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Hollywood.com Special Report! ‘Lost’ is Back! The Creators and Stars Answer the Island Whispers – Kinda

[IMG:L]Viewers facing a TV landscape with nary any new episodes of their favorite network dramas may have been feeling as isolated as if they were stranded on an uncharted island, but a rescue is in sight! After months off the air, Lost returns at last with an abbreviated eight-episode stint, as the castaways from Oceanic Airlines face the prospect of their own rescue – or is it?

Hollywood.com decoded some of those mysterious island whispers in the jungle and we think we know what Season Four has in store – with a little help from executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, returning stars Emilie de Ravin (the now-Charlie-less Claire), Tania Raymonde (the mysterious anti-Other Alex), and Harold Perrineau, Jr. (the long-missing Michael, who has a LOT of explaining to do).

Island Whisper: There are two things fans can absolutely predict in Season Four.
To answer and ask a lot of questions. Seriously, though, Season Four is gonna be a whole new show in a lot of ways. We’re really excited with what we’re doing and hope that it’ll offer as many surprises as the finale did.

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Island Whisper: Viewers will get plenty of ‘Oh my God’ shockers throughout the season.
I feel like the big ‘Oh my God’ moment is probably at the end of episode eight, but it’s kind of spread throughout. It’s a lot of surprises in every episode.

[IMG:R]Island Whisper: Perrineau kept busy filming 28 Days and other projects after leaving the show, delaying Michael’s return, but a reunion was inevitable.
[I was], of course, totally nervous, because I had things to do. They had things to do, and at some point, our paths couldn’t cross, and I wasn’t going to back. And I was bummed then, but it all worked out eventually. But yeah, I was a little nervous, because I really wanted to go back and finish up – however that is, whatever that is. But I wanted to go back. Since I started, I wanted to finish it and not with him just disappearing or it was all a dream or something like that.
Cuse: We always told him that we wanted to finish his story and then it was just a question of working it out…You know we knew it was never going to be satisfying to just have him sail off at the end of the second season.

Island Whisper: Perrineau’s reunion with his off-screen pals weren’t as quite tense as Michael’s on-screen encounters probably will.
It was a little surreal, because we all just kind of showed up, and they were already in production a little. So it was a little surreal, and it took a little while getting used to it. There was a whole year of the show and new characters that we didn’t know, so there was this whole new part of our family that we just had to get to know. It was fun,it was cool getting to know the new people. There were people who were gone, but at the end of the day, it’s still the folks that I love.

Island Whisper: Walt’s already resurfaced, and considering the Lost-aways have still only been on the island 100 days, there has to be an explanation for his more mature appearance…right?
Believe it or not – and I know we’re very often accused of making it up as we go along – one of the very first things that J.J. and I talked about when we cast Malcolm [David Kelly] and then Carlton became a part of that conversation a couple episodes later was, when he hits puberty, what the hell are we going to do? So we sort of put a plan in a little box marked “in case of emergency break glass” and he’s now hit puberty so I think we’ve got a very creative solution to that conundrum.

Island Whisper: The flash-forward format that made Season Three’s final episode so memorable is here to stay.
Flash-forwards will be a part of Season Four, yes. But it would be wrong to think that the flash-forward you saw is the end of the series.
Lindelof: [The plan is] not to migrate completely away from flashbacks, but at least to find a new paradigm for storytelling that changed up the nature of the show. Moving forward, you’ll get a mix… Every week will hopefully be a guessing game as to not just WHO will be focused on but WHEN we’re focusing on them.
Perrineau: The flash-forwards are amazing. The stuff that happens with Michael is ridiculously cool.
Cuse: When ABC/Disney allowed us to end the show in 48 more episodes it was time to begin a new modality of story telling which includes flash-forwards. The show is like a mosiac. There are tiles in the present, in the past, and now in the future as well. When all the tiles are in place, the story of Lost will be complete.

Island Whisper: Considering who her adoptive father is, Alex may not be as nice as she seems.
[There may be] some skeletons in her closet, it’s possible. Sometimes I question her motives. I don’t know if she is 100 percent good. I don’t think there is a single really good person on the island. I feel like everybody does have their demons, and I think her motives are pretty clean, are pretty good. But if you were raised by Ben [Linus], there’s something that’s got to be wrong with you, for sure.

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[IMG:R]Island Whisper: The mysterious Jacob will return – and he has not been seen prior to his split-second appearance in “The Man Behind the Curtain.”
Yes, we do know how Jacob will be depicted. Notice the careful wording of my answer. No, Jacob did not appear before he was met by Locke.
Cuse: If you felt the unveiling of Jacob provided answers, you are probably in the minority! We felt it was important to introduce Jacob as more than just a name at this point, as he will become important downstream.

Island Whisper: Whoever was in the coffin in the season-ending episode has appeared on the show before.

