Lost aired on ABC for six seasons with the final episode airing in 2010. Damon Lindelof was one of the men behind the popular drama, but he never thought the series would become the phenomenon that it did.
He is now behind The Leftovers on HBO, and he spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his work for their Hollywood Masters series recently. Lindelof shared some surprising details about his life and the time he spent working on Lost.
That time in his life was not an easy one. In fact, he revealed that he fell into a depression because of the extreme level of success Lost had during its run.
“[It was a] profound disconnect from the universe, total sort of exhaustion — like a desire to not do anything, loss of appetite, fantasies about — never suicidal — but fantasies about getting in car accidents that would prevent me from having to go into the work that day, because at the time that the ratings came in, we were writing episode seven, and I was like, ‘They’re going to make me do this 15 more times? And now, everybody’s watching!’”
Everyone was watching. Viewers wanted to know the story behind the plane crash and its survivors. The series had a number of twists and turns over the six seasons it was on the air. The depression did not life until Carlton Cuse joined him on the series as an executive producer. He spoke about the depth of his depression during that time.
“Suddenly [there was] this idea of feeling so exposed and a terror that the emperor had no clothes. All these things actually began to manifest themselves over time, which is: What if I fail? I’m going to fail and everyone’s going to see me fail… And I was like, ‘I don’t deserve this, I’m not entitled to it, I haven’t earned it. What am I supposed to do with this?’ And the fact that everybody was telling me that it should be great made me feel like there was something wrong with me. I’ve never struggled with depression; I don’t think anyone who knew me prior to this would basically say like, ‘Oh yeah, Damon’s a sad guy. This has been something he’s struggled with all through adolescence.’ I am a happy guy. And so when this happened, it was so aberrant, and it was incredibly lonely, and things didn’t really shift until Carlton [Cuse] came along [as executive producer].”
Lost fans still talk about the series to this day. It was a ratings hit for ABC. Were you a fan of Lost? Are you surprised by Lindelof’s revelations about that time in his life? Tell us what you think.