Nicole Evangeline Lilly, better known by the stage name Evangeline Lilly, is a Canadian actress and author. She won multiple Saturn Awards and Teen Choice Awards and a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Kate Austen in the ABC series Lost. She is also known for her roles in films such as Afterwards, The Hurt Locker, and Real Steel. She plays Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and will appear in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final film in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. Running off to a fitting for the upcoming BOFA press tour and the remainder of The Squickerwonker press tour. Lots and lots of love. xoxox
Looking forward to your questions. Victoria's gonna be helping me get started today. AMA!
Hello Evangeline! Big fan.
What was your most memorable moment on the set of Lost, and why? Also, which actor is most like their character?
I think we were all pretty like our characters. Most memorable moment? Phew...maybe whales breaching off the shore in the middle of a long and hot work day. Keeps you grateful.
How do you feel about the creation of Tauriel? Tolkien had zero female characters in the novel so this role must have been pretty special for you.
On a side note, just how cool was learning elvish??
I LOVE elvish. I wish I was fluent. Yes, Tolkien was writing the Hobbit in the 1930s. He's forgiven. But, Peter was making his films in 2014...not so forgivable if you exclude women from stories now.
What's the most annoying thing fans do when they meet you?
Ask me if I'm lost or say "I found you!"
How much were you directed in a regular episode of Lost by an appointed director, how much by the executive producers (did any of them treated actors especially?) and how much did you just use your already stored experienece from previous episodes?
Mostly it was all stored experience. By season 6 it was tough for me to take direction from a visiting director after living and breathing Kate for six years.
Hi Evangeline! I was wondering what you do to keep in such great shape?
Very little really. Health is really the accumulation of a lot of little habits. It's hard to make a sound bite out of them. I've thought of writing a book about it because there's too much to say. I live healthy. I love myself and my body. :-)
Really enjoyed hearing you on the Nerdist SDCC panel, but my question is: just how drunk did you and Michael Rooker get?!
Haha! Gosh, I admittedly DID get a little drunk on stage w Michael Rooker. Rooker, on the other hand, barely touched his beer. ;-)
Evangeline! Would you rather fight one polar bear sized hobbit, or one hundred hobbit sized polar bears?
Haha! Hmmm...one polar bear sized hobbit. Numbers scare me. Size, not so much.
Have you ever had any strange fan encounters?
Very few. Only one scary. I have WONDERFUL fans. Kind, generous, supportive...if often a bit nerdy. ;-)
What's your favorite book?
At the moment A Fraction of The Whole by Steve Toltz is up there. I can't have just ONE fav book, though...
Hi Evangeline! We365/Free The Children here. We're so inspired by your passion for the environment! Can you tell us what got you inspired and what young people can do to help you change the world?
Tim Flannery's book "The Weather Makers" really lit a fire under my butt. Young people can do SO much to change the world: dream, envision, have passion and courage. Don't do what we've been doing, find the NEW, revolutionary way of living. I try to encourage people to really get involved on a LOCAL level. Don't focus on the world, focus on your community? How can you facilitate change there?
Hey evangeline, I just joined reddit 2 seconds ago to join this AMA! Will u be coming to ireland on your book tour? Love to get my book signed in person. ✌️✌️ Also, I know you're probably fed up of this, but I LOVE you in lost it's such an amazing show, poignant but also exciting.
Thank you so much! I will be in London for a book signing on Dec 4th, but no Ireland...UNFORTUNATELY. Did you know that I have Irish heritage and I've NEVER been to Ireland. :-(
If you could work with any filmmaker, living or dead, who would it be?
Hi Evangeline!! On Jimmy Kimmel you brought up how after high school, you decided to move from town to town approximately every six months and take on a different persona. What type of personas did you master during these glory years and why did you take on the “girl who poops herself at every party” persona in good ol’ Kamloops?
hm...not sure where the pooping bit comes from, but I'd like to dispel that myth here and now. WAS NEVER THAT GIRL. I also didn't live in Kamloops, but Kelowna. That said, I would change personas as in: I would try on the quiet wallflower and then the confident ice queen, then the strong tom boy, etc, etc, etc
What's your favorite food?
