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May 12, 2010

Geek Out!: Mark Pellegrino on Jacob and the end of 'Lost'

Posted: 02:11 PM ET
'Lost's' Mark Pellegrino
'Lost's' Mark Pellegrino

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From sci-fi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it, you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this interview if you haven't seen Tuesday night's episode of "Lost!"

After Tuesday night's episode of "Lost," fans are still debating what it all means. One character we definitely know a lot more about is the enigmatic Jacob, who was revealed to be the twin brother, and then the murderer, of his nemesis, the Man in Black.

CNN's "Geek Out!" caught up with Mark Pellegrino, the actor who has played Jacob since the end of last season, just prior to this week's episode.

CNN: Had you seen much of "Lost" before playing this role?
Mark Pellegrino: No, none at all. I didn’t really own a TV. What TV I had was passed down to me from my mom, and I would sometimes catch up on movies. When I got married a couple of years ago, I got a TV and still didn’t really have time with family and work to get into the TV thing. I’ve been trying to slowly catch up since then. My wife has had time to watch all five seasons, so she’s ahead of me on that.

How did people respond when it was revealed that you would be playing this iconic character, Jacob?
Pellegrino: Their response was pretty enormous. People had a love affair with Jacob for three seasons. One of my friends is a huge, enormous “Lost” fan –– so when Jacob shows up on the beach it was, “Oh my God it’s Mark Pellegrino! My friend Mark Pellegrino!” For everyone else, it’s been a lot of fun.

At what point did you learn you were playing Jacob? What did producers tell you about him at first?
Pellegrino: At first I was auditioning for a guy named Jason, and reading with a character named Samuel. We were doing a scene with a guy like the Man in Black. When I got it, I thought it was a simple guest-star, recurring part. My wife had some thoughts that I might be this mysterious character named Jacob. Every so often Jack [Bender, executive producer] would say, "It's Jesus the carpenter, man amongst the people," and I thought I must be a religious figure. In spite of my calm outward appearance, other things would come along and make me think, am I a bad guy? They kept me on a need-to-know basis.

CNN: What was your take on him at first and has it evolved?
Pellegrino: In spite of not knowing things I found out, it didn’t change the essentials at all, which I don’t know if it was luck or by design. I think the simpler, the better was kind of the idea for me.

CNN: Did you have any idea after your character’s death that you might come back?
Pellegrino: I had an inkling and I hoped... my wife said, "You’ve gotta come back!" I knew because I’d seen enough "Lost" to know that death didn’t mean you were gone forever. As an actor, if it comes, it comes, if it doesn’t, it doesn't.

CNN: Have you had any memorable encounters with fans?
Pellegrino: I do another show called 'Supernatural' [playing Lucifer] – those fans call me "Mark from 'Supernatural.'" When I get it for "Lost," it’s "Jacob!" They’re very nice and just want autographs and to get a picture.

CNN: Do you get along particularly well with certain cast members?
Pellegrino: Nestor and I talked a lot, we happen to go to the same theater company, we were taught by the same guy so we had a lot to talk about and share. I would talk with Jorge a lot about Indian food because he’s a great fan of Indian food. He would introduce me to some island food that was amazing. I met the whole cast on my last day shooting and met everybody, and we listened to some great music. The Richard episode ["Ab Aeterno"] was one of my favorites to film, it’s so, so good. I loved acting with Jorge, he always made me laugh. He would always do something very genuine and funny. I liked acting with him on pretty much everything.

CNN: From what you know of the final episodes, do you think it will be satisfying for most fans?
Pellegrino: From what I’ve heard of the finale, it sounds very interesting. Satisfaction depends on where you’re coming from. If you’re interested in puzzles and solving problems and lots of questions, you may be satisfied.

How do you want "Lost" to end? Post a video on iReport and let us know!

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not lost   May 12th, 2010 3:06 pm ET

"got it from mama..dont know nothing.."

U sound same in real life too?just like on last night's episode..

hope they dont screw it...Was a fan of ALIAS that ended horribly..

not lost   May 12th, 2010 3:12 pm ET

gotta be honest..u were just mesmerizing with all the mysterious looks with deep hidden meaning..Thought a great CASTING for the role..completely blocked others' charisma both plot wise and looks..

if not for jacob & MIB , I seriously thought of making a statement by not watching the final season after six years of loyalty..

Great job!!

Sarah   May 12th, 2010 3:17 pm ET

Was that the last one? And where can I see it again? I missed half because of the weather last night?