Island Whisper: The loss of Charlie – and Dominic Monaghan – will be keenly felt.
It was incredibly hard to say goodbye to Charlie. We really felt the season needed to end with the loss of one of the major characters and began setting it up very early in the year. Charlie’s sacrifice was brutal for us to write, and Dom‘s performance made it particularly brutal to watch. The reverberation of that death echoes right into the premiere of Season Four.
Cuse: I remember when Damon and I went into the editing room and we first saw it. Even though we knew exactly what we were going in to see, just actually watching the dailies of him dying and watching the first cut of that scene, it was really emotionally affecting. It’s like it hits you on a sort of visceral emotional level. And even though we were prepared for it, and even though we’d written it, we’d planned it, there was something that was really sad watching it. And we kind of sat there in sort of stunned silence….We took a minute and we really mourned it ourselves after we first saw it on film.
de Ravin: I think dealing with the independence of Claire this season has been – I suppose fun is not the right word, but interesting and different. Dealing with her associating with a lot of new characters, not new characters but different older characters than she is used to. She’s been with Charlie, so she’s moving on.

Island Whisper: The ever-changing character dynamic means new pairings for Season Four.
de Ravin:
I’ve been working a lot with Josh [Holloway] and Jorge [Garcia], and Terry O’Quinn which has been a lot of fun.
Raymonde: Characters like Naveen [Andrews] and  Jorge I got to work a little bit more with, and Yunjin [Kim], for example, I hadn’t really gotten a chance to talk to and meet very much. It’s difficult, because no one really gets to work together all the time, because everyone’s so segmented. It’s been good. And it’s been interesting meeting these new people on the island – of whom I can’t speak.

Island Whiper: The bosses can speak about the newbies.
We’ve got some new people coming to the island too that are going to mix it up. That should make things very interesting on both a personal and romantic front for everybody else. We’ve announced a couple of the new actors, Ken Leung, who was in The Sopranos this season is joining the cast, Rebecca Mader, Jeff Fahey. He’s awesome. Jeremy Davies are going to be some of the regulars. Lance Reddick from The Wire. A lot of really awesome actors who people might not know their names yet, but they’ve been around for a long time and we really feel like we can write for them.

Island Whisper: Others faces from the past may also return soon.
We’re hoping to do Libby’s story. We’re trying to get that worked out.
Lindelof: You’re going to be seeing more of Libby, answering some sort of long gestating mysteries, and Hurley’s going to be right in the middle of the action this year.

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Island Whisper: The off-screen pairings are just as exciting.
I always love hanging out with Daniel Dae Kim and Josh Holloway. That’s our people right there. We go out on Josh’s boat and do crazy things. And almost every time we go out in Josh’s boat, we always have the feeling close to the end that we’re not going to make it back. [Laughs] So that’s always kind of exciting.

[IMG:R]Island Whisper: Sometimes the actors know what’s ahead for their characters, but usually they’re just as in the dark as we are.
de Ravin:
Yeah, basically when we get the new script, unless we beg, and beg, and beg. Then you still don’t get much. If there are certain things that you want to mold into a certain way, then you can talk about it a little bit. They know where they are going with the characters and I think they have a great vision for them.
Raymonde: It’s really a process in which you get a script, and you work on what you’re doing, and you don’t really know what’s happening next. And that’s just the way it is. I don’t really know much, but I do know that some exciting things are happening. And just judging from the way the first eight episodes have gone, it’s been really exciting.

Island Whisper: The who’s-going-to-end-up-together question will continue to unfold.
We have a lot more going on in the romantic quadrangle with Jack and Juliet and Kate and Sawyer and that is going to continue to evolve and be a really interesting, hopefully engaging part of the show.
Lindelof: There were a lot of interesting things happening in the finale, Jack telling Kate that he loved her, Sawyer being scared that Kate might be pregnant, Juliet sort of waiting in the wings, beginning to ameliorate herself with the other castaways so that’s going to be sort of full force.

Island Whisper: Everyone was bummed because the writers’ strike has, for now, cut the season short.
Yes, because I’d just gotten into the groove of it all, and with Lost, it’s a lot of really hairy things that go on. So you have to be physically and emotionally prepared for that stuff, and so it’s a little rough to just kind of cut in the middle there.
Lindelof: It’s sort of like only half the season is written, so it’d be like saying to J.K. Rowling, ‘Let’s take book seven of Harry Potter and break it into two halves. We’ll call one book seven and one book eight.’ She’d say, ‘But it’s not a complete book. Why would you do that?’ That’s kind of how we feel about it.

[IMG:R]Island Whisper:The creators know exactly how Lost will end, down to the final image on the screen.
We always knew the ending, we just didn’t know how much time to take before we got there. So, yes, it still completely fits with where we’re at in the storytelling right now. With 48 episodes to go, it’s exciting to be working towards an endpoint we’re already familiar with.
Cuse: Yes, we do know what the last image of the show is – and it won’t be a black screen!

Island Whisper: The actors know that if they want to party on Oahu, they’d better hire a driver.
I think it’s in my contract now. [Laughs]

–Additional reporting by Emily Christianson

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