothing is what it seems. We were all chosen specifically because we will facilitate something for one another."

Despite bouts of "extreme homesickness" last season after living in such a large country as Canada, Lilly loves filming in Hawaii.

"Being able to bathe in sea water is fantastic," she said. "I believe it has amazing healing qualities. And for the first time in my life I've had to take cold showers."

Tim Ryan


Yunjin Kim
Sun Kwon

When Yunjin Kim first read the script of "Lost," she was impressed, although she thought the premise "was either going to be a disaster or a huge hit. I'm glad it went around the other way."

Now her celebrity is reaching worldwide proportions, yet she's still cognizant of her acting career in Asia.

"That has to keep going," she said. "It's very important to me. While I'm thankful that J.J., Damon and Jeffrey (Lieber) created this role for me, and I really value this whole experience, I still want to work in Japan, Korea and all over Asia.

"The people back in Korea have been supportive in their rooting for me to do well in 'Lost.' I'm the first Korean actress who's made her way to Hollywood, and I need to do a good job for them."

The American drama is shown in South Korea, "the first American show that a Korean channel has ever bought." (When "Lost" debuted on KBS2 last December, viewership in that time period grew by a whopping 135 percent.)

Now that "Lost" has survived, Kim admits "I'm more relaxed and enjoying this whole experience."

She's even prepared Korean dishes for the cast.

Gary Chun


Emilie de Ravin
Claire Littleton

Claire is a single Australian woman who was eight months pregnant at the time of the crash. By season one's finale, Claire had had her baby and was working to assimilate into the group of survivors.

"The show is going in a very, very different direction than in season one," de Ravin said. "I really don't where we're going, but we know already that the island is possessed in some way, and things happen that generally wouldn't, so they're going to write some very bizarre things I can sense which is really cool."

Knowing what's inside the hatch is going to change the group dynamics, De Ravin says.

"Another things is, her baby looks normal, but is he really?" she says.

"She made a tough decision with her baby," de Ravin said. "And now she's thrown in the deep end and knows she has to take care of it in this odd situation.

"She's a very mature, independent, young woman, and she's going to have to mature faster. She will have her freedom back in a sense, but she's also carrying around a 6-pound baby."

Coming up: Emilie de Ravin stars in two upcoming films, "Santa's Slay" and "The Hills Have Eyes," both horror films.

Tim Ryan

Also ...

Coming up for other cast members:

Naveen Andrews (Sayid) and his co-star from "Bride & Prejudice," Aishwarya Rai, star in "Provoked," based on the true story of a Punjabi woman who is tricked into marrying an abusinve Londoner (Andrews). Andrews also filmed the ABC miniseries "The Ten Commandments" in Morocco.

Ian Somerhalder (the late Boone) is making "Pulse," another remake of a Japanese horror film. Filming is in Romania.

| | |
E-mail to Features Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com