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Lost leader

Dr Jack Shepherd finds himself tending to more people than he can cope with when his plane crashes on a mysterious island. As Matthew Fox tells us…

Millions of viewers worldwide have discovered Lost, and star Matthew Fox knows exactly why the breakout series has exceeded all expectations. “It is incredibly unpredictable and there’s really never been anything like it, so people have a hard time predicting what is going to happen. When you watch enough cop, lawyer or doctor dramas, you know what the routine is. With Lost, because it is such an original premise, the audience is left without being able to predict what is next. And they are getting into the characters and the intrigue of the relationships. I really feel it stimulates the imagination.”

That original premise is the crashing of a plane on a strange off-map island inhabited by all manner of oddness, not to mention the effect it has on some of its new inhabitants. While the mystery is a key selling point, though, let’s not down-play the talented and sexy cast. Best known as Party of Five’s oldest sibling Charlie Salinger and later as Detective Frank Taylor on the short-lived Haunted, Fox originally auditioned for the role of gruff man of mystery Sawyer (Josh Holloway) before landing the part of good guy Jack Shepherd. “I think Michael Keaton was cast when Jack was going to die [in the pilot],” recalls Fox. “He was going to do a cameo. Jack and Sawyer are two guys cut from the same cloth with different socio-economic lives and have dealt with life in different ways, but at the core they are similar. I could see myself doing that role although now that I am doing Jack, I am happy to play him.”

One of 48 survivors on the ill-fated Flight 185 and the only doctor in sight, Jack’s fellow islanders have consistently turned to him for direction, guidance and support. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how willing they are to make him incredibly complex,” says Fox. “At heart, he’s a very pure hero but they have also made him willing to torture for a higher purpose. He’s willing to go to a really dark side of himself to get a bigger goal accomplished and that’s really wonderful.”

“Jack is an incredibly tense dude,” he continues. “He’s a man that commits to what he believes in with everything that he is. To a degree, he’s got an adventuresome spirit. He’s the moral compass of the show and as the characters start to disintegrate because of the circumstances they are in, Jack will always be the guy that is leading by example, although he’s going to make mistakes.”

by Bryan Cairns

Get the full interview in
Cult Times #119

Image © Visual Imagination, Lost © ABC Inc
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #119, see below for ordering options
Cult Times #119
August 2005
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