By Michelle Esteban
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- 'Lost' fans know her as Dr. Juliet Burke. But no one -- not even the 'Lost' castaways -- really know her. She's as mysterious as the island itself, but we got some answers out of Lost's Juliet.
The moment I met Elizabeth Mitchell, I knew one thing for certain. The 37-year-old actor and mother is nothing like the character she plays on the ABC's mega hit."This is your office (beach)," I remind Mitchell as we walk out on the balcony of an oceanfront suite at the luxurious Kahala Hotel and Resort in Honolulu. It's where members of the cast are shooting the Season 4 DVD.
"This is my office, can you imagine?" asked Mitchell. No, Elizabeth! I really can't!Even more confounding?
What to think of her character, the gentle but cold Juliet."I think what we've seen over season 4, we'll continue to see a kind of more confused and messier Juliet," said Mitchell.
Juliet is a femme fatale with shifty loyalty.
"My husband read this thing on the Internet in huge capital letters, 'I HATE HER! Of course, I mean the character not the actress,' " confessed Mitchell. "I'm the one people hate, it's fascinating to me 'cause I've always been a fairly benign presence." Benign no more.
Mitchell admitted what makes Juliet so appealing is that no one knows what she's capable of and that she has to be a bit 'insane.'
"Obviously she'd do anything," said Mitchell. Anything to get off the island.Like what? We'll have to wait on that.
But Mitchell does offer a prediction for this season's finale: "I've been told two scenes, I don't know, probably someone is going to die, but I don't know who."
Lost bloggers think it's John Locke. "Oh, oh, it's amazing what can happen," laughed Mitchell. If you're a Lost fan and a little lost - the wait is over. The creators promise all the island's secrets will be revealed by 2010. But we want answers now. Those flash forwards - do we believe them?
"I don't know, good question, I really don't know," insisted Mitchell. Hmmm. But she thinks she may be in the know with regard to the "Oceanic 6."
"I don't think everybody NOT on the 'Oceanic 6' is dead," she said. "Especially because Josh Holloway, the most popular 'Lost' character;
I have a hard time believing they're going to kill him off and not show him again." And she also doubts baby Aaron counts towards the Oceanic total.
But would anyone mind if Benjamin Linus doesn't make it? "Oh Ben, Ben," said an exasperated Mitchell.
"She looked up to him, he took her out of a not-so-great-life. She was the prized possession, he knows everything about her, how enticing would that be?
" said Mitchell, "That's why it's even worse, the betrayal is the ultimate and then he's so creepy!" In the same breath she paid homage to his acting gift. "He's brilliant."Is Ben part of the "Oceanic 6"?
Mitchell says no. She insists Ben can't be because he wasn't on the plane. Besides, if she gets her way, it's possible he won't get off the island (unless we're to believe those flash-forwards.): "I would very much like a huge fight with Ben where we both end up bruised and blooded soul and body."
That's Mitchell's theory - not the creators'.More scoop? "She does love Jack...Juliet loves this man, she's not playing any games about it," admitted Mitchell.
"I'd like to see something passionate happen with Jack." Yeah, why would Jack want Kate, when he can have the vulnerable and viscous Juliet?
Because, "I personally think Sawyer and Kate have this insane chemistry," Mitchell said.And then there's that recent kiss between the two doctors. "The kiss was fun," she said. Mitchell praises all the cast, but singled out Matthew Fox who plays Dr. Jack Shepard. "He's a wonderful actor, a really giving actor," she said.
She told me playing Juliet is a "role of a lifetime"."She's my favorite, my favorite I've ever played, she's massively fun for me," said Mitchell.
"She captivated me, everything they wrote captivated me. It has nothing to do with my performance, had I read it in a book I would have been captivated." Playing Juliet may be the role of a lifetime, but, Mitchell's big break may have come when she played Angelina Jolie's lover in 'Gia', a made-for-TV movie in 1998.
Fans may remember her character on 'ER', but the star was really born in Dallas, Texas the day she took the stage in 'Alice Thru the Looking Glass.' She was just 7 years old."I was like 'Hey Mom, I got the part!' and she was like,' Oh, Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum? What are you doing?' I was like, 'I'm Alice!' And she was like 'Alice! What???'
"We won't even count how many lines she had to memorize. "The first time you get a laugh on stage or you have a moment where you're with the audience, that's where it's truly a gift," insisted Mitchell.But no gift trumps the role of motherhood - being CJ's mom. Her sweet, 2 1/2-year-old son ended our interview.
I met him as he traded Dad's arms for Mom's hip all the while waving a prized stick he found on the beach. As I quickly found out, he's all boy and very territorial about his mother. Thanks CJ for letting me meet your parents!
Elizabeth and husband Chris, an acting teacher are -- well -- Chris is the real Dr. Jack Shepard in her life. "Chris and I are very much in love," said Mitchell. She gives him a squeeze and a kiss before we settle in for our chat.The family lives on Oahu while shooting 'Lost', then retreats to their home in Seattle.
The couple used to live in L.A., but wanted a more family-friendly place to raise their son. Seattle was an easy choice. "I really fell in love with it from the sky for the most part, looking down I was like, 'What an incredibly gorgeous place,' " she said."It fits both of us so perfectly, 'cause we're such huge readers, we love music and art," Mitchell added. "All the things Seattle is rich with, we love."
When in Seattle, Mitchell told me she's a nerd. She loves to stay at home, garden, watch movies and read. And yes, she's a 'Lost' fan. I asked her what she thinks makes the show so special. She knew instantly: "Oh, I have to say it's the writing." Mitchell thinks the writers are as good at story arc as they are at keeping secrets.
That, says Mitchell, is one of the secrets to 'Lost's success -- it's like life, we don't know what's going to happen. "If we did, we'd be disappointed," said Mitchell.