InterviewsSo, yeah, Charlie is gone. :-( "Charlie had to die" says Lost producer 'Lost's executive producer Carlton Cuse has explained the decision to kill off the popular character of Charlie Pace at the end of the third season.In an interview with TV Guide in the US, Cuse stated that axing Dominic Monaghan from the show was dictated by the narrative."We felt like we needed to pay off Desmond's prognostications. We thought about various ways in which that could pay off, but, ultimately, we came to the conclusion that the best version of the story was for Charlie to die.""We felt like we had told the biggest and most important parts of Charlie's story. He was an addict; he recovered from his addiction; he found some meaning and purpose in his relationship with Claire. It just felt like this was the best path for this character."Branding Monaghan a "wonderful guy and a terrific actor," Cuse admitted that it was "very hard to say goodbye to Dominic." "We felt this was the conclusion that was going to be best for the story of 'Lost' though it was painful to lose Dominic from our cast," said Executive Producer Carlton Cuse."The story was really saying it was time for Charlie to die and he's one of the big three, one of the first three characters that we met back in the pilot, but I think it also signals to the audience who is watching the show -- Hey, anybody can go. Nobody is safe," said Co-Creator and Executive Producer Damon Lindelof,We certainly saw that in the finale with one killing, after another, after another. Turns out there was reason to kill off Josh Holloway's character "Sawyer" a long time ago."When the show started, Josh was like the second-lowest-testing character on the show. The audience actually despised him in all the research. It was like everybody hates this guy and now arguably he's one of the most popular characters on the show," said Cuse.And about the show's littlest character? What gives? "I think that there is a real significance to the fact that this is the only baby that's been born on this island for a very long time, and I think that makes the baby special, and we are going to be further dealing with that storyline in the future," said Lindelof.Damon and Carlton have to leave you hanging for several months -- maybe eight -- but they say when the show does return, it'll be worth the wait. Say it isn't so. Charlie is definitely dead. For real?For real, yeah.There's no chance he's alive, coming back next season?Well, it would be news to me if that were the case. My feeling had always been with a character like Charlie—who I always hoped, at least, was a strong, sympathetic character—that once he went, he went. You know, I don't want to do that thing to the audience of "I didn't really leave."Did you have a sense it was coming, that you would be written off?Yeah. I definitely did. If you head down that road of consistently being told that you're going to die, I just thought, well, what's going to be the payoff for the writers here? And I would speak with my castmates, and I would say, "You know I must be, I must be leaving." It makes sense in the writers' room to write Charlie dying, as opposed to the more boring, less dynamic way of saying he cheated death, or he worked out a way to do it, or he's not going to die for another couple of seasons.They brought back Ian Somerhalder and Maggie Grace for flashbacks. Would you come back if they were to write something in like that?I don't know. I mean I might if it was kind of an Obi-Wan thing. [Laughs.] That'd be kind of cool. Obi-Charlie.Yeah. I keep saying that to Damon. I mean we're both such huge Star Wars fans. You know, if I come back in a significant form as a kind of guide for someone, then that might be something that I would entertain.How did you feel about your lack of screen time this season, particularly in the first six episodes?I wanted to drive the story. I felt that I had done enough and contributed enough to be in that position, and if that wasn't the case then I was more than happy to go and leave more space for other people.How was it shooting the last two episodes?It was stressful, just because I was doing 20-hour days at two different locations—and then I'd come home, and I'd pack boxes for, like, two or three hours. So, I was tired and kind of running on vapors, but I think that really dictated what was going on with Charlie at that point. Our director, Jack Bender, shot a really cool sequence where the water comes through, and Jack said he wanted to shoot a little moment of Charlie realizing, "Oh, this is it. This is the moment. It's not going to happen in 10 minutes. It's not going to happen in an hour. It's going to happen now." In those moments, I tried to let it all get on top of me, you know? When I watched that, it was really interesting. I could see, in that moment, that kind of realization, that kind of heaviness, that, "Oh, this is actually happening right now."And you got to be a hero.Damon had said to me he doesn't want to undermine what's happening here with Charlie: What Charlie does gets them rescued, what Charlie does put into motion a series of events where helicopters come to the island and pick these guys up. He is involved in one of the more significant things that happen on the island, and I think that's what Charlie has always wanted to achieve. He's been in so much pain on the island and just in his life: an addict, a failed rock star, a weird relationship with his brother, his dad, and his mom. Things didn't really work out with Claire the way he wanted. His relationship with Locke, and all these kind of things. Charlie's just always wanted to have a purpose, and do something, you know? To have achieved that is an amazing thing—to have sacrificed himself for the rest of the people on the island—that's a great way to go out.How was your send-off behind the scenes? Was it hard saying goodbye to everyone?And