So many celebrities come from famous families that it can be hard to remember that plenty of stars lived normal lives before they became famous. Not everyone is born into fame, and plenty of people rise into their star-studded roles from relative obscurity.
In fact, plenty of stars had humble roots and had to work in some pretty tough jobs before they found their breakthrough roles. Some famous individuals will speak fondly of their time before their success, but Evangeline Lilly isn’t one of them.
Before Lost launched her acting career, Lilly was working as a flight attendant, and she hated it so much that she took it out on her passengers!
Evangeline Lilly broke through as Kate Austen on ‘Lost’
Lilly was born in Canada in 1979 and was discovered by the Ford modeling agency. She signed with them to help pay for college. Modeling didn’t end up being her career path, and she started acting as an extra.
She had tiny parts like an uncredited role as a police officer on The Lizzie McGuire Movie and a student in the background of Freddy vs. Jason in 2003. In 2004, Lilly got her big break when she was cast as Kate Austen in the hit series Lost.
Lilly expressed some frustration with her character’s portrayal. “At the beginning, she was kind of cool, and then as the show went on, I felt like she became more and more predictable and obnoxious. I felt that my character went from being autonomous — really having her own story, and her own journey, and her own agendas — to chasing two men around the island, and that irritated the sh*t out of me,” the actor explained. The series, however, definitely boosted her star power.
New roles and controversy followed for Evangeline Lilly
After Lost came to an end, Lilly went on to other roles. She had parts in two movies in the Hobbit franchise and then made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Hope Van Dyne in Ant-Man.
Hope is the daughter of Dr. Hank Pym, mentor to Scott Lang (AKA Ant-Man). She eventually joins in on Ant-Man’s superhero adventures as The Wasp, giving her an important role in 2018’s sequel Ant-Man and The Wasp.
Having a major role in the MCU is a definite boost to one’s recognition — and a path to some impressively lucrative roles. Lilly, however, threw her part into jeopardy with some comments this year about the coronavirus pandemic.
As the virus ravaged the world, Lilly made the controversial decision to post on social media about dropping her kid off at gymnastics and posted it with the hashtag “#businessasusual.” Some of her former co-workers called foul and asked Lilly to reconsider her position, and fans took to social media to call her out for selfishness and promoting dangerous behavior.
While some fans have been requesting more screen time for Lilly in Ant-Man 3, rumors have swirled that Marvel is stepping away from Lilly’s character’s story after her comments.
Evangeline Lilly worked as a flight attendant before acting took off
Before Lilly saw success with her role on Lost, she was piecing together other ways to make ends meet, including as a flight attendant. No stranger to comments that tell the world what she thinks — despite the consequences — Lilly had nothing but complaints about the experience.
As HuffPost reports, Lilly went on at length about the downsides of the job: “That job has no redeeming qualities. I didn’t like the people. I didn’t like the destinations. I didn’t like the recycled air, the crappy food.”
All that unpleasant work left her ready to take out her frustrations on the passengers who irritated her the most. “One time there was this guy who was really awful to me, and I was really struggling that day, because I had really bad gas. And as a flight attendant, you don’t let that go when you’re on a plane,” Lilly explained. “So this guy got under my skin to the point that finally I decided to save it all up, and when I was walking past him and when I got to row 48… I let it rip, right in his face.”