Josh Holloway, who rose to fame playing James “Sawyer” Ford on ABC’s hit series “Lost,” played one of the most iconic TV characters from the early 2000s.
Since then, Holloway has starred in shows including the CBS thriller “Intelligence” (2014) and USA’s sci-fi epic “Colony” (2016-2018).
Now he’s joined Season 3 of the hit cowboy drama “Yellowstone,” which premiered to nearly 7 million viewers on Father’s Day as the year’s highest-rated cable drama. New episodes air Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on the Paramount Network.
“Yellowstone” follows John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his family as they run the largest contiguous ranch in the US and face off against threats from developers and politicians. Holloway’s character — money manager Roarke Carter — is their latest adversary.
Holloway, 50, spoke to The Post about why he wanted to be on “Yellowstone,” facing off against Costner, Sawyer’s legacy and more.
What drew you to “Yellowstone?”
Well, it was my favorite show on TV at the time. I’m actually calling you from Wyoming. It’s my favorite place in the world. It’s the jewel of the world to me, where the animals still go and the buffalo still roam. On Father’s Day I saw five moose, two elk, a buffalo, and a deer — and I was just driving around! What attracted me to the show was that it takes you there. The scenic beauty, the cinematography. And also Kevin Costner. He’s a legend of course, and it was an honor to work with him. And I knew [series creator] Taylor Sheridan. So it was all that, and the fact that I have a cabin here and I’ve been coming for the last nine years, so I knew [about] all of these issues that he was dealing with on the show.
What was working with Kevin Costner like?
When you get to meet your heroes, you hope it’s going to go well and they won’t blow you off and tell you to get lost. He was super nice and present and humble and really about the work. It inspires you. I really enjoyed meeting and working with Kevin. You might expect him to be somewhat distant, but he was not and I loved that. So we had a good time together.
Tell me about your character, Roarke Carter.
He’s up to no good. I like to describe him as the inevitable. He is progress incarnate, the velvet hammer. He’s coming down on you whether you like it or not. So that’s what he represents: big business bringing big things. He’s the Duttons’ worst nightmare, because he does it through the government [and] can condemn their land. He’ll try to buy it, and if he can’t, he’ll condemn it. So he’s a problem, and I expect they’re going to deal with him in a real way. Being someone who normally has to carry a show, it’s awesome to be a guest star. It’s not my show; I don’t have to carry the episodes. I just pop in and out. It’s fun.
It’s a cowboy show, but Roarke is not a cowboy.
No, not at all! I was so bummed at first because I know Taylor [Sheridan] and we’ve ridden horses all day together . . . So when I got the call [to be on the show], I was like, “Well gosh, he knows I’m a cowboy for God’s sake, of course I’m going to get to be one of those guys!” But no. He thought it was hilarious. But I love the character. He wrote it because he knows that I fly fish. And maybe I have some other skills that are in there.
How often do “Lost” fans still approach you about Sawyer?
Probably a couple times a week, but it makes a huge difference when you cut your hair. When I have short hair and no beard, it’s like the Clark Kent disguise. It’s pretty funny. I had that experience in Istanbul; I was watching a guy who was drawing Sawyer, and I was there with short hair for like 10 minutes watching him going, “Dude, that’s a good job.” And he said, “Thanks, man!” [and continued drawing]. He never recognized me.
Sawyer was known for his tastes in books. What do you think he’d be reading during quarantine?
Nostradamus [laughs]. Maybe “A River Runs Through It,” something that would bring some calm, you know? Definitely not Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” no thank you. That’d be too close to home.
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