Despite playing one of the leaders of a stranded cohort on “Lost,” Evangeline Lilly said she felt a lack of autonomy in her role as Kate Austen on the cult ABC series.
On an episode of the podcast, “The LOST Boys,” the actress recalled numerous challenges and frustrations on the Hawaii set, most notably during filming for the third season where she was essentially forced into doing a scene partially nude.
“In Season 3, I’d had a bad experience on set with being basically cornered into doing a scene partially naked, and I felt had no choice in the matter,” Lilly told the podcast host, Jacob Stolworthy. “And I was mortified and I was trembling, and when it finished, I was crying my eyes out and had to go on and do a very formidable, very strong scene thereafter.”
The “Ant-Man and the Wasp” actress said that a similar string of events happened in the fourth season as well, where she fought against doing a scene in which her character undresses, only to “fail to control” the situation. Afterwards, she said she put her foot down and refused to do another nude scene ever again.
“And so I then said, ‘That’s it, no more, you can write whatever you want I won’t do it, I will never take my clothes off on this show again,” Lilly recalled.
She went on to discuss other shortcomings of her character, such as her frustration with Kate chasing after love interest Jack (Matthew Fox) and being used as a bargaining chip after she’s captured. Lilly mentioned that she would “throw scripts across rooms” because she grew irritated by the “diminishing amount of autonomy [Kate] had and the diminishing amount of her own story that there was to play.”
“I wanted her to be better, because she was an icon for strength and autonomy for women, and I thought we could’ve done better than that,” she said.
“Our response to Evie’s comments this morning in the media was to immediately reach out to her to profoundly apologize for the experience she detailed while working on LOST,” JJ Abrams, Jack Bender, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof said in a joint statement Thursday afternoon. “We have not yet connected with her, but remain deeply and sincerely sorry. No person should ever feel unsafe at work. Period.”