March 12, 2005
Here follows my ultra-detailed fangirlish report. It’s alarmingly long and in-depth. Josh talks chains! The kiss is praised. Ian mentions a coconut bra. And drugs. Dom originally read for Sawyer?!
I’ll start with the scoops: They’ve already filmed the episode in which someone is killed off. They’re currently prepping the two-part season finale. The first part will be an hour, the second part 90 minutes, with no commercials in the last half hour. JJ says when he was shown it, “my jaw dropped.” He started to say, “I love cliffhangers,” and the audience groaned, so he amended his statement to, “but I love the finale anyway.” AUGH!
And here was my highlight: When asked about who will die (which I’ll answer in more detail - no spoilers, alas) - Jorge Garcia said when he told his mom one of them was being killed off, she gasped “Not Sawyer!” When Jorge said this, Josh (who was on his right), burst out laughing, and Naveen (on his left) and Matthew were laughing so hard they both had their hands over their faces for at least a minute, as did Josh by this time. It was so funny to see the three hottest guys on the show laughing in the exact same way. Naveen was wiping away tears by the time he finally stopped laughing.
Photo 1 (Josh being interviewed)
Photo 2 (same thing - but I was told to nix the flash, so here's a very arty photo, perhaps suitable for an icon? ;-D)
Professional photos of the event!
OMG! Josh & Matthew pic!
Or is this one better?
And before I get into the nitty gritty details, I just want to say GUH! All the boys showed up looking sharp. Josh looked lovely, as always in a suit jacket, black T and jeans and cowboy boots. Matthew was in a bitchin’ Ducati leather jacket that was so smokin’ hot. Please, please cast this man in action movies so I can see him 12 feet high on a movie screen. Guh. Naveen had his hair straightened and pulled back and was wearing a long leather trench coat. Nice! (And did you know he actually speaks with a Cockney accent?) Harold got applause for his natty hat - very stylish!
Everyone seemed energetic but relaxed and very comfortable joking around with each other. Harold and Josh sat next to each other and chatted as they got miked. I love Josh more than ever now. He kept cracking up and slapping his knee and throwing his head back and laughing. Love him. Strangely, Ian spoke up the most of the actors. Matthew barely said anything! So he is not the de facto leader in cast events. Who knew? Josh, Harold, and Dom seemed like the practical jokers of the bunch -- and they were all sitting together! And afterward, Josh and Dom seemed the most in demand and stayed to sign the longest. (ETA: So I read dawnybee's account and seems Foxy came back! And signed more autographs and posed for photos with people. Eek. Wish I'd stayed. I maybe could have touched the jacket! Wah! Well, OK, I can't really be that upset because I did get to be there. But ... the jacket!)
Now, onto the blow by blow!
The program started at 7pm and when I arrived around 5:30, the line was already snaking through the lobby like it was a line for a Disney ride and out through the back door! Some people had started lining up at 6 am! Other clueless types arrived at 6 pm and tried to buy tickets for an event that had sold out within hours of going on sale weeks ago. Dumkopfs!
So there I was standing in line, chatting with the guy next to me when I see Ian walk in the front door. All alone, no handlers or anyone. And no one recognizes him! He heads to the back of the lobby where the pressline is set up and when he gets near the cameras, there are deafening squeals as he is finally recognized. All the other talent must have come in the back way. :-)
The evening started with a clip of a 1969 show called “The New People,” about a group of people who’ve survived a plane crash on a tropical island. Hysterically funny! A fight on the beach. Some hipster ‘60s types with dreadful scarves. The leader declaring that the survivors were “the worst savages in the South Pacific.”
Then, they showed the pilot, part 1 in its entirety. JJ Abrams said they wanted to show something new but they couldn’t. Typically, a featured series would showcase next week’s episode, but because they’re on hiatus, they couldn’t show it that many weeks ahead of schedule. Phooey! (shakes fist at ABC!)
