At this weekend’s New York Comic Con I had the chance to sit down with Lost‘s Daniel Dae Kim. Last week we discovered that his character, Jin, did not die when the freighter blew up. This wasn’t exactly a surprise to me, because the producers just love to throw curveballs, bring back characters, and generally mess with viewer’s minds.
As much as the audience is sometimes confused or thrown by the many twists and turns on Lost, it must be a strange journey for the actors as well. They discover new tidbits about their characters as they receive the scripts and often don’t have any more information about where the show is going than the viewers do (except knowing sooner).
When he first started on Lost, Kim had some reservations about Jin’s character–particularly the way he treated his wife, Sun. “For me, as an Asian actor, it’s always been important that I don’t portray stereotypes or negative images. That’s not to say I don’t want to play interesting characters that are full of flaws — Jin is one of those characters. But if all you see is something negative that leads you to make assumptions about all Asians or people of color, that’s something I’ve always tried to shy away from. So that’s why [Jin’s initial characterization] concerned me.”
Though the producers didn’t give Kim many specifics about Jin’s background, they did tell him that he would not be the same person later as he appeared in the beginning. “As in so many other elements of this show, the producers are very smart and they’re very aware and, thankfully, they’re very conscious of those issues. I think that’s why the show is as interesting as it is.” Kim said. “That’s one of the things I love about Lost: what you see is not necessarily what you get.”