Nestor Carbonell is back on the small screen thanks his role as Kai Lucero on Midnight, Texas, but some TV fans may still know him best for his contributions to Lost. He made his first appearance as the immortal Richard in Season 3, and fans watched him looking exactly the same in multiple timelines for the next three seasons. Carbonell has revealed his favorite memory from filming Lost, and it’s likely a favorite for many fans as well. Here’s what Carbonell had to say:
I think for me, probably, it was getting to shoot my backstory episode. Where I found out my origin story. Because it was like a contained episode and it felt like its own movie. I shot it with Tucker Gates, who I later went to shoot Bates Motel with–he was a producer and director on that. And we shot that it felt like usually most episodes on Lost, and typically on network TV are around 8 days. It ended up being a 13-day shoot. Because we had horseback riding stuff out of sequence, we had to come back and do [more]. All told it may have been longer than 13. So, it felt like a little film. Not knowing for 4 years who I was and then finally finding out was great.
As it turns out, Nestor Carbonell’s favorite part of Lost came toward the end of the series with the Richard-centric episode that finally delivered some answers about the mysterious man who never aged. The episode, called “Ab Aeterno” (which translates from Latin to “from eternity”), revealed that Richard was made immortal by Jacob in exchange for loyalty, and viewers saw that loyalty last for more than a century. It wasn’t until Jacob and the Man in Black died that Richard began to age again.
Nestor Carbonell shared his favorite Lost memory when CinemaBlend and other outlets visited the set of Midnight, Texas (and learned some tantalizing details about what to expect). It’s no wonder that the memory has lasted in the years since “Ab Aeterno” aired back in 2010, given that the regular shooting schedule for an episode of Lost was extended by five or so days!
Fans know well that Lost certainly didn’t feature horseback scenes in every single episode, and period set dressing for the 19th century is more complicated than period dressing for the 1970s, as was featured elsewhere in the series.
Lost fans everywhere had to be relieved that so much work went into producing the episode, as it was one of the most pivotal of the series. The sixth season was to be the last, and if Lost didn’t deliver some answers about Richard then, we might have had to wonder about him forever. Sure, the series finale ended with just about as many questions as answers, and the epilogue didn’t address a whole lot of those questions, but we got some Richard backstory!
The show kept a pretty tight lid on spoilers during production, so there was really only speculation about Richard for a long time. Even Nestor Carbonell wasn’t aware of what made his character the way he was on Lost! “Ab Aeterno” answered questions for him as well as everybody watching from home. He went on to comment on how much of his own speculation turned out to be accurate:
I was so wrong. I had guessed so wrong. But the fun thing about Lost, it was a great exercise in just trusting the moment, trusting the director of the week–who had been told more than you had as an actor—how to navigate it emotionally. We weren’t guided by facts. As actors, we’d have to write down our history and be like, ‘OK I say this because, alright I’m going to guess this.’ Because as long as we were able to ground it it didn’t really matter… we’ll worry about the real mythology later. It was a great exercise as an actor.
Directors who weren’t on the show on a weekly basis sometimes knew more about characters than even the actors did! Nestor Carbonell evidently was off-base with his guesses about Richard’s past, but he seems fine with his lack of information prior to the Richard-centric story. He knew enough to turn in a performance and learn about the complex mythology when the time was finally right.
Interestingly, Marvel has taken a similar tack in recent years by not filling its actors in on plot details. Given the spoiler-dropping habits of some members of the cast, that has to be a good idea! Lost kept its secrets well enough that there’s still room for interpretation about what everything actually meant. It’s good to know that Nestor Carbonell doesn’t harbor any bitterness about not knowing all the details about Richard.
Despite the many differences between the two shows, Nestor Carbonell found a similarity between Lost and Midnight, Texas, and it has everything to do with executive producers Nicole Snyder and Eric Charmelo:
This is a little like that, too, although Nicole and Eric have shared a lot with me in the beginning so It’s a little different. It’s still a big world and you have to ground it as much as you can.
The actor doesn’t have all the answers about Midnight, Texas just as he didn’t have all the answers about Lost. That said, the executive producers did give him some background when the show began, so he has some details informing his performance that he didn’t have to guess or speculate. Midnight, Texas presents different challenges for Carbonell than he faced and embraced on Lost, and it should be fun to see what he has for viewers in Season 2 of Midnight, Texas.
Midnight, Texas will premiere its second season on Friday, October 26 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC as one of the supernatural installments in the fall TV lineup. It’s only fitting that the show returns to the airwaves shortly before Halloween, although it won’t feature a certain nude scene that was pitched by a star to the creative team.
Given that the show’s future was uncertain for a long time, fans should be especially excited for the new episodes to hit the airwaves. There will be some changes, so be sure to tune in to see how the new season will unfold.