Evangeline Lilly always thought her ‘Lost’ character was ‘predictable & obnoxious’


As I get older, I have less patience to hang with long-running TV shows, nor do I have the openness to immediately accept new TV shows. It’s a weird thing, I know. If anything, I should be more patient, right? But I can count on one hand the number of TV shows I’ve seen from start to finish in the past 15 years: The West Wing, 30 Rock, Game of Thrones (I’m there ‘til the bitter end), Mad Men… and Lost. I watched Lost. I was hate-watching it for those last seasons. It was awful but I wanted to know how they would end it. And my God, the end was even worse than the previous 30 episodes.

Anyway, Lost made Evangeline Lilly a huge star. She was not good on the show, but she was pretty and they really made her into the Sexy Manic Tomboy Dream Girl of the show. That was not Evangeline’s doing at all, it was the writing. Which is what Evangeline says now. She did an interview with The Lost Boys podcast, and she ended up going OFF about the sh-tty writing for her character. Some highlights:

She thought her Kate character was annoying: Lilly said she “always” thought her character “was obnoxious…. At the beginning, she was kind of cool. And then as the show went on, I felt like she became more and more predictable and obnoxious. I felt like my character went from being autonomous—really having her own story and her own journey and her own agendas—to chasing to men around the island. And that irritated the s–t out of me. I did throw scripts across rooms when I’d read them,” she said, “because I would get very frustrated by the diminishing amount of autonomy she had and the diminishing amount of her own story there was to play.”

She’s not opposed to playing a woman with romantic entanglements: Lilly clarified that she wasn’t “opposed to having romance in a woman’s life.” In fact, she said, “I’ve never been able to be single; I’m one of those unfortunate women who goes from relationship to relationship. So, there’s nothing wrong with women’s lives being characterized by their relationships; I think that often happens to men and women. But, there was this eventual lack of dimension to what was going on with her. It was just really, ‘Jack? Sawyer? Jack? Sawyer?”

The story line where Kate was used as a bargaining chip. “That irritated the s–t out of me, because I felt like her chasing after Jack seemed so immature, and I wanted her to be better [than to chase after Jack]. But the great thing about that is that she was flawed, and that’s so important. If you don’t have flaws in the women onscreen, then you’re telling the world that women have to be perfect if they’re going to be lovable. If you have flawed women onscreen who are also icons of femininity, who are also beloved, then it gives us all permission to be flawed. In a way, the things that irritated me about her were probably totally necessary—and important, even.”

[From E! News]

Evangeline also talks about writers and directors on the show repeatedly pressuring her to take off her clothes for scenes, and for framing shots so they would be about her body. Which really happened, and it was super-annoying as a viewer too. They created this character who was a bad-ass con woman with agency, and then they spent years making her chase guys and trying to make her “the bad girl with the heart of gold.” It was idiotic and a real turn-off for me as a female viewer. Maybe Lost is one of the reasons why I rarely dedicate myself to watching hour-long dramas nowadays? Because everything Evangeline says here is dead-on. I’m glad she’s saying it. I mean, we been knew. But still, it’s good for her to say out loud.

Evangeline Lilly (as Kate)

Photos courtesy of ABC, ‘Lost’ promotion.

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61 Responses to “Evangeline Lilly always thought her ‘Lost’ character was ‘predictable & obnoxious’”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    We watched Lost after it ended (so watched the whole series in a month lol) and the first few seasons were so good and then it was so bad. If I had been watching it weekly for 10 years I would have been so mad.

    I always hated Kate. That character started out interesting – predictable, but interesting – and then she just became horrible. I didn’t even care about her backstory that much anymore.

  2. Chaine says:

    Wow, I had completely forgotten that her Lost character started out as a criminal/fugitive.

  3. Mia4s says:

    God the Lost pilot episode was sooooo good. Then the series ran for soooooo long. Ugh. Kate started out with great promise but sadly I couldn’t care less at the end. I love her frank talk.

