Fox: ‘I have a natural fear of ad-hoc story lines’

Lost star Matthew Fox would be no good on a real-life fictitious magical island with confusing and often contradictory plots, as he admits he’s “afraid of ad-hoc story lines”.

The actor, who plays Jack Shephard, admitted in a recent interview to having never before worked with ideas written off-the-cuff, then fudged to fit in with those of previous series. He was also candid when revealing his fear of the show’s constant changes, saying: “Most days, I just turn up and hope it’s still being filmed in the same building. I live in constant fear of someone, say, pulling a lever and the whole thing ending up in the mid-1970s, especially if they still used colloquialisms from this decade.”

Fox, 42, also revealed how the cast are often kept in the dark regarding plot developments– in some cases not finding out until a few minutes before filming: “Halfway through series 3, I remember I was having a sandwich with Evangeline [Lilly, who plays Kate Austen] during a break in filming, when Damon Lindelof came up to me with this massive costume beard thing, saying I had to wear it in the next scene, as my character apparently goes mental, and that beards in Lost are directly proportional to a person’s state of mind. I thought he was taking the piss at first, but he continued holding the beard in his outstretched hand and looking at me earnestly, as if he knew something important that he wasn’t allowed to tell me for whatever reason. I instinctively took it, although I still thought there might be some kind of catch and I wasn’t entirely sure if I could trust him or not.

“Honestly, it does my head in, sometimes. I never had any of this during Party Of Five. I knew where I was with that show. I knew I could turn up at 6am, put in an honest day’s work and leave at 9pm without anything hanging over me. With Lost, I often find it difficult to stay in the loop. My wife helps me get into character by moving everything around the house while I’m out filming and acting strangely whenever I end up getting home. One day I got home about a couple of hours after she did and was struck the moment I walked in the door by this thick black smoke accompanied by a strange rattling sound. I thought she’d pulled out all the stops and created a sort of ‘smoke monster’ like in the show – until, that was, I discovered she’d burnt some roast potatoes in the oven and the rattling was actually coming from her frantic attempts to scrape them off the baking tray into the bin.”

The final episode of Lost is due to be written on May 22nd.

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