So I’ve seen the pilot at least three times before, but seeing it on a big screen, I saw something I’d never seen before: Jack is crying in the “count to five” scene. Well, he lets one tear out anyway. Did everyone notice that before except me?
Q and A
Who was there (in seating order):
Producer Carlton Cuse, producer Bryan Burk, Ian, Daniel, Yunjin, Dom, Harold, Josh, Jorge, Naveen, Matthew, JJ Abrams.
Who wasn’t there: Terry O’Quinn, Emilie de Ravin, Maggie Grace, Malcolm David Kelley, or Evangeline Lilly. Or co-creator Damon Lindelof.
All questions and answers paraphrased or summarized. But yes, I took notes! ;-)
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Lost?
JJ: It was actually Lloyd Braun’s idea at ABC. He really wanted to do a show about a plane crash. I was busy working on something else but he said he really wanted me on this. But we only had a week to get it together so it could be greenlit in time. He had me meet with Damon Lindelof who I’d been hearing good things about. And then I met him and fell in love. I couldn’t believe I’d never met him before! He was wearing a vintage Star Wars T-shirt and glasses even geekier than mine. And we jut start riffing. By the end of the week, we had a 24-page treatment and by then I thought it was the greatest thing ever.
(Here he also paid tribute to the “extraordinary group of actors” and everyone applauded casting director April Webster, who found them all. Jorge was the first cast, by the way.)
“The cast was as critical in shaping what the show has become as anyone,” he said of how they rewrote characters to suit the actors, as I’m sure you all know about Jorge, Dom, and Josh.
BB: We were the last pilot going. All the actors were already cast. We’d pictured Charlie as a much older, washed-up rock star. We had someone in mind who’d guest starred on Alias (he didn’t say who) and we were going to go in that direction when Dom came in and read. He actually read for Sawyer. (Josh here interjects, “Sawyer?” all haughty and possessive and gives Dom a mock glare.)
“But we knew he wasn’t man enough to play Sawyer.” (At this point, Dom looks offended and Josh cracks up.) “But we figured he was good for this strung-out junkie stuff.” (Dom still looks offended and Josh offers him his glass of water.)
Casting Kate was an enormous endeavor. We looked at 100 actresses. With everyone else, we looked at Jorge and said, ‘There’s Hurley,’ but we hadn’t found our Kate yet. The audition scene was the sewing scene. When Evangeline did it, there was this absurd moment when she pulled her hair back because we couldn’t see her face and we were like, ‘There’s Kate.”
Q: How did you all bond, since you didn’t know each other before?
Ian: They drugged us.
BB: They drugged you.
Ian: Yeah, they did.</font> Seriously, there was a lot of respect, at least as far as the actors go (a little, well-meaning dig against the producers). Within the first weeks of the pilot, we kind of knew.
Harold: We trust each other.
Q: Initially, Jack was supposed to die.
JJ: Yeah, we just thought it was so cool to kill him off in the second half of the pilot. (Matthew shakes his head.) But then we changed our minds. We still might kill him off. (Matthew pretends to look worried, IIRC.)
Q: Why film in Hawaii?
JJ: Well, it had to be somewhere. And Hawaii’s pleasant.
Dom: I wanted Hawaii. I like to surf.
Q: What’s going to happen on the show next year?
JJ: (Pretends to get up) I knew we shouldn’t have done this! Right now we’re prepping the final two episodes of this season.
Q: Are you going to answer any of the show’s big questions this season?
JJ: We’ll be answering some of the questions, but others are long-term questions we won’t answer right away. We didn’t want to get into an X-Files paradigm - and I’m not disparaging the X-Files, I love that show - but we didn’t just want one answer to everything. Damon said there should be many answers to many questions. The fans are so smart and aware ... Lots of questions will remain so you’ll watch year two!
Q: Can’t you get ABC to show all 24 episodes in a row without interruptions or going on hiatus?
JJ: I’ll ask them!
Q: Are any of you a lot like your character?
(Daniel waves hands frantically and shakes head)
Jorge: I’m probably the closest. (everyone laughs)
Naveen: (in that unexpected Cockney accent!) I can’t even change a lightbulb or use a computer. I wish I were a bit more capable.
