'Lost' star Evangeline Lilly has found big screen fame with 'The Hobbit'
She also stars in the upcoming 'Ant-Man'
She plans to mostly leave acting behind and concentrate on writing
Evangeline Lilly is in three of the highest-profile movies of the last few years: the last two “Hobbit” movies (the final one out this week), and next year’s Marvel extravaganza “Ant-Man.”
Despite all this, Lilly’s heart is really in writing.
The actress, who first gained fame on the hit show “Lost,” recently spoke with CNN about “The Hobbit” and her current career and plans.
CNN: You’re now nearing the end of your journey on “The Hobbit”” with “The Battle of Five Armies.” What attracted you to the role of Tauriel?
Lilly: ‘The Hobbit’ was one of my favorite books as a kid. I was extremely honored to be representing Tolkien on the screen, and working with Peter Jackson. Working on that project is what inspired me to start writing [her children’s book] “The Squickerwonkers” and get it published. It really got me moving and inspired me to set off and do something with my writing.
CNN: Tauriel is an original character created for the movie. What was it like tackling that?
Lilly: Tauriel was half as daunting as a character from the book. [With] Tauriel, there was no preconceived idea of who she should be. There was a lot of freedom to really play with it, and be open to my own interpretation of her. The scariest part was accepting the role in the first place – I had to agree to play a character who would be very likely hated by most of the fans. Once I decided (that) I didn’t have to live up to anyone’s expectation of her, not knowing who she was.
CNN: Since she is not in the book, we don’t know what will become of her.
Lilly: We left her in a situation where she had betrayed her king, and we weren’t sure where her heart was at. We start to realize where her alliances are, and who she cares about. Is it the dwarf or Legolas?
And she does more ass-kicking, which she does best. But there’s a lot more emotional material for Tauriel in this film, which is good to see. We get to know her better.
CNN: What made you decide to make the leap to writing?
Lilly: When I finished shooting “The Hobbit,” I took two years off to be an author.
A lot of that time was spent trying to help publish a limited edition run of 1,000 books for San Diego Comic-Con.
Then Titan swept in and said they would publish in 2014.
When I started to work on “Ant-Man,” it was a return to being an actor for a little while. I was curious to see how it was – and if there was a part of me that missed it.
Ultimately, my reaction was, “God, I can’t wait to get back to full-time writing.” There’s nothing as pleasurable to me as writing. It was great affirmation that I was making the right choice and going in the right direction.
CNN: So you see yourself doing less and less acting?
Lilly: Acting has always been something that happened, but never something I dreamed about and pursued. I was fortunate to have such a wonderful job fall into my lap. If this wasn’t the right fit – an amazing job that most people would covet – I thought that writing would be that. I think I was right.
CNN: You just wrapped “Ant-Man.” What was that experience like?
Lilly: I’ve been astounded to discover how good to their teams and crew that Marvel are. They’re so collaborative, so smart with their stories. They have rich, dynamic characters which are so much fun to play. I expected I’d be a cog in the wheel of a big machine – I wasn’t sure I’d like this experience. But I’ve been so astounded at how pleasurable the whole experience has been.
CNN: Who is your character, Hope Van Dyne?
Lilly: She is the daughter of the founders of The Avengers, Ant-Man and the Wasp. She is a very talented, intelligent, capable woman and a force to be reckoned with.
This one is very much a heist film. It has all the fun, tension and drama of a good heist film. The heist is being masterminded by myself, my father and Scott Lang.