Ant-Man and The Wasp star Evangeline Lilly reveals tshe would've quit acting if she hadn't been cast in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movies.
Now headline the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Lilly has come along way since playing Kate Austen on ABC's Lost. Lilly became one of the biggest names in the ensemble cast during the drama's six seasons, but she now admits the fame nearly forced her into retirement.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Lilly confessed she was ready to give up her acting career before she was cast as Tauriel in 2013's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
"I had a wonderful time making that movie: One of the highlights in my life was living in New Zealand for that year and being a part of that family," she said. "That helped opened my eyes to the fact that, OK, this job can be a joy, it's just a matter of how you approach it, and what you do with it, how much I put myself out there, and to a certain degree, how much I work."
Lost ended in 2010, and after 2011's Real Steel, Lilly cut all contact with Hollywood to focus on writing and her newborn baby. Whatever Jackson offered, it was enough to lure Lilly back into the limelight. Importantly, Lilly's role as elf Tauriel also put her on the path to playing Wasp. She recalled, "As I was finishing press for The Hobbit, that's when I got the call from Marvel, and I thought, 'I just need to either draw a very firm line in the sand and say I'm done, or I need to just make my peace with the thing, find a way to be happy and do it in a way that makes me feel comfortable and satisfied.' So that's what I ended up deciding."
Jumping from Middle-earth to the MCU is quite a leap, and it's uncertain what her future is in after the events of Ant-Man and The Wasp and next year's Avengers 4.
Although fans are looking ahead to the likes of Captain Marvel and promises by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige of a more female-first Phase Four, it's important to note Lilly's Wasp is the first female character to headline an MCU film.
Director Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and The Wasp stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park and Walton Goggins.