Q: Any more romances on the horizon?
Harold: Well, Michael’s been looking at Hurley a lot lately. (much laughter ensues)
(Questions for the actors)
Q: (A woman thanks them in Korean and English for having Korean characters on the show and says she is “mostly satisfied” with the portrayal so far) Do you, Yunjin, provide feedback on what your character would or wouldn’t say or how your apartment would look?
Yunjin: Yes, we give input. Mostly it’s little details. Like in setting the table, picking out the most elaborate dish to feed her husband. So the dish I picked out was the one they used.
(Jorge joked that Daniel supervises his own additional dialogue recording because no one in the studio understands what he’s saying or if he got his accent right or not.)
Q: Do you get together and watch the episodes every Wednesday. (Duh! Of course they do!)
Dom (I think): Josh is out of town every time one of his episodes has aired. He’s just a cheapskate! So was Naveen. He lives in a caravan anyway.
Q: Is the show going to stay in Hawaii? (Duh, again!)
Carlton: Yes, that’s all been resolved.
Josh: It had nothing to do with me chaining myself to that pole!
Ian: Or that coconut bra!
Q: I came here all the way from New Jersey and I brought presents for all of you. Can I give them to you now.
Josh: Give them all to me! (laughs)
Q: Can you believe you beat American Idol?
Josh: It’s great because Simon kicked me off right away.
Naveen: We’re offering something that doesn’t insult the intelligence of the audience.
Q: Do the actors know what’s going to happen ahead of time?
Naveen: No. It’s intolerable sometimes.
Josh: JJ works for the CIA.
Q: (Something about how great Terry O’Quinn is)
Josh: He’s actually going to appear behind me here (they’re in front of a big curtain on stage) like the Wizard of Oz.
Carlton: (Something else about how great TOQ is ...) It’s great we can have the show so ambiguous. (to audience) How many of you would follow Locke? (1/4 of audiences raises its hands). How many of you think he’s good? (1/5 raise hands) How many of you think he’s evil? (1/8 of audience - including me :-D ). (to the actors) How many of you would follow Locke? (Ian raises his hand instantly and enthusiastically - everyone laughs very hard)
Q: What was it like from the actors’ viewpoint, getting cast on the show? Was there a lot of buzz that this was going to be a good show to be on?
Jorge: Ian, Dom, Evie and I all tested on the same day. And Ian and I were the only actors reading for our parts. So in the parking lot, Ian said to me, “See you in Hawaii, bitch!”
Harold: There was lots of buzz about the show.
Josh: I tested the same day as Harold. He’d just come off a play, he had this whole entourage. No one even knew I was there. (and how his accent kicked in on this sentence! Yummy!) And then Foxy showed up. I was just serving the water. (Matthew laughs)
(Someone else pipes up: “He’s still serving water!”)
Q: Josh, on behalf of the female population of this planet, I want to thank you for that kiss! (No this was *not me* asking this! Honest! :-D)
(Josh smiles, looks stunned, laughs)
(Dom or Ian): He kisses everyone on the show like that!
Jorge: We’re all like, ‘Hey man, let’s just shake goodbye!’ (Josh loses it, laughing and doubling over)
Q: What do you love about your character?
Dom: I wanted to play a contemporary character. I’d been spending a lot of time in pixieland. I kept being asked to read for these very sweet, kind, hobbity types. It’s great to play someone with an edge!
Harold: They didn’t make me “the black guy” with all his “black stuff.” (he and Dom riff on stereotypical “black guy talk”) He’s a real character with a real life. He’s not in a box.
Q: (To the actors) Do you ever go online and see what people are saying about your character? (This wasn’t me either! For one thing, the mentioned The Fuselage, where I never go.)
Naveen: I stay away.
Ian: It’s great to see what everyone’s thinking, but (he doesn’t go online either)
(Here Josh’s phone started ringing and Jorge was asking him, “What are they calling to find out? ‘How’s the show going? What are they asking?’”)
