Evangeline Lilly Recalls Negative Experience On 'Lost' And Got An Apology A Decade Overdue

"I think that things are in the process of changing."

Saying sorry isn't a cure-all, but it can be an important first step toward putting difficult things behind us. That's likely what Evangeline Lilly is currently going through after receiving a long-overdo apology for the harrowing events she experienced when filming Lost.


Lilly was a guest on an episode of the podcast The LOST Boys last week and told host Jacob Stolworthy that getting the gig of playing Kate Austen "felt like destiny." That said, the Ant-Man and the Wasp star went on to talk about how she wanted the character "to be better" because her autonomy was, well, lost as the show progressed. Not only that, but Lilly herself felt a struggle over what was happening with Kate, though eventually found solace in embracing the character's shortcomings.

"In Season 3, I'd had a bad experience on set with being basically cornered into doing a scene partially naked, and I felt [I] had no choice in the matter," Lilly began, via Variety. "And I was mortified and I was trembling when it finished. I was crying my eyes out, and I had to go and do a very formidable, very strong scene thereafter."

That wasn't the only time something like that happened, though.

"In Season 4, another scene came up where Kate was undressing and I fought very hard to have that scene be under my control. And I failed to control it again," Lilly added. "So I then said, 'That's it, no more. 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."

With this news making headlines it didn't take long for Lost producers to issue a joint statement trying to make amends with Lilly, who they had worked with over the show's six-season run from 2004 to 2010.

"Our response to Evie's comments in the media was to immediately reach out to her to profoundly apologize for the experience she detailed while working on Lost," the statement — from J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Jack Bender, and Carlton Cuse — reads, via Deadline. "We have not yet connected with her, but remain deeply and sincerely sorry. No person should ever feel unsafe at work. Period."

In the end, Lilly said that after 15 years in the industry she feels more capable of handling situations like this and actually passes on projects if there's nudity involved. That, Lilly point out, is a point of privilege for her and something that not all actresses have in their careers — especially if they're just starting out. This is exactly why initiatives like Time's Up, a byproduct of the #MeToo movement, are so important.

Per a recent study from USC Annenberg's Inclusion Initiative, female characters are more likely than male characters to wear sexy attire or have some nudity involved. When looking at 2017's top films, 7.5 percent of male characters are depicted in sexy attire compared to 28.4 percent of female characters. Those numbers are a little closer, though still quite a bit apart, when looking at some nudity being involved as the breakdown is 9.6 percent for actors and 25.4 percent for actresses.

"I think that things are in the process of changing," Lilly noted. "When it comes to women being vulnerable on set when it comes to their nudity though, I haven't been in the position to know if that has changed or not."

It seems as though Lilly wanted there to be more to Kate than what she can offer with her body or any involvement in Lost's famous love triangle. This doesn't go for just Lilly, but for all actresses — ones of all ages, colors, body types, and sexual orientations.

Cover image via Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.