There was a quiet spell following her dramatic exit from Lost, but Cynthia Watros' workload has gone from 0 to 60 in recent months. Tonight at 10 pm/ET, she stars opposite Eric Roberts in the second installment of NBC's Fear Itself anthology series, and later this summer, she'll surface on TBS' The Bill Engvall Show. TVGuide.com invited Watros to preview her new gigs as well as ponder future spooky appearances by Lost's Libby.
TVGuide.com: You've been keeping busy lately!
Cynthia Watros: A little bit, yeah!
TVGuide.com: On the one hand, you're serving up some horror. On the other, you're doing comedy. Do you like striking that balance?
Watros: I like to juggle both ends. It's always fun to make people laugh, and then make them afraid or cry at the same time.
TVGuide.com: In Fear Itself's "Spooked," you play a woman who hires Eric Roberts' P.I. to snoop on a philandering husband. But these things are never that simple, are they?
Watros: [Laughs] No, they're not. By the end you're like, "What?!" You thought it was one thing, but then it's another. It's interesting how the story changes on you. I love playing characters that have secrets.
TVGuide.com: You really turn on the waterworks in Fear Itself. How do you manage that? Some trick from your Emmy-winning soap opera days...?
Watros: I wish there was a trick! I have to be honest, and I know it's going to sound corny, but whatever I'm going through as the character, it's never been difficult for me to immerse myself in that. Then the feelings come out naturally. I wish I had some trick — like thinking about a pet that has passed away — but no, it's just feeling the character.
TVGuide.com: How was Eric Roberts to work with? Do you, like I do, still have haunting memories of him in Star 80?
Watros: That's right! He's lovely. There's a difficult scene toward the end, where I spit on him, but he was a trouper. I said, "I think it'd be a good if we did something really dramatic, like having my character spit on you." He was for it.
TVGuide.com: You don't spit on Bill Engvall at all, do you?
Watros: Not on camera. [Laughs] He's so down to earth and real.... He made me feel completely at home. And Nancy Travis (Susan) is lovely — an authentic, beautiful person. I like her a lot.
TVGuide.com: You play Susan's carefree gal pal. Do you thus rub Bill the wrong way?
Watros: I do. I play this free spirit who travels the world and thinks the [Pearson] kids' education should come from traveling to exotic places instead of sitting in a school room.
TVGuide.com: Are you around for just a set number of episode?
Watros: I did three in a row, but I have a feeling she'll pop up now and again.
TVGuide.com: So you don't get killed off.
Watros: No. [Laughs] Not on this show!
TVGuide.com: As a Lost fan, I must say that I was expecting more from Libby's appearance in Michael's return episode.
Watros: Yeah, you never know what you're going to get into [with that show]. But it's always fun, whether it's a little bit or a lot.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel the producers have left the door open for you to return again?
Watros: I know I get a lot of people coming up to me asking, "What was Libby's deal? Why was she in a mental institution? What was her relationship with Hurley about?" I don't know if [the writers] want to answer those questions or not, but people want to know.
TVGuide.com: It seemed like they were steering Libby and Hurley toward a sweet little something. People would have liked seeing some love enter the big guy's life.
Watros: Yeah.... We all need love!
TVGuide.com: What do you miss about your Lost run?
Watros: You always miss the people you work with — the cast and crew. And living in Hawaii is of course an amazing and beautiful experience.
TVGuide.com: So maybe you will pop up again one day?
Watros: You never know. You never know!