LOST and Found

elizabeth mitchell – photo: Melis dainon & alvin nguyen

LOST and Found

Hot off the finale of LOST, Texas native Elizabeth Mitchell returned to her Southern roots during filming of the short-lived Revolution. Featured in Faces of the South: The Trilogy Edition now on newsstands. Click here to order your copy of Faces today. 

It's no wonder that Elizabeth Mitchell feels right at home in Revolution's post-apocalyptic world: The ABC drama series is filmed in Texas, her native stomping ground. We sat down with the Emmy-nominated actress to chat about her string of strong female roles (the understated Dr. Juliet Burke from Lost, anyone?), her Lone Star State roots and her real life secret weapons-yoga and green juice.

South magazine: To get started, tell me a little bit about your character Rachel Matheson, a monther and scientist on Revolution. The show is set in a post-apocalyptic world. How do you identify with the character?
Elizabeth Mitchell: Rachel is a little difficult for me because she herself has such a hard time being the person she wants to be on an emotional level. That's very sad for her. It's not dissimilar to people who are highly intelligent but who act like 15- or 17-year-olds socially. I think her intellect is fun-it's fun to walk around with a brain like that. Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not a fan of the fact that she kills everyone.


SM: Rachel also saves people.
EM: I think her whole original goal was to save people. That was her identity and it was taken away, and if you're not the hero then you're the anti-hero. Everything she does fails. She lost her son. What she's gone through is almost unimaginable.


SM: Who do you enjoy watching work on set?
EM: Billy Burke (Miles Matheson) and David Lyons ("Bass" Monroe) are very good at stunts. Recently, they went an entire hour sword fighting without stunt doubles or anything. I was on the sidelines cheering, "That was great!" I felt like a soccer mom.


SM: Revolution is filmed in Austin. Do you feel like you've beome acquainted with the city while working here?
EM: My work schedule is very busy, but I try. I ride my bike places. I have one of those old-fashioned bikes with a basket in the front. I'm the resident dork. When Bill (Burke) sees it, he always goes, "Come on!" It's funny.


SM: Austin has a lot of hills, so that must be a good workout.
EM: I'm a big believer in working out. The harder a workout is, the more I feel like I chose the right thing to do. I think you have the body that you make. Sometimes it's fun to make it strong and sometimes it's fun to make it feminine by eating a lot of cupcakes. I'm in a strong phase right now; six months ago, I was in a cupcake phase.


SM: What else do you do to stay fit?
EM: I've been very into yoga lately. Black Swan Yoga (blackswanyoga.com) here in Austin is my absolute favorite place. It's donation only! I go every day and when I can't go, I do their routine at home.


SM: So a number of the characters you've played over the last several years-Dr. Juliet Burke on LostFBI agent Erica Evans on V and now Rachel Matheson on Revolution– are strong, smart women. When you address these roles, who do you draw inspiration from?
EM: I"m a huge lover of Emma Thompson. She's funny and kind and her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility (1995). I think it's one of the greatest things I've ever seen, in a lyrical, soft way. The women I find beautiful are invariably over 50. I don't know why. I think I'm drawn to their experience. About 20 years ago, Jessica Lange said, "Just when you figure out what you're doing, they don't want to hire you anymore." That's no longer the case for women today, and I think that's very exciting.


SM: Do you think Southern roots give you a competitive edge in Hollywood?
EM: One producer calls me the  velvet hammer. I'm a big fan of politeness, but I also think as women we have to be very careful to set our boundaries. I think you can do that in a good way. People treat you the way you set yourself up to be treated. A sense of manners goes a long way. That was drilled into me as a kid.


SM: What advice do you have for women who are pursuing acting today?
EM: No matter the field, I would say support other women. The women you support in your youth are going to be the ones who will be directing you or producing your work in the future. So be kind, always-and be kind to yourself.


To get a copy of this South magazine back issue and read the rest of our interview with Elizabeth Mitchell, click here.