I met Josh Holloway.
Last night, Brianna and I attended an event organized by The Ardavany Approach, which is an acting method taught by a man named Tom Ardavany, who Bri nicknamed the Acting Jesus because of his straggly beard and all knowing demeanor. Josh used to take classes from Acting Jesus, so he was there to discuss how he uses the techniques while starring as James Sawyer LaFleur Ford on Lost.
Before Josh came into the room, they showed the final scene of last season, when Juliette gets ripped away from Sawyer down the magnetic hole. This scene made me ball in front of my friends during our Lost season finale party, and watching it in this dark mysterious room made me want to cry again. I was trying to hold it in but I definitely wiped away tears. Then the screen went up and a door opened and there HE was.
At first I could barely look at him. It was like looking straight into the sun. He was so tall and tan and shiny and dazzling that I couldn’t focus. The room was tiny and there was no stage, just a small elevated platform with Josh in a chair next to the Acting Jesus, and the rest of us in folding chairs before him ready to hear the world of Holloway, as if we were his congregation. We were in the second row in the center, literally six feet away from him.
He talked for two hours about acting on Lost. He explained that they usually only have the script for about one day before they start filming, and sometimes they are getting pages handed to them as they are shooting, because of the secrecy of the show. He talked about that final scene and said in order to get the emotion he needed, he had to imagine as if his real life pregnant wife was the one being ripped away from him. As he talked about it, you could see how hard it was for him to even imagine something so awful.
He also said that the network keeps asking him for more wisecracks, nicknames, and shirtless scenes. Acting Jesus joked and said “Oh, can you take off your shirt now?” Everyone laughed including Josh, and he said “No, but I’ll take off my pants!” This was one of the many times I almost passed out. He is hilarious without even trying. Brianna even asked him a question during the Q & A part. She has balls of STEEL and asked how he becomes believeably intimate in a love scene without crossing a line. He said that he just talks to the actress beforehand and asks her how far things can go. He then said that every actress has always told him to “do whatever you want to me”. He said this in a matter of fact way, like it had never occurred to him that the actress might actually enjoy being devoured by him. The room erupted in laughter and I’m sure everyone was thinking UM YEAH of course they say that because you are YOU. But he really seems like he doesn’t understand his own charm, which of course makes him all that much more charming.
At the end, they replayed the final scene of last season as he stood there and paused certain parts so he could explain how the scene was filmed. He talked about the line where he says “This doesn’t look like LAX”, and how the writers wanted them to say it like it was a joke. He said that he couldn’t say it like a joke, because the scene was too intense, and when you watch the scene, he doesn’t say it in a joking manner. He explained that he really had to duck from flying metal, which was soaring through the air on a cord powered by ‘some huge Samoan dude’. He talked about how he actually had to dive onto hard metal and he bruised his ribs and arms, and how Elizabeth Mitchell really was torn away from him and dropped 40 feet on a cable. And then he was silent as he watched himself trying to hold onto Juliette, and he stays silent watching the subsequent breakdown once she slips away. This is one of the most powerful scenes in Lost history, and we watched it with live commentary from the star, my obsession, Josh Holloway.
After the event, Brianna and I stayed around for our chance to talk to him one on one, and to ask for a picture with him. I walked up to him and said “Hi, my name is Julia.” He said with a deep Southern swagger, “Well, hello there Julia.”, and shook my hand while looking straight into my eyes. I’m pretty sure his eyeballs are made of glitter and I almost fell over right then. I said “Can I ask you a Lost question?” and he said “Of course!”. I asked “Who would you rather see Sawyer end up with? Kate, Juliette,…or Hurley?” He busted up laughing and his eyes got really wide and he shouted “Hurley! Hurley!” We laughed and I continued dying inside. He laughed at my joke! Then he said, “Honestly, I would like to see him end up alone.” We locked eyes at this point and I felt the depth of that statement swell up inside me. In that second I got a sense of how much the Sawyer character means to him, and that small sad statement touches a nerve in me that makes me want to cry even now.
Then it was time for the picture. He put his arm around me and I put my arm around him and we posed. My right knee was shaking uncontrollably but luckily I was wearing a dress that just covered my knees so no one could see. Brianna snapped the picture. Photographic evidence that this wasn’t some otherworldly crossover parallel universe phenomenon. I then took a picture of Brianna with him. She told him that we have Lost parties and that we have Lost dolls. I told him that I have his Lost doll. Brianna said that she wants a Sayid doll, but that they didn’t make one. He then said “Really, they didn’t make one?”, and looked to Brianna and to me. I was like “Nope, he doesn’t have one.” Brianna said, “He deserves one because not many people can kill a person with a dishwasher the way that Sayid did!” He laughed and agreed and said “Yeah, he needs a doll!”
So basically he loved us. There were people he knew from his old acting class swarming around him, so we thanked him and left the most magical room in the history of my life.
Now whenever something bad happens or I’m feeling blue, I can say to myself, “Self, cheer up. At least you met Sawyer.”
[Originally posted on Facebook July 30, 2009]
Josh Holloway and Brianna
Josh Holloway and Tom Adavany aka Acting Jesus
Brianna and I in the second row behind the Russian prostitutes.