M.R. in L.A.   May 12th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

Sarah – try or hulu

Hurled   May 12th, 2010 3:47 pm ET

It doesn't matter where you start with this show ... season 4, season 2, at the middle of each episode ... it still sucks and nothing makes sense. Why spend the time? It's all just the fat guy's dream anyway.

ladyinfinity   May 12th, 2010 3:59 pm ET

Hum. Last nights episode kinda threw me off.
When Jacob extinguished the 'light', did the world die? Hum, maybe the cast of Lost is just jacob and MIB's created characters for the game? Interesting episode tho...

Sheryl   May 12th, 2010 4:00 pm ET

Hey not lost...I'm totally with you on Alias. I was such a fan and so disappointed with the way it ended. Hopefully I will be at least happy with this ending, not like the Sopranos set up for a movie which will probably never happen.

JWINK   May 12th, 2010 4:12 pm ET

ladyinfinity: 'Hum. Last nights episode kinda threw me off..........."

Jacob didn't extinguish the light, he only sent his unconsience brother down to it which killed him and created the smoke monster. His mother never really said how to extinguish it, only that it could be done.

JWINK   May 12th, 2010 4:14 pm ET

I loved the storyline, I just didn't think that they had to waste a whole episode telling it. There is so much more that could have been explained.

Dolores   May 12th, 2010 4:16 pm ET

except for the scenes where Sawyer isn't wearing a shirt, this show has been a waste of time

Suckered   May 12th, 2010 4:24 pm ET

I'm still trying to imagine an ending that can possibly justify all the hours and hours I've spent watching this show. They've played us for so long it's hard to believe anything is an "answer" anymore. Oh well in a few weeks it will all be over.

schaff. in oc   May 12th, 2010 4:25 pm ET

It's been a boat load of entertainment. A wonderful passtime for my wife and I. Thanks for bringing TV back into the loop of fun things to do during the week, this will truely be missed. The TV will be turned off again after the finale epi..

RonC   May 12th, 2010 4:29 pm ET

Yeah, last nite's episode bit the big one. Way to not answer the big questions.

cat   May 12th, 2010 4:35 pm ET

I loved last nights show and will be lost when the show is over. However they end it I know I won't be dissapointed. I don't think anyone could play the part of Jacob any beter then Mark.

jacob   May 12th, 2010 4:47 pm ET

This episode was a$$. They should have never even made this episode. It was a complete waste of time.

fleabag23   May 12th, 2010 5:12 pm ET

The true mystery here is not what's up with the island. It's how ABC gets away with cramming 30 minutes worth of commercials into a 1 hr show.

ryan s   May 12th, 2010 6:05 pm ET

Interesting, but even more confusing.

The brothers can't kill each other, nor can they be allowed to leave the island, as per their 'adopted mother'. It looks like Jacob kills his brother by sending him down the light, but as that's impossible to do, his brother is apparently now in the form of the Smoke Monster, who is still just trying to leave the island. So the new question is, what does his brother now represent since he is no longer in human form.

This entire episode seems to contradict why people are on the island in the first place. Why does Jacob feel like orchestrating the bringing people to the island to show that man is intrinsically good, when by default he was taught, and verified by his brother, than man is evil, greedy etc. That they just come to harness the light. And is there any light left once his brother reincarnated/the smoke monster came out of the cave? Is this all just Jacob's game, as mentioned via his brother who said one day Jacob would be able to have his own game and make his own rules...

Anyways, I appreciated how they went away from the Judeo Christian god/devil dichotomy and made it more of a druid/nature type of mysticism.

Desmond Hume   May 12th, 2010 6:28 pm ET

Someone above made a good point. There will be many questions left unanswered for sure. But if you know anything about JJ Abrams style of storytelling it is that sometimes mystery is more important than knowledge. With knowledge comes a finality that will eventually wear off. But mystery keeps things fresh and interesting precisely because it doesn't provide the finality that knowledge does. As Mark Pellegrino stated at the end of the interview, "Satisfaction depends on where you're coming from."

