The Best Roles The Cast Of Lost Has Landed Since The Show Ended

When "Lost" first aired in 2004, it quickly became the TV topic of choice at the watercooler for the next several years. We were invested in the lives of these crash survivors, and eager to understand the mysteries of the island they'd landed on. Jack, Kate, Hurley, and dozens more became our friends; we mourned their losses and feared for their lives during their clashes with Ben Linus and his Others.

Years later, debates about the quality of the final episodes of "Lost" can still get heated. But rather than focus on whether or not the show stuck the landing (it didn't, but what a great ride), let's enjoy seeing where our old buddies have turned up since. While no actor should be defined by a single character, it's often interesting to compare their roles to see how the actor's approach has changed. Have they gotten away from their big, signature role? Have they embraced it? Let's take a look at the "Lost" cast and talk about the best things they've done since leaving that weird island.

Naveen Andrews — Sense8's Jonas Maliki

Still riding critical acclaim from his role in "The English Patient," Naveen Andrews ended up being our navigator through some touchy post-crash topics. Sayid Jarrah was a member of the Iraqi guard, pulled into post-9-11 and Saddam-era turmoil. He's both empathetically, painfully human, and also forced to be the island's strongman and interrogator. Sayid takes a number of tragic turns throughout "Lost," losing himself to the Man in Black and taking a long road towards peace in the afterlife. It's tough stuff, but Andrews skillfully avoids some ugly Islamic tropes.

In 2015, Andrews joined the cast of "Sense8" as Jonas Maliki. Jonas first introduced himself as a mentor to the fledgling sensates, helping us understand what they are. But the series also gave Andrews another showcase with an artfully complicated role. Jonas' personal goals are less clear than Sayid's, but a similar empathy rings through his connections to his lost sensate cluster, particularly his former lover, Angelica. Like Sayid, Jonas becomes the antagonist's catspaw, but here he retains his agency. Jonas' fate is just as bittersweet as Sayid's, and Andrews makes Jonas' mistakes matter. He's a standout in this gem of a series.

Nestor Carbonell — Bates Motel's Sheriff Romero

Richard Alpert was a man of many secrets, and it wasn't until late into "Lost" that we found out who this ageless figure really was. Made quasi-immortal by Jacob, Richard, formerly a Spanish slave from the Black Rock, became the loyal spiritual leader of the Others.

Nestor Carbonell imbued Alpert with a stoic moral center that gradually crumbled when conflict arrived. It's similar to what Carbonell brought to "Bates Motel" as the equally moralistic and shattered Sheriff Alex Romero. In this loose adaptation of "Psycho," Romero replaces the film's original abusive stepfather and plays hero for most of the series. But Romero can't hold it together when Norman tries to take responsibility for his crimes. Carbonell isn't much like Alpert by the end, but the role is a good, meaty one that highlights his gifts. For Carbonell, it's been a long road since Batmanuel, but a great one.

Jorge Garcia — Hawaii 5-0's Jerry Ortega

Hugo Reyes, better known as Hurley, was the goofy, cuddly, and sometimes broken heart of "Lost." A twist of destiny eventually made the former fast-food employee into the island's new protector. It's not anything that this humble guy would have wished for himself, and that's exactly what made him the right person to replace the too-confident and sometimes cruel Jacob. Jorge Garcia made sure Hurley was never just a joke to the audience, and by the end of the series he was a fan-favorite.

When "Hawaii 5-0" was rebooted in 2010, it became a hangout for several "Lost" alumni. Jorge Garcia arrived as a recurring character in its 4th season. As Jerry Ortega, a conspiracy theorist with a gift for finding the right hunch, it felt like bringing Hurley home. Towards the end of the series, the still-beloved Garcia became a series regular, bringing his brand of cheer into living rooms on a weekly basis. Though Garcia ended up leaving "Hawaii 5-0" before its final season, Jerry Ortega later appeared on another reboot of a classic, "MacGuyver." Overall, the role wasn't a stretch for Jorge Garcia, but it was just plain nice to have him back.

Maggie Grace — Fear the Walking Dead's Althea

With a cast of dozens, a few characters inevitably get the short shrift. Though actor Maggie Grace did solid work, her character, Shannon Rutherford, was stuck in a rut for the bulk of her time on "Lost." Emotionally tangled with her emo stepbrother, Boone, she spent her first couple of seasons sidelined as a beach babe. Shannon does gradually build a relationship with Sayid Jarrah, but she's unfortunately fridged just as she's becoming a full and interesting character.

It's a brilliant contrast to see Grace take on a confident role in "Fear the Walking Dead." As the journalist Althea, Grace isn't stuck as someone pretty to look at. She's an active participant and smart observer, one who quickly began collecting survivor stories as the zombie outbreak occurred. She's also a survivor in her own right, and a testament to Grace's abilities, which she wasn't given the opportunity to showcase on her earlier show.

