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Henry Ian Cusick interview with TV Guide Magazine

Thanks to SL-Lost for the heads up.

Look who’s playing Charles Darwin, brotha! It’s Lost’s Most Valuable Scotsman, Henry Ian Cusick, who’s doing an ultraproper English accent and donning 19th-century garb (think puffy shirts and high-waisted trousers) for the role of history’s most famous naturalist. Cusick tells TV Guide Magazine about the NOVA bio-drama "Darwin's Darkest Hour," which premieres Tuesday, October 6 on PBS (check local listings). And, of course, we couldn’t let the opportunity go by without asking about the final season of Lost.

What in particular attracted you to playing Darwin?
Having saw pictures of him, I thought, “Wow, wouldn’t it be cool to transform myself into this character?” But unfortunately we didn’t go with the receding-balding look. [Laughs] It was just a fascinating script and as an actor I wanted to challenge myself.

How much research was required for the role?
As soon as I found out I was doing it I went on the Internet to find out as much as I could about him—what he looked like, his early life, and I started reading The Origin of Species. It was sort of a crash course on Darwin and his life.

Playing the controversial scientist as he faces the possibility that his life’s work may have been for nothing if another scholar publishes his nearly identical theories first takes a heavy toll on Darwin in the movie—as do the personal tragedies he endures, including the loss of two young children…
That was the attraction of the script. There’s a lot of theory and science in it, but you get to find out a lot about the man and his life. He lost two children very early on. I have children—it’s every parent’s worst nightmare! From the human side it was nice to be able to show a complete man rather than just the science bit, and hopefully that will make him more interesting. He has got a fascinating life. It’s something I’m proud of.

And there is a great love story between Charles and his deeply religious wife Emma, played by Frances O’Connor…
They had 10 kids; so, even though you wouldn’t have thought the Victorians were passionate…to have 10 kids you have to be pretty passionate! They were also first cousins, which was a worry to Darwin, because he thought that’s why his children were [sickly]. She was his rock. They had a very unconventional relationship—they were quite modern. Working with France O’Conner…she’s wonderful, she’s an absolute fantastic actress [and] I had a lot of fun working with her.

Did any of Darwin’s genius rub off on you?
[Laughs] Unfortunately, no. I’ve just become more educated about Darwin.

That’s too bad, because it would take a genius to figure out what’s going on in Lost! Production has begun in Hawaii, are you privy to what’s happening in the season premiere?
I’ve read scripts for up to Episode 3. It sort of picks up, as always, where it left off, but then it jumps all over the place. We get very excited to pick up the scripts and read them and they’re still as confusing and baffling as ever. [Laughs] We’re still going, “What the hell is going on now?”

Is it a different atmosphere on set now that it’s the last season?
Most of the [cast] are making plans to move back to the mainland. I think there are only a couple people contemplating staying in Hawaii. I’m thinking about staying in Hawaii. My children are in school and to pull them out now would be tricky. We really love life here. One of the best things about Lost is I got to live in Hawaii.

With Sonya Walger, who plays Penny, on FlashForward, does that mean there will be even less of Desmond and Penny this season?
I really don’t know what’s going to happen with Penny. And, to be honest, I don’t know what’s going to happen with Desmond either. Are we going to see less of him than last season? I hope not, because we didn’t see much of him and there are a lot of things I’d like to know about him. I think Desmond’s character has become more of a peripheral character. I think now we are zooming to the end and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered…

Do you have a favorite Desmond and Penny scene?
I guess their first meeting—that was kind of fun when she and Desmond are packing up the crates in the monastery. I like that scene.

What Lost mystery do you want solved?
What is the Island and why the Island—that’s the essence of the show. And then there are a thousand little strings we probably won’t get answers to, but I guess that’s life and you can make up your own stuff, so the conversations will go on and on and on.

What’s next, after Lost is done filming?
Nothing at all, so I better start looking.

Source: TV Guide Magazine

Posted by DarkUFO