Why Evangeline Lilly hated her ‘Lost’ character

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At the height of its popularity, there were few TV shows that generated discussion on a level comparable to Lost, with J.J. Abrams’ mind-bending fantasy becoming one of the most heavily debated episodic offerings of the 21st century.

Unfortunately, the longer the series went on, the clearer it became that the creative team didn’t necessarily have all the answers to the questions they posed. Even some of the ones that were put forward didn’t sit too well with a viewership who’d been diligently following the developments of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815’s survivors.

That extended to the cast, too, with Evangeline Lilly going on record to voice her dissatisfaction with how her ongoing arc as Kate Austen was handled. Although she was a featured player throughout the entirety of Lost‘s six-season run and earned a Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Actress – Television Series Drama’ in 2007, her opinion gradually began to sour.

As she shared on an episode of The Lost Boys podcast, despite her first-ever leading role on television propelling her to fame, she’s of the opinion that Kate’s agency and autonomy began to diminish the longer the show went on. “At the beginning, she was kind of cool,” she said. “And then, as the show went on, I felt like she became more and more predictable and obnoxious.”

Lilly lamented how her character went from “having her own story and her own journey and her own agendas” to “chasing men around the island”. In fact, she admitted, “that irritated the shit out of me,” explaining why she was so frustrated and being constantly reduced to a bystander in a never-ending love triangle.

“I 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,” she continued. By her estimation, as much as “there’s nothing wrong with women’s lives being characterised by their relationships,” she didn’t think it suited her perception of who Kate was.

“There was this eventual lack of dimension to what was going on with her. It was just really, ‘Jack? Sawyer? Jack? Sawyer?’” That’s an opinion many of Lost‘s viewers would share as Kate became increasingly side-lined, to the point Lilly “felt like her chasing after Jack seemed so immature”. At the end of the day, she wasn’t given input on where the character was heading, leaving her to try and do the job to the best of her abilities despite harbouring such misgivings.

Of course, she wasn’t in a position to actively complain to the powers-that-be given how early on her career Lilly was at the time, but with Lost firmly in the rear-view mirror, she made a point of clearing the air.

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