The Hot Seat: Jorge Garcia
He's almost as much of a Lost geek as you are.
Mon Jan 12 2009
Illustration: Rob Kelly
Not much, predictably, has been revealed about the fifth (and penultimate) season of the cult ABC drama Lost, but one thing is certain: Jorge Garcia will still be amusing audiences as the laid-back Hugo "Hurley" Reyes. The 35-year-old actor, whose demeanor matches his character's, has provided much of the notoriously convoluted series's humor as a man who has been plagued by bad luck ever since winning $114 million in the lottery. We recently spoke to Garcia as he shopped for bread and eggs in Hawaii, where the show is filmed.
RECOMMENDED: Full list of Hot Seat interviews
Time Out New York: Dude.
Jorge Garcia: [Laughs] Yeah.
TONY: Is Hurley required to say that at least ten times per episode?
Jorge Garcia: Oh yeah. Anytime I have a line, they need to put dude somewhere.
TONY: Did you use that word a lot before you took the role?
Jorge Garcia: I did say "dude" before but not as much as Hurley does. At first I was trying to say "dude" less than I normally do, just to keep some separation. But I really don't care anymore. Now if it's an appropriate moment, you know, I'll just let the dude fly.
TONY: So, how does the series end?
Jorge Garcia: Good question. I don't know. But I think at some point there's gonna be a big, giant fight for the island. Probably gonna be pretty awesome.
TONY: Sounds like you're genuinely into the show. Are you as big of a Lost nerd as all the other Lost nerds?
Jorge Garcia: I'm pretty close. I mean, I don't spend too much time on the Internet trying to figure things out anymore. I let them write the show and whatever gets revealed, I enjoy it. But I do download podcasts about the show, because they tell me what the fans are talking about in a nutshell.
TONY: What's your weirdest fan experience so far?
Jorge Garcia: I came to L.A. a few years ago, and I went to this late-night taco stand called Benito's, like, around midnight. And there was a guy there. Later, as I'm picking up my food—'cause you had to wait around and stuff—that same guy showed up. After he'd already left. He had run home and printed a picture of me from the computer. And then he asked me to sign it. To actually go through all that effort!
TONY: It must never cease to surprise you how incredibly rabid some fans are.
Jorge Garcia: Yeah, it never does. A lot of times when I'm shooting the show, I have them in the back of my mind. Sometimes I go, "Wait a minute. We gotta fix this continuity-wise, or else they're going to be posting on the Internet about this, I know it." But every now and then there's some things you've just got to be like, "Well, it's a TV show."
TONY: Like when?
Jorge Garcia: Like when we were building our campsites. There were a lot of tarps. And so, yeah, there's apparently a shipment of tarps on the plane. There are boxes of them that we now have access to. [Laughs]
TONY: I wish it had been a shipment of doubloons, because doubloons is one of my favorite words.
Jorge Garcia: You a big fan of the pirate movies?
TONY: Well, only if they employ the word doubloons.
Jorge Garcia: I hear you.
TONY: Or pantaloons.
Jorge Garcia: That's harder to work in, I think. Because (a) you never seem to be wearing pantaloons, and (b) that'd be something you'd only bring up if you're making fun of someone's short pants, like, "Those are borderline pantaloons, I believe."
Absolutely. Bigger show shot in Hawaii: Lost or Magnum, P.I.?
Jorge Garcia: It depends on how you measure it, I'm going to say.
TONY: In the geek factor, obviously, Lost wins. But not so in the mustache factor.
Jorge Garcia: Yeah, I bet. I actually have a Magnum, P.I. T-shirt that I like to wear around the pool. There's no picture of him on it, though. It's just, like, the car.
TONY: Cheech Marin plays Hurley's dad on the show, which can only mean that Tommy Chong is going to have a meaty role this season, right?
Jorge Garcia: I don't know. [Laughs]
TONY: Can we please start that rumor?
Jorge Garcia: Sure. Chong is in negotiations.
The new season of Lost premieres Wed 21 on ABC.