During the Festival Großes Fernsehen, actor Terry O'Quinn came to Cologne in order to promote the German premiere of „Lost“'s fourth season on new premium cabler FOX Channel. Christian Junklewitz and Dominik Ahrens spoke with him for Serienjunkies. Right at the start of the interview, a very calm and kind O'Quinn cleared the rumour (spread, e.g., on wikipedia) that he has ever been a bodyguard: „If I was gonna start some kind of rumor, it would be one that I wouldn't have to back up...“
How do you keep up with everything that is going on on «Lost»? There are so many places on the island, so many time frames. How do you cope? I only have to keep track of John Locke. I only have to know what he knows. In fact, the more difficult challenge is not paying attention to the things I am not supposed to know. John Locke doesn't have to keep track of everything, because he only knows what he knows.
But you have to keep track where on the time line all these things are supposed to happen to John Locke? Yes, but in Locke's case, so far, he has only had the past and the present. As far as I know. Nobody has told me anything else. Both of those things are very clear to me and they are very clear to him. So, it's really not a challenge to me. It's more complicated for the fans of „Lost“.
How far in advance do you know what is going to happen to John? And I mean this more in terms of character development rather than plot development. I don't know far at all. We are about to start shooting season five in the States, and I don't know how that begins. At the beginning of season four, we may have gotten the script two weeks before we began to shoot. By the end of the season, we got the script the day before we started to shoot. So, we don't know far in advance. The writers are very secretive, even with us. I would prefer they didn't tell me things I don't need to know because these are viewers' secrets I have to protect. I don't want them. It's not necessary.
So, the writers don't even tell you: We want to take John in this or that direction? You only get your screenplay, and that's it? That's pretty much it. What I learned is this: Don't ask. Because they can't tell you. If I had a cast of twenty-some people I wouldn't tell any of them anything, ANYTHING.
There is a rumor that your colleague Matthew Fox is the only cast member who knows what the solution of the mystery in „Lost will be? Is that true?“
I have no idea. I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks he does. If he came and told me „I know what's gonna happen“, I would say „Ok, what?“, and then he would say „Well, I can't tell you“, and I'd say „Well, I don't believe you.“