Probably cheese. I LOVE cheese.
What show are you currently binge watching?
I don't, unfortunately, have time to binge watch TV, BUT, I'm a total The Voice addict and I love Modern Family and Justified.
Hi Evangeline. Excited to hopefully see you in London!
What is the best advice someone has given you?
Corey Stoll taught me when you high five, look at the elbow. Works every time!
If you could have played any other character on lost, including male characters, who would you have wanted to play?
Evangeline. Miss, Mrs Lilly. How did you feel filling the shoes of an original character not seen in The Hobbit books? Personally I'd have liked to see your character fleshed out a little more and really enjoyed the dynamic between two different Elven races, that almost magnanimous vibe you got from all your confrontations with other Elves.. Also, what was the reaction like from fans?
Loved Lost, it really brought me and the mum together - It was our first series we watched together and really brought us close, and Freckles was one of the best parts. Thanks!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I would also have loved to see Tauriel more flushed out, but I am glad that Peter showed restraint and kept the Elves from being too prominent in the film. The book was about the dwarves and Bilbo and, as a fan, I really wanted to see more of them.
That was the thing I was most proud about with Lost...it was a show that brought people together.
Hello Evangeline, I just wanted to say that you're a wonderful actress who inspires me greatly. Also, I only recently started watching 'Lost', I love it!! :) My question is; where did you get your inspiration to write 'The Squickerwonkers' ? Thanks. :)
Thank you! I got my inspiration from Dr Suess for the original poem and from Johnny Fraser Allen for the new version. :-)
EVANGELINE!!!! SUCH A HUGE FAN!!!! There was a rumor that you nearly got Harold Perrineau fired from Lost because he was farting during one of the wreckage scenes early on in the series. Is there any validity to this at all?????
Haha! NONE AT ALL. Firstly, Harold is a complete gentleman and just wouldn't do that. And, secondly, I'm a total sailor and would have just laughed my pants off if he did.
What do you usually do on your free time?
Free time? What's that? :-) I spend 95% of my free time with my family. I don't get much of it, so, what I get goes to them.
Hey Ms. Lilly!
I sadly won’t be able to make it to the Toronto meet up tonight but I wanted to ask, what’s a random hobby of yours that nobody would every expect?
Have fun at the signing and congratulations on your book!
Random hobby? I USED to collect stamps and am still very into them. #random!
Hi Evangeline! I'm a huge fan of your most "controversial" characters (Kate and Tauriel). What's it like to see fans so divided over your roles?
P.S. I've seen you defend Tauriel quite often in Hobbit interviews and I'm so glad you're sticking up for her - we need more kickass women who stand up for themselves, both in Hollywood and in Middle-earth!
First, thank you for the encouragement!
Second, I tend to ignore the controversy. Controversy is firstly good and secondly inevitable in my profession. I've even heard people knocking Meryl Streep! I'm mean, if she's not safe, who is! But I just like passion and discourse so, I think the controversy is good.
I don't think I can ever go back. ;-)
I want to become a TV writer. TV and books are very different, but what advice can you give me to succeed? Thank you. I am a big fan of yours!
I would suggest getting a job as an extra on film sets. No joke. That's when I wrote my first script. There is SO much down time to write (bring your pen and paper) and you get to learn about filming and you will see good and bad writing being put into the mouth of good and bad actors. You can learn so much AND practice your craft AND get fed AND get paid. Win, win, win, win.
What's your short for Evangeline?
Haha! I get EL a lot.
What was the most exciting thing on the set of Lost when cameras were not rolling?
Shooting is not exciting, when the cameras are rolling or not. I hate so very much to burst anyone's bubble but just as any cast or crew member on any project...filming is a slow and tedious business. The most excitement for the crew was when they'd get to go surf North Shore waves at lunch. THAT was pretty remarkably special for any shoot.
What did you take home from the LOST set?
The original Dear Mr Saywer letter. Then it burned in my house fire.
