Lost: The Complete Fifth Season just hit the shelves on DVD and Blu-ray on December 8 and in celebration of this exciting release, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released a brand new interview with one of the show's stars, Rebecca Mader. Take a look below at what Mader has to say about this intriguing penultimate season and her character, Charlotte.
How exciting was Season 5 of Lost - what happens to Charlotte, your character?
Rebecca Mader: Charlotte's journey in Season Five is basically her demise. When the season began in the first episode, her nose started bleeding from all the time travel, it started to affect her physically. As the season progresses, you come to realize that it affects people who have been there longer, and of course at the end of Season Four we had found out that I (my character) had been born there, that's probably why it affected me more than everybody else. Then as the season went on, all the time travel (going from day to night and to the seventies and the fifties and then back again) was making her incredibly sick, until her brain just blew up (laughs).
As an actress, what was it like going through that highly traumatic experience?
Rebecca Mader: I like to call Episode 505 my 'Deathisode' and it was my favorite day at work in my entire career. Without question, dying on Lost was the best thing I have ever done in my entire career. It was such an amazing day on the set. It was the first time I felt like I had really been given a lot to do and I was so excited because I love my job. When I knew what I was going to do, I said 'wicked' (fantastic) because it meant that I could go to work and get my teeth into something and really go for it. When I got up that morning I had no idea how I was going to do it. I said to myself 'I don't know how I am going to do it, but I know it's going to be wicked.' And it was brilliant. You know I hate watching myself on TV, I know a lot of actors say that, but it's true for me. It makes me sweat, I have to hide behind a cushion, but I could actually sit and watch that episode, that's the only work I'm truly proud of.
Can you explain what you had to do and how challenging it was for you?
Rebecca Mader: It was difficult because my character was incredibly weak and my make up was getting greyer and more and more sallow. I was getting weakened by the island and all the time travel, it was depleting me. I was constantly falling down and getting totally banged up and bruised in real life. But I am such a tomboy I did not care. I will throw myself down onto concrete if I have to and then worry about it afterwards, I didn't care at all, I love doing stuff like that. At the very, very end, it was my last collapse and I had hit the ground and it was emotionally draining to be that upset and pretend to be that sick. It took a lot out of me.
Did it make you feel sick?
Rebecca Mader: Yes it did, I felt like I was dying when I was dying on the show. I know that sounds really cheesy but I really felt like I was slipping away, it was so real at the time. I loved it.
How do you think Charlotte changed from when we first met her in Season Four?
Rebecca Mader: I think she became softer and warmer, I think we saw a more feminine side to her. In the beginning she arrived by jumping out of a helicopter and was an incredibly tough woman, she was an anthropologist, she travelled the world, she was on a mission. But I like the fact that as time progressed they allowed me to show a sweeter and gentler side to her. I think I was allowed to do that by having this love interest/chemistry with Jeremy Davies's character Daniel Faraday. The danger with playing someone tough is that the character can become two dimensional and mean and nobody likes her.
She's not bad is she though?
Rebecca Mader: She's human and I am glad they humanized the character because I did not want everyone to hate her and think: 'oh no here comes the ginger haired horror again'.
How is Daniel going to cope without you?
Rebecca Mader: I don't know what he is going to. I would say an immense amount of therapy is needed.
Why, from your point of view is Lost so phenomenally popular?
Rebecca Mader: It is pure genius. I don't think there has ever been or ever will be another television series like it. You never want it to end. The cinematography is amazing, like a feature film and the intricacies and complexities are wonderful and fascinating. It is thinking man's (and woman's) television, which is rare I think. It starts off with a plane crash and you think: 'oh just another show about a deserted island' and all of sudden there are polar bears and you think: what is going on? Watching it is so intense. When I got the part I watched three seasons back to back for two and half weeks. I don't think I ever drew my curtains once. I could not stop, to such an extent that people were worried about me. I would say 'just one more episode, just one more before I go to bed'. And it was three O clock in the morning. It constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat; it constantly pulls the rug from under your feet. I don't care how clever you are, you can never guess what is going to happen. There are so many websites and forums set up in which people try to theorize about the plot and I think they are always wrong. I think that is what makes people tune in week after week.
The reviews are fantastic, one review calls Lost: 'the ultimate post modern television show, all about living in the moment' would you agree with that description?
Rebecca Mader: Yes, I think if these characters spend too much of their time thinking about how long they have been there, whining and crying, it would get incredibly boring. So much gets thrown at these people on the island, that it becomes about survival and living in the 'now' in the present, rather than 'I want to go home' and I think that is what makes it so interesting.
What kind of connection did you have with the other cast members?
