Although Terry O’Quinn has had a successful career in film, TV and on stage, it was his role as the enigmatic John Locke on the groundbreaking series Lost that brought him to the attention of audiences around the world.
In his new drama 666 Park Avenue, which premieres on ABC on September 30, he portrays Gavin Doran, the landlord of The Drake, a New York apartment building, who assists his residents by fulfilling their hearts desires – but for a hefty price.
This is another mysterious character. Is there something about these roles that attract you?
Actually, the role in Lost didn’t start out that way. I think in the last couple of seasons it turned into that. That being said, I find these kinds of characters have a lot of secrets. Good guys are a little bit more open.These people are a little more mysterious.
Even if you don’t know what the secrets are, you can play it that you have a lot of secrets, and that’s pleasant.
What do you think when people say, ‘Oh, you’re the perfect person for this role?’
I always think it’s casting against type. I always figure they go, ‘Well, if somebody is truly evil we have to find somebody who is somewhat charming.’ That’s the way I’m going to think about it.
By the end of the pilot I was wondering if it was the apartment building that was evil or you?
My theory is that Gavin is kind of a sharecropper on the plantation of evil. He plants some seeds. He only gets his share and he uses people to his own ends. I like that.
Do you believe there are haunted buildings like this?
I believe there are people that believe there are. I’ve never had the experience, and I hope I never do. But I’m easily frightened. I don’t watch scary movies if I can help it.
Do you think there’s a force of evil?
Yeah, in everybody. We all have our own, I think. It’s in your color wheel. Just depends on how strong it is. That’s my opinion.
What’s it like shooting in New York?
Well, shooting on a street in New York is an experience that everyone should have, because it certainly is an exercise in focus and concentration.
There are those people who don’t want to stop their day and will cross the street and don’t care what you’re doing, if you’re making a movie, or who you think you are.
And then there’s the tour buses going by, snapping pictures and going, ‘Hey, Locke,’ when you’re in the middle of a piece of dialogue. So it’s a trip.
What did you ultimately think of the end of Lost?
I think we were so exhausted, honestly I thought we all went to heaven. I think Lost was completely about the journey and not about the ending, but I know a lot of people were unsatisfied.