4 8 15 16 23 42

stopped watching during season 1   May 12th, 2010 6:47 pm ET

i realized during the 1st season that the writers were just throwing things in that seemed weird and crazy and that they'd try to fix it and answer it later. a lazy way to structure a psychological suspense/adventure show if you ask me. any answers that they do give will not be 'honest' in the sense that they're not intrinsically linked to the question posed by the polar bears or whatever it is from which they came.

if i want random tangents that are meant to entertain i'll watch the simpsons or family guy

some good tv to consider if you're lost with lost:

prime suspects (British with Helen Mirren)
freaks and geeks
arrested development
avatar (the last air-bender)
king of the hill
the wire
modern family
30 rock
British office

stopped watching during season 1   May 12th, 2010 6:50 pm ET

desmond –

the problem with the mysteries in lost is that they're not intentional. they're lazy and (for me) unsatisfying – and i love open ended story telling.

ladyinfinity   May 12th, 2010 7:17 pm ET

One thing I did notice: The MIB told someone (in an earlier episode) that the holes were dug because they were looking for something and they found nothing.
It turns out that something was found (the light) in a hole. Why did he lie, and what else has he lied about?

tsktsk   May 12th, 2010 8:20 pm ET

Keep in mind that Jacob and MIB (or Adam, if you will) have been alive for a LONG time. Arguably, no more than 10,000 years, but at least long enough to have built a statue of Taurette (or at least have seen it built). Honesty after that long becomes a matter of definition. They found a light ... he was looking for a way off the island. he didn't find a way off the island, so he found (hmm ?)

.. that's right, nothing.

If you think the show is a waste of time, why do you spend at least an hour each week watching it? If you hate it so much, read a book. Most of TV these days is poorly written *rap, so a show with a story line and characters that I actually care about is unique. Considering air time these days is 75% "reality" TV or dancing with the stars (or something like) this is a welcome change. I am curious to see where it will end up, and to see the executive producers actually interact with the audience to keep interest piqued is a welcome surprise. It has been an impressive 6 years, and my hat is off to JJ, Damon, and all of the Bad Robot crew. I look forward to watching more of your work.

And if you don't like it, don't WATCH it. These days, there are PLENTY of other choices.

steven r.   May 12th, 2010 10:39 pm ET

This had to be the worst episode of the entire series, maybe the first really bad episode. And the first time I have doubted the producers and their ability to bring this show to a satisfactory conclusion. With only a few hours of the show left, it was ridiculous to waste a full hour on the mythology and origin of Jacob and his no-name brother. What's coming up next week? Maybe an hour of Hurley showing us the recipe for his fried chicken.

Nilla   May 12th, 2010 11:46 pm ET

I only recently began watching Lost on Netflix right before the last season. Having watched the whole series all in one pass its pretty obvious there was never any master plan (the Walt story line – or lack of resolution thereof is evidence of this). The first 2 seasons were the best. As the show progressed each season seemed to lose something. 'Lost' really lost it when they moved the island at the end of season four. I am curious to see how it ends but i am sensing a fizzle not a bang. Still, as someone else pointed out it still leagues better than most of the drivel that's on TV.

Carl from Atlantic City   May 13th, 2010 12:06 am ET

Yeah, we've officially left the realm of reality-grounded drama and veered entirely into fantasy sci-fi, now. But who coldn't see that coming? Time travel? Smoke monsters? Islands that can transport across the earth because you crank a donkey-wheel at the bottom of a well? Multiple, intersecting time-lines? If you didn't think we were headed straight into the hokiest, Star-Trekiest climax you could dream up, you haven't been paying attention.

I'm on board. They just better pack that final episode with answers gallore. It wouldn't be that hard to resolve these dangling plot lines. Just make some decisions– why can't women get pregnant on the island?–who built the statue?– how did the first Others find out about the island? etc.– and march out your best answers one-by-one.

