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Interview: Elizabeth Mitchell: "A Lovely Gift"


Interview: Elizabeth Mitchell: "A Lovely Gift"
by Scott Juba
Published: January 28, 2008 

Elizabeth Mitchell comes across as a friendly, mild mannered and humble person. But when it comes to her character on Lost, she has a fighting spirit. “I am really dying to see sometime, no matter when it is, a huge confrontation between [Ben and Juliet],” she says. “I think it would be fascinating to see them, all ropes loose, just go at it.” 

Those are bold words being that Ben (played to perfection by Michael Emerson) stands out as one of the most cunning villains on television. Yet, Mitchell says her character, Juliet, can be every bit as shrewd as Ben. “I’ve always looked at her as a chameleon in a very subtle way. She kind of changes a little bit depending on who she’s with…I think it’s her way of figuring out, not necessarily how to manipulate the other person, but how to get to her end goal by using what the other person has.”

So, what will happen if Juliet and Ben match wits? “I think one of them would probably not survive,” Mitchell says with a laugh.

Thanks to the traction she and Emerson have gained with fans, they likely don’t have to worry about being axed from the series. Yet, with the vast number of popular cast members who have been killed off the show, Mitchell says it took time for her to feel secure about her future on Lost. She recalls, “Every episode last year I told my husband, ‘Hey, I didn’t die.’ [Laughs].”

When the fourth season of Lost premiers on Jan. 31, all of the castaways could find themselves in peril once again when a “rescue team” with a mysterious agenda arrives on the island. By now, almost all Lost fans have seen the season four trailer in which one of these new visitors tells Jack, “Rescuing your people, we can’t really say its our primary objective,” followed by Ben’s claim that “every single living person on this island will be killed.” While Ben may claim to know the intentions of the island’s newest guests, Mitchell says fans will remain in the dark as to whether Juliet possesses that same knowledge. “I don’t think we’re really going to know what Juliet has or doesn’t have,” Mitchell says. “I think that’s one of the joys of Juliet. My feeling is that her card is yet to be played.”

With the writers' strike ongoing, Lost fans may have to settle for a shortened season. Only 8 of the planned 16 episodes are complete. Mitchell describes the strike as a “no-win situation” but firmly pledges her support for the writers. “They have a phenomenal reason for being on strike. They’re right to do it. It’s very good timing, because it’s going to absolutely cripple the industry.”

If the season must end early, Mitchell says episode eight feels like the best episode to conclude with. “Not because it’s necessarily a cliffhanger,” she explains, “but because it will be immensely satisfying for fans. Immensely satisfying. I think that’s exciting. It’s almost like a lovely little gift.”

The exhilarating conclusions to many of Lost’s best episodes are not the only gifts the show delivers to its faithful fans. Thanks to Mitchell’s engrossing performances, every minute she appears on screen seems like a “lovely gift.”

SOURCE:  TheTrades.com

Tags: elizabeth mitchell
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