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Quotes

  • Don’t do a job that you don’t love if you can possibly help it. If you put your passion and your joy into it, if keeping it going isn’t something you have to make yourself do, and it’s not something that you have to do, It becomes impossible for you not to. It’s just a part of who you are. It’s a part that brings you joy. It doesn’t matter what people say. It doesn’t matter where you are. As long as you keep your integrity and your joy, you’re golden.
  • “The most appealing thing about theater is being able to get lost in your imagination. To bring that to someone else’s dream, start to finish. And to play, again and again. Plus the fear can be good. You have the chance to be more than you were.”
  • “I’m surrounded by a bunch of pretty wonderful people and I get to spend a great deal of time with them. And I try really hard [to ensure] that we do the best work we can. But it’s not pressure. I think that you succeed or you don’t succeed. I don’t get too wrapped up in that. I’m too old. [laughs] I just enjoy where I am.” (about playing Erica Evans)
  • You were not from a show business family.
    No, I was not. Lawyers. When my mother was putting herself through law school, she’d drop me off at a theater school and I’d watch the actors and try to figure it all out. And my grandmother was an enormous movie and theater fan and would take me to everything she could. I fell in love with acting and the world of entertainment as a fan. Nobody ever thought I’d really do it, and I did it.
  • So you broke the family mold in a way.
    Probably, yeah. But there’s definitely an artistic gene in the family. My mom and dad both paint. My grandfather painted. My sister sang in bars for years while putting herself through medical school.
  • 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.
  • You know, I’m funny and I always have been. I really kind of like playing heroes. I have a definite streak of wanting to be a really good person and a really good sister and a really good mother. Maybe it’s how I look. I don’t know what it is. I get offered a lot of really complicated women and I actually like complicated. Complicated is interesting to me. So I don’t know if I could say good or bad because it’s my feeling that everyone in their life, and maybe that’s just how I am, searches to be the best they can be. It’s just at what so you have to be a little cautious. So I like both I think. I think there is something incredibly unique about going far outside of yourself. It enables you a kind of freedom that you don’t have if I were just playing myself. I’d be a little bit more guarded I think.
    I don’t know if the difference of an approach. I do feel like being a guest star on a show for me is like doing a mini-movie. You get to be a little bit more selfish. It’s exciting in a way. I don’t set the tone on set. I’m a guest and the other people’s shows and their lives, all of that and I treat it accordingly. I’m incredibly respectful about what world I’m in, what house I’m in, who’s family I’m in. And it’s fun. But – so there is a tremendous amount of freedom because I’m not the backbone. I simply get to come in and be the foliage and I seriously like that. It’s fun.
  • That I truly love what I do! That I have a hard time with people not performing up to their potential. That good writing is a gift. That I can survive with little to no sleep and with a measure of grace as long as my son or my characters are involved.
  • Messy characters!My favorites! Truly! Complicated, odd people that people want to hate. Heaven! Complicated is fun and challenging, yet somehow easier for me.
  • I think people are fascinating. I work really hard on cultivating curiosity rather then jealousy or fear… within reason, healty fear is good. So, I’m drawn to messy.
  • “I know it’s so “in” to be blasé, but that’s not going to get you anywhere. People feel good about doing things with you if you’re enthusiastic. You’ve gotta go for it, and go for it with gusto.”
  • “‘The nature of being an actress is to be fallible, to be vulnerable. We’re all the nerds of our world, aren’t we? I was a complete, total nerd. …I loved the idea that the underdog wins more often than not. And I don’t know if that happens in life. But I want it to.”
  • “I love character roles…You work hard, immerse yourself in the characters. I generally don’t do big high-profile roles. They terrify me. They lead me into places I’m not sure I want to go”
  • “My family doesn’t care [what roles I take]. They think it’s wonderful. They care about the work and they also care about the fact that when I was a child, I learned through television not to be prejudiced — I learned through television not to be racist and that’s what we should do. I think that’s part of our educational process.”
  • “Acting is so exciting to me. It’s a thrill; otherwise I wouldn’t do it. Not to be hokey, but I think life is definitely worth living, whether you’re working or not. For an actor, the character is the thing…it doesn’t matter what medium you’re in, as long as you have something to do”.
  • “I was even in a comedy group for a while. It’s so different. It’s so completely different. The idea of going to work and being able to laugh all day is great to me… There’s nothing harder than comedy. I think that anyone that thinks it’s easy just try and make someone laugh sometime! I think that comedy is hard, but I really enjoyed it. It’s nice when you can get the guy to laugh. I think it’s breathtaking.”
  • “I think if you have a love for this business, you can’t ever do anything you feel is not fun or not good or not something that means something to you. Otherwise you turn into something that you’re not.
