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Matthew Fox provided some serious eye-candy for the female fans of Lost, when he starred as Jack Shephard.
Now, the heartthrob is going to set pulses racing once again with his new look body after losing an incredible 44lbs (20kg).
Matthew, 46, put himself through an intense workout to lose weight in order to fully embody his role as a serial killer in upcoming thriller Alex Cross, and could barely recognise himself when he saw the finished product.
In the Men’s Health December issue, Fox shares the secrets of his savage but safe regime and his motivation for pushing himself to the limit.
He told the magazine: ‘When I read the part, it felt immediately that my character [serial killer Picasso] is burning energy on almost a hyper level.
‘Without needing to spend any time in the gym he would just look like that.
‘Almost disturbingly vascular and tendony, and f*****g just… weird. That would come from an enormous amount of energy burning inside this guy.’
Matthew was not exactly in bad shape before the film, but he still shed nearly a fifth of his body weight for the role.
He said: ‘I didn’t want to lose weight unhealthily, but I didn’t know how to do it any other way.
‘I read somewhere that when Christian Bale was preparing for The Machinist he ate nothing but an apple a day for months. Just one apple. That can’t be good for you.’
To lose the 20kg of body fat, his diet consisted mainly of chicken breast, steamed broccoli and protein shakes made with water.
Although Matthew enjoyed watching himself on screen with his amazing new torso ripped and toned, he didn’t like the tough exercise program.
He told the magazine: ‘If I’m honest, sometimes I f*****g hated it. I guess if you removed the ‘result’ part of it then I can’t say I enjoyed it.
‘But I did enjoy the results, and it made the whole thing worthwhile. It’s an empowering thing to realise just how much control we have over our bodies.’
As his hit series comes to an end, Matthew Fox looks to the future.
Somewhere, in a parallel universe, Matthew Fox is working on Wall Street. That was his original plan when he attended Columbia University, where he earned a degree economics. But through a combination of chance, perseverance, and fate, he ended up the star of the ABC phenomenon “ Lost.” Over six seasons, his beleaguered Dr. Jack Shephard has roamed past, future, sideways worlds to take on a smoke monster, uncontrollable time travel, and the literal and figurative ghosts of his father. Audiences have watched as Jack has gone from a man science and reluctant leader to a man of faith ready to embrace his destiny. Just what that destiny is will finally be revealed May 23 in the show’s hotly anticipated two-and-a-half-hour series finale.
As Jack’s story has unfolded, Fox has transformed. Previously best known as the eldest sibling on the soapy drama “ Party of Five,” the actor made a conscious decision to pursue different types of roles when that show ended in 2000. His complex, assured work on Lost” led to in films like “ Speed Racer” and “ We Are Marshall,” and he plans continue choosing roles that pair him with filmmakers he respects admires.
But where does one go after six years on a genre-defying, groundbreaking series? In Fox’s case, the answer is Oregon. After living on the Hawaiian island of Oahu “ Lost” is filmed, Fox is moving his family to Pacific Northwest where he can be closer to family and friends and kind of country that I love: mountains and big, big horizons.” He doesn’t worry about missing out being so far from Hollywood; he plans to commute regularly to L. A. to pursue the projects he’s passionate about.
But before that, he’ll be taking much-needed time off after his run as tortured Jack. “ Playing this role has been a challenge all the way along,” he says. “ I feel so proud to have been a part of ‘ Lost’ and so honored to have been given the challenge of playing Jack. It’s the most rewarding experience and the most amazing journey.”
Asked when he first realized he wanted to be an actor, Fox pauses. “ I still haven’t had that realization,” says with a laugh. Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, he never did school plays or harbored secret dreams of movie stardom. When he moved to New York for his freshman year of college, he was desperate for money to supplement his income. One day, he went to Barnard College to check out its job board and saw that someone was looking for actors for a Clearasil commercial. A SAG strike was taking place, and the producers needed nonunion actors. “ I had never even thought about acting before then,” Fox admits.
The audition, in his words, consisted of “ showing up.” He booked the role— and would like to clarify that he was not the character with the bad complexion. “ I wasn’t guy with the zit; I was the guy who made fun of guy zit,” Fox notes, before joking, “ I would have turned down the zit role.”
Despite nonspeaking role, Fox says, his first time in front of the camera was a nightmare. “ I really hated it,” he reveals. “ At that time, I was ridiculously shy and uncomfortable with any kind of attention. Plus, I didn’t have the foggiest idea what I doing.” However, the job caught the attention of the J. Michael Bloom Agency, which signed him. Fox made it through college on modeling and commercial gigs. But by the time he graduated, he had changed his mind about working in finance. His agent was encouraging him to take his acting career to the next level, which Fox interpreted as a suggestion enroll in an class. “ I don’t like to be bad at things and I’m highly competitive, so if I’m going to do something, I want good at it,” he admits.
