Lostpedia: You maintain a blog on which you occasionally mention the show. Early on you made some posts to the effect of the studio not being thrilled about the blog and its potential for "spoilers." Obviously, it hasn't been too big of an issue, since you're still posting, but are there any serious restrictions that you're under in your blogging? Are you encouraged to mention the show in your posts, or discouraged to do so?
I started it because I was seeing all of these “fall preview” magazine issues, of with LOST was not a part of, because we weren’t going to be on until the winter. I figured this would keep people buzzing about the show, while they were waiting. But some people were worried that the audience would be able to find spoilers by reading into what I was writing about. So I thought it would cause too much and stopped it. But then a day or so later I decided it might be fun to just do a non-LOST blog.
Lostpedia: It seems to me the character of Hurley was less of a means for comic relief during season 4, and when it was, the humour appeared to be rather cynical. How did you feel about the darker approach the writers have taken with your character?
It was an interesting turn, especially seeing what Hurley had become after being off the island for a while. It gave me some good opportunities to show some other sides of the character. I’m anxious to see what’s next.
Lostpedia: Hurley is a very superstitious person. Can you let us in on any of your greatest superstitions?
Well I inherited my superstitions from my grandmother. You don’t wish anyone a “Happy Birthday” early; it’s bad luck. And you don’t make fun of the dead because they will come into your bedroom at night and tug on your feet.
Lostpedia: The “Hurley bird” was a major mythological mystery in the first two season finales. What is your take on it, and could you give some insight as to how it was described in the script? Speaking of scripts, do you keep your scripts after the episode has been filmed, or do they get put in the trash?
I forgot how it was written in the first finale. I feel the “Hurley” thing came later. I don’t think it was the “Hurley bird” until season two. I keep all of my scripts. I have a collection of binders that have all of my final scripts. I also kept a few scenes that got re-written in major ways to remember the old plots years from now. But they’re packed right now in a box somewhere until I move.
Lostpedia: You've stated in previous interviews that playing computer games is a big hobby of yours. What was your reaction to the game Lost: Via Domus? Would you welcome the opportunity to have a more active hand in any future Lost computer games?
I was a little bummed that they couldn’t come to a deal with us to use our real voices. And my face looked pretty creepy. I don’t know I do about future games. As a rule, games based on movies or TV tend to not be the greatest. I guess it would depend on the concept.
Lostpedia: I have read many theories that suggest Hurley may be the most important character and the "key" to solving some of the biggest mysteries behind ‘Lost’ (i.e. he wasn't supposed to be on the plane). Do you feel that with the deeper, darker Hurley we have been seeing, we might be headed in that direction? If so, how do you feel about carrying the burden of the ultimate outcome?
I like the idea of Hurley being the key to it all, especially if it means job security.
Lostpedia: For me, your Apollo Bar scene with Michael Emerson in ‘Cabin Fever’ was one of the most moving, and memorable single scenes in the four seasons of ‘Lost’ so far. Was that scene scripted? How did Michael Emerson and you approach the scene? What do you feel the "message" of the scene was, and how do you feel about the fan reaction to it?
We’re not thinking message when we’re working. We were excited to do this scene and were having fun trying to find all of the beats in it. On a stage we probably could have stretched it out to twenty minutes. After we had moved on, we found one last beat that we had missed. So as good as the scene was, it was not the best it could have been.
Lostpedia: In the future, Hurley chats with dead people. If you could bring back one actor who has already left the show to become a regular again, who would it be and why?
That depends, would they still be dead? Because I liked the direction Hurley and Libby were going before… you know what happened.
Lostpedia: What was your favorite moment from season four? From an acting standpoint, this season has enabled you to really change things up a bit. How was it adapting to the change? What are your views on Hurley’s apparent connection with the Island, especially after seeing Jacob’s cabin?
I can think of two. Shooting inside the helicopter was a lot of fun. We were having a blast pretending to crash into the ocean. And the moment when Jack visits Hurley in Santa Rosa and he sits there staring at the wall, something happened that felt very exciting. I don’t want to get into the specifics but it felt like there was magic in the scene.
Lostpedia: What do you feel has been the defining moment of Hurley's storyline thus far? From Hurley’s point of view, what has been your favourite season?
Probably the death of the Charlie has had the most effect on him. It’s tough to pick a favorite season. Season one will always be special though.
Lostpedia: How did you feel when you found out Charlie would be killed, as him and Hurley were best friends? How did you approach such a difficult subject to act out? Now that it's over, do you miss your scenes with Dom?
Sure I miss playing Scrabble on Dom’s phone between takes. What I liked the most was that Hurley had no idea what was happening when Charlie went on the boat. It kept the moment from being too precious. Like the moment when all Hurley can tell Libby when she’s dying is that he’s sorry he forgot the blankets.
Lostpedia: What makes you stick to this series, when your role could have spring-boarded you to other long-term projects? Do you follow through until the series' end because they want to see where it goes, or because you enjoy the character you play?
Well I am contractually obligated to continue on LOST. But more importantly I love my job. I live in Hawaii and work on a show that’s not like anything else on TV.
Lostpedia: If you had the opportunity, what is the one thing about the show (in an episode, season, or series as a whole) you would change?
The snack jokes.
Lostpedia: What’s your least favourite thing about the show and the process of making it (if you have one)?
One of the physically hardest things to do on LOST is marching on the beach. Usually when you walk on the beach you’re in sandals and your leisurely strolling. But to march with purpose over a great distance. That’s a bitch.
Lostpedia: In your first audition, you read the part of Sawyer. What was it about that role that appealed to you? Were you flattered that Damon and JJ wanted you in it so much, they wrote in Hurley specifically for you? How did the audition process work?
When I went in they knew that wanted to meet me but they didn’t have material for me. So they had me read Sawyer. I wasn’t really auditioning for the part. But then they wrote scenes for me to test with at the studio and then network levels. At this point I was the only guy auditioning for Hurley in the room. Later I learned they basically created the part for me. And that makes you feel pretty special.
Lostpedia: As an actor where would you like to take your career after ‘Lost’? Do you ever watch the show when an episode is finally cut and completed, and, if so, how does it feel to see those scenes from a 3rd person perspective?
I still have to figure out what I want to do after LOST. It doesn’t matter too much so long as the material is good. I watch the show when it airs. I like to watch it because stuff can change in the editing and always like to see how the effects turn out.
Lostpedia: What was your favorite show growing up? What/who influenced you personally to begin acting?
I remember liking ALF when I was younger. But as a kid I think it’s the Indiana Jones movies that first made me want to be an actor.
Lostpedia would like to thank Mr. Garcia for his time to complete this interview.