Jeremy Davies — American Gods' Jesus Christ

Jeremy Davies joined "Lost" in its 4th season as Daniel Faraday. Secretly the son of Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore, this eccentric scientist not only had a heartbreaking arc of his own, but also set the tone for "The Constant," the series' best episode. As Faraday, Davies was heartbreakingly genuine, never confident in who he was, and it's poignant that he too ended up needing a constant of his own to survive his jumps through time.

Davies was already an acclaimed actor before this series, with roles in "Solaris" and Werner Herzog's acclaimed war drama "Rescue Dawn." He brings an erratic imbalance to his characters, and is by turns terrifying and heartwarming. Somehow, he embodied both of these in a small but perfect turn as Jesus in "American Gods." There are a lot of Jesuses in that Easter-themed episode, but Faraday's is implied to be the "Prime," or truest incarnation of the Holy Son. He's a calm but deeply strange presence, a Jesus that you both believe in and fear. It's the sort of small but remarkable appearance that uplifts an entire show — and it's that same strange, deep terror that Davies also granted to Baldur, the antagonist of 2018's hit video game, "God of War."

Terry O'Quinn — Resident Alien's Peter Bach

It's impossible to take "Lost" as anything but a crowning moment for veteran actor Terry O'Quinn. After playing everyone from fathers to FBI agents with the same smiling gusto, Terry made John Locke a magnet. Locke wasn't always patient, but he was always passionate, and, in the show's last seasons, he's terrifyingly unhinged as a vessel for the island's shadowy antagonist, the Man in Black. It's a slowly realized tragedy, and some of the finest work of O'Quinn's career.

Finding something as unique in the post-"Lost" era for O'Quinn is difficult, but like Davies, he has a show-stealing appearance in a single episode of a longer show. As Peter Bach in Syfy's "Resident Alien," O'Quinn doesn't only get to pay homage to John Locke's manic passion, but also riffs on his previous appearance on cult sci-fi series "Millennium." Peter Bach is a podcaster obsessed with extraterrestrial experiences, and as Alan Tudyk's undercover alien, Harry, finds out, he has good reason to be. The Greys (not to be confused with Harry's people) stole Peter's child and left him with implants. This terrific episode pits Tudyk against O'Quinn, giving both a chance to show off who their characters are under duress.

Henry Ian Cusick — MacGyver's Russ Taylor

Desmond Hume is the human key to some of the biggest secrets in "Lost." He's the man in the hatch, the person accidentally responsible for downing Oceanic 815, and a living constant. In life, his love guides him through time. In death, his kindness helps many former islanders let go and move on. Henry Ian Cusick garnered the fandom's adoration for his character's emotional connection to Penny Widmore, and earned not a little critical acclaim as well.

In 2020, Henry Ian Cusick joined the main cast for the last two seasons of the "MacGuyver" revival. As Russ Taylor, Cusick gets to put a twist on his sometimes haunted former role. Taylor is a former intelligence agent, and he starts his own private military company with hopes of actually doing the right thing and avoiding institutional corruption. It's iffy stuff, but Cusick sells it well. And after years of living in a hole and a small private boat, it's good to see him getting to enjoy the finer things in life.

Emilie de Ravin — Once Upon a Time's Belle

Claire Littleton managed to avoid some of the ugliest tropes that often surround a mother in danger, even earning a chance at a happy ending. But the road she took to get there was a hard one. Emilie de Ravin gave Claire a necessary, stable humanity, even as the show made her a storybook princess for Charlie to pout over. Like Sayid, Claire is drawn into the Man in Black's darker machinations, but she overcomes his influence and eventually goes home.

Emilie de Ravin has a gift for playing waifish, but not weak, characters. Originally only meant to make a few brief appearances in the 1st season ABC's "Once Upon a Time," de Ravin quickly gave the bookworm princess of "Beauty and the Beast" a life of her own. Belle soon became a popular series regular, but the intricate fairy tale nightmares of Storybrooke gave the former island princess new complications to unravel. Claire never got a chance to embrace her inner evil, but Belle's impulsive other side, Lacey, is a great showcase for de Ravin's other talents.

Josh Holloway — Yellowstone's Roarke

"Lost" thrived on the variety of its characters, but it was still a surprise when good ol' boy James "Sawyer" Ford began to pull focus from Matthew Fox's Jack Shephard. Sawyer is pitted against the island's ad hoc leader early on, locked in a love triangle we either tolerated or hated. But Sawyer earns a truckload of depth over the course of the series, and by the end he's far less of a knock-off Wolverine to Jack's Cyclops than when he started.

Josh Holloway exudes a cowboy sensibility, which made him the perfect fella for a turn on Kevin Costner's western-styled drama "Yellowstone." But Holloway isn't a charming con man with an "aw shucks" attitude here. Roarke is an evolved con man, a high-stakes sleaze machine with an eye on buying out the Dutton family ranch, all to create some sort of all-American Dubai of his own. 

Roarke's deft moves let Holloway keep his charisma at the forefront, weaponizing it so that we can't wait to see more of what he does and what will happen to him next. Unfortunately, the premiere of "Yellowstone" season 4 answered that conclusively, and now we'll have to look elsewhere for the next dose of Holloway's snakebite charm.