After experimenting with different teachers and classes, he was drawn to the Atlantic Theater Company, having read a book on directing film by one of its founders, David Mamet. “ I’ve always been fan of David Mamet and his essays and observations about life because he has a pretty amazing ability to boil things down to their most concise,” Fox says. “ So I did a little research and found out he and William H. Macy had started this theater company. I kind of just knocked on the door and said, ‘ Hey, I want to be part of your theater company.’ They were like, ‘ Well, it doesn’t really work that way. But for the first time, we’re going to have a program where we accept 10 or 12 students to study alongside the company for a year.’ ” Fox auditioned and was accepted into the program, where acting, he says, “ really started to come together for me.”
The program involved a lot of scene study, and he believes it worked for him because Mamet’s methods simplified things in a way Fox could approach them. “ I need some sort almost scientific into something,” he says. felt I had been floundering a little bit, and I needed something solid to give me a foothold, which they gave me.”
Into the Oakwoods
Fox’s first TV role was on the NBC sitcom “Wings,” playing an all-American, 17-year-old baseball wunderkind. He booked the role in New York and flew to L.A., staying at the Oakwood Apartments, a popular location for visiting actors, for the duration of the shoot. It was a process he would repeat a few times, as he refused to leave New York until he had a more permanent job. “I never wanted to be that actor who moved to L.A. unemployed and kicked around trying to get work,” he says. The “Wings” experience was extremely positive, but Fox wasn’t thinking of it in terms of it being his big break. “I was still wondering if I could even do this for real,” he admits. “So more than anything it was confirmation that I could infiltrate this world, not make an ass of myself, and get paid for it. It was a personal victory more than anything.”
He then landed a role on a series called “Freshman Dorm,” which he refers to as “CBS’s answer to ’90210.’ ” Once again, he describes the role as “the all-American nice guy.” Though it shot in L.A. and was picked up for six episodes, Fox still chose to stay at Oakwood—a good call, because the show was swiftly canceled.
Two years later, he went to Vancouver to shoot the pilot for “Party of Five,” a drama about five siblings who have to raise each other after their parents are killed. Fox was cast as irresponsible eldest brother Charlie, an endearing screwup who becomes the de facto head of the household. When the show received its order for 13 episodes, Fox made the move west. “I just knew, on some level, that the show was going to work,” he recalls. “I don’t think I knew it would work for six years, but I felt we’d go past 13. And that would be a long time to be living in the Oakwood.”
Fox is proud of his six seasons as Charlie, though he admits the material wasn’t always something he responded to. “That was a great show, and it was written really well,” he says. “But for me it was a tremendously soft character and a show that, in my opinion, was written with the knowledge that mainly women were going to be responding to the show.” He understands why his character was written in such a way: “The premise of the show was this orphaned family and he’s the proxy father figure, so the minute he became a man and actually made good decisions and did things right, the whole conflict of the family was eliminated. So it was a challenging six years for me.”
But Fox was grateful for the experience and learned a lot working on the show. Still, he says, “When it wrapped, I felt I needed to disappear for a while, not take any other work, and let people forget about me in that incarnation. Then I could come back and change my appearance, shave my head, and play something edgy and tough. So that’s what I did.”
‘Lost’ and Found
Fox’s first step in getting people to see him in a new light was “Haunted,” a drama in which his ex-cop could communicate with the dead. The show didn’t finish a season, something Fox is now grateful for. “I loved the experience, but I was incredibly happy it didn’t work commercially, because it would have killed me,” he says. “I was working 70-hour weeks; I was nonexistent in my family and would not have been able to maintain that over a long period of time. I felt it accomplished what I wanted because the show got good reviews and I got good reviews and people saw me in a different context.”
When he went in to audition for “Lost,” little was known about the series, other than that it was the brainchild of “Alias” creator J.J. Abrams. Fox auditioned with sides for the character of con man Sawyer. “I don’t think I was actually up for the role; I think they were just using the sides to look at people,” Fox says. He ended up with the role of Jack, a character the creators had once considered casting with a movie star and killing off in the pilot.
When Fox began the show, Jack was the moral center of the castaways, a heroic type who drew a definitive line between right and wrong. Fox admits that he had concerns such a character could be, frankly, dull. “When we were shooting the pilot, [executive producer] Damon Lindelof and I were literally having conversations about how this would work if the show went on for a long time,” Fox recalls. “Neither of us wanted me to be the knight in shining armor for six years. That would have been a tremendous bore. So we set him up as that guy—he’s saving people after this plane crash, and people are looking to him. And then we spent four seasons destroying him.”
