It's been nearly a decade since "Lost" broadcast its pilot episode. In honor of this momentous occasion, the PaleyFest in Los Angeles welcomed a huge swathe of the former cast, as well as show creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for a night of fond reminiscing at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Oh, and true to form they gave up many secrets on the making of the show — but not all of them:
Walt Got Big
There's a scene in one of the last seasons where former child actor Malcolm David Kelley shows up, after his real-life growth spurt. Locke (Terry O'Quinn) says that Walt has gotten bigger, to which Sawyer (Josh Holloway) says, "Big? Like a giant?" Which is a perfect encapsulation of the world of "Lost," where questions like that aren't totally beyond the realm of possibility.
That said, Kelley showed up onstage and he was huge.
A Chicken Dinner Is Not What You Think
Holloway told a hilarious story about an overzealous fan who, after showing up on set multiple times, invited him back to her place for a "chicken dinner." "That means sex," quipped moderator Paul Scheer.
The Outrigger Has An Explanation
"Lost" left plenty of dangling threads, but one they won't resolve any time soon is who was shooting at Sawyer on the outrigger during a brief flash-forward in time in the fifth season. Lindelof said that not only is there an explanation, but they wrote a scene explaining what was going on — and decided it was better to cut the explanation out of the finale.
In fact, before cutting the scene, the writers discussed that years from that point, someone on a panel would ask about the scene, and offer Lindelof sex to find out what happened. If you guessed that the questioner had offered to cook a chicken dinner for Lindelof in exchange for the answer, you'd be right on the money.
Still, Lindelof did say that in the future they'd probably offer the scripted scene up for charity, but not yet.
No, They Weren't Dead The Whole Time
Getting this out of the way up front, Cuse explained that, "No, they weren't dead the whole time." He then thought for a moment, and said, "But..." Proving that on "Lost" there's no such thing as a simple answer.
The actual explanation: The writers saw a possibility of making people think Juliet's bomb from the end of season five shunted our characters into a parallel world, but actually, they were in purgatory during those scenes only — not on the island.
The confusion came, according to Cuse, when they broadcast scenes of the plane wreckage from the first episode with no people around right after the last scene of the show. The idea of broadcasting the footage was to give a breather, rather than smashing to commercial; but instead, the empty fuselage made watchers believe they were finally seeing what really happened.
The Most J.J. Abrams Story Ever
Not only did they have no script during the casting process, but things were far from set while filming the first episode. For example, seeing O'Quinn sitting alone on the beach listening to his iPod, producer J.J. Abrams told Lindelof, "See that guy? He has a secret." "What is it?" Lindelof asked. "I don't know, you figure it out," Abrams said, and ran off.
...And that's how Locke ended up revealing he was confined to a wheelchair, until he got to the island and could walk again. Related: J.J. Abrams is currently in production on "Star Wars: Episode VII." Think about that for a moment.
You Didn't Kill Nikki And Paolo
Fan least favorites Nikki and Paolo weren't killed because of backlash. In fact, Lindelof and Cuse introduced the characters due to fans wondering who was wandering the background while the main cast were off having adventures — and almost immediately saw the gambit didn't work. They were already filming the episode where Nikki and Paolo died by the time N&P's first episode broadcast.
Maggie Grace Is Gross
After a full day of filming the emotional and uncomfortable scene where Boone (Ian Somerhalder) kisses his sister Shannon (Maggie Grace), Somerhalder was called back to set to film one more more take — only to find that Grace had stuffed her mouth full of garlic, quickly smoked a stinky cigar, and put a hard cup in her pants, grabbing Somerhalder and shoving him onto her "manhood."
Then in a later season during a love scene with Sayid (Naveen Andrews), she secretly hid a kielbasa in her her pants — but don't worry, the guys got her back. In the scene where the boys take a raft out to sea, and Grace is left onshore, they all mooned the actress. Nailed it!