Matthew Fox is back in action.
The 56-year-old star is returning to the small screen for the first time since his fan-favorite TV series Lost ended in 2010 for Peacock's new limited series Last Light. His role as petro-chemist Andy Yeats, who is fighting to save the world from an apocalyptic oil crisis, comes seven years since his last acting gig in the 2015 film Bone Tomahawk.
So what brought Fox out of retirement?
"On a personal level, I wanted to executive produce for the first time in my career," he exclusively told E! News. "I had completed a bucket list of projects that I wanted to do in 2014 and I felt like I had accomplished what I set out to accomplish and was gonna focus my energies on other things. The notion that I'd never executive produced was still sort of there and this project was going to give me the opportunity to do that with my managerial partner Bill Choi, who's my manager, but also more importantly a very good friend. We wanted the opportunity to collaborate together and to work on more creative elements rather than sort of logistics."
Fox also connected to the project's plot, which follows Yeats trying to reconnect with his family across the globe as they attempt to survive the world crumbling around them.
"I was really drawn to this notion of this family—family is incredibly important to me, I think it's important to all of us," he shared. "It's such a common denominator to the human species. I feel like I was really drawn to that. I wanted this family to survive and to be reunited and to have grown from the experience, and yet we have this backdrop of a world in which it's clear that our reliance on fossil fuels has got to change."
Fox got to travel to Abu Dhabi to film scenes for Last Light in the middle of the desert. He called shooting on the sprawling sand dunes "mind-blowing" and "incredible."
"I was so excited for that portion of the shoot," he said. "I couldn't wait to see those landscapes and they did not disappoint."
However, the heat and sand storms proved to be tough conditions. "I would get back to the hotel and I just would immediately plop down," Fox admitted. "I was just so exhausted. And yes, lots and lots of sand to get out of all kinds of places in your body in the shower."
While Fox hopes fans "enjoy the ride" of Last Light, he also wants viewers to realize the thriller's important message.
"I hope that they walk away from it with the realization like, 'Wow, fossil fuels. This is how reliant we are on oil,'" he said. "We need to find a way—and very quickly, both for our ozone layer and climate change—we need to get off fossil fuels and onto new energies."
As for Fox's next move, he says he wants to keep working now that's he's officially out of retirement.
"I'm planning to continue," he shared. "It's been really wonderful. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed getting back in front of the camera and trying my best to bring somebody to life and make it nuanced and layered. It's always been a challenge to me but I enjoyed that challenge more than I think I ever have and I'm gonna be looking to do more of it for sure."
Hear more from Fox and co-star Joanne Froggatt in the exclusive interview above.
Last Light is streaming now on Peacock.
(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family)