TV Guide Interview: Elizabeth Mitchell Teases a “Twisty, Turny” Lost

Part of “Old Info And News”

April 9-15, 2007

Elizabeth Mitchell Teases a “Twisty, Turny” Lost
Elizabeth Mitchell previews Juliet’s new, revealing Lost (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET) flashback, reflects on her life as a mom, and tells tales from riding shotgun with Angelina Jolie.

TV Guide: Your character, Juliet, the fertility doc recruited by the Others, gets flashback action in this week’s episode. What can you tell us about the episode?
Elizabeth Mitchell:
It’s a nice, revelatory flashback. My first flashback episode wasn’t particularly twisty or turny. This one is definitely twisty and turny.

TV Guide: You’re not just teasing us? We’ll actually get some big answers?
Oh, yeah. So many things we’ve already seen about Juliet and wondered, “Why did she do this? Why is she so cold?” You’ll know exactly why.

TV Guide: Can you tell us more?
We are going to see Juliet much worse for the wear. Anyone who really wanted to mess her up and grind her face in the mud, they’re going to get what they want. And the stuff between me and Ben [Michael Emerson] is pretty heartbreaking.

TV Guide: Lost has had some trouble integrating new characters, but the addition of Juliet has been relatively seamless. Why?
People alternately want to like Juliet and hate her. The antagonism toward my character is built in. I think that makes it a little bit easier to assimilate. The writers have done me an enormous favor by writing an incredibly complex, interesting character.

TV Guide: Any notable fan encounters?
The funniest are the ones in the grocery store. Halfway down the aisle, you hear, “Oh god, Lost.” Like, “Oh, so that’s what I know her from.” And then you have your hard-core fans of the show, like my husband. You have to bring your A-game, because they really know what’s up.

TV Guide: Does your hubby pester you for answers?
He does. Actually, he got really mad at me because we went to a party a couple of weeks ago and he was like, “Well, you know, Elizabeth has that confidentiality thing and she can’t tell me anything.” And [the other Lost spouses] were like, “No.” He was like, “What?!” [Pause] He’s in the other room and he just said, “You don’t love me.” But I don’t tell anybody anything.

TV Guide: You’ve played everything from Mrs. Claus in the Santa Clause movies to Laura Innes‘ girlfriend on ER. But people haven’t really known your name until now. How does it feel, at age 37, to get your breakthrough role?
Mitchell: At this age, it’s very possible that things go down rather than up. So to all of a sudden be given this role, you have to giggle. It’s such a gift, and it’s so fun for me.

TV Guide: You played Angelina Jolie’s lover in HBO’s TV-movie Gia. What’s your best Angelina story?
I think she’s an exemplary human being. Kind, incredibly smart, lovely. But my story has nothing to do with her intelligence and everything to do with adventure. We were behind the wheel of a little sports car in one scene and the director said, “Peel away from here and go in a circle.” She turned to me and said, “I’ve never driven a stick shift but we’ll see what happens.” And she threw that thing into gear and man, if she didn’t execute it perfectly. It was fantastic. There’s something about her that inspires trust.

TV Guide: Growing up in Dallas, did you always want to act?
Always. I went to a performing-arts high school, and I was a theater nerd. I’m still a theater nerd. Those “derogatory” words like “nerd,” I think they’re kind of cool. [To her 1-year-old son, C.J.] Hi, sweetie. My son just woke up from his nap and he brought a book for me to read to him.

TV Guide: Does your son ever go to the Lost set?
I took him once because Chris was sick, and I had this scene where I was holding a big syringe. I think C.J. thought he was back at the doctor’s office. He was just screaming like a banshee. So I’m not sure I want to expose him again to Juliet just yet.

TV Guide: You’re a boxer and skilled in karate. Any other surprising hobbies?
My husband does the New York Times crossword puzzle and I’m usually good for that one go-to answer. You look like a genius, but you really only know one answer in the entire thing. That’s me.