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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 15, 2006

'Lost' actor notes lack of screen time

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

"It's nice to be able to work," says Naveen Andrews.

It's the sort of humble statement successful actors use when the work is stable and plentiful. And with his high-profile role as Sayid on "Lost," and parts in two films currently in production, Andrews is at no loss for work.

But Andrews was making a specific reference to his recent work on an episode of "Lost" that centers on Sayid and the implication was anything but benign.

Caught at the Honolulu Marathon Expo last week, Andrews said he and other cast members have been dismayed at the sporadic work they've been given this season, a product of the show's fragmented storylines. Andrews' screen time in particular has been noticeably diminished in the six episodes broadcast so far.

"It certainly becomes a drain," Andrews said. "It has upset a lot of cast members. If this is the way it's going to be, I don't know if the viewers or us can sustain it.

"I honestly feel that if the audience isn't given more than extraneous clues, we're going to dip somehow," he said. "The first season was truly unusual, but now we're becoming just another show."

Part of the problem, Andrews said, is that ABC has had "more input" this season.

Rumors have been swirling since the off-season that Andrews would be written off the show this year. Asked if this season might really be his last, Andrews shrugged and said, "not as far as I know."

He described his upcoming episode as "unusual" and "really intense."

Andrews, who has used his summers to continue his film career, has two movies scheduled for release next year: "The Brave One," a revenge thriller starring Jodie Foster, and "Grindhouse," a B-movie homage combining two features one written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, and the other by Quentin Tarantino. Andrews will appear in the Rodriguez segment, called "Planet Terror."

PBS 'DISORIENTED'

Eric Byler's long-awaited TV pilot "My Life Disoriented" makes its national debut at 10 p.m. Dec. 26, on PBS Hawai'i, as part of PBS's "Independent Lens" series.

The show follows the travails of two teenage sisters who move to Bakersfield, Calif., with their family and find themselves part of a small minority of Asian American students at their new school.

The cast includes Karin Anna Cheung ("Better Luck Tomorrow," Tamlyn Tomita ("The Joy Luck Club"), Dennis Dun ("Big Trouble in Little China"), Autumn Reeser ("The O.C."), and co-creator (along with Byler and Claire Yorita Yee) Di Quon ("Maid in Manhattan").

Byler ("Charlotte Sometimes," "AMERICANese"), a Moanalua High School graduate, is one of a group of emerging Asian-American filmmakers working to dispel Asian-American stereotypes and provide greater depth of understanding about the Asian-American experience.

To see clips from the show, search for "My Life Disoriented" at youtube.com. Byler and his co-creators are asking viewers to contact their local PBS affiliate, request additional airings of the pilot and lobby for it as an ongoing series.

ACM WORKS WITH 'LOST'

The University of Hawai'i's Academy for Creative Media is just three years old, but it may have the coolest internship programs on campus. Two years ago, ACM students traveled to Australia to intern on the set of "Superman Returns," executive-produced by ACM founder Chris Lee. And next semester, several ACM students will earn credit for working on the set of ABC's "Lost." The internship agreement was arranged by ACM staff and "Lost" executive producer Jean Higgins.

HAIKU REDUX

Local director and ACM graduate Kevin Inouye is screening the sequel to his surprisingly successful student film "The Tale of Haiku Jones" at 8 p.m. Dec. 30 at the University of Hawai'i's Crawford Hall, room 115.

"Epic," a 50-minute short film, picks up two years after the hilarious events of "Haiku Jones." Shot in a similar low-tech, black-and-white fashion, "Epic" finds a conflicted "Epic Poem Eric" (the antagonist of the first film) in a blood feud with popular "Slam Poet Stevie."

The event also includes screenings of "The Tale of Haiku Jones" and another Inouye film, "Wake," which screened at the 2005 Hawaii International Film Festival and the 2006 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

"Haiku Jones" (think early Spike Lee meets early Kevin Smith in the UH English Department) won over audiences at the 2004 Hawaii International Film Festival, the 2005 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the 2005 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

Reach Michael Tsai at mtsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.