Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lost: Charlotte's Real Age Causes Big OOPS

Earlier this week, one of my readers pointed out in the comment section to my post on Namaste that Darlton had issued their weekly podcast, and finally addressed the discrepancy of Charlotte's age on the show. I've been meaning to post on it, but it's a good thing I didn't, because the story got a lot better.

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!

18 comments:

poggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
poggy said...

Yeah, that hasn't been exactly classy on Darlton's part :-\ Also, that's a pretty big slip, especially since they have a continuity editor...

[sorry for the deleted comment, I hit "send" and when I reread it I realized I worded it horribly. Seems I can't write coherently today]

Hutch said...

You're right Nikki, Rebecca Mader could play either 29 OR 37 and still be gorgeous. The age discrepancy was a type of mistake, if not addressed, would bother some LOST fans.

Glad it was cleared up.

Missing Georgia said...

I am glad that this was cleared as well. It seems like a really careless mistake that should not have been made, especially at the expense of making Mader look bad. Also, wasn't her character on the island 2004/2005 (I cannot remember timelines anymore)? Then she would only have been playing someone that is 32-34. That was well in her range of age. They must be confusing themselves as much as they are confusing the rest of us.

oldrunner262 said...

One thing that is really bothering me: Where are Rose, Bernard and the other redshirts? They should be on the island with Sawyer (LaFleur), Juliet, Miles, etc., since they weere with them when the flashes began. This seems to be a BIG inconsistency in the story.

Jazzygirl said...

So where does this leave us? LOL
WAS that little girl Charlotte?

Mike_D said...

I posted a lot of my theories on Lost on my new blog..

http://goodmiked.blogspot.com/

Hope you enjoy them!

Oh, and Nikki, I just bought your book for season 4 and considering buying the one for season 3 since the bookstore has it...love it so far!

The Good Mike D

A.G.Wooding said...

I don't know, I think Rebecca Mader totally pulled off the minus 5 look in LeFleur.

Eric said...

"How did their brains come up with Mader having some diva hissy fit"

Eh, they didn't. It's pretty obvious from the podcast that they were in very silly moods, and they were framing everything with humor. It came off as glib, for something they probably didn't realize at the moment to be a serious accusation.

I agree, they were totally in the wrong to get their facts mixed up in the first place, and they should get flak for that, but it seems obvious to me that they thought she just didn't understand the importance of the date, and thought her real birth day would be more accurate. They weren't trying to paint her as some difficult actress.

redeem147 said...

Math is hard.

It does make me wonder how many things that we're analysing are just inconsistencies due to continuity errors. Maybe the statue was supposed to have five toes. ;)

Robert Kuang said...

It is always disconcerting when a show like Lost screws up the continuity. I think something major like this has happened before in The Death of Jeremy Bentham. Check out my Prime Time Television blog at http://www.examiner.com/x-5631-Prime-Time-TV-Examiner

Loge said...

Hello Nikki, thanks so very much for your blog and your wonderful books. Now, as I was reading this post I started thinking about the ages of the characters and it occurred to me that a possible reason why Sun did not make it back to 1977 is because she was not alive back then. Sun was born in 1980 (her birth date was chiseled on the Jin's gravestone). So maybe you cannot travel permanently to the any time in the past where (a) you already exist (like Ben, for instance), or (b) you didn't exist at all (i.e. you hadn't been born). This doesn't apply to "time skipping", of course. I did a quick check in Lostpedia and although not all the characters that have traveled back in time have "birthday" information, those who do are "good" to travel to 1974 and 1977 (assuming the jump to 1977 and 1974 occurred in the month of December).

Anonymous said...

Hello Nikki, thanks so much for your blog and your wonderful books. Now, as I was reading this post I started thinking about the ages of the characters and it occurred to me that a possible reason why Sun did not make it back to 1977 is simply because she was not alive back then. Sun was born in 1980 (her birth date was chiseled on Jin's gravestone). So maybe you cannot travel permanently to the any time in the past where (a) you already exist (like Ben, for instance), or (b) you didn't exist at all (i.e. you hadn't been born). This doesn't apply to "time skipping", of course. I did a quick check in Lostpedia and although not all the characters that have traveled back in time have "birthday" information, those who do are "good" to travel to 1974 and 1977 (assuming the jump to 1977 and 1974 occurred in the month of December). Later... CDR

Loge said...

Sorry for posting this twice! My mistake...

JT said...

First of all, those who think Mader is gorgeous should try leaving your mom's basement sometime. Secondly, do you think the rest of the show's continuity errors can be explained in a similar fashion?

Hutch said...

Hey Mike_D. When I went to your blog I got a security warning on my computer. It may be my anti-virus protection is set a little too high but I wanted to mention it to you.

To JT.....IMO your comment is a little too snarky for a friendly blog like this one.

edgeshat said...

Wow very interesting. Thanks for posting the full story Nikki! Unfortunately continuity mistakes do happen in shows. It's very hard to catch everything. It's just too bad Darlton blamed the mistake on Mader. I'd like to think they just misremembered too, but who knows. I'll be listening to the next podcast to hear what they have to say.

sahm3k said...

Honestly, I'm a hard core Lost fan and I simply shrugged my shoulders and rolled with the discrepancy....I think most fans did likewise.