Evangeline, what do you like on your pizza? Keep in mind that I will be getting drunk this weekend and I will be getting pizza.
Ham, mushroom, black olives. Every time. #childhoodhangover
I think it is awesome you are writing children’s books now. How hard was it to get it published? Do you think your child will enjoy the series as he grows up?
Everybody said "no" to me about publishing The Squickerwonkers. I really had to push to get even Titan to say 'yes'. My son LOVES the book more and more as he gets a bit older. :-) So rewarding.
How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?
Hm...as long as there was food, yes. But, I'm useless after five hours without eating. ;-)
Have you stayed close friends with any of the cast members from Lost?
Yes! Jeremy Davies and I are very close friends. And Elizabeth Mitchel. Sadly we don't see each other much, though. Busy lives!
Hello Ms. Lilly! First of all, I admire and respect you so much. You are a real life hero to me-you have been an inspiration for me for many years, and I've learned so much by watching your work, both on camera and off, and I just want to thank you for that. So thank you! Even if you don't know it, you have been a large influence on my life and have taught me some valuable life lessons. Also, The Squickerwonkers is amazing and I love it so much. I can't wait to buy copies for all my friends and family. Congratulations!
I'm going to cheat a little on my question here and ask, what's something you don't get asked about enough that you'd like the chance to say a sentence or two about? Something important to you that your fans don't typically inquire about?
(P.S. I recently sent a message to your page and it would mean the world to me if you got the chance to read it...what are the chances you'd have a moment to do so? I know you're crazy busy, so maybe in a couple weeks! I know someone else bribed you with money to read their message, but since I am poor and have already donated as much as I can, I will send you a virtual hug in thanks! ;) Thank you and travel safe!)
Well, you sound like a total #SuperELf. Thank you for your generosity of spirit!
I often want to talk about how the images you see of me in magazines and such are usually not a great representation of who I really am. You see, magazine shoots are a partnership and I have to service the magazine's image, as opposed to my own. We will always try to meet in the middle, but I usually feel compromised in a some small way (and sometimes in very big ways) when I finish a shoot and then again when I see the images, even if they're beautiful. It's not pure. It's tainted with the brand of something else. But, every once in a grand while, it's kismet and the stars align and I get an image of me that REALLY expresses who I am. :-) Thanks for asking!
Do you have any special Thanksgiving traditions?
Not really. We don't what most people do. But I do LOVE it. I think I like Thanksgiving better than Christmas. I like being thankful more that giving and receiving.
Hi, Evangeline. Have you considered starring in another TV series? If so is there a specific genre you're interested in or genre doesn't matter to you?
No, but I'd love to guest star on a few. Modern Family and Arrested Development come to mind.
Congrats on the book! If you had the opportunity to switch roles with any actor/actress you've worked with (and what movie/roles), who would you want to play and why?
I would like to play Zoe Dechanel roles. I am much more like that in real life and sometimes I get tired of playing such serious, strong women. Sometimes I wish I could just play roles where I smile and I'm sweet and quirky.
If you had to defeat a man with just one hit,what would you do???
Hey Evangeline! Big fan. Would love to know if you have anything planned Marvel-wise beyond Ant-Man? Thanks!
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
What is one thing I shouldn't ask you?
Questions about my son. I am a Leo and fiercely protective over my kin. xo
Hi Evangeline! I've been a huge fan since LOST.
Are you still an Eisley fan? How about any other female-fronted bands?
I haven't kept up enough with Eisley. Thank you for the reminder! I need to check out what they've been doing since Room Noises (love!). Female fronted bands: LOOOOOVE The Cranberries and The Weepies.
How often do people tell you that you have to go back?
How many have beards?
Innumerable people and they all have beards.
What is it like working with lee pace?
I have a friend crush on Lee. He's the best. And such a formidable talent to work with.
Regarding The Hobbit, what was your most challenging scene to film? And why? Did you love being Tauriel? If you can't say anything about #BOFA, maybe you can comment about The Desolation of Smaug :)
Emotion was really challenging while playing Tauriel. How do Elves emote? (I LOVED playing her. I love the challenge.)