Lost's Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austen

Evangeline Lilly Calls Out Sexism, Bad Writing for Kate On LOST

Justice for Kate Austen!
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Evangeline Lilly is not here to pull any punches. First, she calls out double standards in male and female attire. Then she pushes for an all female Avengers team-up. Now, she’s finally speaking out about the treatment she received as the female lead of LOST, Kate Austen. I’ve defended Kate in the past, but hearing Lilly’s frustrations with the scripts and way that her character was handled makes me rush to her defense even more.

Detailed in an article posted on The Muse/Jezebel, Lilly spoke to the podcast “The Lost Boys” about her time on the show. She spoke about pushing back against doing nude scenes on the show, saying:

“In Season 3, I’d had a bad experience on set with being basically cornered into doing a scene partially naked, and I felt had no choice in the matter. And I was mortified and I was trembling and when it finished, I was crying my eyes out and I had to go on do a very formidable, very strong scene there after.”

“In Season 4, another scene came up where Kate was undressing andI fought very hard to have that scene be under my control and I failed to control it again. And so I then said, ‘That’s it, no more. You can write whatever you want—I won’t do it. I will never take my clothes off on this show again.’ and I didn’t.”

The idea of Lilly being the sole voice advocating for herself against a mostly male line-up of producers and writers is somewhat saddening. Did no one else stop to think that if an actress is visibly upset by having to do a scene with nudity, that they should maybe not write her another one? Lilly’s fight for autonomy is sadly one that other actresses have had to endure from Game of Thrones onward, and until we get more female voices behind the scenes it is most likely one that other actresses will continue to fight.

Autonomy also played a role in Lilly’s reaction to Kate going from mysterious fugitive to love triangle central. Lilly revealed her own personal frustrations with the way Kate developed, sharing:

“Not at the beginning—she was kinda cool [then]—and then as the show went on, she became more and more predictable and obnoxious. Because I felt like my character went from being anonymous—really having her own story and her own journey and her own agendas—to chasing to men around the island and that irritated the shit out of me. And I did throw scripts across rooms when I’d read them because I would get very frustrated by the diminishing amount of autonomy she had and the diminishing amount of her own story there was to play…I wanted her to be better, because she was an icon for strength and autonomy for women, and I thought we could have done better than that.”

Lilly does go on to add that she does agree that women should be flawed and don’t have to be perfect or lovable, but there’s a difference between being flawed and being written just to serve the male characters’ stories by being a love interest. LOST lost track of most of it’s characters towards the end of the series’ run, and Kate was no exception. She bounced from man to man, and in the end barely got a story to wrap up on her own.

Lilly’s journey did not stop there. She famously requested that her character in The Hobbit trilogy not be in a love triangle, and lo and behold, director Peter Jackson gave her one anyway. The disrespect shown to her wishes is astounding. Would a male actor’s concerns be treated the same way? Lilly’s take-no-nonsense attitude makes sense knowing how little her wishes and autonomy have been respected throughout the years in Hollywood by major producers.

It’s wonderful to see Lilly in a role that is finally giving her the respect she deserves in the Ant-Man franchise, but maybe let’s give her a gift for putting up with so much in the form of that all-female Avengers line up. And, Marvel? Let’s make sure not to put her in a love triangle. Ever. Okay?

(via Jezebel, image: ABC)

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Image of Kate Gardner
Kate Gardner
Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.