If thinking about “Lost” has taken up a considerable amount of your day-to-day routine, then try being Sheila Kelley, the actress who plays new “Lost” character Zoe.
“Being on ‘Lost’ makes you start to think about the whole big picture,” Kelley said via phone from California. “You start to go, ‘OK, there’s an evil person ... oh, and there’s a good person.’ And then, you have a person who does something bad and you get to thinking, ‘That person didn’t intend to do something really awful. Maybe they actually are good, but there’s something behind that intention. ... That’s what brilliant art does, what brilliant television does, it makes you think.”
Kelley hadn’t actually put that much thought into the ABC hit before landing her role as one of the last new characters to be introduced on the series.
“I knew of the show (before getting the part) but now I have the luxury to sit down and get to know it. So when they offered the part I sat down and watched it all and fell head over heels for the show,” said Kelley. “The mythic story lines — these are what really get me.”
Zoe’s story line — although it has surfaced in only the March 16 episode so far — appears to be a pivotal one, as she’s wealthy industrialist Charles Widmore’s “right hand.” Kelley has said in earlier interviews that “Zoe has the answer, Zoe knows.” What she knows or has the answers to exactly, Kelley won’t say, but she does weigh in on whether Zoe falls on the side of good or evil.
“I think she is a good guy, so to speak,” she said. “That’s the brilliance of the show, that you can’t always tell if someone is one of the good guys, but I think she’s in the right.” Kelley then likened her character to those on her husband Richard Schiff’s series, “The West Wing.”
“Everyone there (on ‘The West Wing’) thought they were doing the right thing,” she said. “There’s not a whole heck of a lot of that on TV lately. It’s also like that on ‘Lost.’ I’m hoping it’s not something like a unicorn and we’ll never see something like this again. It’s like immersing yourself into one of those mazes and you can’t quite tell which way you’re going. I’m excited to be one of those twists.”
Kelley wouldn’t divulge any details of the twist, but she did weigh in on the fact that some are referring to her as the island’s Tina Fey — and she’s all for it. “It’s one of the most flattering things I’ve ever heard,” said Kelley. “She’s intellectual, brilliant and funny and hotter than hell.”
Kelley knows a thing about looking good: She created the S Factor workout, which relies on pole dancing to stay toned (Teri Hatcher and Martha Stewart are fans). And the island might not have stripper poles, but the S Factor found its way there regardless.
“I take (the pole) with me wherever I go,” said Kelley. “And I sent Josh Holloway’s wife the whole set of DVDs and books and G-strings. Boy, does Oahu need an S Factor studio.”
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc.