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THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

'Lost' star has found herself

February 17, 2008|Choire Sicha | Special to The Times

Elizabeth Mitchell plays the maybe-not-evil Juliet on "Lost." She was at home on Bainbridge Island, Wash., with the kiddo.

Apparently Bainbridge is also home to Russell Johnson, better known as the Professor from "Gilligan's Island."

Yes! I hear this too! Who didn't watch "Gilligan's Island"? I can still sing the song.

An important predecessor to "Lost."

Yes. I really love "Lost," though. I am kind of itching -- I know I say this a million times -- but I'm a big reader, and you know how you wait for installments of books when you're a kid? . . . I'm looking forward to a script! I'm looking forward to seeing something.

Two years ago, everyone was raising the cautionary "Twin Peaks" flag. . . . But for now we've gotten through that.

Yeah, I think so! I talk to a lot of people, and . . . they have their times they're in love with us, with "Lost," and the times they're angry with "Lost." And now they're just getting on the ride: "I know I'm gonna get mad again, and I know I'll be happy again." I think that's it: They know at least they're going somewhere, so they might as well sit back and see where it takes you.

Don't you go a little nutty out there in nature, with 20,000 or whatever people on an island?

You'd think! But it's a pretty good group of people. I'm still intrigued by them. You don't go hog-wild bored, because you have a 2-year-old and you're so tired. Any time you might be bored, your eyes close and you go to sleep. Boredom is for people who don't have toddlers.

What are you reading?

Right now I'm reading "Orley Farm." Trollope! It's a nice big old hunk of scandal.

You're reading what they call a real book.

Well, kind of. I don't know if they would have viewed it as a real book then. We do because it's old. It uses nice, lovely big words. But it doesn't have any Latin in it. I feel if you went back in time, they would view it as Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele. But it's so old they view it as a classic. And highbrow. He wrote about women really beautifully.

So these "Lost" enthusiasts -- they're all crazy, aren't they?

I don't think so! They get it right more often than not. . . . When I was in the thick of the whole Juliet subterfuge, I'd go online once in a while, very judiciously of course, and read. About 80% of the people who wrote about it all the time had it pretty accurate. Like, "Remember that look she had in Minute 4 on Episode 4?" Oh, my God. But they were right.

How was "The View" the other day? Were they mean to you off camera or anything?

They were very nice! I did it once before, the day Rosie [O'Donnell] quit.

That must have been dramatic.

Not so much for me. It was just kind of amazing. . . . The atmosphere was very tense. I think the audience was happy to see someone else. Tense is nice. I'm an odd person. It all works for me as an actor.

Now I feel like I'm seeing the way you're made here.

Good. I'm pretty simple.

Good. Then: How's your marriage?

Oh, yeah, you know what? I love being married. It's like getting another member of your family -- and I like my family. We laugh a lot, we talk a lot, we fight a lot. He's quicker and little more clever than I am. It's nice to have that stimulation.

Mazel tov.

Thanks! Well, I'm 37. You'd think I'd get it right at some point. I've only been married three years.

In keeping with Trollope, I'm not sure marriage can really be gotten until the mid- or late 30s.

I really do feel that way now, knowing what I was in my 20s, which was just a little bit vague. A lot of people are certain in their 20s -- I wasn't. Thirties, you hit some new points, which I'm sure become moot when you hit your 40s. . . . I think the 40s should be intriguing. Most of my friends around here are in their 40s and 50s. It's wonderful to see where their lives have gone.

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