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Film and TV

Lost Reunion, 10 Years Later: No, They Were Not Dead the Whole Time!

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Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 5:14 AM
click to enlarge Lost cast members Ian Somerhalder, left, Malcolm David Kelley, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Henry Ian Cusick and Jorge Garcia reunite for PaleyFest's 10th-anniversary celebration of the show. - © MICHAEL KOVAC FOR PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA
  • © Michael Kovac for Paley Center for Media
  • Lost cast members Ian Somerhalder, left, Malcolm David Kelley, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Henry Ian Cusick and Jorge Garcia reunite for PaleyFest's 10th-anniversary celebration of the show.
"We debated as to whether or not we should show you the REAL finale" to Lost, Damon Lindelof teased the nearly full Dolby Theatre Sunday night. To the hoots, applause and groans, Carlton Cuse said, "Too soon?!"

The Lost co-creators joined some of their stars for a 10th-anniversary tribute to the ABC cult hit. The show went off the air in 2010, but the 10th-anniversary tribute to the show was the fastest-selling event in the 31-year history of the William S. Paley Television Festival.

The fans turned out in droves to see cast members Henry Ian Cusick (aka Desmond), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Malcolm David Kelley (Walt, all grown up), Yunjin Kim (Sun) and Ian Somerhalder (Boone). Unfortunately, due to shooting schedules run amok, Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) and Nestor Carbonell (Richard) were unable to join the fun. And, as moderator Paul Scheer put it, Vincent the dog also was unavailable, having just landed a role in Air Bud 4.

Scheer was an excellent and knowledgeable moderator, with some ideas of his own about the show and its place in TV history. "Lost was more than a show," he declared. "It really redefined the way we watched TV." In its six seasons, which "spanned both space and time," he continued, it was the first show "that made you run out and read a book because the show referenced it" (referring to his own copy of The Ginger Man), and it engaged its audience in weekly debate and almost forensic-level sleuthing. "I think you could even trace the idea of binge watching to Lost," he said.

Scheer also mentioned the elephant in the room, asking the audience to refrain from questions about the missing Malaysian aircraft, although the coincidence was hard to miss. But "that would be in bad taste," he said.

The episode screened for the event was "Exodus: Part 1," the first half of the first season's finale. At the end of the hour, the castaways succeed in launching a raft they've built in hopes of intercepting a passing ship. 

Holloway shared a touching recollection of shooting in Hawaii, despite the challenges presented by the natural environment. "The harsher the elements, the more fun it became. To me, anyway. I love the fact, when the mudslides would start, and the little waterfalls everywhere, and everyone would cram under one little tent ... It was just a break in the day, and we were just having this moment in the middle of nature. I loved that." 
click to enlarge Ian Somerhalder got no audience sympathy talking about a day of "making out" with Maggie Grace, who played his sister on Lost. - © MICHAEL KOVAC FOR PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA
  • © Michael Kovac for Paley Center for Media
  • Ian Somerhalder got no audience sympathy talking about a day of "making out" with Maggie Grace, who played his sister on Lost.

Lindelof responded: "Never ever did we write, "There's rain, and Jack and Kate are running up a hill.' Most of the time on Lost, what you see is what you get."

That went for the raft, too, Holloway said: "We sailed that raft halfway to Kauai! They left us out there!"

Cuse told how the first raft constructed ... sank. The second time, Jack Bender, who directed 37 episodes of the series, "called up and said, 'We have a problem with the raft.' I said, 'Did it sink again?' He said no, the raft is too fast, and the camera boat can't keep up!"

The show started out very different, according to Darlton (the collective nickname of Lindelof and Cuse). Lindelof explained that, at first, "There was no Sun in the Lost script, because there was no Lost script!" Actress Kim read for the role of Kate. When she auditioned, she wowed them, in part by telling them she'd been in the equivalent of Titanic in Korea, "and we decided we needed to write a character for her."

Similarly, Garcia read for Sawyer, because Hurley didn't exist. But when they saw him play a pot dealer on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Darlton knew they had to get Garcia into their show, so they wrote the part of Hurley for him.

See also: PaleyFest Television Panel Bingo

It is true that the actors didn't usually know what was coming their way. As Lindelof put it, "We really felt at a certain point that withholding what our plans for the actors were was in the best interest of the show, because the actors were so strong that it informed the writers room.

"We're shooting the pilot," Lindelof continued, "and Terry O'Quinn [Locke] would go between takes half a mile down the beach, and sit with his earbuds in. And [co-creator J.J. Abrams] says to me, 'That guy's got a secret!' And I said, 'What is it?' And he said, 'You figure it out!'" (O'Quinn didn't know immediately that his character had boarded the plane in a wheelchair.)

Cuse agreed, "They were right there — they only knew what the characters knew..." And Somerhalder cut in, "And you were always on the precipice of death!"

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