Daniel Dae Kim — Raya and the Last Dragon's Benja

Nothing's perfect, and "Lost" had loads of flaws by the time everyone showed up for a bizarre church finale. Daniel Dae Kim, as the reformed Korean gangster Jin-Soo Kwon, received a storyline that started off too narrow and too heavy-handed, with a lot of troubling stereotypes. Jin gets more depth as the series continues, transforming from a potential antagonist into a guy who just wants to be a good dad. Unfortunately, the flaw I'm talking about isn't the depiction of Jin. It's that both he and Sun get unceremoniously killed off on the cusp of their happiness.

Daniel Dae Kim has a strong post-"Lost" career, from headlining "Hawaii 5-0" to playing Johnny Gat in "Saints Row," the gleefully anarchic gang-to-galactic-heroes video game series. But most poignantly, Daniel Dae Kim finally got his chance to be a great dad in "Raya and the Last Dragon." Benja is the chief of the Heart tribe, and Raya's father. He's doing his best to bring his people together through love, and he succeeds by virtue of teaching his daughter how to be kind. It's that lesson that saves them all by the end, making Benja a classic hero.

Michelle Rodriguez — The Fast Saga's Letty Ortiz

Speaking of the flaws of "Lost," Ana Lucia is a hot-button topic for fans of the series. Abrasive and controlling, the former LAPD cop played by Michelle Rodriguez never earned the sympathy that her backstory indicates that she needed. Somewhere in there is a scared young woman who is terrified of being made a victim again, but all that the series really showcased was her brutality. A regular for one season, Ana Lucia never gels with the rest of the cast, and her killing of Shannon Rutherford sealed fandom's opinion of her. She doesn't even get to move on at the end of the series. Blegh.

It's a misuse of Rodriguez's talents as an on-screen tough with a secretly soft heart, but fortunately she found the family she needed. Letty Ortiz is Dom's other half in the crash 'em smash 'em The Fast and the Furious franchise, a mechanic with a lead foot that surpasses most of the boys'. Letty goes through a streak of mishegoss in the middle of the series. She's temporarily dead, then brainwashed, then goes back to the family. It's all a vastly better showcase for Rodriguez's strengths than Ana Lucia ever was.

Evangeline Lilly — Ant-Man and the Wasp's Hope Van Dyne

If "Lost" had skipped the love triangle between Kate, Jack, and Sawyer. The fault doesn't lie with Evangeline Lilly, who makes the untrustworthy Kate into someone to root for despite the burdens the writers weighed her down with. Cagey enough to survive on the Man in Black's side and smart enough to know it was time to turn on him, Kate's a better series lynchpin than Jack, who mostly just yelled at everyone about what to do next.

Evangeline Lilly was a newcomer when she was cast as Kate, and she got plenty of chances to show off what she was capable of. Though "The Hobbit" didn't do right by her, another big franchise gave her exactly what she needed. Hope van Dyne is the Wasp, a classic Marvel superhero who gets her own wings by the end of "Ant-Man." Despite being flanked by her engineer beau and her mad scientist dad, Hope is sometimes the caretaker of the only brain cell in the room. She's a spotlight-stealer, and a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Michael Emerson — Person of Interest's Harold Finch

Ben Linus infiltrated the survivors' group as smoothly as he stole our hearts. Michael Emerson made Ben into something special. He's a smooth-talking, seemingly unflappable terror, too calculating to be easily tricked, and too emotional to be written off as a psychopath. Deep down, he's just a scared kid. One who abuses his own ideas of control, sure, and one who kills, but also one who isn't, after all, irredeemable. But it's Emerson's often genteel performance that made him the show's unlikely villainous star.

"Person of Interest" gave Emerson a five-season chance to put a twist on the formula that made him a legend. Harold Finch seems like Ben at first. He's cunning, urbane, and keeps himself at an emotional distance. But, like before, it's a façade. Harold cares deeply; in fact, he cares so much that he's willing to challenge his own morals when the situation calls for it. It's another performance that uplifts the whole show, transforming another nice piece of genre TV into something worth remembering. That's a specialty of Emerson's, who is now starring as the villain on "Evil." Good or bad, he remains a treat to watch.

Dominic Monaghan — Himself

We can't pretend that Charlie Pace is the biggest role in Dominic Monaghan's career. That is, of course, Merry Brandybuck in "The Lord of the Rings." But "Lost" let Monaghan be someone entirely new, avoiding a future of typecasting. Charlie's a troubled junkie with a pretty good voice, and he grows from being a self-centered loser into someone willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. Death isn't the end for Charlie, either, and his afterlife grants him the happy ending he was looking for.

Monaghan snuck into a small role in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, a nice bookend to his career in big fantasy franchises. But Monaghan's success has also given him the chance to create something personal. Unfortunately, the British documentary series "Wild Things" isn't well known in the United States. In it, Monaghan's passion for the world around us is not only visible, but stirring. Even episodes that feature the creepiest of crawlies draw his enthusiasm, and it's hard not to learn to love nature a little more just by watching.