Actress Evangeline Lilly is back in the spotlight with the latest installment of The Hobbitseries, but this time around, she’s controlling the wattage.
“There’s a level of honesty to Evangeline Lilly, star of the current film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, that would induce an eye roll from the public if it came from some other actors. She thinks the paparazzi are “a plague,” Los Angeles has “an emptiness” to it, and she “did not enjoy [her] job” when she was starring as Kate Austen on Lost, the hit show that made her famous.
But Lilly pads every bold statement with a remarkable amount of charm and punctuates her words with such an intoxicating laugh that it becomes impossible to hear her opinions and not take her side on nearly every issue. She can describe how she chooses her roles—wanting to contribute to the creation of her characters in order to feel as though she is doing more than just acting—and you understand that she’s not trying to be controlling; she just wants to have a little fun at work. “My forte in life is overcomplicating things and overthinking things and being much too deliberate and serious about everything while laughing my way through it all,” she says. She’s a bit of a Hollywood rebel, to say the least, choosing Hawaii as her home base, although she’s a self-described “nomad” who hasn’t lived in one place for more than six months in a very long time. “I’m kind of all over the place. [But] I don’t live in LA, and I never will.”
Her life is filled with paradoxes that, just by being matter-of-fact about them, she persuades you to accept. It’s why she can say things like “I’m a bit of a loner, always have been,” and before you can ask how such a thing is possible for a successful actress in a schmoozy industry like entertainment, she continues, “Oh my God, I just took a big bite of peanut butter, and now my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I’m having peanut butter and red wine right now. How bizarre is that combination? So, yeah, I don’t know why I’m a loner.”
It’s the charm of the gregarious introvert—a common Hollywood oxymoron—that allows Lilly to be a successful loner, with complete control of her career and the ability to make bold statements both on-and off-screen.”