    I kept diving in and out Of seasons. I only ended up really invested in Desmond and Penny.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Just came here to say that. And Charlie’s sacrifice. “Not Penny’s boat!”

      • Esmom says:

        That was hands down my favorite episode (Through the Lookingglass). I cried. Peak Lost, imo.

        I’ve now seen the series three times, thanks to my son. I can’t hate on it, I think it still holds up pretty well. I’ll always have a soft spot for the cast. Except Matthew Fox, he’s cancelled.

      • Lightpurple says:

        That was one of my favorite episodes of any show even though it wrecked me. The next morning at work, my manager came into my office, threw herself into a chair, wailed “Not Penny’s boat!” and burst into tears.

      • babypeanut says:

        My favorites were always Sayid and John Locke. I liked the main three (Kate, Jake, and Sawyer), and really didn’t truly dislike anyone. Ben was fascinating, Ana Lucia was a kick ass character and they could have done a lot with that character, but the show was firing all of the actors getting DUIs in Hawaii, and the actress was one of them. I also adored Mr. Echo.

    • FhMom says:

      Desmond was my favorite character although they pretty much ruined him for me. God, that ending.

    • Miss M says:

      Desmond was my favorite character!!! ❤️

      • babypeanut says:

        I liked him a lot when he simply had that short convo with Jack in a flashback. Then when his voice came out of the shadow with that accent, and saying “brother”, it was very exciting!

    • holly hobby says:

      Love Desmond & Penny! The episode where he called her still makes me cry. It was beautifully done. I stopped watching the last 2 seasons. It just got to be painful.

  4. Deedee says:

    That’s the problem with the way women characters are written. They can start off strong, but at some point, the writers tend to take them back to the predictable arcs, like love triangles. It’s like they don’t know what to do with an autonomous woman.

    • Molly says:

      It’s the problem of women characters written by men. Female writers have a lifetime of stories to tell, but men don’t know what to do after a couple seasons.

  5. paranormalgirl says:

    “Lost” would have been great with a three year planned life span.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree – and I say that as someone who enjoyed the whole series (some parts more than others). I rewatched it not too long ago and it was still enjoyable, but I heard a lengthy interview with Damon Lindelof a while back and he talked about where they had issues with scheduling, writer’s strike, etc, and you could see it in the show. A set 3 years would have been excellent.

      • babypeanut says:

        The fact that they abruptly fired three cast members for DIUs didn’t help the writing either – Libby, Ana Lucia, and Mr. Echo. I’m sure it’s hard to write around that drama. They also had the unrest that occurred around the first death, and how traumatic it was to cast and crew, which they say changed the way they went on to handle character deaths.

      • Amelie says:

        I remember when they fired all the actors who were from the “tail end of the plane” storyline. They introduced them for a season and then they all got killed off. It was such slopping writing and just a waste of space. I think the actor who played Mr. Eko wanted off the show for personal reasons but it seemed such a waste of time to put Michelle Rodriguez and the actress who played Libby for just a season. Just as I was starting to get invested in them as characters, they died and I didn’t really care.

  6. Hannah Maguire says:

    I haven’t liked her ever since hearing her interview on the Nerdist podcast. She was pretty rude to the panel and the audience.

    • Veronica S. says:

      She always comes across as incredibly smug to me in interviews, despite the fact that she’s not as interesting, talented, or intelligent as she clearly thinks she is. “I don’t know how many female roles are out there because I don’t have to ~ask for them~.” “I don’t like the word feminism because it makes me think of women trying to be men.” “Being barefoot and sounds like a ~dream~” (said right after she talks about being career driven) “You can’t keep your spirit in your body in this age without ~dinner parties~” (<— paraphrasing the most wtf quotation she ever released)

    • FhMom says:

      I still can’t believe she got the Ant Man franchise.i don’t dislike her, but there is nothing particularly striking about her presence.

  7. Veronica S. says:

    I have mixed feelings about celebrities trashing the media that made them famous, but highlighting the fact that she was constantly pressured into sexually objectifying herself is pretty relevant to the political culture right now. Too bad she’s an idiot who doesn’t know what feminism means.

