Evangeline Lilly Speaks Out About Being “Cornered” into Filming Lost Nude Scenes
Evangeline Lilly spent six seasons playing Kate Austen on the popular ABC series Lost, a character that soon became an icon of strength and autonomy for women. But, it turns out there was some behind-the-scenes sexism no one knew about. During a recent appearance on The Lost Boys podcast, the actress revealed she was pressured into taking her clothes off more than once.
She began her interview by speaking candidly about her character, calling her “kind of cool” at the start of the series, but Evangeline claims she thought Kate was “predictable and obnoxious” once her storyline revolved around her chasing two men. She admitted it “irritated the sh*t” out of her, however, nothing made her feel as bad as when she was asked to do a nude scene for the first time.
“In season three, 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,” she explained, recalling the heartbreaking details. “I was mortified and I was trembling, and when it finished, I was crying my eyes out and I had to go on do a very formidable, very strong scene immediately thereafter.” We can’t help but wonder if she was talking about “I Do,” the sixth episode of the third season when Kate and Sawyer have sex for the first time while she’s rescuing him from The Others.
The idea of she felt “corned” into taking off her clothes on camera is appalling, but the fact that no one – including her costars or the crew of the show – helped her is worse. Did no one see that she was visibly upset about doing the nude scenes? Or did they just turn a blind eye? Clearly, no one cared about how she felt because the following season, Evangeline was required to undress on screen yet again. However, that would be her final semi-nude scene because after that she was done. For good.
“I fought very hard to have that scene be under my control, and I failed to control it again,” she revealed. “And so, I then said, ‘That’s it. No more. You can write whatever you want — [but] I won’t do it. I will never take my clothes off on this show again.’ And I didn’t.”
It’s this experience that has since led to Evangeline’s careful role-selection process. For example, naked scenes are completely out of the question. She just won’t do it anymore. She revealed that when she reads scripts that involve nudity, she immediately passes. She also made it very clear that it’s not because she thinks there’s anything with actors doing nudity. Instead, she said it’s because she doesn’t trust that she’ll feel “comfortable and safe” doing the scenes.
Evangeline went on to say that unlike other women in the industry, she’s in a “privileged position” because she can pick and choose what projects she’d like to do next. She added, “I feel for women who are struggling to come up in the industry and don’t know how to navigate that.”
You can listen to Evangeline’s complete interview below: