Kris White: For many actors in Hollywood, the idea of doing their own stunts is not just crazy, it's unheard of. It's taxing, dangerous, and too thrilling for the average Joe. But, not so for the cast of Lost. Filmed in idyllic Hawaii, the cast regularly jumps, swims and climbs their way through scenes. It's only natural then to expect that Daniel Dae Kim and Josh Holloway, who play Jin and Sawyer, respectively, would jump at the chance to shoot their raft sequences in the middle of the ocean in the name of realism. Daniel Dae Kim:
Daniel Dae Kim: The experience of filming on the raft was pretty unique. I've never done two weeks straight on the water, including night shoots. Getting my sea legs took a little while, watching people get seasick in front of you took a little getting used to, but I think it was really necessary for the authenticity of the show. We spent so much time on-location outdoors in Hawaii that it wouldn't make sense for us to shoot the stuff in the water in a tank somewhere in a studio, we had to take advantage of the natural surroundings. I'm really glad we did, 'cause I think it showed on screen. We have some beautiful helicopter shots, of the raft on the open sea. You can't replicate those shots in a studio. So, I think all of the effort that we went through was worth it. [Soundbite from "Exodus", with Michael on the raft asking Jin what words he can say in English, Jin responding.] I think at our furthest, we were about two miles off-shore. We were in some pretty deep water on that raft, which was amazingly seaworthy. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed being on that raft more than I enjoyed being on the camera boats and our green-room boats, because it had two pontoons. It was a catamaran, so it was very stable in rough water. That was an interesting experience, and I always felt safe, even if we had to swim for a while, which we did … because they took care of us, there were always boats around—safety boats—and it made it a lot less precarious.
Kris White: As Josh Holloway's quick to point out, seasickness can affect anyone.
Josh Holloway: It takes getting used to, because in owning a boat and taking people out, you realize that about 70% of the people I've taken out got sick. So, it's normal. It's not that "I'm strong" or "you're weak." It's 70% of the people get sick, you have to acclimate to the sea. That is what we all have to do. I find it funny to watch people's behavior and try to be professional, but it's one of the worst feelings you can have: seasickness. And they're all green. I have never seen a quiet throw-up like I did from the sound guy—oh, actually, the focus-puller. He's trying to pull focus, everyone's sick, and he's like [Silent gesture] … and he's so quiet! [Laugh] And he's back on … It was hilarious to see everyone sick eyes, but trying to hold it together, it was interesting. [Soundbite played of the raft losing a rudder and Sawyer jumping in after it.] It's kind of what I got into acting about, kind of... doing strange, epic, type of things. Like jumping off of a waterfall and being in the ocean and doing this sort of thing and … However, when you're actually doing it, you're talking fifteen hours, on the water, and you're not coming in. They shuttle the food out to you, so you need a strong stomach. It's difficult and it's grueling, but in a way it's epic—it's why I became an actor. I wanted to experience all of these different extremes, if you will.
Kris White: Josh Holloway and Daniel Dae Kim's characters did of course return to the shore this season. Though filming conditions haven't gotten any easier. They've gone from ten hours a day in the ocean to ten hours a day in the jungle, in a pit, all alone. But, hey. That's why they became actors. Next up, we hand it over to two of the executive producers from Lost, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as they chat about upcoming episodes and maybe, just maybe, answer a few fan questions.
Carlton Cuse: Welcome to the first ever Lost podcast. I'm Carlton Cuse.
Damon Lindelof: And I'm Damon Lindelof. Carlton is the alto.
Carlton Cuse: [Laughs] For the …
Damon Lindelof: … Officially sanctioned. Apparently there are other podcasts that people are doing about Lost, so this is, you know …
Carlton Cuse: Not with us though, right?
Damon Lindelof: Right, right.
Carlton Cuse: I don't remember ever doing one.
Damon Lindelof: We've never done one before. But I think there are probably people who are doing it so we don't wanna claim that those …
Carlton Cuse: Oh, ok. So, anyway, we're here to talk to you guys about the episode "Abandoned", which is airing on ABC. So one of the things that obviously comes up all the time is, if you are a new fan, if you can still join in and experience Lost, and the answer to that is … no.
Damon Lindelof: Absolutely not, you've missed the train completely.
Carlton Cuse: In fact, if you're a new fan, listening to this podcast, you're horribly confused, actually.
Damon Lindelof: You are trying to listen to another podcast, obviously. However, if you want to join the party, yes, there are a couple of ways to sort of get in on it. The best way is, actually I think on iTunes now, you can get every single episode of Lost, both Season 1 and Season 2, onto your computer, or to download onto the fancy new little v-pods. But you can also, of course, go get our DVDs for Season 1.
Carlton Cuse: Or, Damon, do you want to just give like a short summary of what happened in Season 1? That would be good.
