What About Ji Yeon?! Daniel Dae Kim Spills Secrets to Last Night's Unforgettable Lost

Scripted and unscripted changes were made with the couple's daughter in mind

By Kristin Dos Santos May 05, 2010 6:43 PMTags
Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin KimABC/MARIO PEREZ

Warning: If you read this article without having seen last night's Lost, you're an idiot.

Almost as much of an idiot as Sawyer, but we'll get to that.

I just got off the phone with the man who left so many of us sobbing and theorizing last night, Daniel Dae Kim, and he gave me scoop on some interesting changes--one scripted, one not--to last night's episode, and why he's calling Josh Holloway "Sherlock"...

Ron Wolfson/WireImage.com

Thank you. And damn you. That was the most heartbreaking death scene we've ever had on Lost.
[Laughs.] I'll take that as a huge compliment. I thought it was done in a way that was really poetic. The thing I loved most about it for Jin is that he actually chose to die, for the love of his life, and that to me shows how far he's come as a character from the pilot.

And yet I have to ask about Jin's motivations. Obviously he really loved Sun, but how do you justify in your own mind that Jin would stay with Sun, knowing that he was orphaning his daughter Ji Yeon?
That's an excellent point. I can tell you that we received [new script] pages as we were shooting the episode that added a scene in the bear cages where Jin asks what happened to Ji Yeon. And you hear Jin asking Sun who's taking care of the girl. And so that was deliberately put in there so that he would know that she wasn't completely an orphan. Also, in the sub, there's a moment that's not scripted where I looked away from Sun toward the door and I wondered, "Should I go?" That was my moment for Ji Yeon. I thought to myself, "Can I do this?" But the decision I made at that point was that even if I tried to leave I wouldn't have made it, because I had no oxygen and the submarine was so far under water. All I can say is that I'm sure Damon and Carlton took the concern of Ji Yeon to heart when they wrote the episode.

Can you confirm that that was you (Jin) walking behind Jack and Locke in the hospital? And that we'll see Jin and Sun again on the show somehow?
Yes and yes.

How did you feel when you found out Jin would die? Obviously given that Sun and Jin just reunited, this really put the fans through the wringer.
It was a two-step process for us. I was told that my character was dying a week before the script came out. So I didn't know any of the details of how he was going to die. When I read the script, I was relieved that it was given its proper weight, and I really appreciated that other characters took the time to mourn their deaths. That to me was very important. I didn't want their deaths to exist in a vacuum. And to show Kate, Hurley and Jack breaking down, that was a big factor in making sure our deaths meant something. And for people who were unsatisfied with how Jin and Sun were reunited, they now know why it wasn't as momentous as they'd hoped, because the writers wanted to give more weight to this scene.

Are you still pruney? Was it grueling shooting in the sub?
Anytime you shoot in water, it's difficult. But I was really happy with production because the water temperature was quite warm. And it was actually made warmer by some of the crewmembers, if you know what I mean. [Laughs.] I leave it at that.

I know you and Josh Holloway are good friends in real life. How do you feel that he was the one who pulled the wire that killed you off?
It was interesting playing that scene and wondering who's side Jin was on, as that debate was going down. Because even on the show Sawyer and Jin are closer than Jack and Jin. I think he was torn between his better instinct and loyalty to his friend at that moment. And in real life, Josh got his fair share of ribbing from all of us as we were shooting the scene. Off camera we were like, "Oh, real smart, Sherlock. Way to go."

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What's up with next week's crazy Lost episode? And how many candidates remain? Find out here.