Exclusive Interview with LOST's Daniel Roebuck
Exclusive Interview with LOST's Daniel Roebuck
Tonight's episode of LOST is is a love letter to fans who have missed the likes of Boone, Shannon, and of course, the beloved Dr. Arzt.  If you're saying, "Who the heck is Dr. Arzt?", I've got one word for you.  Dynamite.  Not that anyone should have have trouble remembering Daniel Roebuck.   The modern day epitome of the character actor,  Dan's 100+ credits on IMDB (Internet Movie Database) don't begin to do justice to his versatility.  Besides his numerous appearances as an actor, Daniel is a writer, documentary producer, and award winning aficionado of classic horror films.  His impressive collection of horror movie memorabilia can be seen at his official site, www.danielroebuck.com.  We were delighted to have the opportunity to sit down and talk to Dan about his unlikely resurrection on tonight's expisode of LOST Expose'.

BuddyTV:  So, the first question is… what is it like to be back on LOST?  Were you expecting this?

Daniel Roebuck:  Let me answer that question by telling you how it felt not to be on LOST, which was, you know,  I never watched the show until I was on the show,  and then I watched the show after I had not been on it anymore and I was very bummed out because I love the show.  So when they called to say “We need you again”, I was very happy.

 … and you are definitely one of the most memorable, or actually THE most memorable side character for sure.  Arzt is a legend in the LOST mythology…

Well, I do enjoy… it’s been an interesting … because we paid attention to this because, you know, I’m a…  if your readers don’t know yet, I’m a bit of a geek.  I’m on the Internet sometimes looking for information like everybody else who loves what we love.  It was cool to play a character that actually got to be on the plane and be part of their [the 815’rs] memory, as opposed to a character who is part of one person’s memory. They’d never had - in the entire year when I got there -  a guest star actually on the island like that, that was from the plane crash.  There was Rousseau of course, and the other people on the island, but when there was a story with someone it was usually their back story.   To be there, and to be with them, and to work with all of them, it was neat.  So, Arzt was a great part.  My pal Carlton Cuse has done very well for me in my life, he’s given me two of the best parts I ever got to play, which was Arzt and Rick Bettina on “Nash Bridges”.

When you were given the part of Arzt, did you know it was going to be a short run?

I did.  I did. Yeah I knew it was three episodes.

They really kept that under wraps for the audience, they were like ‘Oh we’re introducing this new character, and he’s definitely going to have a major part in the story’, which… he did….

No, they’re brilliant, these guys are… well, smarter than I that’s for sure.  I mean I think they actually started convincing me I might be back! Even though I knew that wasn’t possible.  And I didn’t tell, I’ve gone on the record as saying this and it’s absolutely true, I didn’t tell anybody. My wife knew because I exclaimed when I read the script what happened, and my manager knew because, y’know, she had to know there would be no ongoing negotiations, but my kids didn’t know, my mom called the day the last episode aired because there was a write up in TVGuide that said “Daniel Roebuck joins the cast next year as a new series regular” and my mom said “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!” I said “Just watch the show tonight, mom, and then we’ll talk.  It’s just too much information, we’ll talk about it later.”

So anyways.  I knew I was there and gone, so it was good to come back, it was nice to go down there and see my friends again.  I’m pretty respectful of all those actors.

It seems like it would be a really laid back set.

Oh, I absolutely think that is true.  You know in the first year they were all together, all the actors were together a lot of the time.  As the seasons have gone on the stories have kind of splintered up, and you don’t see them all together any more, as much.  So it was really neat to come down and see how much everybody enjoyed working with everybody.  It was very laid back, a lot of throwing footballs, I mean Jon, literally, you’re standing next to the ocean hanging out, laying on the beach, I mean this is what people pay to do.  It seems a little ironic that we’re there and we’re getting paid.  I’m sure at sometime Touchstone is going to be like “Hey what the hell are we doing?! Why don’t we just go ‘who wants to go to Hawaii on a vacation?’”

Does it surprise you - as someone who has been in the industry for a long time - that they continue to carry the expense of shooting it over in Hawaii?

Yeah!  It’s unbelievable that they make the show there.  I’m sure at some point there was some accountant who looks like Morocco Mole who walked out of an office and said “If we shoot it in Valencia, it’ll be sooo much cheaper.”, but calmer heads prevailed and they are still down there.  But you can’t duplicate that scenery, you just can’t.  There was a Vietnam show, oh gosh… what was it called…, anyways, they shot it in Valencia, and you always knew that the telephone pole was just outside the frame.  It looked nothing like Vietnam.   Nowhere here, even if you went to Malibu, it's not going to look like Hawaii.

Is there anything you can say about how big a role Doc Arzt has in tonight's episode.

Absolutely.  I can tell you that I don’t remember. It’s weird, right before you get on the airplane they hold up this pen and a big red light comes out of it, like “Men in Black”.  I remember seeing people, I hung out with Jorge and Terry for a while, but I don’t remember a lot.

In general, do you get screen time throughout the episode?

I think it’s consistent to any episode, I don’t really remember, but there are a couple of faces in this episode that are nice to see.  What you will see is that Arzt really does, he might have been an idiot, but he really did know something about ‘some form’ of science. Something ‘crept’ through in his teaching.

Is it safe to assume with this appearance of Arzt that we have seen the last of him, or will they bring you back in the future?

I think I can say that there have been indications that you have NOT, despite your desire Jon, seen the last of Doc Arzt.  Oh, I’m coming back.  Whether they want me to or not.  I’ll just go down to Hawaii, go to where they shoot, and just pop in scenes.  “I thought it would be great if Doctor Arzt was in this scene!”. “Uh, cut.  Dan, get out of the shot.”.  “Did you meet Doctor Arzt’s family?  I brought them…”  So, whether they want me to or not, I’ll be on that damn show.  How about that?

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(image Copyright © 2007 ABC)