December 1, 2008
Hottt List: Elizabeth Mitchell – Playing Well With Others
By Kathleen Keish
It’s not hard to get lost in Lost. The show, which premiered in 2004 on ABC, has succeeded in captivating audiences with its multitude of characters and their respective storylines. Judging from the write-in entries in our 2008 Hott List, it is obvious that Venus Zine readers can’t get enough of the complicated prime-time drama.
Elizabeth Mitchell portrays Dr. Juliet Burke, a fertility doctor who entered the show in the beginning of the third season as a member of the “Others,” a group of elusive people who inhabited the island long before the crash of Flight 815. Collectively considered to be the 98th greatest villain of all time by Wizard Magazine, the “Others” serve as the series’ oft-mysterious antagonists. Mitchell’s role, however, has transcended that boundary and is now one of the show’s primary characters.
Venus Zine talked to Mitchell about the show’s unique plotlines, its enthusiastic fans, and — of course — what she would bring to a deserted island.
VZ: How do you feel Lost is different from other shows on television?
“Well, it’s so funny — I was thinking about that. I started shooting this morning at like, 5:30 a.m. or something like that. And there we were, and it was in the middle of a jungle, and it’s hot and it’s muggy, but kind of breathtaking at the same time. And I realized that even the shooting of it is kind of an adventure.”
VZ: Were you a fan of the show before your character came onto it in the third season?
“I was. I was enough of a fan of the show that coming on to it felt very strange for me. But at the same time, everyone was so welcoming. I almost had a leg up because I had already seen it, and I kind of knew who these characters were. Juliet also kind of knew everybody because she was spying on them.”
VZ: What do you think of the producers’ decision to end the show with a sixth season in 2010?
“I think it’s amazing that they have an end date. I’ve never heard of that. I’ve never seen anyone really do it before, so I love it. I love that they’re storytellers and they’re excited about their story. And they’re not going to just cash in on the fact that its popular … they’re actually artists and trying to figure out what their book is, what their novel is, and I love that. It makes me think they have a lot of integrity.”
VZ: There are some pretty crazy theories and stories circulating on the Internet. Do you ever read fanfiction? Are you directly familiar with the Lost fandom?
“I read a few things here and there. I find the fan base to be very articulate and intelligent, and so I actually really enjoy some of the things that people come up with and the insights that they have … I try not to read too much because I don’t want it to influence the way that I think about things because people can kind of … lure you over to their way of thinking. But I enjoy it. It’s exciting to me that there are so many people talking about it.”
VZ: The show is slated to return in early 2009. Can you tell us what viewers can expect in the upcoming season? What’s in store for Dr. Juliet Burke?
“Its crazy, actually, but this season is completely nuts. And the doing of it is nuts. I mean, we’re all running around going, ‘What the heck?’ It’s a pretty wild ride. I think I said last season that it was kind of hurdling through — and I did believe that — and then the season before was a little more introspective, and this is just a full-out run. I think it’s going to be really interesting. It’s that kind of transition season before the last season, so there’s all kinds of kinks that have to be worked out, storylines that have to be drawn through, and answers that have to be given — and that all seems to be happening. There’s a lot of reading in the trailers where we’re all like, ‘Oh!’ — so that’s a good sign.”