Evangeline Lilly has revealed that she quit acting soon after Lost until a role in The Hobbit franchise encouraged her to return.
Ant-Man and the Wasp star Evangeline Lilly burst onto the scene with her starring performance on the hit TV show Lost (2004), but, soon after, the actress stepped away from acting.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress discussed her interesting history with Hollywood: “I don’t know if you’re familiar with my journey with acting, but it’s been a unique one, it’s not your typical story.
“Basically, by accident, my first speaking role in film or television was Lost, and so I was instantly launched into international stardom, and that was really uncomfortable for me,” Lilly said. “I instantly balked, didn’t know how to deal with it and felt very uncomfortable after that situation. I ended up deciding to retire after I finished Lost. I did a film called Real Steel with Hugh Jackman and then I walked away. I said, ‘I’m done, I’m never doing this again.’”
After acting, Lilly went on to have a child and wrote scripts, enjoying what she described as a “quiet little life”. It wasn’t until Peter Jackson called regarding a role in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug that things changed once more:
“I got a covert call from Peter Jackson, who I knew through my relationship with Dom[inic Monaghan] back in the day, and he said, ‘Nobody in Hollywood seems to be able to reach Evangeline, but we want to get a hold of her because we want to cast her in this film.’ And I was so torn because I had genuinely retired, I thought I was done, but I really wanted to do the movie. The little 13-year-old girl in me was like ‘I get to be a woodland elf? What?’
“I made a decision and I decided to go do the film. I had a wonderful time making that movie: One of the highlights in my life was living in New Zealand for that year and being a part of that family. That helped opened my eyes to the fact that, OK, this job can be a joy, it’s just a matter of how you approach it, and what you do with it, how much I put myself out there, and to a certain degree, how much I work.”
Lilly then went on to say: “And so as I was finishing press for The Hobbit, that’s when I got the call from Marvel, and I thought, ‘I just need to either draw a very firm line in the sand and say I’m done, or I need to just make my peace with the thing, find a way to be happy and do it in a way that makes me feel comfortable and satisfied.’ So that’s what I ended up deciding.
“I just thought, ‘Well, I’m a smart lady. I can figure this out. I’m going to figure out a way to do this and be happy.’ And I am, I’m very happy, I’ve had a wonderful time promoting this movie, and I’ve had a wonderful time talking to people about things I care about because this movie brings up so many cool issues.”
Lilly wasn’t kidding, her story is certainly an interesting one and it’s good to hear that she’s now happy in her profession and enjoying the work now that she has learned what she wants to get out of it.
From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes Ant-Man and The Wasp, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a super hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside the Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past.
Ant-Man and the Wasp sees Peyton Reed returning to the director’s chair and stars Paul Rudd (Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly (Hope Van Dyne), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), Michael Pena (Luis), David Dastmalchian (Kurt), Abby Ryder Fortson (Cassie Lang), Judy Greer (Maggie), Bobby Cannavale (Paxton) and T.I. (Dave), while new additions to the cast include Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster/Goliath, Hannah John-Kamen as The Ghost, Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch and Randall Park as Jimmy Woo.