To celebrate the end of Lost, the show's cast and crew gathered in Los Angeles last Thursday for Lost Live: The Final Celebration. Before the event, I snagged interviews with as many actors as I could get to on the red carpet. While none of the cast members I spoke with came close to disclosing anything about the series finale—duh—they were all more than willing to reflect on their characters and their experiences filming Lost. Next up: Rebecca Mader (Charlotte Lewis), Carrie Preston (Emily Linus), and Malcolm David Kelley (Walt Lloyd)
It seemed like you died fairly quickly after joining Lost. We’d seen characters come back in flashbacks and the like, but were you expecting to return?
No, not at all. My God, when they asked me to come back, I was like, “What? For what? I’m dead.” I had no idea. I never saw that coming, so I was really happy.
You’ve been paired off a couple different ways on the show. How is it building rapport with your co-stars?
It’s easy. I mean, they’ve just always hired really amazing actors, and they just happen to be really great people. To move around and work with other people was great. I just got to connect more with more great people.
You’ve always been very responsive to the audience. Why is it important for you to engage with Lost fans?
Because without the fans, what are we? If people don’t care to watch the show or watch me on it, then I’m working at Starbucks. And I think it’s really important to acknowledge them. And before I was an actor, I used to be a fan of things, so I understand what it is to be a fan of things. To get something from someone on a show, it makes people really happy. If I have the power to post “Happy Birthday” on someone’s Facebook page and make them feel really good, it feels really good to make other people feel really good. I love it. I’m a huge Facebook and Twitter person. And I love talking to my fans. It’s fun.
I can’t say for sure, but I think you might be the only actress to play the mother of your real-life spouse on television.
Can you talk a bit about that experience? Even though you didn’t play Ben’s mother at his current age?
Not as his current age, but yes. It was actually my sick idea. I just thought it would be—they had been wanting to get me as a guest star on the show, and I thought it would be much more if I got to do a character who was connected to Michael in some way. And so I made this offhand joke, like, “Wouldn’t it be funny if when they did your flashback, I played your mom?” And we laughed, and he mentioned it to the producers. And then a week later, I was giving birth in the jungle—to my husband.
How do you and Michael influence each other as actors?
I think we’re very supportive of each other. We don’t get in each other’s way. We really don’t talk about the work that much, except to sort of praise each other and be supportive. We are not the types to sit around and run scenes together. Every once in a while, if I’m having trouble with something, I’ll ask him to have a look at it. But we kind of like to keep it away from the marriage.
So is there any chance of Michael playing a family member of Arlene’s on True Blood?
I think that would be really fun. I mean, it would be fun to have him on the show, but it would be really fun if he played something that had to do with my character, like a little reciprocity for what I did on his show.
Have you followed the book series? Do you know Charlaine Harris’ version of Arlene’s story?
I haven’t read all of them, because we did start departing so much from the books that it was kind of like, well, I don’t know. But at the same time, it is good to know where the books are going. Like, I’ve come up with some fun ideas that I’ve talked to Alan [Ball] about and other people have said, “Well, in the books this happens.” It’s just fun to have a dialog about it.
You must be sick of people yelling “Walt!” at you.
No, I’m not sick of it. I like it!
But there’s the “Waaaalt!”
[laughs] Yeah, yeah.
Now did the producers or the writers ever tell you why Walt is so special? Did you ever ask?
No, and I think I kind of regret it a little bit. I think I should have asked.
Not that they would have told you.
Right, right. No, you know, Walt, he’s just a fun-loving person. He’s still confused in life. He doesn’t know what he wants yet. I’m glad to be here and glad to be a part of the show.
Can you talk about your experience working with Harold?
Yeah, Harold’s a great person, talented actor. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years. I’ve worked with him, I think, the most of anybody on the show, because he played my dad. It’s good seeing him again. I haven’t seen him in two years.
So people probably always ask you if you’re coming back. Is there anything else you get asked often?
They always ask when I’m going on, because I’ve been gone for so long, popping up here and there. I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for the fans. I feel bad sometimes. But what can I do?