C'mon Hollywood: Get the cast of Lost some better roles!
ABC’s Lost was one of the most monumental TV shows ever made. Sure, it divided audiences and toyed with their emotions, but that was part of its charm. Complicated, ambiguous, controversial, exhilarating, and epic, the show ran for six seasons and created a massive story that weaved in and out of time, diving into the lives of the survivors of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 with more depth than is normally accomplished on any TV series. The accolades to that success belong partly to the writing and partly to the outstanding ensemble cast that formed the heart and soul of the show. And now that it’s over the cast has endured the task of finding work in a post TV show world, which has yielded significantly middling results.
So, why haven’t these cast members soared post-Lost?
The power, emotion, and sheer intensity that each of the key actors in Lost brought to the table was staggering. Full of unknowns, character actors, and first timers, the cast was a veritable force of acting excellence, winning many of them Emmy nominations and a few wins (Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson). The show had a terrific balance of hardcore emotional scenes mixed with physically demanding action sequences and even some timely humor, giving a full range of each actor’s ability. In many ways, Lost served as a show reel for each actor, displaying their strengths in full view. It would be easy to place them well within any number of the current Hollywood films in theaters today, yet they barely have a presence at all.
Matthew Fox – The lead character of Lost, Jack Shephard, Fox broke free of his Party of Five nice guy image and embodied the strong, flawed, and determined heroic lead with a ferocity. No one thought he was even capable of delivering such a performance, but Fox owned it through and through. Since Lost ended, Fox has shown up in three Hollywood pics, in either co-star or villain roles, from THE EMPEROR, ALEX CROSS, and a blink-and-you-miss-it role in WORLD WAR Z. With so many leading man roles dangling out there with all the same names, the one that seems to fall to the wayside is Fox’s, who is more than primed to fill a leading man action star role.
Suggested role: Commander Shephard in a MASS EFFECT movie or just about any action franchise.
Josh Holloway – As the infamous Sawyer, Holloway played the anti-hero with perfect bad guy intensity. Although he proved to be a good guy in the end, Holloway never let that shine through, leaving his character always on the line in terms of good or evil and the actor showed a terrific range of strength and vulnerability that let us love and hate him at the same time. Since then, Holloway has struggled to find footing in the industry, his cameo role in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL serving as proof that the guy needs to be in more movies and can absolutely hold his own. Unfortunately, those upcoming movies are a bit part in PARANOIA and as a dance instructor in BATTLE OF THE YEAR. The only promising role he has is in David Ayer’s SABOTAGE, which could prove to be something worthwhile. He’s set to try his hand at another TV show with Intelligence, which looks like a short-lived gimmick and a waste of his talent.
Suggested role: Drake in an UNCHARTED movie or similarly themed adventure role: X-Men's Gambit for a long shot.
Evangeline Lilly – It’s hard to believe that Lost was the first professional acting gig for Lilly, who was wonderfully convincing as Kate Austen, the mysterious convict with a sordid past. Beautiful, tough, and ruthless, Lilly played Kate with a strength not typically seen in female roles. Her “Freckles” was a badass, but not one without heart or weaknesses, her beauty entrancing many a viewer (myself included) and solidifying a place in the hall of pop culture crushes forever. Since leaving the show, Lilly had a thankless role in Hugh Jackman’s REAL STEEL and a cameo role in Kathryn Bigelow’s THE HURT LOCKER. However, she has a solid role in Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (as Tauriel) and the third sequel to follow, which is a great step forward for the actress and the most promising of all the actors here.
Terry O’Quinn - The actor took home an Emmy for his performance as John Locke, one of the best hero to villain roles of all time. O’Quinn chewed up and spat out every scene he graced in Lost, starring as a paraplegic man on a quest that certainly lived up to the promise. O’Quinn’s Locke was intense, smart, conniving, and shrouded in mystery, serving as the perfect metaphoric device for the show. Whether you loved or hated the character, you had to respect and admire the actor, who nailed the complex role with every episode. Since the show closed, O’Quinn has had moderate success (and failure) with shows like 666 Park Avenue, Falling Skies, and Hawaii Five-O (alone with fellow alum Daniel Dae Kim), but hasn’t found feature work that fits his considerable skill.
Suggested role: O’Quinn is perfectly suited for a strong lead role in just about any genre. He can do villains, mentors, historical figures, you name it.
Beyond those already mentioned, it goes without saying that the vast majority of the Lost cast is in need of better roles. Daniel Dae Kim has made a go of Hawaii Five-O and The Legend of Korra, but has more than earned a spot in a big-budget property (Quick Kick in the next GI Joe perhaps?) and his counterpart in the show, Yunjin Kim, has putzed around, missing roles perfectly suited to her (Mariko in The Wolverine maybe?). Emilie de Ravin has found a home in Once Upon A Time, but it would be nice to see her make the jump into features again (she was great in BRICK). Naveen Andrews was superb as Sayid in the show, but his biggest role post-Lost is in the DIANA biopic. Not exactly capitalizing on the brute force skill he displayed on the show. And the list goes on.
While there have been some decent successes, it feels like this massive talent pool has been languishing since Lost ended its run, leaving them marooned, much like their characters on the show. Everyone displayed such promise and talent and I always felt that all of them would make the transition with relative ease. Now, it seems that they are underutilized and forgotten, a true shame especially when there are so many roles out there that are begging for some fresh, new talent. Hopefully, these actors will escape from their figurative island and get back to “mainland” Hollywood where they can once again put their considerable skills back on display.
Yeah, just give me an excuse to put up another picture of Evangeline Lilly...
|Extra Tidbit:||What roles do you think the Lost actors are primed for? Lets hear your suggestions below!|