Just Announced!   May 13th, 2010 8:58 am ET

Smoke Monster From 'Lost' Given Own Primetime Spin-Off Series

BURBANK, CA—Executives at ABC announced Monday that the network will premier a new Lost spin-off series this fall based around that show's popular smoke monster character.
The new series, a half-hour family-oriented comedy called Where There's Smoke, is touted by ABC as the new anchor of its Thursday-night lineup.
"Somewhere between the smoke monster's first appearance on Lost— when it was depicted as a strange unseen force uprooting trees—and that episode in season three where it grabbed Mr. Eko and smashed him against the ground until he was dead, this character became the breakout star of the show," said Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment. "And that's exactly why we're so excited about Where There's Smoke. We get to see the monster's light comedic side in a show about life, love, and good friends having good times."
"Because after all, Where There's Smoke, there's laughter," McPherson added.
ABC sources reported that the series will transplant the evil black cloud from the island of Lost to the suburbs of Chicago, where it works as a sports radio host, surrounded by "a whole new group of crazy characters." Actress Lea Thompson has signed on to play the monster's long-suffering wife, who must put up with her husband's screwball antics while raising the couple's two rambunctious children, Tanner and Smoky, Jr.
Veteran TV producer Chuck Lorre, of Dharma & Greg and The Big Bang Theory fame, will helm the show, which he said will focus mainly on the deadly creature's adjustments to suburbia and fatherhood, and its comically contentious relationship with its boss, a fussy radio station manager played by Richard Kind.
"The whole concept began with us asking, 'So what happens to the monster after it kills somebody and disappears down that ancient temple vent? What kind of life might it have?'" Lorre said. "And what we realized is that audiences really relate to this character and would like to see it in everyday situations, shooting the breeze with buddies at a local watering hole or murdering its son's soccer coach and depositing his lifeless body in a tree."
"And of course, you'll be hearing lots of its classic catchphrase, 'Brrrrr, chk-chk-chk-chk, muuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrhhh,'" Lorre added.
Lost producer Jack Bender has confirmed that the smoke monster will no longer be part of his show's regular cast. However, ABC has promised that Where There's Smoke will feature a number of guest appearances from Lost regulars. Sources said the pilot episode will feature an appearance by actor Michael Emerson as a slobby houseguest named Benjamin Linus who overstays his welcome, much to the chagrin of the smoke monster's wife.
Though the project has been in development for almost a year, negotiations reached a standstill last winter when representatives for the mysterious, billowing actor expressed concern that their client would risk being typecast as "just a smoke monster" if the role were carried into a new series.
"We're always sensitive to these kinds of things, but we actually think this new vehicle will make people realize [the monster] is a sophisticated actor with a great deal of range," said McPherson, who agreed to pay the show's star $2 million per episode after scenes between the smoke monster and a nosy, ethnic next-door neighbor tested well with audiences. "People love the smoke monster, and people love to laugh. This series is a can't-miss."
Added McPherson, "And I'm not just blowing smoke here.

William Tell   May 13th, 2010 11:05 am ET

Yes, it was the arrows fault. If it had just flown straight it would have nailed that apple. instead, I have to clean up that kids mess.

Beer Guy   May 13th, 2010 11:06 am ET

If life is a waste of time and time is a waste of life, lets all get wasted and haved the time of our lives!

First round is on me!

phillip   May 13th, 2010 1:08 pm ET

I can tell the dullards and intellectuals apart by their comments. Lost is an Incredible show. Those who write negative comments no doubt have trouble understanding the show, so they cast it in a negative light to make them feel less stupid. The acting, directing, set, costume, ALL SPOT ON!! I've watched every episode, and most 2 or 3 times. I can honestly say that I am not Lost! I am chomping at the bit for the next 2 shows, but at the same time, very sad its all ending.

Phillip is LOST!   May 13th, 2010 1:22 pm ET

Phillip: "I've watched every episode, and most 2 or 3 times. I can honestly say that I am not Lost!"

You sir, are the definition of LOST! You are so engrossed in this never-ending show of never-ending questions that you have become LOST to the very society you live in.

Fatty McFat Jr.   May 13th, 2010 3:39 pm ET

Mmmm.... I like pie!

feliXtigra   May 13th, 2010 9:57 pm ET

I really do not consider Lost as a show needing an end.. It's much rather a proccess. I've never watched the episodes wondering madly, like, "what's gonna happen next, what was that, i want it's answer". I 've done it just having a very good taste of journey. Spent so many quality times, cause for me, Lost is a phenomen, teaching how to do a continuing inquiry about life'n death, about ourselves, about this world and our lifes, even about relations, fraternity and love. That's the way i see Lost's mission. A huge thanks to all of it's great and magnificing crew, to it's producers and story writers.

Sency   May 15th, 2010 6:31 pm ET

Did Kate really ruin the finale of Lost

that's not cool

Roisin   May 17th, 2010 11:56 am ET

About answers to all our questions – Lost is full of McGuffins (wiki if needed) that will most likely never be answered. Someone asked, "do they need to be?"

I just thought to offer three feelings about that. In the X-Files, which ended with such a wind-baggy sort of whimper, very few questions were really answered, but at least one could feel that Mulder and Scully were still out there, somewhere, fighting the good fight on the run. The subsequent film destroyed that hope. In the Lord of the Rings films, which were amazing, astonishing achievements and explored virtually everything but Tom Bombadil, all the things I wanted to see and hear come to life did – but now my imagination with LOTR is limited by those sights and sounds. Finally, as old as the Dune novels are, the unanswered questions from them are still being hotly debated decades later...and it's fun to debate them still.

So for me, I think I don't need every single twig and branch of Lost exposed. I think I will be happy with the trunk and roots.

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