March 6, 2008

Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell Opens Up on Juliet, Jack and Her

I love her. That’s all there is to it. Elizabeth Mitchell (you know, Juliet on Lost—keep up, will ya?) radiates kindness, warmth and intelligence, and, I swear, just being in her presence ups my rating on the happy scale.

And in case you didn’t hear, Juliet’s big episode airs tonight.

So on a recent (and wonderful) afternoon, I interviewed her, and you can click in to check out what she had to say about working with Michael Emerson, the identity of Juliet’s “constant” and tonight’s “awkward” and “heartbreaking” episode…

I have to tell you, I was just having a conversation about how much we have all absolutely embraced Juliet as part of the Lost cast. You kind of forget that she wasn’t part of the original cast, and that hasn’t happened with every new character.
That’s so nice. Thank you so much. I do feel really happy you feel that way, and people have told me that. It’s amazing to me, because that’s certainly not what I expected when I joined the cast. I really just expected to come in and get to play as long as I could and get killed off pretty quickly, judging from what happened to everyone else. I think they penned it really nicely. They just needed a bridge in certain places, and that was this character. They needed a bridge between Ben and everyone else, and they needed someone to come in and be a little salt in the oyster of Jack and Kate.
And I really do like the fact that she does seem to like Jack. You’re gonna laugh when I say this, but I feel like it’s a very grown-up relationship. They seem to really respect and like each other.

Yeah. It’s like Kate and Sawyer are the rambunctious teenagers.
Oh yeah.

And Juliet and Jack are slightly more mature and not really rushing into things.
Exactly. And even if they met 10 years ago, they probably would have been the same way.

So, Juliet’s about to be featured this week…What can you tell me about her episode?
Well, it was a hard episode to do, because it’s a very weak time in her life but actually quite interesting at the same time. Yeah. There’s a bit of love and angst…

That always makes for good television.
Yes, it’s always a bit interesting.

Yes! Well, we’re hearing there will be a kiss, and we know that Jack and Juliet have kissed once before.
We haven’t ever seen them be romantic, but they kissed goodbye, which was very brave of her. And this week, they do kiss again. It’s a very interesting kiss in this one. It’s kind of a holding-on-for-dear-life thing…It’s very much of a desperation thing—in a lovely way.

You know, I announced I’d be interviewing you, and questions have just been flooding in from around the world. I just wanted to ask you a few of the fan questions, if you don’t mind.
Oh, of course, I would love to.

Diana in Cancún, Mexico: Are we going to see any scenes between Elizabeth and Michael Emerson in Juliet’s episode? I miss them so much.
On this show, they kind of have to humanize and also pick apart all the characters, and that’s what this episode did for me, but I thought it was really interesting. So, yes, there’s some really messy stuff with Ben.

Was it emotionally draining shooting this episode?
Yes, yes. Yes. I love working with Michael, because he comes to set, and he’s Ben. It’s not like he does some sort of a creepy thing, but the minute the camera starts to roll, the minute we’re rehearsing, he’s right there. No weird warm-up, no actor’s nerves, no neurosis, he just works. It’s really gorgeous to watch.
So as a result, the days I know I’m gonna work with him—and I feel this way about Matthew, too—it’s just kind of a thrill, and the stuff we had to do was so freakin’ heartbreaking. And awkward, too.
Because in this episode you get a pretty nice chunk of how Ben feels about Juliet. I think that, to me, was probably the most interesting part of the episode, the stuff between the two of us.

How does this episode compare to others?
This season has been just racing, hurtling forward, and I’m just so thrilled with it. But this episode is a chance to kind of sit down and catch your breath, you know what I mean? And then watch a couple people try to destroy each other.

Don Walters in St. Louis, Missouri: Do you think Juliet is legitimately infatuated with Jack, or do you think she is attempting to use him for her own devices?
I don’t really know definitively, but I’ve always thought her attraction to Jack was not planned on her part. I do believe she will do anything to get off the Island. I’ve always believed and played that her attraction to him was a surprise, so I don’t know which is more powerful for her, her attraction to Jack or her willingness to do anything to get off the Island.
To some degree her sister is the love of her life. She has such a strong bond with her sister.
I think her sister is her only person. Her only family, her only everything…

Her constant. I love that word from the Desmond episode.
I do, too! Oh my god, it was so good. And that whole ending with him. I was sobbing when I watched it, and my husband was like, “You read this, you knew this was happening.” I cried anyway. I consider it one of the best episodes of Lost ever. But yeah, when I read that episode, I called Ian and was like, This—this is the most amazing episode. And he obviously played it to the nth degree. He did such a beautiful job, and so did she, Penny; I think they’re really fun to watch together.

Absolutely. Now, are you guys all going back to work fairly soon?
Yeah. I’m just trying to get on Hawaiian Air and book a ticket.

How do you feel about what’s ahead in the last five episodes?
The thing that’s been really fun about this year is that the writers are so excited, and it’s absolutely an ensemble. I see everyone more than I did my first year. I mean, I see everybody in the trailers there always. It’s really fun that way. It’s just nice, even though we’re split; it’s still nice that everyone’s working together now.

Well, thank you for talking, Elizabeth. We are such big fans here. Keep up the good work, and I’m really excited to see your episode.
Keep in mind, it is a little bit of a slowdown, but there’s some good stuff in there with Ben. He will completely creep you out.

Who, Ben? Creepy? Nahhh…


Lost | Matthew Fox | Michael Emerson