Before landing Lost, Josh Holloway was a struggling actor who was thisclose to saying goodbye to Hollywood and hello to a career in real estate. Six years later, the 40-year-old Georgia native with the killer dimples is a bonafide TV star and fan favorite, thanks to his nuanced portrayal of Sawyer, the con man currently heartbroken over the death of almost-fiancée Juliet. Holloway recently sat down with PEOPLE in his trailer on the show’s Hawaii set to talk about what lies ahead for his character — No more Kate? A partnership with the island’s dark force? — as well as his post-Lost career plans and the joys of first-time fatherhood. Caution: spoilers ahead! –Shawna Malcom
How’s poor Sawyer holding up when we see him again in Tuesday’s episode?
He’s still racked with grief and full of guilt for allowing [Juliet’s death] to happen.
But Juliet’s the one who let go of Sawyer’s grip and detonated the bomb!
That doesn’t erase the shame and guilt of not being able to hold on. At the core, it’s a man’s responsibility to protect, no matter what. Going forward, Sawyer’s all anger. He hooks up with Locke because he just doesn’t care to live anymore. He’s already dead inside.
Are things officially over then between Sawyer and Kate?
Any feelings he allows for Kate are a betrayal to Juliet and their love. As the character, I don’t want anything to do with it. It’s shameful to him. Yet there’s an inevitable attraction. I want the writers to honor what Sawyer and Kate have built together, but I don’t know what that looks like.
Is it fun to get to play two versions of Sawyer this season — one on the island and one in the flash-sideways?
With all the things I’ve been through with this character already, it’s interesting. I thought I’d just figured out Sawyer and now it’s like, “Not so fast!” But life is that way — we think we learn lessons but then they come back for another round.
Costars Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly have both said that they’re unlikely to do TV again after Lost ends. What are your plans?
I have a huge desire to do other things — TV, movies — and I feel like I’m just getting started. It’s gonna be a whole new adventure. I’ll always keep roots in Hawaii but inevitably, I must go to L.A. — that’s where the heart of the business is. It’ll be back to the audition room, and I’m game. I don’t want straight offers — I want to read for things. I want to prove to myself and to that town that I can go forward. I don’t want anything given to me.
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