Evangeline Lily reveals the devastating impact of shooting a scene undressed on 'Lost'
Many of us first became aware of actress Evangeline Lily through her character Kate on Lost. Back before it's... let's say controversial ending, Lost was the biggest show around - with all the water cooler talk about the exploits of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, in much the same way as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones later dominated conversations.
However, while it was a breakout role for the actress, she clearly didn't have the best time filming it.
She has spoken in the past about how she believes she was injured on set because of a "misogynistic" stunt co-ordinator, and has echoed her frustration over the direction her character took - essentially becoming stuck in a love triangle with little agency of her own:
"I felt like my character went from being autonomous, really having her own story and her own journey and her own agendas, to chasing men around the island. And that irritated the shit out of me.
"I did throw scripts across rooms when I read them because I would get very frustrated by the diminishing amount of her own story that there was to play.”
This love triangle, in which she was often caught between Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Jack (Matthew Fox), distracted from her individual story, she felt. Unfortunately, it wasn't the last time this would happen. She was assured before signing up that she would not be part of a love triangle for The Hobbit, but due to some last minute changes, she got stuck in that story once more.
Now, in an interview for The Lost Boys podcast, Lily explained how her scenes of partial nudity went down. These scenes, which took place in seasons three and four, were upsetting for the actress, and changed how she works in the industry.
“In Season 3, I’d had a bad experience on set with being basically cornered into doing a scene partially naked, and I felt had no choice in the matter,” Lilly said, adding that she felt "mortified." "I was trembling when it finished, I was crying my eyes out."
Then, one season later, there was yet another scene of undressing. "I fought very hard to have that scene be under my control. And I failed to control it again," Lilly said.
After that scene was done, she vowed she'd never do it again. In that environment, she couldn't trust that she would feel safe and comfortable. So, she told the writers and producers of the show, "'You can write whatever you want — I won’t do it. I will never take my clothes off on this show again.' And I didn’t."
Now she has made sure she is in the position to say no to nudity, but not because she believes women shouldn't have the choice to do so - she just doesn't believe she can be "comfortable and safe." However, she is aware she has the opportunity to stay away from it, while other actresses may not.
"I’m lucky; I’m in a privileged position because I can be picky. I feel for women who are struggling to come up in the industry and don’t know how to navigate that."
In response to these comments, executive producers of Lost, JJ Abrams, Jack Bender, Carlton Cuse, and Damon Lindelof, apologized for what happened to Lily.
"Our response to Evie’s comments this morning in the media was to immediately reach out to her to profoundly apologize for the experience she detailed while working on Lost. We have not yet connected with her, but remain deeply and sincerely sorry. No person should ever feel unsafe at work. Period."
While it is pretty late for this to be realised, it's good that they came forward to apologise for the treatment Lily faced.