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“Lost” star finds his way to New York Comic-Con

“Lost” star finds his way to New York Comic-Con

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For months now,  Daniel Dae Kim’s character on “Lost” was thought to be fish food. I mean, Jin was still on the freighter when it blew up at the end of last season.

Copyright 2008 ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved

And Sun (Yunjin Kim) & Hurley (Jorge Garcia) were then shown visiting Jin’s grave.

Copyright 2008 ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved

Which is why jaws dropped all over America last Wednesday night when ABC revealed that Jin was still among the living. Mind you, the poor slob was found clinging to this piece of wreckage out in a storm-tossed sea.Only to then be rescued by a group of French explorers from the past which included a much younger & visibly pregnant Danielle Rousseau (Melissa Farman).

Rousseau (Melissa Farman) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) together again back on the island.
Photo by Mario Perez. Copyright 2009 ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved

Which is why – this past Sunday morning – when I got to sit in on a group interview with Kim at New York Comic-Con, I couldn’t help myself. I had to ask this “Lost” veteran the obvious question:  What’s it like to be back from the dead?

To his credit, Daniel laughed at my idiotic inquiry and then said: “It feels good … It feels nice to (have been) missed.”

Mind you, Kim had no real advance knowledge that his character was going to be taken off “Lost” ‘s canvas in such a dramatic fashion.

“Actually, I was told about it just before the script came out,” Daniel recalled. “I was out in Maui, and (“Lost” Executive producer) Damon (Lindelof) called me and said: ‘You're going to read something that might sound a little shocking. But don't worry. You're still with us.’ “

Of course, the show’s fans were obviously concerned when they supposedly saw Jin blown to bits. But Kim kept cool. Mostly because Lindelof and “Lost” creator J.J. Abrams had “ … never released me from my contract. “ Which was a pretty strong indication that his character would indeed be back for Season 5.

Daniel Dae Kim talking with reporters at the 2009 New York Comic-Con
Photo by Nancy Stadler

That said, other reporters at Sunday’s “Lost” press roundtable asked Daniel if it was difficult working on a show like “Lost.” Where the creators tend to be so secretive about the characters’ past, present and future.

Kim admitted that – when he and the rest of the cast started working on “Lost” – it was frustrating to know “ … so little about the back story of our characters. (Which is why) whenever we got flashback episodes, the entire cast would devour them because we were finally learning what brought us to the island. “

But now that he’s familiar with Lindelof and Abrams’ creative process, Daniel is much more philosophical. Insisting that he equates the uncertainty that comes with being a member of the cast of “Lost” with real life. “You wake up, you know who you are, hopefully, and you go on with your day,” Kim explained. “(But) you never know where you're going in real life.”

Which isn’t entirely true for Daniel Dae Kim’s case. Come May, this actor knows exactly where he’ll be. Which is in London. Where Kim will then begin rehearsals for his first-ever musical, “The King and I.”

The official poster for the upcoming
revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's
"The King and I" at the
Royal Albert Hall

When asked how he felt about this limited engagement (which will be presented for one month only at Royal Albert Hall), Daniel said that he found the whole experience has been “ … pleasantly terrifying. I've never done a musical before, and I've been looking for a reason to get back on stage. (“The King and I”) is a show I'd really like to do.”

As for his Anna, that role in this show will be played by London stage vet Maria Friedman. As to whether he’ll actually be up to tackling those Rodgers & Hammerstein songs, Kim jokingly insisted that his singing voice is getting “ … better every day.”

All in all, Daniel came across as being this very accessible, down-to-earth guy in Sunday’s press roundtable. Who knew when to be the good little ABC employee (i.e. when asked if Sun & Jin will reunite this season on “Lost,” Kim would only say that viewers “ … will be surprised, hopefully, when [they] see it”) and when to cut loose with the reporters. Laughing about how – because Jin wasn’t really able to speak English during the first season of the show – he was then forced to deal with “ … all of these loud slow talkers. “

But for now … There was only enough time for this one quick trip to Daniel’s old stomping grounds in NYC (He actually got his M.F.A. in Graduate Acting at N.Y.U.). After that, it’s back to Hawaii. Where production was about to begin on Episode 14 of Season 5 of “Lost.” After that … Well, this season’s finale is slated to be shot in March. Then Kim goes to London to do “The King and I.”  

Jin-Soo alone on the island ... for now. Photo by Mario Perez
Copyright 2009 ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved

And after that ? “Should they need my services again,” Kim would be happy to continue playing Jin-Soo for Season 6 of “Lost.”

Speaking of which: Episode 5 of Season 5 of “Lost” (which is entitled “This Place is Death”) airs tonight on ABC at 9 p.m. ET / PT. Consult your local listings for exact times and channels.

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