Lost aired 10 years ago this September, but many fans have never realized that some of the characters were created for the actors who played them. This is especially true for the characters of Hugo “Hurley” Reyes and Sun Kwon. Other characters were written in during the show specifically around actor’s acting capabilities.
Yunjin Kim originally walked in to read for the role of Kate Austen. Kate was the girl on the run wanted for murder. She was finally arrested in Sydney and on the flight to Los Angeles. Her story was gradually told over the first three seasons, and fans finally found out that she was guilty but the real reasons why. The part ended up going to Evangeline Lily, but Kim did not completely miss out.
Kim eventually had a part on Lost created just for her. The show runners decided to create Sun, who was a married Korean woman who could speak both Korean and English. She was originally going to leave her husband, but decided to stay with him shortly before getting on the fated flight.
The next character to be created for the actor was Hurley, played by Jorge Garcia. The actor originally read for the part of James “Sawyer” Ford, who was the con artist who played a third of the love triangle with Kate and Jack Sheppard, played by Matthew Fox. Josh Holloway got the part, but the creators were so impressed with Garcia and loved him in Curb Your Enthusiasm that they decided to create the Lost character for the actor.
Hurley ended up being the lottery winner, who was cursed. He used the numbers four, eight, 15, 16, 23 and 42; numbers that ended up showing up everywhere on the island. Many fans tried to use the numbers for their own lottery hopes after the success of the show.
As the show went on, a number of other characters were created. Some of them were unsuccessful, but others helped to create a new dynamic to the show. One of those was the mad physicist and time-travel expert Daniel Faraday played by Jeremy Davis. The creators had seen Davis in many other shows and fell in love with his portrayal of the quick-thinking, often crazy ramblings. The character was written just for him, without the actor even having to audition for the role.
Daniel Faraday was one of the favorite non-original main characters. Many were annoyed when he was killed off at the hands of his own mother in season six.
As the writers continued to write the characters, they would introduce some of the actor’s personalities into them. Terry O’Quinn would often sit on the beach alone and just listen to his iPod. Executive producer J.J. Abrams noticed this and decided that O’Quinn had a deep secret and Damon Lindelof needed to work it out. Eventually, the actor’s character, John Locke, held the deep secret that he was originally in a wheelchair after being thrown out of a building but the island healed him.
There are many reasons for the show’s success, which did leave fans split over the ending in 2010. One of those reasons could have been the way many of the Lost characters were created and adapted for the specific actors involved.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham