ELIZABETH MITCHELL Lost and Found in Bainbridge
As at home as Elizabeth Mitchell seems running through the jungle on the hit series Lost, she’s even more at home with her husband and son in the sustainable community of Bainbridge. Speaking with us from her Washington home, Elizabeth discusses her life as an actress and “greenie” from the start.
Let’s talk a little bit about the Earth: what’s your outlook on the state of the planet?
I think we’re at a crisis point, and anyone who says that we’re not, well, I don’t think they’re paying attention. I go to all these science exhibits with my son because he’s so fascinated by it, and you see the chain of pollution and what we’re doing with our landfills. I worked for New York Public Interest Research Group for awhile, and I’ve pretty much been a greenie since then. So I’m just excited that it’s fashionable – I don’t really care who started it or when they did it or how they did it, I’m just glad that people are doing it.
What are some of the things you do to ease your impact?
Here on Bainbridge we only have one car, and we take public transportation quite often. We filter our water, we compost, and we try to do everything we can to reuse. We’re not big purchasers, but we put money into the economy buying organic food and those sorts of things. What I’m enjoying lately is that the grocery stores here are going to start charging 3 cents for a plastic bag. I just carry around a big purse that I can stuff groceries in.
You love the environment, but what about rolling around in the mud in the woods on Lost? Do you ever get sick of that?
To be honest with you, I don’t. But then you have to think I’m keeping great company, like Evangeline [Lilly] – being in the mud with her is pretty fun. I knew it was going to be physical, and the heat is something, but one of the reasons the show works is that we are out there running, out there fighting. We’re not sipping piña coladas, and as a result the reality of the work shows on our faces. I think it makes the show better.
What it is about acting that compels you?
Well, I was a dorky kid, and all I would do was read and imagine. My mother is an artist and my great-grandfather was an artist and everyone around me had these outlets. I’m a terrible artist, but I have a huge appreciation for it. Anyway, the outlet was very important to me. If I wasn’t an actress, I don’t know what I would have been. Probably a librarian, but not a very good one.
If you had to trade in acting, is that what you’d want to do instead?
Oh, that’s hard, because I’ve spent my whole life in acting. I don’t know, I sang a lot as a kid and as a young woman for musicals and that sort of thing, so I also really love that. It’s hard to imagine doing anything outside of the arts; I can’t really imagine being someone who isn’t allowed to express herself.
How does this concept of “the outlet” and your need for self-expression play into your acting?
I’m one of those odd chameleon people. I try to work without ego and I really, really listen. I definitely love when someone has a big personality and they bring it in, but that’s not me. I love to lose myself in the role. I can just get right in there, and only someone with a love for it can do that.
Alternative Apparel recently launched a line of 100% organic cotton garments, including the best fitting, most comfortable t-shirts imaginable! I recently worked on a shoot for their new Earth line with actress Elizabeth Mitchell, aka Dr. Juliet Burke on the ABC television series LOST. It was a quick shoot since she was heading back to Hawaii in the morning to begin the next season of filming. Photographer Michael Oneil did a great job finding the most perfect set ups her back yard and around her house. She was a dream to work with, so so sweet and beautiful (inside and out!). It was a fun day.