Exclusive Interview: William Mapother, from 'Lost' (Part 2)
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
So did you watch the Season 3 finale?

Oh absolutely.

So, the whole "flash-forward" thing, did that kind of freak you out?

Well, it surprised me, like it did a lot of people. I had no idea it was coming. I'm as interested as anybody else is in where it's going.

Did you think that Charlie's death was some sort of an "island justice" because he killed your character?

Oh Amy, that's cruel. I swear to you that had not crossed my mind.

Oh, but it has now!

But does that mean that - we've just seen Sawyer kill two people in cold blood. Does that mean in two seasons we're going to lose Sawyer?

Well, I don't know.

I'm just saying, if you take that and run with it, then well, I don't know.

I just thought that – there was so much with Dominic [Monaghan] coming off of Lord of the Rings and going to Lost. He had his own personal fan base. Then there was the "hanging of the hobbit" – which is what you did.

Wait a second, Amy. Sorry for interrupting, but I'm going to make the first correction of the interview – how do you know Ethan did that? Not only did it occur off-screen, but Charlie's never said that Ethan did it.

So he shot you because you took Claire?


And not because you tried to strangle him?

Well, he cared about it. It's not as if I refused him a stick of gum. But you remember how obsessed he was with Claire in that first season? And his flashback was about how he'd dropped the ball and had not been responsible previously in his life, before he got to the island. So, my taking Claire hit a little button on ole Charlie.

So you were just the button pusher?

I was the button pusher! I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dr. Rom missteps. But just to clarify, I don't think its ever been made explicit that Ethan's the one who hanged Charlie.

You're just gonna keep telling yourself that.

Amy, Amy, Amy, Amy – feet on the ground, please! Please stay in touch with us here on Earth. You can only assert that which has been on-screen. That which you've seen.

And Lost is SO based in reality.

Well, if you're going to argue these things that occur off-screen, there's no end to it.

Well, there's gotta be some interpretation.

You can say, in your opinion – if you want to throw in those four, five syllables, I'll totally grant you that freedom. In Amy's opinion, Ethan's the one who hanged Charlie. Granted.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with that opinion.

There are a lot of people who believe George Bush is an alien. Does not make it any more true. I don't know. That's a different interview. Go ahead.

Obviously, K-Ville [new Fox TV show coming this Fall] has not premiered, but there have been previews and gee, you're in them.


I don't know how much you can say about your character – I don't know if there is much. But was that actually filmed in New Orleans?

Yeah, we shot it in New Orleans. I hadn't been to New Orleans in a long time. We shot it in March, I believe. And it made me wish I had been in New Orleans more recently, specifically before [Hurricane] Katrina and then more recently after Katrina to help. It's a gem. It's an absolute gem. For anybody who hasn't been there, I strongly encourage them to go. It's one of America's most beautiful cities, and unlike any other city in America. Vastly different than the rest of ours.

So we shot it in New Orleans, and the story is actually set there. It's about two policemen, and one of them is trying to keep people in the city. You know, because so many people have left after the hurricane. And K-Ville refers to how some residents refer to it since Katrina. Katrina Ville.

My character is the head of security at a casino, and also part of…a security firm which has done some work for the Homeland Security Department and maybe the FBI. They've done some work in New Orleans; they've also done some work over in Iraq. He appears to be involved in some dealings that may not be "above-board," let's say.

I'm shocked.

You're shocked.

Completely shocked. But you know, I think it is one of the things that I've always loved about your work and the roles you do, because there is literally some kind of a switch. And I've met you in person and I've seen the switch "flipped" and it kind of freaked me out. You can be this totally normal, nice, easy-going guy and then SNAP. It's fantastic to watch.

But wait, when you met me in person, what do you mean you "saw it in person"? What did I…

Well, you attacked me with a pen.

I think for those who weren't there, I think there should be a little clarification.

It was at a fan party, and we were posing for a picture, and I said, "Pretend to attack me with the pen." And you did, and it was scary! Stop laughing at me!

I'm not laughing at you, Amy.

It made an impression, how's that?

I made an impression, that's fair enough. You know, this show Lost affects a lot of people, and my character happened to be in a certain way, again, in the right place at the right time, in terms of revealing the first person on the island who hadn't been part of the crash. You know, it made an impression on a lot of viewers. And particularly that "look" – the shot of me right before the end of that episode, when it was revealed that I wasn't on the manifest and then I took Claire and Charlie.

So, I'm certainly not laughing at you. It's only funny to me because, you know, I'm in my own skin and I'm not a violent, angry person. My friends and family say, "How do you play those sorts of roles?" It's only amusing that I can have that sort of effect on people.

Well, obviously it is benefiting you in the work department, so don't knock it.

It is. I'm lucky enough that I'm getting work that isn't entirely of that color.

Yeah, you definitely get both sides of the coin.

I did another pilot his year called Skip Tracer with Stephen Dorff and directed by Stephen Frears, who got nominated for directing The Queen. I played a small comic role as a brother who is fighting with his half-brother over their father's hat. Their father passed away and they are fighting over his father's prized possession – a hat from Bonanza. It was Hoss' hat – this big cowboy hat.

And I just finished one thriller, an indie thriller called Hurt, and I'm about to start a horror film set in the Old West called The Burrowers. That's going to be a lot of fun. We're starting in about a week in New Mexico. I play a guy who goes after some kidnapped settlers.

So, I'm fortunate enough to get a wide-range of roles, but you're right, people seem to trust that I can, how'd you put it, "snap" if necessary.

Bring the scary, pretty much is what you do. You bring the scary.

I "bring the scary" – that's funny. I'm going to give my agent that phrase. That's funny.

"William Mapother – he can bring the scary." I'm getting t-shirts. And bumper stickers.

Well, let me ask you...what attracts you to Lost? What do you like so much about Lost?

Even before the show started, I have been a huge J.J. Abrams fan. More specifically, I was a huge fan of Alias. The genius of writing – I'm a big fan of good, well-scripted shows that I can't predict what's going to happen. I have a very logical mind and I can watch a show and figure out what's going to happen before the end a lot of the time. Which is okay sometimes, but sometimes it gets kind of boring.


I like when people break the rules – when they take you outside the box, and it's fun and enjoyable. That is something J.J. does – in spades. So I was already a big fan of J.J.'s before I came to the show, and have watched it since Day One. The acting is just absolutely amazing. The sets, the music – I mean, I'm just a big fan of it all around. I've been involved with the fandom and it is really some of the most dedicated fans, as well as some of the more overly-dedicated fans. There are some that can be really out there, but it's been such an amazing experience. The people who are involved in that show are just really some of the most outgoing, gregarious people you've ever met.

Yeah, they really are.

And I don't think all the fans appreciate that. I know I am part of a good little select few that get that. But those people love what they do, and don't ever think that they are going to give you something that isn't 100 percent of what they felt they could do.

Yeah, it really is a terrific group. Very dedicated, very talented, very professional.

Yes, very much so. Well, I don't want to keep you too long.

Not at all, I've enjoyed talking to you.

Well, I really appreciate you calling me, and like I said, I've met you in the past; I hope to see you again in the future. It's always a pleasure.

Well, thank you, Amy, I feel the same. Call me any time, and we can have a chat whenever you like.

Alright, well thanks for talking with me.

And I look forward to next season.

So do we all!

Bye. Thank you.

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-Interview conducted by Amy J. Johnston., BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)