As Jack, Fox’s all-American good looks belied a darker nature, and the actor was a revelation from the very first season. In the fifth episode, “White Rabbit,” Jack struggles not to crumble while begging an airline employee to allow his father’s coffin on the plane. It was the first chink of armor in the fearless leader, and Fox executed the moment flawlessly. But as the show continued and Jack dissolved into an alcoholic depression, Fox admits the role wasn’t always enjoyable to play. “That period between ‘Action’ and ‘Cut’ sometimes requires you to put yourself through certain things that are the opposite of comfortable,” he notes. “I definitely take it home with me. There are people that can leave it all behind, but I find I’m one of those who has residual effects of the stuff I put myself through. Luckily, I have a family that’s very, very understanding about that.”
Asked if there’s a scene he struggled with the most during his run, Fox points to the finale. “There is some of the toughest material I’ve ever had to play in there,” he says. “But Jack is always a challenge; he’s always been evolving and changing. I’m so lucky that I never felt the character was static.”
Two weeks after his last day of shooting, Fox says it is still sinking in that the show has come to an end. And while he’s uncertain what the future will bring, he knows it likely won’t include a return to the small screen anytime soon. “I think the TV world’s probably done for me,” he admits. “At least in the traditional model. There are more short runs of programs and special series right now, and I feel like the line between television and film is going to get increasingly blurred. But at this point, I’ve done close to 300 hours of television. I’m just never going to get into a six-year relationship with one employer again.” What Fox is looking for, he says, is variety and flexibility. “I want to get involved in a gig for three to four months and pour my heart and soul into it, have a great experience, and then move on to the next opportunity.”
Over the years, Back Stage has spoken to many of the great actors on “Lost.” Here we look back at some of their comments about the show and their characters.
“We all had to audition not being given a script. We all had our own sets of scenes and we just went in with that one scene and met J.J. [Abrams] and Damon [Lindelof]. It’s been like that sort of ever since. Television’s very different from film. You don’t know anything; you’re really in the dark most of the time. I think that’s a good thing, because it seems that you’re discovering things at the same time as the audience is.”
—Naveen Andrews, on being cast as Sayid
“One of the things I’ve learned is I don’t need a backstory. I can be backstory-free or I can have 15 backstories; it doesn’t matter. I’m already playing Ben in a sort of neutral gear. All the places in a regular performance where you would insert qualities or nuances of your backstory, those places in Ben are supposed to be neutral. The point is, his past does not inform who he is.”
—Michael Emerson on playing Ben Linus
“This part has allowed me to do things that I’ve never done before, like run away from a burning plane wing that explodes behind me and dive down into the sand. Full-on action star diving out into the sand! And that is awesome. I never thought I’d get to do that. I thought I’d be wacky guys for a long time. It also gives me times when I’m not being just the funny guy—times when I can be a little sensitive or emotional or I have to take charge all of a sudden. So, one day, [when] I want to do whatever my Hamlet is—whatever it is, that thing—this job, I think, allows me to skip a few steps along the way, because I get to show a wider range of what my chops are.”
—Jorge Garcia, on playing lovable and laid-back Hurley
“On the page, she wasn’t particularly likable, but she was really complex and interesting. She was so strong yet weak at the same time. All of those things you search for when you’re looking for a character.”
—Elizabeth Mitchell on her first impressions of Juliet
“I was in the middle of reading a lot of film scripts, and I actually said to my agent that I didn’t think I wanted to do television until something really special came along. And I was blown away by this.”
—Dominic Monaghan, on accepting the role of Charlie
“People used to know me, and they would do that thing where they look at you and shake their finger and go, ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!’ Some people would recognize me from ‘Stepfather,’ which is weird because it was 18 years ago. But most people would say, ‘Do you shop at the Home Depot in my neighborhood?’ Now they just say, ‘It’s Locke!’ Which is funny…and nice. I’d be less happy if I didn’t think Locke was such a cool guy. But it’s okay to be Locke.”
—Terry O’Quinn on being John Locke, the role that won him an Emmy
“There’s so much secrecy surrounding the show that they literally send out false sides with false character names. I think his name was Jason in the sides, and all I knew was I was doing a scene on the beach with somebody. It wasn’t until the first day of shooting when someone said, ‘Yeah, we’ve been building this character up for about three years.’ I’m kind of glad I didn’t know that, to be honest with you. It might have freaked me out a little.”
