Interview: Naveen Andrews
by Scott Juba
Published: May 3, 2005
It would be more than an understatement to say that the creators of “Lost” took a major risk by making one of the main characters of their show a former Iraqi Republican Guard member, especially considering the current political climate in the United States. Yet, with the humanity that Naveen Andrews brings to the role, the character of Sayid has become a fan favorite.
This week’s episode of “Lost” will divulge more information about Sayid’s tormented past. “Sayid is forced to make very powerful choices and decisions in this episode,” Andrews says. “They’re life changing choices for him.”
With the tight-lipped nature of “Lost’s” writers, Andrews is unsure of what direction Sayid will take in the future, but he has his own idea of what he’d like to do with the role. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the show’s completely unpredictable,” he says. “It’s constantly changing. But I sense something sort of spiritual about the character, that somehow there’s something in him that’s trying to atone for what he’s done in the past. Maybe something that goes in that direction in the future [would be good].”
Second only to Andrews’ love of acting is his love of music. He tells me that if he were stranded on a deserted island in real life and could only bring one material possession with him, it would be his guitar. “I’ve been playing the guitar since I was twelve,” he says. “If I had any other job apart from acting, that’s probably what I would have done.”
He adds, “I would have liked to have traded places with Jimmy Hendrix for a day just to have that kind of mind in terms of playing. There were things that Hendrix did that I think would be impossible for anybody else to get. They were things that will never happen again.”
Andrews shares his interest in music with many of his “Lost” co-stars. Andrews, Terry O’Quinn, Josh Holloway, Maggie Grace, and Jorge Garcia often perform together. “Terry is definitely a musician,” Andrews comments. “He’s one of the guitar players in the group. Jorge sings, and Maggie also has a very nice voice. Josh can also play a bit.”
Yet, as much satisfaction as Andrews draws from playing music, it is the praise he draws for his acting that is the most gratifying to him. “The highest compliment I’ve ever received is when people have come up to me and said, ‘I don’t watch TV, but I watch your show.’ That’s the best anyone could hope for.”
So, when did Andrews realize that he had achieved stardom in the United States? “[When I acted in the English Patient], it told me I could come to America and be who I am,” the British born Andrews says. As evident from the enormous fan following he’s drawing on “Lost”, it’s obvious that audiences love Naveen Andrews just the way he is.
Photo Copyright 2004 ABC, INC, REISIG & TAYLOR
Lost Official Site