During a recent press interview, Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof answered everything from what Lost is really about to what we can expect from future episodes. You can find the entire thing over at IGN, but since we have already heard some of it, the interesting answers can be found bellow:
When asked if controversial character Paulo, played by Rodrigo Santoro, is supposed to be unlikable, Lindelof had this to say:
Yes. But hopefully, like any other character on the show, after you learn a little bit more about them, your opinion changes. Or maybe when you learn a little bit more about them, you hate them more.
ABC and Touchstone did testing on Sawyer around episode 4 of the show, and he was the lowest testing character on the show. People hated him. They thought he was belligerent and obnoxious. Then his flashback story episode aired, and suddenly he’s a little kid hiding under a bed, whose mommy and daddyâ€¦ And suddenly Sawyer shot to the top of the charts.
Lost, as frustrating as this may be, requires patience, and I think in a society where people don’t have a lot of patience, the fact that the show demands that of themâ€¦ We feel blessed to have the viewership we still have.
Damon also explained that sometimes they have to change the storytelling to fit the actors:
Like in the case of Adewale, for example, his character was a character that when we first sat down with him, he said, ‘I only want to work on the show for a season.’ And then we said, ‘Well, let’s not contractually mandate that, because maybe you’ll change your mind.’ After he worked on the show for a season, he said, ‘I’m not happy. I don’t want to do this job anymore. I don’t want to live in Hawaii. My life in is in the U.K. I want to be a film actor. That’s what we all agreed on.’ And we said, ‘You’re absolutely right. We did agree on that. Will you give us six more episodes, so that we don’t come back for the season and say Mr. Eko just died in the hatch explosion, which everybody would hate. He’s a beloved character.
We hoped that we could convince him otherwise. But there’s a case where an actor’s desire to continue to be on the show severely inhibits storytelling. To be honest with you, Carlton and I would have loved to have told more Mr. Eko stories. But that’s a case where real life obviously affects the show. If one of our actors gets sick, you have to write them down in an episode. If one of our actors is coming to do publicity, you have to write them down in an episode. If one of your actors is unhappy with their screen time, legitimately, then you go, ‘Oh my god, they haven’t been in the show for six episodes in a row.’ You say, ‘It’s time to do their story now.’ So that is the ebb and flow of TV writing.
When confronted with the fact that Bernard is the only tailsection survivor left, and asked if he wished that they wouldn’t have spent as much time on the “tailies” last season, Damon answered:
No. Because I think all of those stories were incredibly important to tell in terms of how they affected our core cast.
Had Michael not been the one to kill Ana Lucia and Libby, that would not have set into motion the series of events that had him and Walt leaving the island. And Michael and Walt leaving the island is the most significant event, secondary to the button not getting pushed and the big purple light. That affected that, so you needed Ana Lucia and Libby to tell that story. So sometimes, unfortunatelyâ€¦ Like Boone was a character in service to another character. Boone was in service to Locke. We told Boone stories, but at the same time he was Isaac to Locke’s Abraham. So some characters die to serve the greater story.
The Lost co-creator also offered his view of what Lost is really about:
This show is about people who are metaphorically lost in their lives, who get on an airplane, and crash on an island, and become physically lost on the planet Earth. And once they are able to metaphorically find themselves in their lives again, they will be able to physically find themselves in the world again. When you look at the entire show, that’s what it will look like. That’s what it’s always been about.
The immediate follow-up question to this was if we should assume that Michael and Walt found themselves and for that reason were allowed to leave the island. As always, Damon had a different view of the situation:
The interesting thing about Michael is that he was one of the only characters on Flight 815 who had not committed some horrible atrocity. In fact, he did something good, which was his wife basically took his son away from him, and then the son’s adoptive father stuck Michael holding the bag. Michael uprooted his entire life, flew to Australia, to collect Walt, but then ended up crashing on the island. Now he’s done something terrible. So his redemption story actually began with the shooting of Ana Lucia and Libby, and will resolve by the end of the series.
I’m not sure if this is the first real confirmation of the fact that we will see a proper ending to the Michael and Walt storyline, but either way, this is great news.
Something else that people might forget is that Lost is still taking place in November of 2004. Damon had this to say regarding the time-difference.
It’s going to become a huge part of the storytelling in season three, that sort of disconnect. We felt the need to remind the audience that was in fact the case with the Red Sox game, and just basically say, ‘Here on the island it’s just November of 2004.’ You know, we just sort of passed Thanksgiving.
Here in the world we’re actually three years beyond that, so this is something that we’re not only keeping track of, but writing towards for sort of a very major shake up coming soon.