Daniel Dae Kim has built a golden pass after LOST.
In a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Kim also discusses his preparation for his role in the reboot version Hellboy, and reflected on his moments on the Lost set, as well as his reflections on his final scene as Jin on LOST. FROM THE INTERVIEW:
Fifteen years ago, you arrived in Hawaii to film Lost's pilot, and it sounds like you haven't left since.
That is correct. If you would've asked me when I was a little kid
growing up in Pennsylvania whether or not I would spend the majority of
my career in Hawaii, I would've laughed. But, stranger things have
happened, and they actually have. I'm here, and it really feels like I
found home for me and my family.
Do you still feel Hawaii's laid-back vibe despite living there?
That vibe really does exist, but like any other place, once you're
there for more than just a vacation, you learn a lot more about the
people and the location that deepens your knowledge base. That can be
both positive and negative. It's still an amazing place to live, and the
fact that I'm choosing to live here — even though I'm not working here
any longer — says everything.
Is it tricky navigating Hollywood from afar? Are you flying back and forth constantly?
Yes. (Laughs.) It's very difficult. I think I've
gotten platinum status on two different airlines in the past year. I
literally flew 200,000 miles in the last calendar year.
There's a Lost "golden pass" joke that practically writes itself here, but I'll refrain for now.
(Laughs.) Right! But, it's worth it. My family loves it
here. My children got to spend their entire childhood here. It's a
pretty special place.
When you reflect on Lost,
what are some of the smaller memories or in-between moments that
surprisingly stick with you, such as Terry O'Quinn playing guitar
That's a good question. The first things that pop up are the moments
in between takes. Because we were all friends, our time together
— between takes — was as special as the time that we were actually
shooting. The moments where the guitars would come out, all of our set
chairs would be in a circle, so we could all see each other and talk to
each other. There were several of us who play guitar and a lot of us who
sang. So, spontaneous sing-along sessions would just kind of break out,
and certain times we would get so passionate about them that we would
delay shooting because we needed to finish a version of "Roxanne" that
we were all singing. (Laughs.)
Co-showrunner Carlton Cuse used to talk a lot about how Jin
and Sawyer tested at the bottom of cast in the early days of the show.
After all you were both antagonists, so you're not supposed to be liked.
By the end, your characters were beloved by test audiences. Since you
probably didn't know the entirety of Jin's massive arc as of season one,
did you lament Jin's reception at first, even though you were
fulfilling the role as the writing intended?
Yes. Absolutely, I did. I was very concerned about it. Though I was
reassured that the character was going to grow and develop, what I
wasn't sure about was how the show would be received. If, for instance,
we got four or five episodes on the air and then we got canceled, the
entirety of Jin's character would be what you saw at the beginning. To
me, that was problematic because it represented a number of stereotypes
that I worked so hard to avoid in my career. So, that was my concern. I
had a lot of faith in J.J. [Abrams] and Damon [Lindelof] that if the
show continued, the character would grow and deepen; they had assured me
of that. So, it wasn't a matter of trusting them, it was just a matter
of trusting whether or not the show would be successful.
Many fans consider Jin and Sun to be Lost's greatest
romance. Their conclusion on the submarine affects me each and every
time I see it. Since the show has now been off the air for almost nine
years, has your rationalization of Jin's decision to leave his daughter
behind changed at all?
I can see both sides of that decision, but the thing that I keep
coming back to is that he had wronged his wife in many ways. The
decision to stay with her was part of his atonement. That's the
emotional place where that decision came from. I think there was the
rational question of whether or not he would've made it out alive, and I
think all of those combined for him to make the choice that he did. To
me, it was a very powerful statement about love and making that
sacrifice for an ideal and a feeling that is undeniable.