  8. Millenial says:

    I know most people don’t like it when actors complain about the shows where they got their start, but in this case I actually think she’s spot on and it doesn’t bother me at all.

    And the nudity stuff they coerced her into sounds horrific.

  9. launicaangelina says:

    Kaiser, I feel the same way about long-running shows. I’m still hanging on with The Walking Dead, but hate watching. In my opinion, the ideal season length is 10-13 episodes, for dramas, and probably shouldn’t go longer than 5-6 years. Some stories drag out too long or become too convoluted. Also, writers tend to have too many story arcs and plots taking place simultaneously. It’s too much. So many shows started off great and went bust like Dexter, Weeds, The Walking Dead, Orange is the Black, etc.

    • Kaiser says:

      Re: Dexter – I watched until the season where he got with Deb. That was it, I was done. But I hate-watched the seasons previous to that. That was one show that was amazing the first three seasons and then fell off a cliff.

      Is it lack of patience or something else? Game of Thrones is literally the only drama I’m invested in at this point.

      • Becks1 says:

        I just feel like life is too short to watch bad TV. Or TV that you don’t enjoy. It drives my husband crazy – I’ll stop a series halfway through and be fine not knowing what happens – but if I don’t want to watch something, then I’m not going to force myself.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Dexter got with Deb?!? I must have burned that out of my head. Another great show that started to lose it at the end.

      • Renee says:

        Dexter didn’t get with Deb. She fell in love with him (which was beyond ridiculous) but he didn’t reciprocate. That show had one of the worst 2 final seasons in history.

      • Tosca says:

        I thought Deb was Dexter’s sister?? I never saw that episode, and I guess that was a good thing – Imagine my shock!

      • lucy2 says:

        Dexter went so badly off the rails. I hated the last season or two, and the Deb stuff was awful.

        OITNB – I loved the early seasons and I still love the characters, but I started the new season and haven’t finished the first episode. I used to watch the whole season in 1 weekend.

      • tealily says:

        @Becks1 Agreed agreed agreed agreed! Books too. The older I get, the less interest I have in wasting my time.

      • launicaangelina says:

        Yes, it’s all about patience and time for me. I’m not wasting time on bad story telling anymore.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Dexter ended for me after season 4. Killing off Rita destroyed the heart of the show. To drive a series for multiple seasons, character development has to move forward and not regress. Rita represented Dexter’s humanity in a lot of ways, so killing her off kind of leaves him back at square one. They could have done something interesting with the kids, but they dropped them like hot irons after season 5.

        Basically what I’m saying is – a long running show has to have the characters to sustain it. You have to know where those characters are going and what you ultimately plan on doing with them. If they can’t develop past a certain point, they need to go. People are mad at Shonda Rhimes about the changeups on Grey’s Anatomy, but honestly, that’s the smartest thing you can do. Character journeys drive stories. You have to be willing to acknowledge when those journeys are done for it to stay good.

        If we use Dexter as an example, the problem is that the series had only had one shot at a “good” ending, and they wasted the Doakes story line in season 2. Turning himself in is the “happy” ending because it represents the development of moral conscience. The second natural end to the series is the death of the Triad killer – Dexter develops emotionally enough to realize he will ultimately only harm his family, even if his moral conscience never matures to fully include all of society, and therefore abandons them out of a desire to protect them (aka – what happened in season 8). But rather, they drag it out over four more seasons, and Dexter becomes increasingly less developed, more brutal, and less sympathetic – so there isn’t really “story” so much as a series of plots that doesn’t really develop him beyond previously tread ground.

