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Feature: Lost

Star Matthew Fox on whether his character Jack Sheppard can lead the survivors off the island in the second season

A jet travelling from Sydney to Los Angeles veers 1000 miles off course and plummets from the sky. Forty-eight people (and a Labrador) inexplicably survive the crash and find themselves on a lush island that is full of mysteries. Unseen monsters stalk the jungle, polar bears are running loose, and a radio signal that’s been broadcasting for many years indicates that they are not the first castaways to be trapped here…
But what is the island’s secret? Who are The Others? And how can the survivors ever hope to escape?
So many questions and barely any answers. That’s the basis of the astonishing global appeal of Lost…

Before Lost we last saw you in the series Haunted. In that show you were the star, here you’re part of an ensemble. Which do you prefer?
My Haunted experience was fantastic, but I also after that experience said that I probably would not do a single lead television show again. I do like balance in my life, I really love to tell stories and I love acting, but I also really feel that I want to have a balance where I’m spending time with my family as well. Haunted was too much. So I was looking for something which creatively excited me, was working with really great people that had a great track record, and I got to be the lead but also in an ensemble cast. I found the perfect thing. I get to play this wonderful character, with an ensemble of people that are all incredible, and I’m working with JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof. When I was offered the project I was like, “Oh my God, do I want to do this”.

How would you cope if you were stranded on a desert island?
Personally I would have a lot of experience – I grew up on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. From a very young age I was doing a lot of camping, spending a lot of time in the mountains. But that’s not Jack: he’s a pretty intense dude and is very focused and a man of action. I don’t think he’d have the kind of experience that I do, I respect that.

What first attracted you to the show?
It was just the best script I had ever read. I very much make the choices to do things based upon material, and I just came in and met JJ and Damon. I read for Sawyer originally, and JJ said, ‘Can you stick around a little while and read the whole script?’ I sat down in an office, and JJ kept running in about every 20 minutes going ‘What do you think?’ I just love the entire premise and the opportunity that gives this incredible cast a chance to do some really fantastic dramatic material. I was completely 100 per cent sold.

How much of Jack’s back-story do you know?
I know quite a bit about the back-story on Jack, and that’s something that I’ve been talking about with the writers, JJ and Damon. We’ve been gradually throwing ideas off each other, and they really had some pretty strong feeling, and so did I, about – they didn’t want to make this guy a superhero, all these people have some major issues.

by Judy Sloane

There's more from Matthew Fox in
The Works #A01

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

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The Works #A01, see below for ordering options
The Works #A01
December 2005
ships from Oct 26 2005
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