It's kind of odd to think of actors retiring before their time, but given how fickle the entire industry is, some cases see it more as forced retirement than anything else - but with Evangeline Lilly, it's a little different.
In a wide-ranging interview with THR, the star of 'Ant-Man and The Wasp' revealed that she did in fact retire from being an actor for two whole years and had no contact with anyone in Hollywood throughout that time. In fact, as she tells it, 'Lost' was her first speaking role and it happened pretty much by accident. "I was instantly launched into international stardom, and that was really uncomfortable for me. I instantly balked, didn't know how to deal with it and felt very uncomfortable after that situation. I ended up deciding to retire after I finished Lost," she explained.
"I did a film called Real Steel with Hugh Jackman and then I walked away. I said, "I'm done, I'm never doing this again." I had a baby, I was writing scripts, I had a quiet little life, and two years later — and I mean, throughout those two years, I had no contact with Hollywood at all — I got a covert call from Peter Jackson, who I knew through my relationship with Dom(inic Monaghan) back in the day, and he said, 'Nobody in Hollywood seems to be able to reach Evangeline, but we want to get a hold of her because we want to cast her in this film.' And I was so torn because I had genuinely retired, I thought I was done, but I really wanted to do the movie. The little 13-year-old girl in me was like 'I get to be a woodland elf?' What?"
As well as this, Lilly also talked about speaking up for herself on set, THAT interview about the costume, and acknowledging that there's definitely an element in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where female characters are seen as being the serious, motherly types. "I think there is an unconscious message for little girls and women that when you challenge men in the midst of doing something juvenile or fun, then you're a heavy, a killjoy, a ball and chain. And all my life I grew up thinking, "I swear I won't be that way, I'll be cool, I'll be fun, I'm going to be the chick that can hang with the guys." And I really challenged myself on this film to shut out all of those critical voices, and the male pressures to conform and to really stand up and be a female voice in this world."
It's an interesting read, particularly as a woman's perspective on Marvel isn't always forthcoming and to see it articulated so clearly is interesting.