Shortly before punching Jack Bauer in the gut. lolololol.
So I went and did that first episode, and it was literally one scene, and I had no idea what was going on. I really didn’t know. I said, “Who is this guy?” On the page, he was just “The Man In Black,” and then it was Jacob. I said, “This guy doesn’t even have a name? He’s just referred to as the Man In Black?” And they said, “Yup.” And I’m like, “Okay. These guys have any kind of history?” And they said, “Well…” They tried to explain it to me, and I said, “You know what? Don’t tell me anything. Don’t tell me anything, because probably none of it is actable, and let’s just see what happens.” Mark Pellegrino [who played Jacob] and I had known each other from working with each other before, so there was already a pre-existing relationship which included trust, so working with him was very simple. I mean, he didn’t know any more than I did. He only had a sense of who his character was; he didn’t know who the hell the Man In Black was. I knew that there was the giant pedestal of this Egyptian statue left there, and I was looking at a boat, an older boat, in the distance. That’s all that I knew. And I could sort of tell from our clothing that we were in a different time. That’s all that I knew, so I do that and off I go.
Then the show airs. I didn’t watch it, I didn’t track anything, and the next day, I walk into my local Starbucks and literally half the people in the Starbucks look at me like I’m the mass murderer everybody’s been looking for in the paper. And there’s almost an audible gasp; people are coming up to me and saying, “Oh my God. I can’t—oh. So, what exactly—who are you?” And I really feel like I’m in the middle of some Bill Burroughs nightmare, like “What? What are—” and they’re like, “Lost!” And I’m like “Oh, right. That’s right, I forgot I did that show.” And they’re looking at me like, “How can you be so calm in the presence of this information?” And I’m sort of struggling with it. That was one thing that Liz sort of warned me. She said, “Enjoy whatever anonymity you have left.” Those were her exact words. And they said, “So when are you coming back?” And I said, “I don’t know that I am coming back,” because there was no discussion, no contract in the air.
So I’m off and shooting The Good Wife, and I’m shooting this movie The Town with Ben Affleck. Ben says, “So what’s the deal with your character on Lost?” And I’m like, “Oh, come on. You too? Really?” He knows Nestor Carbonell because Nestor is really close friends from Harvard with Matt Damon. I said, “I don’t know, Ben. I have no idea!”"