  • (on the possibility that her role as Juliet on Lost will catapult her to high fame) “Oh, God, I can’t even imagine in any way, shape, or form that I’d ever break through. I’m such a chameleon; I don’t think there’s enough people can latch onto. I think of myself as an oddity”
  • “When I got into this, I really only thought I would be doing theatre. After 10 years of my working life in theatre, I did a bit of television and moved into film. Everything you do extends into everything else you do, and expands on what skill set you started out with. The journey I have taken has been a fantastic one, even surprising me as I had turned out performances I didn’t realize I was capable of. If you know what you’re doing and open to learning, you will become more of the person you want to be.”
  • My advice, you know what, I’m that really horrible person that you think I’m going to say something brilliant and unique and I’m not. I’m such a big fan of studying. I’m such a big fan of really learning your craft. I spent 15 years doing theater before I ever got in front of the camera and I’m so grateful for that. It’s helped me in every step of the way, especially going in on auditions where, you know, I should be petrified but I’ve been doing it for so long I just kind of do it.
  • So I believe in study. I believe in finding something that works for you and continuing with it. And the people I know who are successful, the people I know who love what they do seem to do a lot of work. And it doesn’t have to be intellectual always. It’s more just kind of immersing yourself in the love of your craft. It’s not an exciting answer but it is what I believe
  • Love it and don’t do it for any other reason. You will get beat up, let it flow through and believe what makes you better. Ignore the rest. Support your fellow actors. Learn your lines, be passionate with manners.
  • The main thing is you have to love it. If you have a man, you’ve got to love him. To have a career, you’ve got to love it. The business is not particularly kind, but the camaraderie is nice, and your fellow actors are invariably wonderful.
  • Question:Elizabeth, you’ve been on a few shows now with a super rabid fan base. Does it gives you a greater sense of responsibility to your audience?
    Elizabeth Mitchell:
    It’s funny. I do believe in one’s honoring oneself. And I believe that if you behave with honor that that kind of encompasses a lot of people. So it’s not so much as a wanting to please as it is a wanting to honor. So do I want to honor the people who have been so supportive of me? Absolutely, but at the same time I believe that the people who have liked me have hopefully liked my honesty and the fact that I try not to do anything that feels false to me. And I’m so sorry, what was the first one because that was a good one to?
    Question:
    What does that support means to you as an actor?
    Elizabeth Mitchell:
    That’s what I was thinking the whole time, I’m so glad that was it. I’ve been so lucky, and I know that a lot of people say that, but I go into the world just as me and I’m met with a tremendous amount of support and intelligence and that’s meant a lot to me, and it’s been that way for me for a long time. I’ve had people – people always start with the most polite thing of I’m so sorry to bother you and I’m not trying to make a sense and so I seem to have the most polite supportive kind of intelligent group of people you can possibly imagine. So I don’t really know how you can get better than that. I’ve never felt nervous or overwhelmed or anything. I’m appreciative. It kind of feels like we’re all in it together.
  •  “I’ve said this quote before – it’s my favorite. They say that when you have a child, your heart walks around outside of your body. And I think you don’t really experience that until you have it. I feel that way with my [real-life] son. He walks around and I want him to be strong and vibrant and happy, but in my mind, I’m worst-case scenario mom. I’m like, I’d just love to gather him up and keep him close.”
  • “I’ve said this quote before – it’s my favorite. They say that when you have a child, your heart walks around outside of your body. And I think you don’t really experience that until you have it. I feel that way with my [real-life] son. He walks around and I want him to be strong and vibrant and happy, but in my mind, I’m worst-case scenario mom. I’m like, I’d just love to gather him up and keep him close, and at sixteen [Tyler’s age on V], you just can’t.”
  • About what she would do in her last day with power “I would make sure I was with my son. I would listen to music with my son. And I would make sure that everybody in the world that I love would know where I was so we can all find each other again.”
  • What inspires her “My son. Art. Artists. Music. Meditation. Dreams. Nature.”
  • “I grew up in a family of mostly women and one incredible patient Dad.”
  • “Such a gift, because I get to really see and love women. I see women as sisters not competitors. Truly a gift! I have such amazing friends. Women are magical, fascinating creatures. Happy to be one of them.”
  • “CJ comes first. As an actress put another person’s needs first is beautiful, difficult and entirely worth it. Selfishness… No time. Neurotic tendency… No time. How do I look? … No time. You get my point.”
  • My son fills my heart, soul and head. There is a very little room for neurotic rambling or ego driven behavior. Better for the life! Better for the work!
  • Here’s the thing: my son is the world to me. I’d do anything for him. I would absolutely, completely destroy my own moral code, which is huge, my own idea of the world, which is huge. I would do anything to make sure he was okay. I would do anything for my son. Absolutely have done.”
  • “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it’s the best thing,” she says. “He makes your heart bigger and your head bigger. That can’t be a bad thing.”
