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- Sam McPherson is responsible for this interview.
Bobby Roth is a director who has worked on Lost on two occasions. Roth had been previously interviewed by Lostpedia regarding his work on "The Man Behind the Curtain." However, during season five, he directed the episode "Whatever Happened, Happened," which is the primary subject of this interview. Questions for the interview were submitted by users of the wiki and members of the forums. The interview was conducted on April 25, 2009, and was posted on May 14, 2009.
Lostpedia: What was it like returning to Lost after two years? How had the show changed since your last episode?
I was more relaxed returning. I knew the crew and most of the cast and was able to concentrate more on the story-telling. Also, this episode was more emotional and less “enormous” in scope. The show hadn’t changed so much, but I felt more comfortable being a part of it.
Lostpedia: How much information regarding the larger mythology of the series did the producers fill you in on when you directed both “The Man Behind the Curtain” and “Whatever Happened, Happened”? What are some questions from the episode that you want answered?
I didn’t find that the producers told me much. They were very specific about where they wanted their characters to be, which is why I love the show. It’s basically about human beings in extraordinary situations.
Lostpedia: The first episode you directed, “The Man Behind the Curtain,” introduced the character Horace Goodspeed (played by Doug Hutchison), along with the character Olivia, who was construed by fans to be Horace’s wife or significant other. However, in “Whatever Happened, Happened,” Horace is now involved with the character Amy instead. Can you tell us what the original relationship between Horace and Olivia was, and why Horace moved on to Amy?
It’s a fair question, but neither Amy nor Olivia appears in my second episode, and I can’t answer it. Personally, I did track the timeline and it was not inconsistent… perhaps it will be revealed later.
Lostpedia: The characters from the 1970’s DHARMA, who were introduced in “The Man Behind the Curtain,” have only recently been revisited by the show. What was it like working in the 1970’s setting? Do you prefer that setting over the more contemporary setting of the Kate flashbacks?
I have no settings, but I personally love that period. My last independent feature, Berkeley, was set in 1968-1970 and it starred my son, Nick, playing a character based on me at that time, so I’m very interested in the period.
Lostpedia: The dynamic between Miles and Hurley in “Whatever Happened, Happened,” has been hailed by fans as the funniest scene in season five. How scripted was the scene, and how did you work with the actors to pull it off?
Every line was scripted, and because both Jorge and Ken are so gifted, they figured it out right away, though we did it many times for camera angles and so they could try different intonations. As in all of the scenes, it first had to be “real.”
Lostpedia: Were there any scenes from the episode that ended up on the cutting room floor? If so, what were they?
Alas, what you see is what we shot. We were very efficient and threw nothing away.
Lostpedia: Will you return and direct an episode for the final season of the show?
One never is sure because they have to be asked, but I’m fairly certain I will do at least one episode in the final season. I’m hopeful I’ll do two episodes. I love the show and it’s my favorite of all that I do.
Lostpedia: Speaking of the final season, what mystery from the show do you want answered before the show’s end?
I’m curious to see if Ben is a bad guy or a good guy…
Lostpedia: Thank you so much for your time and answers, Mr. Roth.