As many of us have been arguing, at the end of "Confirmed Dead" in season 4, Ben announced that Charlotte Staples Lewis was born in July 1979. But in this season, when the gang zips back to 1974, Dan sees a little redheaded girl in the camp, whispers, "Charlotte!" and jumps up as if he's going to follow her. Since she looks about 2 or 3, that would put her birth date in 1971 or 1972. How could that be? We posited many suggestions:
- It wasn't actually Charlotte. He had Charlotte on the brain, and assumed that was her.
- Ben's intel was wrong, or he was purposely misleading people.
- Charlotte and her mother will leave the island via Frozen Donkey Wheel Express, launching themselves off the island eight years in the future, upon which the mother is forced to change Charlotte's birth date and she's effectively born in 1979.
Well, it turns out it was none of the above. In their podcast last week, Darlton announced that when they were filming the scene where Ben announces Charlotte's age, Mader stepped up and said she didn't want to be playing someone who was 37, god forbid, because she's really only 29. So they were forced to change the date, and didn't get a chance to alter it in editing. Wow. Major screw-up is introduced into Lost because of an actress's ego.
Not so fast.
Rebecca Mader heard what they said, and on her Facebook page she posted the following comment: "The timeline error was their mistake and they are making it out to be my fault. Not cool." Was this a case of an actress not wanting set secrets spilled? Turns out... no. She was absolutely right.
Darlton then issued an email to Michael Ausiello at EW, saying this really WAS their error and they'd chalked it up to her because they'd forgotten that it was Gregg Nations who came up with it (the script editor and the dude in charge of continuity), who pointed out that Mader was in her 20s and they'd be hard-pressed to say she was 37. (With no offense to Mader, who I think is gorgeous... I think she could have totally passed for 37. It's not like they're asking her to be 82.) In their mea culpa, they admitted, "We misremembered this as having come from Rebecca herself on the set, but in fact, it came several days earlier when our continuity expert Gregg Nations pointed it out and suggested using Rebecca's actual birthday for Charlotte. And so, the mistake was OURS. Rebecca's production draft DID have the date as being 1979."
Good for the guys for issuing the email, but I must say, that was a pretty crappy thing to do. How did their brains come up with Mader having some diva hissy fit, when the date had been in her script the entire time? They say they'll be addressing the issue in the podcast. Let's hope it has a HUGE apology in it for what they've done to her reputation among fans for a week.
You can read the entire email from Darlton here. Thanks to Crissy for the link!