on set?Jack Bender kind of made a speech on the last day about our time together, and Charlie being on the show, and Dom being on the show. Then I kind of took a moment to tell people how the individual moments where they had come over to me and said, "You know, I really enjoyed working with you," or "I had a great time getting to know you," or, you know, just passing on those feelings that had got me through the last month or so where I’d been tired and kind of emotional and sad about things. Those moments, those interactions had really got me through that. I spoke about that. I spoke about Jack and Stephen [Williams], and how sensitively they had directed the last couple of episodes, and how much fun I’d had on the island. You know, surfing and sitting in the sun, and bringing up different animals and just really enjoying the whole deal. You’ve got to try and be as philosophical as you can about it and the amount of positive things that came out of it were just so many, and there really weren’t that many negative things. So, I think I left with a smile on my face.Do you feel like you've made some friends for life on Lost?Obviously, there are some incredibly significant relationships that I've made on the show, some of which I don't really talk about a huge amount. But yeah, my relationship and my working relationship with Terry O'Quinn was something that I'd always kind of treasured. He's just a pro and a straight shooter and someone with whom I did some of my best work. Daniel and I hung out a lot this year, we were thrown together because of the characters, but also just in our weekend we would hang out quite a lot, and I really enjoyed that. My relationship with Jorge has always been fantastic. Josh and Harold, interestingly enough, have always been people I've hung out with. So, I'll be back in Hawaii for a whole bunch of different reasons, and I'm sure now it makes it kind of a lot more simple because I'm not there for work.Would you do TV again?I might. I mean—it's like playing for Manchester United and agreeing to play for West Ham. [Laughs.] To be perfectly honest, it's not the biggest thing that's turning me on right now. You know, I don't think, okay, what's happening in television? Now, that doesn't mean that I don't want to do television, it just means that to a certain extent that's what I have been doing, and now I want to go and dip my foot once again into the film industry. Or theater. That's kind of where I began. I mean, theater is really acting for the entire body in a sense. Television is face acting, and film is eye acting. You know, I've always felt like the camera just gets closer and closer. That's something that Ian McKellen always talked about with me. As you move into those mediums, theater, television, film, the camera just gets closer and closer, so you can kind of do less and less, which is totally true.I know you were talking about doing some behind-the-scenes things as well as some nature programming.If I had a choice as to my perfect career, I would make a couple of films a year and then concentrate on natural history. I want to be part of the generation that changed it. Generations to come will say, "Oh yeah, that generation that were around in the early 2000s, they really moved something. They really kept these animals or these environments alive." That's kind of a mission for me.Are you staying in New York now? Where will you be living?I'll be in New York making this film for the next, like, three and a half weeks. And then I'll go back to L.A. and keep a relatively low profile. I don't tend to go out that much.No lunch at the Ivy for you?No, it's not really my deal. [Laughs.] So, is there anything you wanted to say to the fans?It was really good to come back from work, a long day at work, and go on to your page and read that people were saying, "I hope that doesn't happen" or "It'd be a real shame if it happens," or x, y and zed about why they think it's a bad idea that I was leaving. The things that people that I didn't even know, across the world, said about the potential of me leaving gave me a lot of strength. I thought if that's the case, if so many people think that it's a bad thing, and I am leaving and there is nothing that I can really do about it, then I kind of owe it to myself and to them to try and make it at least as good as possible. Try and make it real, and authentic and heartfelt.Well, I would just like to say that I think that your work in the last two episodes is so phenomenal that I really hope you're going to get some awards recognition for that. I don't know how much attention you pay to that sort of thing, but...Yeah, that would be fun. As an actor, you kind of, you do just because it's your industry, and if you don't pay attention, then your agent and your manager will make sure that you do. It's interesting. Any award stuff involving members of the Lost cast, it ultimately seems to be anyway relatively doomed with this big ensemble cast. I experienced it with the whole Lord of the Rings group. There were some phenomenal performances by the cast of The Lord of the Rings, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, just to name a few, and none of them were really given recognition that singled them out.Lost rocks, and you rock. Thank you so much for talking to us about all of this, and I'm glad to see you're doing so well.Yeah, I feel good. I finished the show, and I cut off all my hair, and I came back to L.A. and hung out with my friends and went out and had a few drinks. I told them the story about setting my pet chameleon free in Hawaii, and I started really concentrating on this new movie, and I thought, in all those small ways this has been a way for me to try and say bye to the character that I really loved. Ultimately, I thought Charlie was really fun. He was a hugely sympathetic character. I had a really great time playing him.