'Lost' star spills on Andromeda Strain.
Daniel Dae Kim has two big events in May: the Lost season finale and the A&E sci-fi miniseries The Andromeda Strain. At least he gets to speak English in the latter, though he plays a scientist speaking complicated medical jargon. At the miniseries' LA premiere, Dae Kim previewed both his latest role and upcoming surprises on Lost.
CraveOnline: So you finally get to speak English, but it's all medical jargon!
Daniel Dae Kim: I know, but as long as it's English, I don't mind.
CraveOnline: What are the most complicated things you get to say?
Daniel Dae Kim: Wow, I get to talk about Bucky Balls and I talk about Buckminster Fuller and his theories about quantum physics.
CraveOnline: Did you actually learn all the science, or just memorize it by rote?
Daniel Dae Kim: Oh no, for me to do it properly, I had to learn the theory, otherwise it feels false coming out of my mouth.
CraveOnline: Is it easier or harder than learning Korean?
Daniel Dae Kim: Easier. I would say easier. They each have their challenges but it's easier.
CraveOnline: Did you read the original Michael Crichton book to find out more about the character?
Daniel Dae Kim: I did. I started there for the research on the character. I wanted to get a feel for the tone that the author intended and I thought it helped with the performance.
CraveOnline: Did you see the original movie they made of The Andromeda Strain?
Daniel Dae Kim: No, actually, I have not seen that movie.
CraveOnline: That's interesting, why did you want to read the book but not see the earlier movie version?
Daniel Dae Kim: The way I felt about it was we were adapting the original source material, so to see another adaptation, it's kind of like seeing a version of Shakespeare. You read the script of Shakespeare but you don't have to see everything to do your take.
CraveOnline: What was the challenge of playing a character like this?
Daniel Dae Kim: I would say it would have to be kind of taking something that is filled with jargon, a lot of scientific technical terms, and trying to play an action on top of it. As an actor, trying to keep the stakes high while still keeping it clear enough so that the audience can understand what actually is happening in the plot lines. Because when you start talking science, people start nodding off, but the stakes are really important in this miniseries, so we have to be able to communicate what those stakes are at the same time, explain what is going on scientifically.
CraveOnline: Are you a sci-fi fan?
Daniel Dae Kim: I like sci-fi. I wouldn’t say that I have a particular affinity for it but it just so happens that a lot of the roles I've been offered have been sci-fi, so it's a good thing. As long as the character is good and the story's good, I don't mind doing sci-fi at all.
CraveOnline: Are you used to all the special effects? At least the green screen must have been different than Lost.
Daniel Dae Kim: Yeah, it's great to be able to work in a controlled environment because on Lost we're always outdoors, we're always in the sun, we're always subject to the weather. Here it was all in the studio, nice and climate controlled, all the lighting set, so it was a nice switch.
CraveOnline: When did you shoot this, during the hiatus or just during some episodes where we didn't see Jin?
Daniel Dae Kim: Between seasons three and four.
CraveOnline: How blown was your mind by the flashback within a flashforward?
Daniel Dae Kim: I thought it was, when the flash forwards first started, I was really excited because I thought it kind of injected a new energy into the show, so I guess it was inevitable that they would start combining the flashbacks and the flash forwards. I think it's great. There aren't many shows right now where in the fourth year of its run where you're actually still questioning the narrative style. That speaks a lot for the creativity of the writers.
CraveOnline: Are there any big developments on the finale?
Daniel Dae Kim: Yeah, there are some really big developments. There's kind of a doozy of a development actually. There's a lot of stuff happening on the island, he said wryly. There's some momentous changes to the show coming up in the finale. You'll start seeing them fairly quickly, so I think that's about all I can say.
CraveOnline: Anything specifically involving Jin?
Daniel Dae Kim: Well, a few episodes ago it was revealed that he might actually be dead, so if that's the case, we'll see how that happens, or whether or not it's true.
CraveOnline: How does it feel to be working up to something tragic?
Daniel Dae Kim: I don't know. It's an interesting phenomenon, to know the end point but the thing is, we don't necessarily know the endpoint. We don't know how he dies, we don't know when he dies, we don't know if he dies. So there are still so many questions.
CraveOnline: You think he just stayed on the island?
Daniel Dae Kim: It's possible.
CraveOnline: How much longer are you still in Hawaii?
Daniel Dae Kim: I actually just wrapped for the season so I'll be free for a little while.