    • babypeanut says:

      I haven’t watched an episode of The Walking Dead since Carl was bitten. It destroyed hope, as most have believed that Carl was John Connor. All for a shocking death. I didn’t stop my series record, but I’ve never watched the episodes. Now Morgan (in my top three) has been sent to the other show, Rick and Maggie are leaving soon, and then the promotion of the unbathed feral man into show superstar has ended my interest. It leaves my Carole, but she’ll probably be knocked off next. Michonne will probably leave because of Danai’s film career. This was a show they were hoping to get fifteen seasons on, and they’ve destroyed it. And it’s not the character of Negan, it’s the writers and show runners.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I can’t finish a series either anymore. Somehow around season 4 things usually go wonky. I loved Broadchurch and yearned for another season but I understand why they stopped at 3. A fourth would have just been a season of trying to recapture the magic and full of fanservice. If they ever get a new story that is good and want to pick it up again I would watch but I get it.
      OITNB. I have avoided watching this season for the same reasons. The last season was just ok. Walking Dead lost me two seasons ago. I used to watch Call the Midwife with my grandmother but she lost interest after Season 4 so we stopped. We would store them up and get together but it became formulaic. We watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Crown now.

  10. Boodiba says:

    If people say the first seasons were “so good” in comparison to the end I don’t know HOW anyone made it through. I’m a minimal TV watcher, but maybe 4-5 years after the fact I tried out the first season. Didn’t even make it through that.

    One thing that got me – early on some of the characters go into the wrecked plane looking for supplies, and the handheld camera is ALL OVER THE PLACE like they’re still in the air and in mid crash / tossed at sea or whatever. I’m like, “They’re on the f-king ground! Stop shaking the f-king camera!!!!!” It was such a stupid, cheap trick for dramatic affect that I had the distinct feeling things weren’t really going anywhere…

    • tealily says:

      I’m with you. I watched the first season (or two?) so when it was streaming free and I didn’t have a TV (before Netflix et al). I could never get in to it. It just didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. Turns out it wasn’t, from what I’ve heard.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I never got into it either. I watched maybe 4 or 5 episodes and it never grabbed me.

  11. whatever says:

    She’s not wrong, Kate was my favourite character in the first season because she was feisty and mysterious but as the seasons went on her storylines became about whether or not she’ll end up with Jack or Sawyer and not much else. The writers ruined the character and made her needy and whiny which is such a shame because Kate could have become a truly great character.

    I’ve always really liked Evangeline though even though she sometimes says questionable things I don’t agree with. There is something about her personality I really like. I can’t hate on her.

  12. Squirrelgirl says:

    Kaiser… You didn’t watch Breaking Bad???

  13. Amelie says:

    Lost came out when I was in high school and since I was such a huge JJ Abrams fan at the time due to Alias (before JJ Abrams was even a household name for Star Wars/Star Trek etc.), I started watching it. Alias was on hiatus because Jennifer Garner was pregnant with her first kid (thank you Ben Affleck’s sperm!) and I became very invested in the show. Even my mom and sister started watching it which was great since I always felt like I was watching shows nobody else in my family liked or watched.

    However from the beginning Lost was such an uneven show in terms of seasons. One season would be great, another season would be so-so or just terrible, and then the next season would be amazing. I remember hating the stupid hatch storyline and was so glad when they blew it up lol. As for Evangeline Lilly’s character Kate, I really did like her and I thought she was a pretty decent actress for this being her first acting job. But she’s right, the character became a caricature with the love triangle storyline and then it just became who Kate would end up with. I think in the end she ended up with no one? I haven’t rewatched show since it originally aired and it’s not really a show I want to rewatch but I just might do it since it’s been quite awhile.

    I think Charlie was the character who annoyed me the most. And Jack was even more annoying than Kate as the series progressed. Also John Locke always being so mysterious and enigmatic got pretty old. I hate what they did to a lot of characters on that show.

  14. Louise177 says:

    I loved Lost for the first 3 seasons. Then it got confusing and messy. Still watched until the end but they left a lot of questions. Not to leave mystery but because they couldn’t explain it.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah you can clearly tell that it was a series that was created without the writers/creators knowing where it would go or how it would end, and that’s a hard story to tell without knowing the ending, because then so much of it just seemed…..wasted.

