We had the pleasure of speaking with Josh Holloway at the 2009 Comic Con. Here’s what he had to say.
How does it feel to be in the home stretch?
Josh: Bittersweet. As an actor, of course, I’m interested in playing other roles and experimenting with other things, so that part is a bit exciting. To possibly do something- a different role, but, like I said, it’s bittersweet because it’s going to be difficult to top this one. I’ve been really enjoying the exploration of the character throughout, and it’s going to be a sad thing to see it end. But, then again, it’s going to be magical. Last year, everyone’s going to be just so excited and the material’s going to finally make some sense – maybe. So that I’m looking forward to. The only thing I’ve gotten right is: I thought The Island moved. That’s all I got right the entire six years. I remember saying that to Damon and he got all weird with me. I was like, “Uh oh! Found something, didn’t I?” And he ran off. But, yeah, it’s gonna be bittersweet for this to end; we love Hawaii.
What is Sawyer’s state of mind, post Juliet falling down a giant hole?
Josh: Wow. I think he’s pretty destroyed. So I think he’s going to be back to – all of that growth just got ripped away. So I think he’s going to be a bit salty again, which I’m looking forward to. So I’m not really sure. All I know is that he’s destroyed and has given up on life again – having any positive lessons. So, watch out!
Have you had time to read any of the books that Sawyer reads?
Josh: No, actually, strangely enough. And I want to! ‘Cause I love Watership Down, which I’ve seen the cartoon, of course, when I was young, and I was very impressed with that. So I figured, “Hey! I’ve seen the cartoon, don’t need to read the book!” No, I’m kidding. But I read constantly, and I meant to do that – I meant to read these things. And yeah, I’ve read parts of them because I’m actually reading when I’m reading.
It just feels like it’s almost like a course that they’re laying out. But who has time to actually take the course?
Josh: It is! Right, exactly. But yeah, I read constantly so…I just haven’t read those.
Do you at least have your theory about how this is going to end?
Josh: Not really, strangely enough. I let that go a long time ago. All I said to Damon was, “I think Sawyer should probably die saving a frog or something.” Something ridiculous.
You used to tell us dying would be great for him, are you going to get close to your dream?
Josh: I don’t know; I hope so! The closest we got to that was when Frogurt got this arrow-the flaming arrow-which I thought was pretty epic. That was a great-I thought, at the beginning, that that was going to happen a lotLOST. The big, epic battles, of all these people-and they never happened until finally last year. So, I donno. Something’s gotta come to a head, so, you know, I’ve got my red g-string ready. I’m ready to go.
Do you have any burning questions that you want answered?
Josh: Uh, wow. I do, but I can’t think of any of ’em right now with all these little contraptions staring at me. It’s making me nervous. Uh, burning question, what would it be? How did they get-
“The Man from Tallahassee,”- the magic box?
Josh: Yeah, how did he get in the box from traffic? You know, I mean, how did that work? Did he go through a force field or something that transported him into the box? I donno. Is that a bad question; has it been answered and I just don’t know?
Some of the actors have said they’re not watching the show. Do you watch the show, and are you like, well, maybe not a fan of your own show, but do you watch it and try to get it like we do?
Josh: Yes! And I am a fan of the show. My work – it needs some work, but all the other actors I think are fabulous. And I’ve been a fan of the show from the very beginning. I just love the concept and I love to be surprised and confused as much as everyone else. And, uh, I am. Obviously.
After playing such a tough guy for so many seasons, and then you got to show your soft side last season, for the final season, what do you want us to see? The vulnerable side or tough Sawyer?
Josh: Well, that’ll be a tricky line to play, actually. Because, it’s a tricky line with hating life now, again, with everything gone, and with what he’s already learned. Whether you like it or not, your soul grows. So, I think he’s going to be walking that line of completely salty, yet you’ll see some inkling of heart break in there, maybe. And maybe, hopefully some redemption in the end; something will come together. You know, me and Hurley will hook up and we’ll have happily ever after.
Do you feel like there are certain things that you’re characterized to experience or alarmed before the end of the show to have a complete journey for your character?
Josh: Sure! He has to- he just has to accept life at it is and not turn everything into, “Yeah, I told you so.” As long as he can – that growth is going to have to settle in and not be forgotten just because of the tragedies that’s happened. And I hope that’s his journey through this last season. To be, you know, from hate and negativity to finally some resolve in the end. That it wasn’t all for nothing. That’s what I hope.
