They had to go back! On Sunday, March 16, nearly 10 years after Lost began its six-season run of supernatural mysteries and obsessive conspiracy theories — inspiring a whole generation of similarly complex TV series like Under the Dome, The Event, and now Resurrection — cast members from the pivotal show reunited at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for a 10th anniversary PaleyFest panel.
Series stars Matthew Fox, Terry O'Quinn, and Evangeline Lilly were absent, but plenty of other castaways were present and accounted for. Among them? Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Ian Somerhalder (Boone), Maggie Grace (Shannon), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), and Malcolm David Kelly (Walt).
During the panel, which was moderated by comedian Paul Scheer, the actors reminisced about their experience on the show, which ran from 2004 to 2010. Creators and executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were also on hand to answer questions, though Scheer cautioned the audience not to bring up any references to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, as it wouldn't be "in good taste."
Cuse and Lindelof were happy to tackle other topics, though. Here are five highlights and revelations from their chat with the cast.
Lost fans are very…enthusiastic. Hunky Holloway, not surprisingly, had his share of rabid followers, including one who apparently followed him around during shooting. "I had one fan I saw a few too many times," he shared. "There was one point where [the fan] offered to cook me a chicken dinner." Quipped Scheer: "That means sex." Either way, that's hardly the strangest fan experience the cast members have had. Cuse recalled a time when O'Quinn, who played John Locke on the show, hitched a ride home from the Hawaiian set with a local, who took him to her house instead of his, saying, "I have to show you to my husband!"
Maggie Grace has a wicked sense of humor. The scene where Boone (Somerhalder) kisses his sister Shannon (Grace) was made even more awkward when Grace pulled a prank on her costar before the last take. According to Somerhalder (Grace's real-life ex), she stuffed her mouth full of garlic and then took a few puffs on a cigar prior to their big makeout. "One of my proudest moments," she teased during the panel. She also apparently stuffed a kielbasa in her pants during a love scene with Sayid (Naveen Andrews).
Nikki and Paulo were always doomed. Fans weren't the only ones who despised season three additions Nikki (Kiele Sanchez) and Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro). Lindelof said he and the writers knew as soon as they got into the editing room that the characters didn't work on the show. By the time Nikki and Paulo's first episode aired on ABC, he revealed, the show was already filming their death sequence.
There's an answer to the outrigger mystery — but fans will probably never find out what it is. One of the many questions left unanswered by the show concerned who was on the other boat firing guns at Sawyer and Juliet in the outrigger during season five's "Little Prince" episode. "I have to give you some level of satisfaction without actually answering the question — the Lost way," Lindelof said, noting that the script has an unaired scene that explains what was going on. Ultimately, he shared, the team thought it would be more interesting to leave the mystery unsolved.
"Every question begets another question," Cuse added. "We wanted to tell an emotional story that showed what happened to the characters. We cared much more about what happened to them."
The castaways were not, in fact, dead the entire time. Cuse and Lindelof blame confusion about the series finale on the use of old footage of the Oceanic plane wreckage, which they used as a "buffer" between the last-ever scene and commercials. "It exacerbated the problem," Cuse said, referring to the persistent theory that, despite the producers' insistence otherwise, Jack and Kate and everyone else were caught in purgatory.
"Lost was metaphorically about lost people looking for meaning in their lives," he explained. "The ending had to be a spiritual one that explained these characters' journey and destiny." The question they hoped to answer, Lindelof added, was: "What is the meaning of life? And what happens when you die?"
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