  15. Surely Wolfbeak says:

    The first season I was sure they were setting the show up as man of science ( Jack) vs man of faith (John Locke), which was fairly interesting. Then all of the men of science turned out to be evil or crazy and then they all died horrible deaths (Dharma). Jack (the man of science) ended up declaring that John Locke was right all along and everybody ends up in church. Screw you JJ Abrams.

    • holly hobby says:

      Not JJ Abrams. By that time he left the series to helm Star Trek. It was really Damon Lindelhof. I cannot watch any of his shows after that. Sorry open ended ending or hastily put one is a waste of my time.

  16. TheOriginalMia says:

    The finale ruined everything that went before it. I loved Kate in the first 3 eps, then truly scratched my head at the destruction of her character. So I agree with everything she said. It became tedious to watch the show until the end, her character in particular. I like her in Ant Man and I’m thrilled she’s having some success.

  17. M.A.F. says:

    Lost became the poster child for making sure you have an end-game mapped out. It never should have ran for 7 seasons and I highly doubt they had an end-game in mind and it showed towards the end. It’s the same reason why I stopped watching The Walking Dead- where is it all going?

    Also, I feel like I am the only one who understands the last episode.

    • Amelie says:

      Would you mind sharing your insight on the finale? I remain pretty stumped!

    • Ferdinand says:

      As I understood it, by season 6 the island thing had long happened, we just don’t know *when*. They were all already dead by the last episode whether they had lived up to 80 or 100 or died on the island.

      The thing is, people who had a deeply effect in your life are there for you by the time of your passing. They help you go through the “next phase / after life” that’s why the church they all go to in the last minutes of the finale is filled with all religions signs and symbols, it’s all the same at the end despite your religious background. It was Jack’s time to move on, so his island mates helped him go through the next life. *white screen, the end*

  18. Mumbles says:

    Kate was a sociopath. Maybe that’s harsh. But all Kate cared about was Kate. Even the flashbacks show that. Team Juliet all the way.

  19. Maum says:

    Kate and Sawyer had an interesting relationship. He always saw her for she was and never looked down on her. They were both flawed but and very much kindred spirits.

    Jack was smug and judgemental and Kate always showed a lot of insecurities when she was with him. Guess who ended up being her “soulmate”? Surprise surprise.

    Fave couple in Lost? Penny and Desmond. They were epic.

  20. eto says:

    I understand everything bad about this show, but despite everything I still love it SO MUCH.

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here. I still enjoyed it – it was ambitious and different and at the time really gripping.

      I do agree with Evangeline that Kate as a character lost a lot of what made her interesting when it became all about her relationship with Jack and Sawyer, and I feel badly that she was forced to do things she wasn’t comfortable with. I’m glad she put her foot down and stopped it though.

    • Cassandra says:

      Same. LOVED it till the bitter end.

  21. Originaluna says:

    Im a series person so i was very turned off by the premise of Lost and Prison Break. To me it seemed ridiculous to spend x amount of seasons with people who are lost in an island. Same with PB. Escaping from jail. Getting arrested again. Wash. Repeat.
    I just couldnt.
    And i remember how the ending was so bad. So no regrets, not watching it ever.
    That being said i think she’s annoying and always talking dirt about her past roles.

    • magnoliarose says:

      You just explained why I couldn’t get into it. Like Gilligan, I knew they weren’t ever getting off so I couldn’t invest in it. Especially as an hour long drama.

  22. Coby James says:

    Yes please complain now. Life is tough after you made all that money.

  23. Yes Doubtful says:

    I found the last season of LOST to be extra confusing and messy, but overall, I loved the show from start to finish. Evangeline was stunning and I loved her chemistry with Matthew Fox. Her character though….was definitely annoying. Especially after she “became a mom”.

  24. Misty says:

    I loved a lot of Lost but I hated Kate from the get-go and thought Evangeline was lackluster in the role. Kate and John Locke were the two I could not stand. Also not an Ana Lucia fan. And I even liked Boone and Shannon, lol.

    I actually didn’t mind the finale.