Can you tell us about meeting your husband, Michael Emerson?
We met at the very end of 1994. I had just gotten out of Juilliard to do the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. I saw him in a play — they were doing, of all things, A Christmas Carol. And there he was, playing like four or five different characters. Every time he came onstage, he had a different accent. I just was taken with this guy putting so much effort and talent into A Christmas Carol, and making it so watchable. I turned to my mom and said, “You see that guy? That guy is brilliant.”
And since you were in Alabama, he called you “hooker.”
[Laughs.] Maybe behind my back!
Did watching him on Lost ever creep you out?
Not that part so much as when he played William Hinks in The Practice. That was the first time he played a really diabolically horrible character who murdered women. At one point, when I was watching that show, I turned to him and said, “Don’t you ever look at me like that.”
You played his mom on Lost. How Freudian is that?
We thought it was hilarious. It was my crazy idea. I said, “Wouldn’t it be really fun if I got to play your mom when they do your flashback?” He jokingly mentioned it to the producers. A week later, I was giving birth to him in the jungle.