It seems like you were redeemed in this last season. Why do you think it didn’t turn out so well in the end?
Josh: Because that’s life! You learn your lessons and you’re like, “I got that one, thank you! Yeah, yeah!” And then you get smacked with it again.
So were you actually redeemed, or is redemption coming this time?
Josh: Well, I think she was his redemption, and now that’s been ripped away. So, I think he’s starting over, but with some growth that he can’t deny. You know what I mean? So he won’t really start over; he’ll start over from that point. But, she was his redemption. That was his only real, I think, in his world, his only real shot at love that might work. Not just a volatile love like him and Kate had, but one that actually might…That was his hoo-rah to try it and now that’s gone, he’s done.
So Sawyer and Kate are not getting back together?
Josh: I have no idea. Maybe that’s towards the end. I hope they don’t throw me right in there because that would be shallow. But I will say, I don’t know. Maybe she’ll bring him back around, wanting to live again. That’s what I’m hoping.
After Sawyer being so important in season five, I mean, more important than Jack, in terms of being on screen and in frame, what do you know about what’s going to happen next? Do you feel like he’s going to give more space to the other characters?
Josh: Yeah. I think it will not be one predominate story line. I think it will all be equally represented in the final thing. Because the thing with Jack and Sawyer – they’ve always been two of the same kind of men from different ends of the spectrum, right? So last year was kind of my exploration in that and him switching over to where he was more like Locke. So now I think there’s going to be a mix of both of us in our-I don’t know what I’m trying to say! But I’m trying to say that it will all kind of equal out. I don’t think there will be a predominate story line.
When they changed and said they were going to end if after season 6, did the energy for you guys change?
Josh: Sure, sure. A lot of things happened with that.
Did you welcome it?
Josh: I did…The part that I really thought was a positive thing and really wise was fighting for the integrity of the story. And that’s the first time in the history of TV, or that I can think of or have seen, that the artist actually won that battle. Where normally they, I think, would just fire all the writers and hire some more and say,”Let’s continue!” But that’s good. They still made money, so they didn’t do that. They fought hard for the ending, to have an end day, they got the end day. Now the integrity of the story is intact and they’re really able to be more concise with the story telling and not try to waste time. They’re very concise with the story now; it’s almost becoming another character. It drives everything. So that’s very positive.
Do you think there’s significance to the fact that Sawyer and Kate’s relationship was largely shown on screen, where as Juliet and Sawyer’s relationship was sort of told but not shown?
Josh: I can tell you the significance of that as an actor was I was cussing like hell when I got those scenes. “We have three scenes to make this work?” Me and Kate got a few seasons to earn that relationship, right? So we were really skeptical. Elizabeth and I both were like, “Oh man, how’re we going to do this?” And we were both very nervous about not having time to earn it and for the audience to buy it. And it’s one of the first times they did a flash three years later; it’s always been day to day. So that is the only saving grace of that in there, it allowed us to make it sink in as a possibility. And also it was an interesting – it is different. Because you don’t need to show a relationship that’s working, it’s not as dramatic. It’s the first time he actually experienced a relationship that worked like a normal relationship might. Which is not so dramatic on film. So better to let it permeate that way. And then Kate now is, of course, more volatile and day-to-day and tit for tat. So that’s more dramatic, I think. So yes, that may be significant.
If you go back, what was your expectation when it started?
Josh: I expected to be killed in the first season, so I didn’t even throw my boxes away. I’d buy a TV and put the box in the closet. I was like, “OK. He’s an ass, and he’ll be dead before the season’s end.” That’s what my expectation really was. So I fought hard to find his humanity. I remember talking to my wife, like, “He’s dead! I’ve have to get some humanity in this guy.” So, I really fought for that, his humanity. But yet to keep his edge…it’s been a fine line.
Do you think you’ve changed the outcome of his life?
Josh: I think we all have- because we’re working with brilliant writers, and with artists who are willing to go with what’s happening. I feel like every character has changed according to how the responses were and how the stories were, the writers adjusted. They’ve adjusted with all of us. Michael Emerson, perfect example, he comes in as a guest star and now they’re like, “Oh yeah! Not going to let that go!” So they adjust, and that truly shows their ability as artists, not to be married to an idea. “No, you can’t change that!” They’re very good going with it.
Interview By: Emma Loggins
– Comic Con Gallery