Terry O’Quinn: “The strangest fan encounter I ever had was the guy who stood behind me at Starbucks. I heard a voice say ‘I just want you to know, I don’t blame you for killing Boone.’ And I turned around, and I said ‘I told him to get out of that plane! That was not my fault. Can I buy you a coffee?’”
Terry O’Quinn reflects on Locke, LOST, and THAT ending | EW: Inside TV Podcast
O’Quinn told us that people still stop him on the street hoping to crack the code on that character and the show in general. “That’s what people generally stop me for and talk to me about now is LOST,” says O’Quinn. “And sometimes they call me John and that’s fine. And I don’t mind it. I understand what LOST was and I count my blessings. I’m usually happy to talk to people. I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody say anything negative to me about it except ‘I didn’t get the ending. What the hell was that all about?’ And I’m like talk to Damon Lindelof!”
Of course, O’Quinn then adds that “He did a really nice interview a while back. If you were to Google ‘Damon Lindelof talks the end of LOST,’ it may all be explained to you. Although I don’t think it is.”
O’Quinn also reveals that even he did not know at first after John Locke’s death that he was playing the Man in Black inside Locke’s body: “I wasn’t aware of that. At the end of season 4 or something I died. Ben strangled me. He took me out. And the next season I was back. I didn’t know who I was at that point. Nobody told me. But what I thought was, apparently I’m indestructible — because I’m back!”
So once he did find out, how did O’Quinn adjust from playing John Locke to the Man in Black occupying Locke’s body? “It was purely an attitude adjustment,” says O’Quinn. “Kind of as in, like, I don’t give a shit about you now. I did before. But I don’t care about you. I only care about me and I’m willing to do just about anything. I’m still that guy. I’m still John. But that was really the only thing I thought about. He just had a different obsession and he was darker.”
Terry O’Quinn: While I was doing Alias, Jennifer [Garner] and Michael [Vartan] and all those guys went to [J.J. Abrams] and said, “He should be a regular!” I was getting paid guest money, five grand a pop or something, and I was flying back and forth from Maryland and just staying at the cheapest hotel I could find. So J.J. came to me and said, “They won’t let me make you a regular, but I promise you: I will find a thing for you, something that you’ll be glad you took.”
And hence LOST, which was great. I’m glad I took it. I mean, I never doubted I would: I had to have a job! I had been unemployed for a good, long while before J.J. called me. I was in Maryland, at home, when he called. He said, “I’ve got a role for you if you’re interested.” And I said, “I’m interested!” And he said, “Well, it shoots in Hawaii…” I said, “I’ll take it!” And he said, “Well, it’s about this…” I said, “Look, okay, go ahead and take your time and talk to me, but I’ll tell you: I’ll take it.” [Laughs.]
So I went to Hawaii and shot the pilot, and I said, “Oh, this is interesting. They’re gonna have to give this some support: They’ve spent millions of dollars on the pilot!” And that turned out to be… [Hesitates, then shrugs.] I don’t know. People say, “How does it feel now that you’ve made it?” I say, “I’ve only made it to here. Made it to what?” You know, it’s always, “what have you done for me lately?”
AV Club: Is there a particular aspect of John Locke that stands out as your favorite?
TO: I think it was that uncertainty. People have asked me which version of John Locke I was most like, and I think I was most like the guy in the wheelchair, the one before it all, in all the flashbacks. That’s me. The other guy, the black-smoke guy, the dark and dangerous guy, that’s the fantasy.
But what I remember most from LOST is sitting under the trees, playing guitar with Naveen Andrews or Josh Holloway. It was just lovely. The settings were so stunning, and everyone was so excited. You were excited when you got the script: “What are you going to do in this?” And I was excited because I’d open the script and go, “I’ve got a great scene with Josh and Evie [Lilly]!” And I couldn’t wait to do that scene. It was those kinds of things. That’s when I fell in love with television: Because I realized it can feel like you have a family… and if it’s a good family and a happy family, then you can go as long as you want. I could do this for years.
LOST cast/writers TV news: renewals, cancellations, and new shows.
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Terry O’Quinn will be back on our televisions May 22 on FOX’s Gang Related.
Synopsis: A gritty new action drama, follows Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), a rising star in Los Angeles’ elite Gang Task Force – led by Sam Chapel (Emmy Award winner Terry O’Quinn) — who teams up with longtime Task Force member Cassius Green (RZA) to take on three of the city’s most dangerous gangs, including one he has ties to.
Watch the official trailer here.
Terry O’Quinn will not be at the LOST reunion panel at Paleyfest.
Michael Emerson, Evangeline Lilly, and Dominic Monaghan will also not be attending the panel.
The list of those who WILL be there: Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Grace, Yunjim Kim, Jorge Garcia, Emilie de Ravin, Ian Somerhalder, Nestor Carbonell, Henry Ian Cusick, Malcolm David Kelley, plus additional panelists TBA. Moderator TBA.