Rebecca Mader: It was wicked, amazing, lots and lots of fun, lots of laughter. This is a group of people who are all so talented, everyone is so good and when we were not in character it was fantastic, everyone was down to Earth and friendly, really genuinely cool people.
Spending that much time together must create a bonding experience, does it feel as though in some ways you are actually lost and marooned on an island?
Rebecca Mader: It does feel like that, partly because it is not shot in Los Angeles and that makes a big difference. And it has a lot to do with the camaraderie and the feeling that this is a family. What I like about the show is that there is no division between crew and cast. Sometimes when you walk onto a set, there are very clear delineations. The crew don't talk to the actors and I hate all that. Everyone is the same to me and I always treat everyone in the same way. Lost is great, everyone hangs out together.
Can you discuss the time travel aspect of the show?
Rebecca Mader: It was amazing because I can't imagine what it would be like to time travel. So I got to use my own feelings of real confusion. When we ended up in the fifties, I really thought 'what on earth?' we were looking at people who were dressed differently and they didn't know who we were and it was completely different and mind blowing and it would be to me anyway if that was to happen. I was bewildered and hope that came across. I have no idea what kind of 'head exploding' experience that would be in real life. Can you imagine?
What were the greatest physical challenges for you?
Rebecca Mader: Season Four was a lot more physically challenging for me than Season Five. But there was a lot of falling in Season Five. I am constantly thrown and hitting the ground. There is one scene in 'Jughead' on Season Five that was challenging. I think we were in the fifties and I had a prosthetic built to fit inside my mouth that became a blood release capsule, that I had to then activate with my tongue. It was crazy, totally 'bananas'. They made a whole plaster cast of my mouth and my face and it took a week for the special effects make up artist on the show to make it. My character starts having a weird fit and I had to use my tongue to slowly push up inside my mouth so the blood exploded out of my face, it was crazy and I hurt myself falling down, but it looked really good and convincing, so that was the most important thing.
It must have been hard focusing on the special appliance and timing as well as your acting?
Rebecca Mader: It was definitely a lot to think about.
Did you get injured a lot?
Rebecca Mader: I was always banged up on the show, we all are.
You say you are a tomboy, how fit are you? I am sure you have to be in great shape?
Rebecca Mader: I am now, but I wasn't growing up in England because lets face it no one goes to the gym (at least no one I know). I never did any sports at school. It wasn't until I moved to America, to New York when I was about 20 that I actually thought that if I wanted to be an actress I might have to start working out.
Did you have to work to stay in great shape for Lost?
Rebecca Mader: I had to be careful about diet because I put on weight really easily. Luckily I lived in a hotel while we were filming, so I had no excuse about exercise. Whenever I had a day off I would go down to the gym and force myself to work out.
Did you enjoy actually playing an English character in the show?
Rebecca Mader: I did, I really wanted Charlotte to be English, but when I auditioned I read it both ways, English and American. I pushed for her to be English. Prior to that I had played an American defense attorney on the TV show, Justice. I don't mind doing accents but I thought ' I would just love to be English for a change,' because 90 percent of my work is American and it is definitely relaxing to just forget about the accent and be natural.
How would you say Lost has changed your life and career?
Rebecca Mader: It has been a massive, massive blessing, it was the role of a lifetime. To be on the number one show around the world is really amazing. Also to implanted into a show that is an existing hit was great. It is not like I was there doing the pilot and worrying about whether we would make it. I was injected into a hit TV show, what actor can ask for something like that? It definitely put me on the map. It has helped my career a lot; I have made two movies since Lost and people know who I am now. It has made it a lot easier to get in front of people now.
Is there any possibility that Charlotte could re surface in Season Six?
Rebecca Mader: I think anything is possible with Lost. I can't think of anything that is impossible, you never know.
Any thoughts about Season Six?
Rebecca Mader: I don't know anything about it I promise. I am hearing rumors on the street that everybody who has ever died on the show, will come back at the end. Perhaps anybody that died on the island didn't really die? I think that would be very cool. I hope that everybody does not end up getting killed off. It would be great to have a happy ending, everyone likes that. But then with LOST it could be a depressing 'slit your wrists' ending, with Lost you never know do you?"
Do you have any funny or special memories of your time on Lost?
Rebecca Mader: Every Tuesday was called 'Tiara Tuesday' because the hair and makeup department decided that every Tuesday we would all wear tiaras. So I would be walking through the jungle, covered in mud and blood with a ridiculous tiara on my head (laughs) for absolutely no reason. That's what it is like on the show; everyone has a really stupid sense of humor. All the women would be wearing tiaras and sometimes the boys too. We would be rehearsing really serious, tense scenes wearing tiaras.
You can pick up Lost: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD and Blu-ray