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Josh Holloway was cast as James "Sawyer" Ford in the ABC series, Lost, which follows the stranded survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island.
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"I used to joke that I couldn't have sat around getting drunk on a Saturday afternoon and come up with an easier job than this," he says. "But it had its difficulties and its entrapments. For me, it was a means to an end. I wanted to see the world and travel and be a gypsy, and that's what you were."
Increasingly restless in his modeling career, by the late 1990s Holloway began to try to make the transition into acting. He made his television debut in a 1999 episode of the CBS series Angel, in which he was credited as "Good Looking Guy." He followed that with small roles in the films Cold Heart (2001) and Dr. Benny (2003), as well as appearances in the TV shows CSI (2003) and NCSI (2004).
Nevertheless, Holloway was still an unproven and inexperienced actor when, in 2004, ABC decided to cast him in its new series, Lost, which follows the stranded survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island. Holloway played James "Sawyer" Ford, a con man with the manners of a Southern gentleman. The show became an instant success, debuting to the best ratings of any ABC show in years and earning rave critical reviews. Even amongst the large ensemble cast of talented and beautiful actors, Holloway managed to stand out. In January 2005, when TV Guide released a series of collectable covers featuring different Lost actors, Holloway's cover was the runaway bestseller. In 2005 alone, he landed on the cover of TV Guide four times and was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People." He has been nominated for numerous Teen Choice Awards, and in 2006 he and the rest of the Lost cast shared the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series. Lost completed its sixth and final season in May 2010.
With Lost wrapped, Holloway hopes to transition from television into feature films. Rather than hastily accepting any offer thrown his way, though, he plans to choose future roles carefully. "I'm gonna be patient," he says. "I learned some hard lessons early on. You really have to be discerning, because you don't have many shots." Asked what he looks for when evaluating potential roles, Holloway responded, "I'm looking for juicy roles in ensemble casts with veteran actors. I'm not looking to carry a movie just yet."
Despite years as a Hollywood heartthrob, Holloway is still adjusting to life in the spotlight. While his fellow Lost cast member, Evangeline Lilly, says that Holloway is still the same Southern gentleman he was before the show—"He's the guy who will open doors for women, who will always carry the bags for women and make sure they feel protected"—Holloway himself admits to feeling the pressure of fame. "I could completely do without the fame," he says. "It makes me self-conscious. It is a responsibility. I believe that if people look up to you in any way, especially kids, then you have a responsibility to inspire them, both in your work and in your life.
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