Exclusive chat with Evangeline Lilly
tvnz.co.nz's Kate Marshall caught up with Lost star, Evangeline Lilly, who - as Kate on Lost - is at the heart of one of TV's most dramatic love triangles.
Sporting a huge smile and clutching a white coffee mug, Evangeline Lilly glows with natural beauty as she exchanges pleasantries.
Despite her styled locks and glamorous outfit (not forgetting to mention her amazing Pain Ten shoes, Lilly's seemingly 'down to earth' attitude shines through.
As the minutes pass, the energy in the room grows with momentum as her laughter rises over topics ranging from her beauty regime, the concept of love and her writing.
While most of us would presume living and working on a tropical island would be sheer and utter paradise, Lilly offers a different insight.
Although she's enthusiastic about the fact she's on a beach, in a jungle and can breathe fresh air, she also speaks of the harsher side to working on the island of Oahu, Hawaii: "It's kind of wonderful and idyllic. But it's definitely-it's a struggle to live there year in and year out. It's very small. It's very humid. It's very hot. It's very old fashioned."
"I'm not used to the tropics or the tropical air," says the actress, who hails from Canada.
"It has taken its toll on me. I have never been more sick ever in my life, and I am just always sick in Hawaii. So it's got its ups and its downs. It's unbelievably beautiful and it's inspiring to look around at the mountains and the aquamarine waters and white sand but sometimes it's difficult."
Moving to the island also meant her beauty regime (she admits she never really had one anyway) was thrown into disarray.
Having often used Vaseline as a moisturiser in Canada to combat the drier weather, she now opts for the lightest sunscreen as a night and day cream.
She also carries a parasol for protection and in order to prevent further damage from the perils of the Hawaiian sun.
Kate's contrasting sides to her character have been displayed in a variety of ways throughout the past five seasons of Lost.
We've seen 'Mother Kate', 'Killer Kate', 'Action Kate', 'Jungle Kate' - but which one does Lilly enjoy acting the most?
"I think probably the one that I look forward to the most because it's the most noble is when I'm a mature-adult Kate because she is never that person. She is never the mature adult. So I love reading the scene where I just have a mature adult conversation with another mature adult as opposed to a hugely emotional scene or an action sequence or the many different aspects of Kate's character."
In addition to benefiting from playing mature-adult Kate, Lilly has also "enjoyed playing mother. I think after four years of being shoot 'em up, beat 'em up, crazy go get 'em tom girl. It's so nice to be able to calm my soul and be still and be strong and be simple instead of always being raw, so tumultuous and all the things. Four inch stilettos, pencil skirts, straight hair, I'm loving it."
The love of her latest look bought us on to her on-screen love and, of course, the infamous "Lost Love Triangle".
How does Lilly cope with Kate's crazy entanglement with both Jack (Matthew Fox) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway)?
Even though Lilly has asked the question of loving two people (to those she works on set with) in a bid to try and understand how Kate feels with her Jack vs Sawyer predicament, Lilly isn't into love in a shared way: "I have such a huge capacity for love. I have always had a really hard time not loving people. I can meet a complete stranger and feel love for them."
"So for me, I can imagine loving two different people. Being in love with two different people, I don't know that I would have the capacity for that because it requires so much of me. I think to go that far down the road of love. And to get that far in the road, you don't have a singular focus, so I wouldn't get there. So for me I would say no - which is why it is hard for me to make sense of what I'm doing as a character."
Because Lilly finds it complicated to understand the concept of "loving two people" that's so much a part of Kate, she sits on the fence when it comes to the two men in her character's life.
"I'm not rooting for either one." She says. But this is largely due to the writers ability to alter the storylines so she tends not to commit herself because her ideas may be dashed. She does however want to see some honesty and authenticity injected into Kate moving forward: "When I found out I was going back to the island, the number one thing I really wanted and hoped the writers would do was give my character a little credit and give her a little integrity and not have her jump into Sawyer's bed immediately. Because I thought that would undermine who she is."
The good news is that Lilly's wish seems to be taking effect in the current series. Kate has already shed her independence after sacrificing everything for Aaron.
"I think that she is still growing and learning, but I do think you probably won't see as drastic change as what we saw from Season 3 to 4 when she became a mother. I don't imagine that they will ever find that degree of shift for the character again, but she is still growing."