A very embarrassed Josh finally manages to turn off his phone and answers: Clearly I’m not very good at electronics, so I’m not on The Fuselage much, no!
Q: Is there a storyline, no matter how small or silly, you’d like to see for your character?
Josh: Sawyer needs to throw a party. He has all those goods! Sure, he’d have to water (the liquor) down.
Harold: I’d like to find out that Michael worked for SD6.
Dom: I think the (end of the show? season finale?) should just be Charlie and the monster having a cup of tea. They didn’t go for it.
Q: This is a question for Matthew, if you weren’t on the show, who would you want Kate to end up with, Jack or Sawyer?
Matthew: (looks amused and pretends to be indignant) Jack, of course. Sawyer is just an interim thing.
Josh: Aw, you’re going to get her in the end anyway. We all know it. As long as I have a role. (Or did he say “roll?!”) **(ETA: According to coolwhipdiva who was also there, Josh also said, "You know Kate's gonna end up with Jack, I'm just gonna give her back damaged." At which point he is laughing hard and thanking God that Evie is not there to smack the crap out of him. I wasn't been able to hear this dialogue due to all the laughter!)**
Q: You’ve said you’re going to kill one of the main characters off. Do you (to the actors) already know who it is and what was your reaction? Without telling us who it is, of course!
JJ: It was a painfully sad, horrible thing to do. (talks about how close they all are) It was equally painful in life as it was on the show. (And here all the actors show off their chops because they all have the best poker faces ever going. They only look appropriately solemn.)
Carlton: I think ABC’s conception was that, on a show with so many characters, a lot of the characters would be dying! But then the people writing the checks fell in love with the cast, too. But we wanted to remind everyone that the stakes are life and death.
Q: How far ahead do you plan story arcs? Like the “numbers?” When did you come up with those?
JJ: We have a “bible” for the series with all the stories we want to tell. When were were doing the pilot, we were scrambling to make sense of it. It’s like telepathy. You have to believe that your ideas are worth something. But the idea of the numbers came in early on. I’d be lying if I said everything is planned out from the beginning. I’ve said it before. It’s like hiking in the fog. You know where you’re going but the closer you get, the clearer the landscape becomes. I watch dailies and the actors tell you what the show is, what the show should be. We’re not working in a hermetically sealed environment.
Q: JJ, you’re famous for shaking up Alias. Are you going to do that on Lost?
JJ: (Mentions the cliffhanger-y season finale ... which “made his jaw drop”)
Q: What fan theories have you liked the best, even if they’re not accurate?
JJ: Purgatory. I like that idea. It’s not what it is, but it works as a metaphor for the show. The fans are so smart and in synch with the show. Sometimes they come up with things that are so close and sometimes they come up with things that are better. (talked about the instant feedback you get with online fandom and how he likes that because it’s not operating in a vacuum) I’m just so grateful and beholden to the fans.
Q: Will you ever show what’s going on back home with any of the characters? (And here this woman mentioned something about flashbacks with the survivors’ families or something ... she kind of lost me. And everyone else too.)
Jorge: I’m confused now. Flashbacks to the flashbacks? So in Season Six, we’ll flashback, “Remember when the plane crashed? Remember when Boone stole the water?”
JJ: We actually shot a title sequence with images of a mailbox overflowing with mail, or a car alone in a parking lot, things that showed someone was missing. It was emotional and cool and weird, but ultimately it was too esoteric. If the show goes on for a period of time, we might try something like that.
Carlton: We actually came up with several title sequences and spent thousands of dollars, but the one we used was one JJ came up with on his Mac.
JJ: I just did it as a goof. And now it’s on national TV!
Carlton: JJ did the theme song too.
JJ: It’s just one note! And now they’re going to be ring tones available of the Lost theme?
Q: How many years do you see Lost going?
JJ: 20? 23? (laughs) We’d hate to keep doing it after the point where it stopped being interesting. We’ll do it for an appropriate amount of time.