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Lost’s Henry Ian Cusick on Desmond’s Big Episode

This week’s episode of Lost focuses on everyone’s favorite unlucky (but now, quite lucky) millionaire, Hugo Reyes. For a preview of tonight’s show, as well as Lost’s fast-approaching series finale, Vulture spoke to the affable, Desmond-portraying Henry Ian Cusick just this afternoon. We, of course, discussed last week’s Desmond-centric episode, “Happily Ever After,” and Cusick answers some questions from Vulture commenters.

Welcome back. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Desmond.
Well, yes, you’re right. Although he did appear briefly in the first episode of the season. Before that it was season five, and season five wasn’t much of a season for the Desmond character. So, yeah, it’s nice to be back and have an episode that affects the ending of the show.

Was it in your contract that the episodes focused on Desmond need to be epic ones?
No, [laughs], I have nothing in my contract. It’s been a fluke, really. When Carlton [Cuse] told me about the possibility about coming back, I had no idea what they had in mind. The episodes that I’ve been given have all been great pieces of writing and great fun to play. But now that the show is coming to an end I will not have another Desmond-centric episode. I’m delighted that it ended on one like “Happily Ever After.”

It could be perceived as a nice bookend to “The Constant.”
I don’t really compare it to “The Constant,” so I don’t see it as a bookend. What I liked about this episode was that it was a subtle piece of writing; there are a lot of clues in there that you might get when the show finishes. It gave Desmond a slight tweak — not huge changes to Desmond’s character, but ever so slightly.

It was nice to see the old team of Hume and Pace back together again last week.
Yes! Yes, it was. I don’t really keep in touch with Dominic [Monaghan], but it was nice to see him again — especially the bar scene. I was very pleased with that; I thought that come across very well. I think Dom gave a fantastic performance in that, but I also really like the way the camera was moving around in the editing of that.

Even in the sideways dimension Desmond was trying to save Charlie’s life.
I think in the sideways that they like to have a little feel of what happened in the previous episodes. But, I think this time, Charlie saves Desmond by showing him the truth — showing him a way to the truth. So he sort of returned the favor.

Does Desmond 100 percent know what’s going on now?
I would say … Desmond is in a place where he thinks he knows what’s going on. He’s very certain of what he must do to have resolve.

So is Desmond going to try to bring all the characters near death, or will it be more subtle than that?
It’s going to be a mixture of both. I think everyone in the sideways might be slightly aware. When you see them all look into their reflections, that’s kind of a clue. I think that’s been a running theme so far, and it’s happened to a few of us — we look at ourselves in the mirror and the camera lingers on us. I think everyone has a taste of “something’s not quite right.” Everyone, just for a nanosecond, thinks something ain’t right in this world. You’ll see in tonight’s episode — some of it’s subtle and some of it’s not so subtle.

In the first episode this season, “LA X,” was there more than meets the eye to Desmond’s appearance on the plane? Are we reading too much into it?
I think you might be. I think we’ve moved on from the airplane. Do you mean that Desmond was sitting in the seat, then all of a sudden he was gone?

It could have been one of many things, maybe he was in the toilet. Maybe Jack didn’t see him because he was slumped in his seat? That’s the thing with Lost, you can put a spin on so many things.

This is Lost, dammit! It can’t be as simple as Desmond having to go to the toilet!
Exactly! Some of the things are that easy.

What will Faraday’s role be in this? It appears like there’s almost an inter-dimensional struggle between his parents.
Eloise wants Charlie Pace at the concert to begin with. And then, when he doesn’t turn up, she’s like, “Oh, good.” It’s a bizarre thing. Are they fighting over Faraday? Eloise is probably the most enigmatic character. We know very little about her. We don’t know how she manages to know everything and still function in all these timelines.

It almost seems Eloise is worried that if the dimensions unite, Daniel could suffer the same fate he did in season five.
Oh, I think that’s good. Okay, this is a little tidbit: We will visit something along those lines. That side of the story? We’ll go there in the show.

So … you’re currently filming the finale. Want to tell us something about it we don’t know?
Well … all the actors have been given a script that contains ten acts. There is an eleventh act that we haven’t got yet. And in that eleventh act, there’s a secret scene that no one — not even the people that [are in] the eleventh act — have got the secret scenes. At the moment, we have, what, 24 days to shoot these two episodes, the series finale. I haven’t been on set all that much recently, but, from what I understand, what they’re shooting now has been really physically demanding. There’s a lot of wetness and a lot of bruises. I think the stunt work is going to be pretty cool.

We have a few questions from Vulture commenters. You, sir, are popular with the ladies. There were a lot of questions about your shirtlessness that we didn’t pick.
Oh, really? [Laughs.] Well, I’m glad you didn’t pick those. What did you pick?

Srisesagain is wondering if you think you are a man worthy of McCutcheon Scotch?
Sixty-year-old scotch? I certainly wouldn’t drink it in the office. That’s a good question, actually. Am I a man worthy? Of course! We’re all worthy of 60-year-old scotch. It’s only 60-year-old scotch, you know? If it was 120 year-old scotch, it might be different.

Slimchicken was wondering why the Desmond episodes seem better than all of the other episodes?
That’s another very good question. I wish I could give you a good answer. All I can say is … here’s my theory: Desmond doesn’t appear in the show as much, so he always has that enigmatic quality. The less you know, the more interesting it is. So, when he does come up in those chunks, he seems more interesting. He’s been kind of lucky: He has the ability to foresee the future, and he had the ability to travel in his mind. So these are sort of cool qualities that we all sort of think, Oh, what would that be like? And he has the ability to withstand great amounts of electromagnetism. When you have these qualities, you’re always a little bit cooler than the rest.

Robinm was wondering if “brotha” came from you or the script?
Part of the script. See, I think it’s a very American saying. Don’t you think?

Yes, but it sounds cool when you say it.
Because it’s the accent. When it comes from someone speaking with a Scottish accent, it sounds very odd, I think, and that’s why it stood out.

Isgoodatmath approached a girl at a bar, asked for her number, and promised not to call until eight years later on Christmas Eve. Why did this not work for him?
[Laughs.] I’m surprised! Maybe it was the way he said it. What accent was he using?

So he needed a Scottish accent?
Absolutely. Tell him to try it again; I guarantee it will work.

Lost’s Henry Ian Cusick on Desmond’s Big Episode