Why Lost Vet Daniel Dae Kim Was So Stressed During That Acclaimed First Season

Daniel Dae Kim as Jin-Soo Kwon in Lost.

Critically acclaimed adventure drama Lost is still wildly popular today thanks to streaming services, and rumors of a reboot, despite the series ending over 10 years ago. When the series premiered in 2004, it was a phenomenon from the start and included an ensemble cast. However not everything on the series was sunshine and rainbows at the beginning, as Lost vet Daniel Dae Kim reveals why he was so stressed throughout the first season.

Lost follows a group of people stranded on an island after their plane crashes. Surviving on a jungle island for who knows how long is not easy and characters large and small died throughout the show’s six-season run. However, one character’s fate was almost entirely different, nearly changing the course of the series. Daniel Dae Kim, who portrayed Jin-Soo Kwon for all six seasons, revealed to Vulture that the entire cast was afraid of their character dying early on and his character’s death was actually planned for the very first season:

Constantly. All of us were. There were maybe one or two of us that really had job security, and every other one of us was paging through the scripts as soon as we got them to see whether we survived. From what I understand, it was planned for me to be killed off in season one. I was not a very sympathetic character, so it would have been easy for me to get killed off without the show missing a beat. Through a lucky confluence of events, I was able to stay on and last the whole six seasons.

Daniel Dae Kim went on to say that a writer on the show, Monica Macer, who is African American and Korean American lobbied for him to stay on the show, and he also likes to think that everyone didn’t think he was too terrible and deserved to be on the show. Lost also avoided another big death early on in the series, as it was originally planned to end after Season 3, rather than go all the way to Season 6. However, thanks to the millions of fans tuning in every week, producers decided to continue the series.

It's hard to believe that a character like Jin-Soo Kwon that lasted the entirety of Lost was originally meant to be killed off in the first season. It does, however, raise the question of how different the show would have been if he was killed off and what other projects Daniel Dae Kim could have been pursuing if he had not been focused on the ABC drama for six years. Lost came to an end in 2010 but it will always be a wonder on how different the storylines would have been if one character got killed off instead of another, like Jin-Soo. However, it’s so great Kim was able to stay on for the entire series, because we can’t imagine it without him!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.