Damon Lindelof: I'll just run it down for you real quick. There's a plane crash … there's a lot of people on it, they're scared for a while of like the island, there's a Monster on there … it scares them, and then … I dunno, there's like weird stuff happening ...
Carlton Cuse: And then Walt gets taken by some Others on the boat.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah. And that's pretty much all the important stuff.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah.
Damon Lindelof: Oh yeah, Kate and Sawyer kissed.
Carlton Cuse: Kate and Sawyer kissed, right.
Damon Lindelof: He's the sort of gruff, country guy and she's the pretty fugitive. Oh, she's a fugitive—you need to know that.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah. She's a fugitive.
Damon Lindelof: That's pretty much it. I mean you're caught up, so tune in.
Carlton Cuse: No. The thing we have discovered this season is that there are some other survivors of the plane crash that were in the tail section of the plane. And it's kind of become clear that their experience was quite different than the fuselage survivors. Although we haven't really explained in great detail yet why, but that is coming up in the series and you will get to know a lot more about what the experience of the "tailies" was like.
Damon Lindelof: As we call them internally.
Carlton Cuse: We call them the "tailies", yes.
Damon Lindelof: Because they were in the tail section. And also, they have tails. But you don't know that until …
Carlton Cuse: Oh my God! I cannot believe you put that out there.
Damon Lindelof: Major spoiler, but … we'll figure that out later …
Carlton Cuse: Obviously they've been promoting the fact that somebody dies, which is true. And we always wanna make sure that people believe that the stakes on the show, the life-and-death stakes on the show, are real. I mean, that is something that … it's unfortunate that certain characters die, but I think we sort of feel that the recirculation of characters and having new voices and new characters kind of helps the storytelling process on the show.
Damon Lindelof: And hopefully gives it some sort of emotional resonance. They've been on the island for about 47 or 48 days, so the idea that they've suffered a couple of casualties since then sort of makes sense. There are other places that we have to buy the reality of the show in terms of— they're not losing massive amounts of weight or growing lots of facial hair or whatever … but in that sense of the show, we wanna, as Carlton says, keep the life-and-death stakes real. And have everybody on the island sort of emotionally internalize what it is like to lose one of their own. And obviously the death of this major character is gonna sort of track out in this next arc of episodes as everyone sort of deals with the aftermath of it.
Carlton Cuse: Right, and we start, we actually finally see the merge of the two groups of survivors. And the death of the character will be an important storypoint. Coming up. So … what else do we wanna talk about, Damon? Shall we answer some of these fan questions?
Damon Lindelof: Yes, I think we should. Can I ask you the first one?
Carlton Cuse: Yes, you may.
Damon Lindelof: 'Cause I know you'll love this question even more than I do. [Carlton laughs] "TonyStark2000", by the way, I don't know if you know this, Carlton, but Tony Stark is Iron Man's alter ego. Billionaire Tony Stark has built the "Iron Man armor" so he can go out and fight crime. "TonyStark2000" asks, "How many seasons do you have the plot mapped out for?" Which is, a question we never get asked.
Carlton Cuse: [Laughs] No, we never get asked that question.
Damon Lindelof: Everyone just has a very Via con dios approach to the show. They don't really know what we're up to.
Carlton Cuse: Well, "TonyStark2000", we know what we're doing next week on the show, I'll say that. No, we do have … the metaphor we like to use is that we know we're taking a road trip from Los Angeles to Boston, and we get up everyday and Damon and I come into the office, and we don't know on a given day if we're gonna take a rural highway or we're gonna take the interstate or whether our car's gonna break down and we're gonna hitchhike, but we know we have a plan to go to certain cities. We're gonna go to Omaha, we're gonna go to St. Louis, we're gonna go to Minneapolis, we're gonna go to Wall Drug in South Dakota.
Damon Lindelof: I don't wanna go to Minneapolis.
Carlton Cuse: See? So, if Damon says he doesn't want to go to Minneapolis, then we decide, well, screw that, we'll go to Evanston instead. We do have a general plan as to where we're going, but what keeps the show organic and real is the fact that we write the episodes episode-by-episode, and we feed a lot on what the show tells us, we feed a lot on relationships, we see that develop between the characters, we see what kind of dynamics and what sort of pairings work between certain characters, certain pieces of mythology the audience really respond to, and then we decide to spend more time on those aspects of the mythology. And so it's kind of an organic thing. We guide the show, we also listen to the show a lot, in terms of it telling us what it wants to be.
Damon Lindelof: And then, obviously the LA to Boston analogy is a season-by-season analogy. J.J. and I created the show, for those of you who do have the DVD, very much on the fly. It was over a course of very few weeks, designing exactly what the pilot was going to be. Carlton came on very shortly after that. And obviously all of us started talking about the bigger picture, in terms of—if we're starting in Los Angeles, how are we gonna end up in Minsk?
Carlton Cuse: Minsk?!
