Lost's Jeff Fahey on the Fate of Frank Lapidus and that Machete Trailer
Last week's pivotal episode of Lost brought with it many casualties, and though Jin, Sun, and Sayid all got their due, we at Movieline would like to sing a ballad for Frank Lapidus. Over the last three seasons of Lost, Jeff Fahey has managed to make his errant pilot character one of the show's most-liked with little more than a pocketful of one-liners in his arsenal. He may never have gotten his own flashback episode, but damn if we didn't love him all the same.
Last week was a big one for Fahey, between that nutso Lost episode and the trailer for Machete, where he reprises his Grindhouse role for director Robert Rodriguez. I called him up yesterday to chat about both.
So, the question everyone wants to know, because the answer isn't completely clear: Did Lapidus actually die in the last episode of Lost? I mean, we didn't actually see him die...
[Laughs] Well, he went down with the submarine. Yeah, he's dead.
No! I'm bummed. I'm still in denial.
I am too! But I have to tell you, Kyle, it was a great ride. It's interesting because within about 90 days, we had the finale of Lost and the premiere of [the Machete trailer], and those were two of my favorite groups of people to work with. You know, I've been around for a little bit, and working with Robert and Elizabeth [Avellan] down at Troublemaker [Studios], and the three seasons I spent on Lost...it's been an actor's dream, I have to tell you.
I think Lapidus was a fan favorite.
It just was one of those roles made in heaven. When they called me and I had my first meeting with [executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof], they were so generous and so giving and clear and relaxed about the character and the project. And then when I stepped in and actually went to Hawaii, the cast and crew and directors and production, they couldn't have been more nice. A lot of times when you walk into something that's been going a long time and that's so strongly established, you feel like the odd man out, but this was a situation where you walked in and you were greeted as a family member. That made it so easy, and I think you can see that with the way everybody worked together over the years. People ask me, how does it feel to work on something that's so successful and established worldwide? All I can say is that when you hang around the stable long enough, sometimes you get lucky enough to ride a thoroughbred.
You hadn't seen the show at all before you started on it. Did it make much sense to you?
It's interesting, because one of the things about working on Lost is that they don't really explain a lot to anyone. You kind of roll with it from script to script. I have to say that it was so well-written that it allows you to explore the unknown, and then as you see the show itself, it works. A lot of times, you don't want to know everything. The very thing that would make you feel uncomfortable on other jobs -- not knowing the arc of the character or the story -- on something like Lost, the unknowing actually helps out sometimes.
We haven't seen a sideways universe version of Lapidus. Will we?
No, it's over.
There's no more Lapidus at all?
Sorry, Kyle. He's done.
I need to take a moment, Jeff.
I know. His ride is over. The dream is over for Frank Lapidus.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you basically wore two outfits your entire time on the show.
Oh Kyle, don't remind me of that. I loved the job, but I wasn't sorry to see the day when I didn't have to wear that shirt anymore.
Carlton Cuse once said about you, "He has the most intense eyes of any guy out there, and I say that as a non-gay man." Would you like to return the compliment?
Tell him I love him, too. And I'm straight.
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