The Lost Interviews
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Lost Interview with William Mapother

TLI: What was your audition like, at the very beginning of Lost?
I didn’t have to audition. JJ knew my work from “In the Bedroom,” so that plus a scene from “Mean Creek” (which was later cut before the movie was released) was enough to convince them I was right for the part. They just offered it to me. As a sidenote, I was offered the role the morning of the day the show premiered. I had no idea it would be a huge hit. I was just thrilled I’d been offered two episodes of work!

TLI: What was your favorite scene as Ethan?
All of them. I’m not kidding. I’ve enjoyed all my scenes, wherever, with whomever, doing whatever. It’s been a blast.

TLI: Was Ethan a good or a bad man?
I don’t believe in good or bad in life, and I think one of the strengths of “Lost” is that the creators seem to feel the same way. In other words, every character exists in a shade of grey, don’t they? People might hate Ben, but we’ve seen Sawyer kill two unarmed people in cold blood, and Kate has killed one (when she burned down the house). Both of those are murder in the first degree. So who’s good and who’s bad? (You could argue that the best-looking people are good, but that’s another discussion. : ) )

TLI: Do you know a lot more about Ethan’s character than the audience does?
A little more.. But I get surprised, too. I had no idea I had been a surgeon until I heard it on the show!

TLI: Who’s your best friend on the set? Pick one! And who’s the best actor on Lost, besides you of course.
My best friend is the director, whomever that happens to be. : ) And the Best ‘Lost’ Actor Award goes to... Vincent!

TLI: How did you feel when you read the script in which you got shot by Charlie?
About how you would expect. Shocked, a bit bummed, but then looking forward to shooting a cool death scene.

TLI: Would you like to be in the season 6 finale?
Are you crazy? Of course!

TLI: Do you watch Lost every wednesday on ABC?
I record it so I generally don’t watch it live, but I almost always watch it within a few days, or else someone might tell me what happened!

TLI: Do you still have a lot of contact with other cast members of Lost?
Some yes, some no. About typical for most TV shows. Everyone has a very busy life and meets new people on every new show they do, so it would be a full-time job to keep up with everyone on every show!

TLI: Which other series would you love to play in?
The Office, Deadwood (if it weren’t cancelled), 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights...

TLI: Do you think you will be in an episode of Lost once more?
I like to think they will have Ethan on one more time, but I can’t promise that.

TLI: When reading the scripts do you get the same sense of surprise at twists that we do on television? Specifically, in the beginning of "Not in Portland," we see Juliet going through a routine, including walking past your character, leading us to believe they're on the Island until she pulls the curtain and we learn it's actually Miami. Do the slug lines indicate a pre-Island flashback, or does it leave it to your imagination until the reveal?
Good question. Frankly, I don’t remember how the slug lines read. I believe they leave it to the reader’s imagination, but I could be wrong... Yes, I absolutely get the same surprise that viewers get. Sometimes even more.

TLI: May I thank you very much for your answers, and is there something you really have to share with the audience?
First, thank you for watching! Second, my official website is at, my blog at, and you can send me questions directly at the bulletin board on Thank you!

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