We all know her as Kate Austen in ABC’s Lost, a role for which she won multiple Saturn Awards and Teen Choice Awards and a Golden Globe nomination. Evangeline Lilly is also known for her roles in the feature films Afterwards, The Hurt Locker, and Real Steel. Lilly will appear in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the final two films of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy
This month, she stars as Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Although the character Tauriel does not appear in this story, she was created to be the head of the Elven guard by Peter Jackson and his wife and producing partner Fran Walsh, in order to expand the world of the elves of Mirkwood Forest, and to bring another female to the cast, which is otherwise dominated by males. The character is a Silvan Elf, which means she is of a much lower order than the elves that had previously been seen in The Lord of the Rings film series, and holds a lower social status than characters like Arwen, Galadriel, Elrond, and Legolas. A Woodland Elf, her name has been translated as “Daughter of Mirkwood”
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Lilly grew up Christian and her faith influenced her decision to take part in a three-week mission trip to the Philippines when she was 18. Her interest in humanitarian causes and global development led her to major in International Relations at the University of British Columbia. Lilly continues to work with nonprofits such as the GO Campaign. In 2009, Lilly auctioned off custom lingerie in support of Task Brasil, “a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the lost street children of Brazil by providing them secure housing.” In 2010, she auctioned off three lunches in Vancouver, Honolulu, and Los Angeles to help widows and orphans in Rwanda, a country Lilly has made numerous trips to as part of her charity work. In 2012 Lilly auctioned off a Hawaiian hike to raise money for Sierra Club.
After shooting the final episode of Lost, Lilly said she was considering taking a break from acting to focus on her charity and humanitarian efforts. She told Vulture, “I consider acting a day job — it’s not my dream; it’s not my be-all, end-all.” She has claimed to use her actress earnings to further her humanitarian efforts, not the other way around.
Catch Evangeline Lilly in The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugImages courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures Singapore© POPCulture Online 2013, All Rights Reserved