“LOST” star Evangeline Lilly returned to The Late Show with David Letterman last night. And the conversation quickly turned to her relationship with the Aloha State. You’ll recall that in her interview with MSN TV last May, she noted that the islands’ inefficiencies can sometimes make her want to kill herself. This time, the adverse effects of Hawaii’s weather on her health were in the spotlight. Also discussed were the dangers of surfing… both as a celebrity and as a biped.
Dave: You spend most of your time in Hawaii. How do you get along with the heat and humidity there, is that all right?
Evangeline: I think we’ve talked about it before. I’ve mentioned that I’m sort of allergic to Hawaii. And last time I was here I had that eye thing, and we showed the picture, it was pretty grotesque. And I had no idea why it happened, but I think I’ve narrowed it down.
Dave: What is it?
Evangeline: I think it’s the vog in Hawaii.
Dave: I’ve never heard this term.
Evangeline: V-O-G. I had never heard of it either. Until I was asking around about what might be causing my eye problems, and somebody said it must be the vog. Which is Volcanic fog. It’s fog coming in from the volcano on the Big Island, which burns… sort of pineapple crops… because it’s ash, so it’s still hot…
Dave: Does it burn chemically as well or is it just in terms of heat?
Evangeline: It feels like it burns chemically when it’s in my eye and I’m trying to deal with rubbing it and pushing it deeper in there. It’s like a little flame in my eye.
Dave: This is not healthy. Did you go to an opthamologist?
Evangeline: No, actually, I just washed it out with water the way you put out a fire. I just thought well, it works for fire it might work for my eye. It’s been successful so far.
Dave: This must be a common problem for people who live in Hawaii.
Evangeline: It turns out vog is the cause of tons of allergies and eye problems, and all sorts of problems in Hawaii, so I’m not alone.
Dave: You have to get out of there as fast as possible. Now I’ve considered this and I think a everybody’s thought about the notion of paradise, retiring to paradise, but you always get what can be stifling heat and humidity. I just don’t know, that kind of wears one down. Do you have any problems with that?
Evangeline: Yeah, I’m not a tropics girl so much. I grew up in Canada. I like the snow, and I like the cold. Although I didn’t know it when I lived in Canada. In Canada, I thought I hated the cold, until I got somewhere where it was perpetially hot and I would kill for just a brisk, cool day in Hawaii.
Dave: Do you take advantage of the activities there? Do you surf?
Evangeline: That’s sort of the sanity. When it’s hot weather you have to get in the water. That was my sanity for a while, until — I’m going to sound like a broken record — I realized I was allergic to the sun in Hawaii.
Dave: Allergic to the sun?
Evangeline: I was never allergic to the sun in Canada, but in Hawaii, in the quantities that you get it, for some reason I got bumps all over my face. And when you’re on television and they go to camera right, and your face… So I stopped surfing, but it killed two birds with one stone because I got really tired of seeing myself in bikinis in tabloids, so I kind of got rid of that.
Dave: Really. You got tired of that. Hmm. Were you good as a surfer? Could you do that pretty well?
Evangeline: No, I was pretty useless. I started surfing a couple years into the show. Although I did once surf an overhead wave on the North Shore of Hawaii, which is renown for big scary waves, but I did have an incident trying to surf that way. When I wasn’t successful, I got caught on some coral, and I really knew I had to get out before the next set came in and smashed me against the coral. And my board was right beside me but it was upside down, and being a novice I thought, “No big deal, I’ll jump on it upside down and get out of here.” Jumped on it upside down, very slick on the bottom. The next wave that hit? The board went flying out up from under me and the very large fin in the center of the board came through the center of my legs and sliced me right up the middle.
Dave: Whoa. Whoa. Wow. I don’t want to be indelicate, but…
Evangeline: It wasn’t pretty.
Dave: Did you require stitches?
Evangeline: I did have to have my surfing partner check it out and make sure I was okay.
Dave: Surfing is one of those things, it’s great if you learn when you’re four or five years old when you’re absolutely fearless. And as you grow older you attain a huge body of knowledge. But to attempt it a litter later in light can be very risky and fraught.
Evangeline: Apparently. I learned that the hard way.
Hat tip: Fred Firestine.