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, exactly. [Carlton laughs] It's hard to get to Minsk. Season 3 we report out of Boston and cross the Atlantic and land somewhere in Europe, and we're gonna have to figure out that. Gradually. There's a big picture within the bigger picture, so it's always in service of that. So, I feel, obviously, with fans …
Carlton Cuse: You're not going to tell them about the time travel, are you?
Damon Lindelof: No, no, I'm not going to. In fact, I'm going to go back in time and prevent you from having said that. [Laughs]
Carlton Cuse: Oh my God.
Damon Lindelof: But there are, sort of bigger picture elements in play that are multi-season arcs as opposed to just a seasonal arc, which is sort of the day-to-day of what we do when we come in and eat breakfast together.
Carlton Cuse: Well, lemme ask you a question, Damon.
Damon Lindelof: Please, Carlton.
Carlton Cuse: "Lostaway1000". And "Lostaway" is actually a clever on Lost. And it's not related to any sort of comic book character.
Damon Lindelof: And "Lostaway1000" is only half as cool as "TonyStark2000".
Carlton Cuse: I mean, if you wanna get a question in one of these podcasts, my suggestion is that you name yourself something with a "3000" for next time.
Damon Lindelof: Or just go right to "9000". 'Cause that's going to get you on.
Carlton Cuse: So, when, Damon, are we gonna see Charlie back in the thick of things on the show? Whose fans have missed him this season?
Damon Lindelof: Uh, well, well, Carlton, I think one of the things about setting up the first act of this season, the first seven or eight episodes were so focused on introducing these new survivors from the tail section and also the aftermath of going into the hatch was, unfortunately the Charlie - Charlie and Claire and all - became a much more central focus in the mid-range of episodes. So I think all you Charlie fans, and certainly Claire fans as well, are going to see a lot more of those two as we get into episodes sort of eight through thirteen or fourteen. He'll be sort of coming up front and center. Obviously we know from the season finale that Charlie has come into the possession of a Virgin Mary statue that contains heroin, which is his drug of choice. The emotional struggle of him having that, and his growing relationship with Claire and her baby, who he is now bonding with in an intense and fatherly way, which we think is a really interesting dynamic for them to have, considering that they never even kissed, and they're not husband and wife, but they're almost …
Carlton Cuse: They're like most married parents with a small child. They have no sex.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, exactly. They've just become father and mother. It's a very chaste relationship. So yeah, you're going to be getting a lot of Charlie. Obviously, we're huge Dom Monaghan fans. Hopefully, everyone is still really, really hungry for those stories, 'cause we think they're gonna be pretty cool.
Carlton Cuse: It's just hard, 'cause we have so many characters on the show that we can't service them all, and we try to service several in each episode. As we're sort of moving along in each season, hopefully people will be patient if they haven't seen enough of the characters they like, they're coming up. We promise you. Alright, I guess that's it.
Damon Lindelof: I'm sorry, Carlton, can I ask you one more question?
Carlton Cuse: Yes, yes, you may.
Damon Lindelof: This is a very short, simple question. "NoButton" asks ... I don't even know who should answer this, because there's no numeral after "NoButton". We'll just call him "NoButton6000".
Carlton Cuse: Are you sure that's not "No Bouton"?
Damon Lindelof: No. "No Bouton"? Hopefully, in reference to our button. "Is there going to be a soundtrack CD?"
Carlton Cuse: Well then, I'm going to thank you, I'm glad you asked that.
Damon Lindelof: Well, "NoButton" asked that.
Carlton Cuse: "NoButton" asked that, ah thank you. Yes, there is a plan for a soundtrack CD. The selection of music on the show was obviously something we take a lot of pride in. And it is in the works, but like all these things, it just takes a long time to work its way through all of the business divisions of the Disney/ABC Company, so that will be happening, and you'll hear more about that when it gets closer to its release.
Damon Lindelof: To that end, Michael Giacchino, who is the composer of Lost, and actually recently won the Emmy for his compositions, is a genius. And sort of just a tidbit for those who don't know this, Michael has a live orchestra, every week, that he convenes … I don't know how many pieces it is.
Carlton Cuse: It's like thirty.
Damon Lindelof: It's like a thirty-piece orchestra, percussion and everything else, that he writes original music for the show, and actually records all that stuff with a live orchestra, 23 times a year. So every time we are writing a script, Michael is writing an original score piece, so hopefully ...
Carlton Cuse: And he saves our ass most of the time.
Damon Lindelof: Most of the time. Hopefully some of that beautiful music will get to see the light of the day. 'Cause we don't use a lot of popular music in the show.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly. Well, Damon, I really enjoyed this.
Damon Lindelof: Thank you, Carlton.
Carlton Cuse: Bye, fans!
Damon Lindelof: See ya. Talk to you next week, I guess!
Kris White: That about wraps up our first podcast. Join us next time, as we again talk with the writers from Lost. You can get original content, and submit your own fan questions at lost.abc.com.