Lost Season Five: Interview with Matthew Fox

by Lisa McGarry

lost jack

Matthew Fox plays Jack Shephard in the award-winning drama, Lost. With the season five DVD
about to be released, the accomplished actor talks about fame, family and learning to fly…

When did you first realize that Lost was going to be such a huge international success?

“It took a little while to realize the show would do well internationally, although I knew it was going to be successful in the States because the viewing figures for the pilot were huge. There was a lot of buzz about the show before we even went on air and I knew the show was very good, as well as very different to anything else on television at the time. You know what? I think the show is pretty special and it deserves all this attention.”

Your family moved to Hawaii when you started work on the show five years ago… Do you still enjoy life over there?

” Being a parent, it’s been wonderful to see my kids grow up in Hawaii where they have a lot of freedom to be outside and in the water. Our little boy was three years old when we first moved over there and now he’s seven. He’s had a wonderful childhood.”

What about the rest of the family?

“My daughter is also surfing beautifully, so we’ve all had an amazing experience in Hawaii. We’re also pretty excited to look forward to moving onto somewhere new when Lost finishes. We have always been vagabonds in that respect. We enjoy traveling an awful lot and we love visiting new places. We’ve had a wonderful time in Hawaii, but we are also looking forward to where we are heading after this because we are going to be closer to family. I want my children to have first cousin relationships because my first cousins are like brothers to me. I want my kids to be closer to my brothers’ kids so that they can develop these relationships. I think they are really important.”

Is there any truth in the rumor that you’re going to live in Italy when Lost finishes?

“My wife is from Italy and I think we will live there at some point, but I don’t know when. My wife is from Venezia in Italy, so I’m sure we will spend a good portion of our life there, but we haven’t figured it out yet. We love Italy, but perhaps that will happen when the kids are older.”

Does your family ask you about what’s going to happen on the show?

“No. They love the show, but they’re cool about things like that because they know I can’t talk about it. My older brother is really into Lost. He’s always been into the time element, so this season has been particularly interesting for him. My brothers are always sending me texts about certain episodes they think are excellent, so it’s great to hear their response to the show – but they don’t press me for any information.”

What do you get up to when the show isn’t filming?

“I like to work on movies in the hiatus, but I don’t do anything just to work. I only do a movie if I find the right project. The silver lining in not working is that I get to spend a lot of time with my family. We haven’t had a chance to get over to Italy in a year and a half, so that’s something I’d like to do soon. We have a lot of family in Europe and we like spending time there.”

What else do you like to do?

“Well, I’m studying to be a pilot right now. I’ve had a pilot’s license to fly gliders for about eight years, but now I’m stepping up and getting my private pilot’s license. Flying has always been something that’s really exciting to me. It continually offers new challenges, which is something I’d like to put a lot of time into.”

Have you prepared yourself for life after Lost?

“Yes, I am prepared – and I’m very much looking forward to it. I’m going to savor the final year of this show. This is a pretty extraordinary experience to have and it’s been a huge chapter of our life as a family – but we’re also looking forward to life post-Lost. It’s going to be great to live near my brothers and their kids and my mom.”

Where do you think your career will take you after the show ends?

“Lost is the second six-year television show that I’ve worked on, so I’m looking to move on and hopefully find some film projects. I’m also developing a couple of projects, but I’m just going to see what happens. There are plenty of other things that I’d like to do with my life, too. I’ve been very fortunate as an actor to work on successful shows like Party Of Five and Lost, but I’m not anxious about where my career will go after this finishes.”

What can you tell us about the projects you’re developing?

“I have something in development over at Warner Brothers. They bought some material for me, so I’m acting as a producer. I’m helping in the interviewing of writers and directors – and I’m helping to develop a script. I’m enjoying watching how a project gets put together in this town and I’m learning a lot. The jury’s still out on whether I want to do a lot of it, but I think we’ll make this movie eventually.”

Would you consider taking a lead role on another TV series after Lost ends?

“No, I don’t think so. The schedules are very grueling and it takes up a big section of your life. I hope to have a solid film career after Lost. That will give me the opportunity to become extremely involved in a project for three months, but then I can drift back to my own life at the end of it. I can dictate how much time I take between projects, which will be nice. When you’re involved in a successful television series, somebody else schedules your life for you for most of the year. They tell you where you have to be and for how long. I’d like to have a lot more freedom.”

How do you handle life in the spotlight?

“Everybody has the impression that I live in a world where people with cameras follow me around all the time, but I’m not. Somehow or other, I just fly under the radar.”

So you’re not a big paparazzi target?

“I think living in Hawaii has really helped with that. When I come back to Los Angeles, I get followed around a little more – but the people in Hawaii are used to the idea that we’re there all the time. I think they appreciate us being there and that the show is a good thing for their economy. It’s reached a point where nobody really makes a big deal about it, which is nice. I guess we’re lucky. I’m certainly very happy with that.”


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