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- Sam McPherson is responsible for this interview. Thanks to Mr. Leaf for helping to find the contact details.
Thomas Hannsz is an actor who has made an appearance on Lost as a background member of the others throughout the season three. He also was the painter of Jacob's painting and Black Rock Storm. The interview was conducted on June 30, 2008.
Lostpedia:Your painting (which was featured in "The Man Behind the Curtain") is of Jack Bender's dog, Lulu. How exactly did you come to paint her, and how did it become featured in Lost?
Wow, that is a long story... I will start somewhere in the middle. I was roommates with Jack Bender's daughter Sophie at the time when she rescued Lulu from the Hawaiian Humane Society. I also was roommates with Jack's Production Assistant, Mary Dang, (now my wife) and being that Lost shoots everyday all week long from sun up to sun down, I ended up spending allot of time with Lulu. She was always around. As for "The Man Behind the Curtain", the script called for a dated painting of an old dog, (a fortiori) I happened to be doing a lot of painting at the time, and Lulu was a natural. From possibility to actuality, me doing the Jacob's dog painting became a practicality, it just made sense, I had already started the painting, and they needed it for the story.
Lostpedia:Many have noticed that your painting of Lulu may be somewhat of a parody of the Mona Lisa. Was this what was intended while painting the dog?
Ah yes, the Mona Lisa pose. I noticed the similarities in Lulu's natural, rather demure sitting stature, with crossed paws, and head held high. I just had to paint her like that, on a regular basis she would lay in this pose on the beach for hours, the very proud dog that she is. Call it an artist's choice. Yes, it was definitely intended, these paintings don't paint themselves. I don't believe the script ever called for it, but you know as they say, "Everything happens for a reason."
Lostpedia:Besides the Black Rock Storm and the painting of Lulu, have you done any more artwork for Lost? Are you planning to?
I have a few paintings that have ended up in a few other background shots, they did not receive quite as much attention as the two that are featured as part of the story. I have done some other Lost artwork, mostly in my private collection. As for doing any more artwork for Lost in the future, I was never planning on doing any in the past until life called for it, I guess for now we will have to wait and see... When were those painted?
Hannsz as a background Other
Lostpedia:How did you come to be a background Other on Lost?
I was on "Other" by default. Most of the Others consisted of "Locals;" people who already lived in the Islands before the show ever started, appropriately enough. I met Josh Holloway in a bar during the first season's shooting, [when] the show had not even come out yet, [and] I had no idea who he was, just thought he was a nice guy. I was selling Grass Skirts Productions, bottled water during the first season, and made regular deliveries to the set on the North Shore. I lived near the Diamond Head stage, and by the middle of the second season, I was working and hanging out with many people who were involved with the show. They were all over the island, it was virtually unavoidable. One night I get a call from the casting director, and she wanted to know if I could make it to the set in the morning, [because] they had a last minute cancellation and needed a stand-in. From that day forward it was regular call backs, and long days on the set. So it was a little bit of fate, and a little bit of chance... that and my rugged good looks.
Lostpedia:Are there any interesting stories from your time working on set?
Many, many interesting stories... I could write a novel. Lost-the-flip-side, is the "true" story that you never see. There is a real island with well over 100 people and families involved with living and working on creating this imaginary magical place. All the characters you see have there own lives and stories of real life struggles of living and making this show. Many jokes have been made about the actual struggle if getting off the island. I for one never intended on becoming part of something that embraced my world. It has changed my life forever, and has become a part of who I am.
Lostpedia:Have you done any more acting or stunt roles since your time on Lost? Do you have any plans for future roles?
I haven't done any more acting or stunt roles sense last year. I was killed off in the finale of season 3, so unless they resurrect my character in the final season, it seems unlikely that I will be back on Lost. Also my wife recently had twins, which brought us to California to be closer to family, and they are taking up most of our time. I really enjoyed working on the show and with all the people involved. I would be more than happy to do future roles or stunts on other projects. (John Medlin, give me a call!) I don't have any plans for future roles but I would make myself available when the offer is extended. I love the creative energy involved in working as an artist, actor, or stunt performer. Doing back flips 16 feet through the air while explosions are going off can get your juices flowing, It makes you feel so alive... To work on future projects would be a pleasure and an honor.