Evangeline Lilly is stepping away from acting

Evangeline Lilly is leaving Hollywood behind, at least for now.

The 44-year-old actor, who first gained prominence for her Golden Globe-nominated performance as Kate Austen in the sci-fi drama “Lost,” announced her provisional retirement Monday on Instagram. In the post, Lilly re-shared extra “Lost” footage recorded in 2006, wherein she expresses her wish to be a “retired actress” in 10 years’ time.

“I am terrified to admit this to the rest of the acting world, but ideally 10 years from now I’d like to be a retired actress,” she says in the footage. “I would like to have a family, and I’d like to be writing, potentially, [and] you know, maybe influencing people’s lives in a more humanitarian way, as almost everybody in the world now knows was my intention before I started the show.”

“I am so filled with joy and contentment today as I live out my vision. Praise God, I feel so grateful for my blessings,” Lilly captioned the Monday post. “Stepping away from what seems like the obvious choice (wealth and fame) can feel scary at times, but stepping into your dharma replaces the fear with fulfillment. I might return to Hollywood one day, but, for now, this is where I belong.”

The “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” actor paired the throwback clip with a video of late poet Maya Angelou cautioning people against getting too comfortable in their lives and missing out on “other wonderful things” — “perfectly articulating how I feel about life,” Lilly said.

The actor has actually been on hiatus for the three years since “Quantumania” filming wrapped, she said in a statement to Variety. “This time outside of the business has brought me a grounding sense of fulfillment and joy.”

“I could return tomorrow, two years from now or never,” she continued, “but at the moment I am not actively pursuing any work in the industry and am not under any contractual obligations to anybody.”

The actor had planned to leave the industry after “Lost” wrapped in 2010, she told the Hollywood Reporter in 2018. She had a baby, embraced a quiet life and for two years, she didn’t hear from anyone in Hollywood. Then Peter Jackson called — he wanted to cast her in “The Hobbit.”

“I was so torn because I had genuinely retired, I thought I was done, but I really wanted to do the movie. The little 13-year-old girl in me was like ‘I get to be a woodland elf? What?’” In the end, she caved — and was glad she did.

“I had a wonderful time making that movie,” Lilly said. “One of the highlights in my life was living in New Zealand for that year and being a part of that family. That helped open my eyes to the fact that, OK, this job can be a joy. It’s just a matter of how you approach it.”

When she got the call from Marvel soon after, she said, “I thought, I just need to either draw a very firm line in the sand and say I’m done, or I need to just make my peace with the thing, find a way to be happy and do it in a way that makes me feel comfortable and satisfied.”

Lilly opted for the latter, going on to act in four Marvel films — including 2018’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the first to offer equal billing to both a male and a female superhero.

“As somebody who has played primarily, I think, fairly sympathetic characters, it appealed to me the idea of playing a character that might rub people the wrong way and might be a little bit hard to swallow,” Lilly told The Times in 2015. “She’s so serious and she doesn’t give Scott [Lang] an inch and she can be really cranky. I liked that. It was something that would be a challenge for me to play because I’d never really played a character that had that kind of personality.”

In the years since filming “Quantumania,” Lilly told Variety she has devoted her time to humanitarian work and writing. She did not share any further details about upcoming projects.

In 2014, she published the prequel to a children’s book series called “The Squickerwonkers.” Two main titles followed in 2018, with a third arriving the next year.



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