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An interview excerpt with Eric Lange, (Stuart Radzinsky), featured in issue #25 of The Official Lost Magazine.
Let's start at your acting beginnings. Was performing always your calling?
Eric Lange: I had always been an artsy kid and when I was in early middle school I was in choir a lot. In my freshman year of high school, we were in our own little school and there was no choir to join. A friend of mine said he was going to a drama club meeting.
I thought, "What the heck, I'll go." I met this fantastic group of people who were unique and interesting and confident. I thought it was a really rare group. So whatever they were doing to get there, I wanted to know more about it, so I started auditioning for plays. After the first musical that I did – when the curtain came down at the end of the show and I heard the applause – I was hooked.
Your acting resume reflects a lot of television work. Is there a particular genre of TV show that you prefer to work in if you can?
Well, I just took work as it came. The work that has been coming is one-hour dramas, especially guest-starring roles. I like sitcoms, but I don't tend to do as many. Frankly, I don't watch as many of them as I watch the one-hour stuff. In terms of guest starring, a lot of them are procedural, so you are either the victim or the killer. Unfortunately, I have done bad things to many people over the years now [laughs]! But that's what seems to have been offered to me and I enjoy doing them. I would love to get a little more into the film world, which is hard for everyone to break into.
With Lost, had you read for any parts for the show previous to Radzinsky?
I had been in to see [casting director] April Webster for other things, but I don't remember if I had been in for Lost before. My manager called with this audition. Usually at a producer call, where you go before you get hired, there is a room full of producers and the director. But Lost is unique. It's April Webster, you, and the person with the camera. It's a really intimate little experience. It felt very low-key compared to the normal, big audition rooms. April reads very well with actors. The audition went great and they put it on tape. Two or three days later they called back and I got it.
So you didn't even know you were playing the famed Radzinsky that made the blast door map and was the hatch mate to Kelvin Inman?
No! When they called me and told me I got the part I was so happy about that. I think it was the costumer that said, "We need your sizes – it looks like you are playing Radzinsky." I did a little research and thought, "Oh my… I have some big shoes to fill here. There are some fan expectations on the internet!" Since some of Radzinsky's story was already part of the canon, when you stepped into the role, did you get any notes on how to present him in person? I remember my manager called [the producers] early on because with this arc that's already in the past, I wanted to know if there was some place where I needed to start.
Has your appearance on the show changed your day-to-day life at all?
Carlton warned me about that and said, "When you go back to LA, you might have Lost some anonymity." I have been on 20 or 30 TV shows, and I don't think one person has ever walked up to me and asked, "Are you the guy on Cold Case?" With Lost it took a couple weeks. Then I was out one night and there were 14 or 15 people over the course of an evening getting pictures. So now it's a daily occurrence. It's very odd, but sweet. People are very kind.
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