When the cast of Lost appeared at last year's San Diego Comic-Con — months before the series' debut — they were greeted by only a small crowd, most of whom were there to spy Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan. Obviously, a lot has changed since then. This year, the returning castaways (and cocreator Damon Lindelof) basked in the cheers of a roomful of passionate fans. "What a welcome that was," an awestruck Maggie Grace told TVGuide.com afterward. "This whole experience is just so overwhelming. A year and a half ago I was just making ends meet; this is a different level completely!" Josh Holloway, back in full Sawyer mode, complete with stubble and flowing locks, praised Lost's vocal fan base. "I love the fans," he said with a huge grin. "They're so enthusiastic and positive, I just wander around smiling all the time." The actors then spoke with us about their favorite Lost relationships — and dropped a few hints about Season 2.
TVGuide.com: Do people constantly approach you on the street begging for spoilers?
Josh Holloway: Oh, yeah, even at home. If I don't get hold of my script first, my wife grabs it, runs to the bathroom, locks the door and reads the whole thing. Then she comes out going, "You won't believe what happens!"
Maggie Grace: I'm under constant inquisition from my grandmother. [Laughs] People also come up to me and say, "I'm so sorry your brother died." And I am, too. Boone cared about Shannon in spite of himself. And we all feel Ian [Somerhalder]'s absence. But we're a close group of friends, and we knew from day one that this was a deserted island fraught with danger. I certainly understand the reasons for [his death], and Ian does as well.
TVGuide.com: So... any second-season hints you can share with us?
Grace: I do know some of the story lines coming up. We're going to find out what's in the hatch quite early in the season — in the first episode, actually. We're also going to find out more about Jack's marriage, and some of Shannon's backstory as well. I'm very much looking forward to that. The previous episode that dealt with that was more from Boone's point of view, so I think it will give viewers an idea of who she is rather than how other people perceive her. We have a few clues — she was married, highly manipulative, that sort of stuff. And it's a possibility that Ian might come back for that [backstory].
Holloway: I haven't heard anything about what's coming because I've been away in Alaska, so this is the first time I've talked to anyone all summer. Damon did tell me, "Did you see the movie Open Water? Get ready to swim." That's all I know! Well, I also know that we have a new character [introduced at the end of last season and played by], Michelle Rodriguez (Girlfight). I don't know where Sawyer will fit in that. But I am looking forward to it, because Michelle has a reputation for being feisty, which I love. I can't wait to see what the writers do with her character and Sawyer. There's going to be some great sparks there, I think. At least I'm hoping!
TVGuide.com: What's your favorite part about doing the show?
Grace: I've been very happy with the relationship between Shannon and Sayid. It's very lovely and unexpected. And it means I get to work with Naveen [Andrews] a lot. He's fantastic. He's also something of a sex icon, so I feel very lucky in that respect. [Laughs]
Holloway: One of my favorite things has been the development of Sawyer's relationship with Kate, which has been such a cat-and-mouse thing. I'm a man and I love to work with a woman. I love the energy between men and women and I try to play with that. Me and Matt [Fox] have a great intensity together [as Sawyer and Jack], so I look super-forward to those days. And you've got to be up for it, because Foxy always brings the heat! I love how Naveen [as Sayid] and I have this grudging respect for each other. And I'm looking forward to doing more with Jorge Garcia (Hurley) — I've only had a couple of scenes with him. Mainly I'm looking forward to different scenes, different relationships and changing the existing ones. I have full faith in the writers.
TVGuide.com: What have you been working on during the hiatus?
Grace: I was in Vancouver making The Fog with Tom Welling. It was my first big studio movie, so it was a lot of fun to do. And the hours weren't as long as on Lost. Josh was up in Vancouver at the same time doing a movie, so I was happy to have him around to hang out with.
Holloway: I was shooting a movie called Whisper. It's about a group of people down on their luck and so they kidnap a kid for ransom and it turns out to be more than they bargained for. Let's just say that things go badly. My character is Sawyer-esque, but not really. He's just a good guy doing a bad thing for love. He's straightforward, whereas Sawyer is kind of twisted.
TVGuide.com: But now you're back for more Lost. How is filming going?
Grace: The show is still being shot in Hawaii, which is great. We were all lobbying for that. I don't know how you could get the same visual scope in an environment in L.A. In Hawaii, you can do these vast shots you can't find anywhere else. And it keeps the cast quite happy as well. Whenever there are really long hours, we always remind ourselves, "Well, we could be shooting in Burbank!"