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Lost’s Emilie de Ravin on Playing the New Crazy Claire: ‘Thank God It’s a Wig’

Emilie de Ravin is everywhere this week, starring in movie theaters opposite Robert Pattinson in Remember Me and playing an all-new Claire Littleton in this sixth and final season of Lost. Vulture spoke by phone to Emilie, back on the Lost set in Hawaii, about tonight’s episode, returning to the show after sitting out the fifth season, and the challenge of playing a crazier Claire.

What can you tell us about Claire’s role in tonight’s episode, “Recon”?
There’s some good stuff in there. Parts of Claire are just trying to analyze and figure out for herself what the truth is. She’s got two people telling her different things. It’s a path of realization for her.

We assume it’s tricky to talk Lost episodes that haven’t aired yet without getting anyone in trouble.
I know! It’s like, “Well, um … it’s good.”

Are you finding it difficult switching back and forth between Lost publicity mode and Remember Me publicity mode? They’re pretty different, obviously …
I’m getting good at it … I think. It’s a bit of a bipolar situation.

Lost cast members we’ve spoken with seem pleased to have you back on the show.
Oh, good! I’m happy to be back, too. It’s great to really be able to have a lot of fun with Claire. She seems a little different, shall we say …

So much about the show changed in season five. When you showed back up on set after missing a season, were you tempted to ask, “Is this the right set? This is still the show about the plane crash, right?”
It’s sort of everything changing. I actually love that, because you don’t really get a chance to be bored. It’s not like it’s just two people working every day on a soundstage. There’s always some crazy new twist or story line or character development. So it’s pretty cool, yeah.

What exactly was Claire up to during season five?
Basically the only person she’s had contact with is Locke — who’s obviously not Locke anymore. And she’s really just focused and just so certain that the Others have her baby — and that’s all she wants, to get him back. And she was basically doing anything to make that happen.

And it looks like we’re building up to Claire’s showdown with Kate over the baby, which seems irrational considering Claire abandoned Aaron. Kate should be the angry one.
Yeah, well, she didn’t leave him out of not caring, she was sort of under the influence … not drunk. [Laughs.] Yeah, Claire was wasted in the jungle. She was under the influence of who her father was at that point — who obviously really wasn’t her father, either. So, also, over the three years she’s been told by Locke that the Others have the baby, so when she finds out that Kate does, that’s sort of more confusing and shocking to her. Why was she not told that? Is that even the truth? It’s a lot of confusion and trying to put the pieces together.

Speaking of babies, in the clip for tonight’s episode, Claire mentions that “It’s all I had” in reference to … What is that thing anyway? Is that a pig skeleton? A boar?
In the script it’s called “squirrel baby,” but I don’t know. I think that’s a bit rather large for squirrels, I’m not sure. And I haven’t seen any squirrels on the island. That’s a good question, I’ll find that out.

Have you given it your own nickname?
No, not personally. I thought “squirrel baby” worked quite well. I just went with that. I didn’t want to get too attached, so I threw up a boundary there. [Laughs.]

Does that mean you’re not taking the squirrel baby home as a souvenir when filming wraps?
Oh, no, totally! I was thinking it could maybe be the new Tickle Me Elmo at Christmastime. I could make some cash off this. A Tickle Me Elmo baby with detachable arms.

In season three, didn’t Charlie die to save Claire? That seems a bit in vain, now.
I know. There’s so many little pieces along the seasons that you sort of pick up and remember. Or come across again something that happened in season two. And it takes a minute to wrap your head around it and think, Oh, that was five years ago and we’re talking about that again. Which is great, because it’s actually not that long for [the characters]. For me, just reading them along the way over the last six years, there’s so many things you don’t necessarily forget, you just have to jog your memory about [it] because so much is happening.

Claire has “the Sickness.” Other than Claire’s hair, do the writers tell you what that is, exactly? Or is that up to you to interpret?
Yeah, to a degree. I sort of just made it my own, very internalized. It’s been a lot of fun playing around with that. I didn’t want anything to be an overexaggeration. I think the simpler it is when you have a crazy character to play is almost more creepy and interesting.

And Claire’s new hairstyle?
The new hip hairstyle? It’s, thank God, a wig. I think my hair would have all fallen out by now.

Lost’s Emilie de Ravin on Playing the New Crazy Claire: ‘Thank God It’s a Wig’