  • “I had him when I was 35, so I had a whole life before him and now he is my whole life. The longest I’ve ever gone without seeing him is three days. I want him to be someone who goes out into the world and does what he loves and has a passion. I want him to know that he can grab for anything.”
  • ”There’s the child who really believes that if you move just the right way, you can go into another world…I’m that child.”
  • “I’m a big fan of politeness. People treat you the way you set yourself up to be treated.”
  • “No matter the field, I would say support other women.So be kind,always and be kind to yourself.”
  • What drives you absolutely crazy? “Cruelty. And what I call “puppy kicking,” when you hurt someone on purpose, who can’t or won’t hurt you back and you do it on purpose. Grrrrrrrr. Don’t do it in front of me.”
  • “You can be the architect of your own happiness.”
  • “I normally eat everything under the sun, but once a year, for a whole month, I eat nothing but fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean fish, and I feel great!”
  • “Texas women are insanely strong. On the outside Texas women are incredibly gracious. But you don’t want to be iced by a Texas woman.”
  • “I grew up in a family of mostly women and one incredible patient Dad. I get to really see and love women. I see women as sisters not competitors. Truly a gift! I have such amazing friends. Women are magical, fascinating creatures. Happy to be one of them.”
  • “I come from an enormous family of women, which is probably the reason I’m so captivated by women. That’s all I really know. Men are, “Oh, what is this strange creature?” But women, I know. I’m having all my sisters and all my female friends gather here for a pretty massive slumber party, so that will be great.”
  • “Having a baby helped me. It’s about getting to a place where I am unafraid as an actress.”
  • “I want to have kids everywhere…I want to eat Haagen-Dazs and get broad hips. If you try to stay young forever, you don’t really live.”
  • Conservancy Talk: What’s your favorite energy-saving tip? Elizabeth Mitchell: “Read. Talk to the ones you love. Play board games and marbles by candlelight.”
  • “I will overlook bad behavior if I know that people’s intentions are good. I have this belief that people really can do good things and that people want to be good.”

 

  • “(Juliet) was an abused person … basically doing the best she could under horrific and extraordinary circumstances. By the time, Jack and Sawyer come along, she was so far down a dark path that it took her quite a bit longer than it might normally would for her to swim towards the light, towards who she actually was, which I believe was a pretty decent person. It was just an interesting study in what could happen to someone’s humanity once it starts to get stripped away. I loved Juliet. I always did. I always thought she was fantastic. Even when people thought she was the creepiest thing they’ve ever seen, I still thought she was pretty cool.” [NEW]
  • “No, I’d never been happier than when I was on LOST. No, I was asked to leave LOST. I would never have asked to leave, not in a million years. [Moving back to the mainland from Hawaii, where LOST is filmed] was pretty sudden, so it was hard to leave. I had to pack everything up. But I’m an actor, this is what I do, so I was fine – sad but fine.”
  • “I’ve read some gorgeous stuff,” she adds. “Of course, I’ll read eight gorgeous things and then one ‘I just hate her, I don’t care what other people think.’ And then I want to go, ‘Why do you hate her? [laughs] I like her.’ But [there isn’t as much board perusal] as you might think. I try not to let that in my life.”
  • “I don’t think we realized we were really onto something until the scene in the kitchen [where Sawyer brings Juliet a flower].  And what you didn’t see on camera—we shot it but it didn’t air—was that he picked me up and carried me over to the sink and just started kissing me. We finished that and we both looked at each other. On-camera, the chemistry was there, and off-camera, it was us again.”
  • “She’s my favorite, my favorite I’ve ever played, she’s massively fun for me. She captivated me, everything they wrote captivated me. It has nothing to do with my performance, had I read it in a book I would have been captivated.”
  • “I’ve read some gorgeous stuff,” she adds. “Of course, I’ll read eight gorgeous things and then one ‘I just hate her, I don’t care what other people think.’ And then I want to go, ‘Why do you hate her? [laughs] I like her.’ But [there isn’t as much board perusal] as you might think. I try not to let that in my life.”
  • “If you’re bad, you think you’re good anyway.”
  • “Believe it or not, women seem to love the character [Juliet]. Men, however…I’ve gotten a few stares. “Oh no.” That sort of thing. I always have C.J. on my hip and I’m walking around. I’m not ever quite as still as Juliet. I’m fairly goofy and nerdy. But I have had more men look at me a little terrified. I think men are intrigued and they want to engage in some sort of smackdown”
  • “I don’t think I would have been able to play her (Juliet) if I were in my twenties. They wrote me a humdinger of a role and she continues to be that way.”
  • “Up to now, this is definitely a high point for me in my career and in my life. It almost feels like all the crazy work I did led up to me being able to do this.”
  • “She’s so good at reading other people that she knows how to block you from reading her. I like the tremendous amount of freedom in there.”


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