—Mark Pellegrino, on being cast as the mysterious island caretaker Jacob
“I would love to continue on with Michael and Walt. As a fan of the show, I want to know what happened to them. Are they in the Bahamas? Did they make it? What happened?”
—Harold Perrineau, after his character Michael left the show in the second season
“I was on Sunset and La Cienega [in L.A.], and my manager called me and said that there was a pilot audition in my fax machine and I needed to go look at it immediately. I went upstairs, and she said, ‘Look at the director, look at the location, and call me back.’ I ran up there and looked, and it said J.J. Abrams and Hawaii. I went, ‘Sign me up.’ ”
—Ian Somerhalder, on being cast as faithful brother Boone
Source: Backstage Magazine
With just a few precious hours of Lost left before the Island drama fades to (Man in) Black on May 23, this week’s Entertainment Weekly pays tribute to the ABC show with Lost: The Complete Viewer’s Guide, a special package with everything you need to know to get ready for the epic finale. First up, an in-depth preview of the final episode. Our own Jeff “Doc” Jensen was on set for the last days of filming and shares intel from the Island, including what it was like to be there for all the tearful goodbyes. He also reveals teases for the final few episodes, finds out what the actors plan to do next, and suggests some possible Lost spin-offs to keep the franchise rolling.
But we’re just getting this mysterious, time-traveling party started. Next: a flow chart (guaranteed not to make your brain hurt) explaining how all the castaways are connected, which is followed by an oral history of how it all began — the making of the pilot episode of Lost. Show creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, as well as the entire cast, share stories from the set of what would turn out to be the most expensive pilot in television history, and explain why it ended up being worth every single penny. We then provide handy dandy (graded) recaps of every single season, hook you up with a Lost A-Z Glossary, and take you on an eerie blast into the past as we host a gathering of some Lost souls who died before their time. Like we said, it’s everything you need to know to get ready for the finale. And then just a little bit more. It’s a package so formidable, in fact, that it could not even be contained to a single cover. Or two. Or three, even. Try 10! That’s right, 10! Each of our favorite Losties (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke/Fake Locke, Ben, Claire, Hurley, Sun, Jin, and Sayid) gets their very own cover: Check back at EW.com soon for a look at all 10, then order ‘em all to complete your collection.
For more on Lost, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands May 7.
Is it all just smoke monsters and mirrors? As Lost twists and winds to a finale, Jim Windolf finds the hit show’s co-creator and producer focused on the only plotline that really matters. Mark Seliger photographs Matthew Fox, Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lilly, and their fellow castaways.
BONUS GIF from the photographer’s official website:
Many Lost fans will be sad to say goodbye to Dr. Jack Shephard, whose character is evolving in the sixth and final season of the hit ABC show. But don’t worry — the real-life Jack, the one off the island, isn’t going anywhere. Matthew Fox opens up to the latest issue of emmy magazine about his character’s evolutions, marriage, family and life after Lost.
“I have a lot of mixed emotions,” Matthew tells emmy magazine about leaving Lost. “It’s been an incredible experience for me, and the creative part of it has been beautiful. I’m really enjoying working with this character. It’s going to be sad when it ends. But at the same time I’m looking forward to moving on.”
Matthew is happy to see his character evolve.
“The thing that’s beautiful about playing Jack is that he’s evolving,” he says. “Certainly in this final year we’ll see the biggest and final evolution of this character.”
Carlton Cuse, one of the executive producers of Lost, tells emmy magazine that Matthew “possesses charm, good looks, danger, intelligence and charisma.”
“It’s hard to find all of that in one actor.”
As far as what direction Matt plans to go in after leaving Lost behind, he says he is prepared to be the leading man and is setting his sights on the silver screen.
“I think I’m ready to take the number-one position on a call sheet on the right kind of film and to play that role [of leading man]. This is what I love about acting, challenging myself and showing different aspects of myself through characters.”
His drive to play the leading-man, caught the attention of Lost producers.
“He had a leading-man quality and a sort of neurosis that was requisite for the character of Jack – a guy thrust into the spotlight as leader but who doesn’t feel like a leader,” producer Damon Lindelof said. “He was our reluctant leader.”
Despite the Hollywood limelight, Matthew knows how to maintain a strong marriage. He has been married to wife Margherita Ronchi for 18 years.
So what are his secrets for marriage longevity in Tinseltown?
“I really don’t have any,” he says. “It just feels right. If I were to say I feel proud, it would imply that we’ve worked so hard to keep this together. But it feels much easier than it’s supposed to be. Maybe it’s that we fight well, and neither of us are people who hold things in.”
Thank you to “mine was taken” from Lost-Forum.com for the scans!