Evangeline Lilly made her break-out career role as Kate in LOST. However, she recently stated that there were difficult parts during filming the series, according to an interview in a recent podcast (and reported in the New York Post.
Lilly played a strong, spunky, wild child character who would get a second chance to erase her past on the island. But since this was her first credited role as an actress, she did not have the clout on the set.
She said that being
new to Hollywood meant that she was not comfortable enough to
speak up when she felt pressured, and that led to some very upsetting
“In Season 3, I’d had a bad experience on set with being basically
cornered into doing a scene partially naked, and I felt had no choice in
the matter,” Lilly said on the podcast. “I was mortified and I was
trembling, and when it finished, I was crying my eyes out and I had to
go on and do a very formidable, very strong scene thereafter.”
That wasn’t the last time Lilly was forced to undress on camera
against her wishes. “In Season 4, another scene came up where Kate was
undressing and I fought very hard to have that scene be under my control
and I failed to control it again. So I then said, ‘That’s it, no more.
You can write whatever you want — I won’t do it. I will never take my
clothes off on this show again.’ And I didn’t.”
Losing control of her bodily autonomy wasn’t the only thing she didn’t like about LOST
as the show progressed and started to focus more on a love triangle
between her character Kate and the male leads Jack (Matthew Fox) and
Sawyer (Josh Holloway).
“I felt like my character went from… having her own story and her own
journey and her own agendas to chasing men around the island and that
irritated the shit out of me,” said Lilly. She added that she “did throw
scripts across rooms when I’d read them because I would get very
frustrated by the diminishing amount of autonomy she had and the
diminishing amount of her own story there was to play.”
In today's #METOO environment, one would assume most of the directors would be less pushy in putting actors into uncomfortable positions. On the other hand, Hollywood has been for centuries a cesspool of power plays and taking advantage of actors.
It is also interesting to note, that she states that her character's story changed during the series into a love triangle story line which she did not like. It is another piece of evidence that the show runners and writers had no direct, clear path of the main story lines. They would change on the fly to meet the demands of the network or ratings. Some fans wanted to see a romantic element between the main leads. But did that really improve the story?
Lilly believes it diminished her character's story which was one of running away from her family problems, the lack of responsibility in her life and her manipulation of men for her own means. Her character never got truly punished for her misbehavior. Her cuteness was a defense. She used it to her advantage, but not as a means to find love. Even her marriage to the Florida cop was more a convenient cover than true love. She was lost because she grew up without unconditional loving parents. All of her relationships ended badly. Why would she want her character to change midway through the series to become a cliche fluttering heart girlfriend?
UPDATE August 6, 2018:
Creators and executive producers JJ Abrams,
Damon Lindelof, Jack Bender and Carlton Cuse issued a joint statement
apology for the alleged problems on the show, which ran on ABC from
“Our response to Evie’s comments in the media was to immediately
reach out to her to profoundly apologize for the experience she detailed
while working on Lost,” the statement read. “We have not yet
connected with her, but remain deeply and sincerely sorry. No person
should ever feel unsafe at work. Period.”