The Untold Truth Of Hurley From Lost

When ABC's thriller series "Lost" was first released, it knocked viewers' socks off with its genre-bending blend of sci-fi and supernatural elements with edge-of-your-seat drama and complex mythology. All sorts of interesting characters appear among the 71 original survivors of Oceanic 815 to crash on the show's mysterious Island, ranging from the charming, dimpled scoundrel Sawyer (Josh Holloway) to the lovable but troubled one-hit-wonder Charlie (Dominic Monaghan). And of all of the survivors, the most good-natured, easygoing in the bunch is LA native Hugo "Hurley" Reyes.

Throughout all of the challenges the survivors face, Hurley (Jorge Garcia) serves as a de facto morale officer, constantly bringing up spirits with friendly one-liners or a helping hand. Whether he's getting everyone behind his efforts to bring an old van back to life or debating superheroes with Charlie, Hurley proves time and again that he's the best soul on the Island. Because we can't stop cheering for Hugo even though the series has long ended, we're taking a closer look at the untold truth of Hurley from "Lost."

Jorge Garcia almost lost too much weight for Hurley

It's not uncommon for an actor to lose weight for a role. As reported by GQ, Christian Bale lost a whopping 55 pounds for his role in "The Machinist," and Matthew McConaughey lost 50 pounds ahead of his role as Ron Woodroof in "Dallas Buyers Club" by subsisting on egg whites, tapioca pudding, vegetables, fish, and wine, according to Insider. It stands to reason that if any role called for weight loss, it would be a character who ends up marooned on a remote island. But due to the show's extensive use of flashbacks and its slow-moving timeline, it was essential for characters to maintain a more consistent weight throughout production, with Garcia telling Today that the producers had not asked him to lose weight for the series despite abundant rumors to the contrary.

Hurley's lack of weight loss was even explained in a storyline, with Hurley at one point remarking to Charlie, "I'm a big guy. It's going to be a while before you're going to want to give me a piggyback ride." And thanks to the Island's strange properties and its Dharma Initiative connection, it doesn't take long before more food comes his way. In reality, however, the demands of production, as well as the healthier lifestyle habits that become easier to afford when a person goes from a struggling actor to a network television star, can naturally cause actors to shed a few pounds. By Season 2, Hurley's weight had visibly dropped, something Garcia addressed in a now-archived Maxim interview. But on an Island with polar bears, supernatural healing, and an enigmatic super-computer, a little weight fluctuation is a pretty small issue in the grand scheme of things. Garcia's fantastic performance as the likable Hurley more than made up for any visual inconsistencies.

Hurley was created for Jorge Garcia

In the television and film industry, it's pretty common for actors to get a different part than they originally auditioned for. For instance, when Betty White originally auditioned for "The Golden Girls," she went out for the part of Blache Devereux, and the creators came up with Rose specifically with White in mind (via Today). It's also not uncommon for actors to read for a few parts when they're auditioning. Before the hunky Josh Holloway was cast as Sawyer, Matthew Fox and Jorge Garcia were both among the many actors who read for the eventually Southern-fried confidence man. But at least in Garcia's case, executive producer J.J. Abrams had something else in mind for him. According to The New York Times, Abrams noticed Garcia on an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm” and decided right away that the curly-haired actor should be among the ranks of his survivors. The writing team developed Hurley around Garcia's personality and presence, and the actor later reflected, "It makes you feel like you're pretty good at what you do."

Hurley's comic book is full of hints

It's always a good idea to bring reading material on a long flight, and the overseas flight from Sydney to LAX certainly qualifies as a great opportunity to crack the spine of a book or two. While Boone prefers the rabbit-oriented adventures of "Watership Down," fun-loving Hurley is more of a comic book guy, and he can be seen reading a Spanish language comic book before the plane goes down. After landing on the island, 10-year-old Walt gets ahold of the book and finds it a welcome diversion, especially with his overbearing dad Michael constantly in his face. Even though he can't understand the language, the young medium enjoys looking at the art and following what he can of the story until his mad dad chucks it in the campfire.

Like many things in the series, Hurley's comic book carries hidden clues to the secrets of "Lost," and it's worth taking a closer look at the pages before they get torched. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice the book is a copy of the real 1997 comic "Green Lantern/Flash: Faster Friends Part One." One of the most obvious hints is the polar bear, which foreshadows the two real polar bears that would menace the survivors shortly after their arrival on the island, with one cornering Walt in a terrifying scene. This is also foreshadowed by Michael bringing baby Walt a stuffed polar bear as a gift during a flashback. 

About that time Hurley gets mistaken for a drug dealer...

These days, cannabis can be obtained legally in 37 states for either medical or recreational purposes depending on the state's laws. But it wasn't so long ago that possession of even a small amount of marijuana could potentially land someone in prison for decades. While that didn't stop folks many from partaking, it did make picking up enough bud for a casual toke somewhat nerve wracking, especially for the inexperienced. This awkwardness was the subject of the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" scene that would ultimately inspire J.J. Abrams to cast Jorge Garcia as Hurley. The scene features the perennially disagreeable Larry David on a quest to pick up a little chronic for his dad's glaucoma from a street dealer played by Garcia. When David tries to haggle over the price of some schwag, the frustrated dealer remarks, "Look, I don't need to sell the drugs. The drugs will sell themselves." Episode 18 of "Lost" Season 1, "Numbers" finds Garcia revisiting his fake drug dealer days when the LAPD arrests Hurley, prompting his accountant to comment later, "I still can't imagine how the police mistook you for a drug dealer."

Hurley appeared on a Weezer album

For almost as long as musicians have been recording albums, they've been making references to their favorite literary works or films. In 1976, Rush released "All the World's a Stage," a nod to a monologue from Shakespeare's comedy "As You Like It." Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop" and "The Battle of Evermore" reference events and places from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

And just as fans of Tolkien were delighted to see their favorite rock band jamming about ring wraiths and magic runes, fans of "Lost" were fairly stoked when Weezer released their 2010 album "Hurley," complete with an adorable photo of Jorge Garcia on the cover. That's why it came as something of a shocker when the band revealed that they weren't fans of "Lost" at all and had actually named the band after the surf wear company also called Hurley, which partly funded the record. During a conversation with the Guardian, guitarist Brian Bell commented, "Using Hurley, this character from 'Lost,' which I've never seen in my life, as our mascot almost ... is somewhat postmodernistic [sic] maybe."

Hurley is a medium

Part of what makes "Lost" so special is its emphasis on each character's complex life experiences. Hurley's colorful backstory includes time spent in a mental institution after a tragic accident that sends him into depression and correlates to the appearance of an imaginary friend named Dave. After leaving the Island, Hurley sees what he believes to be more hallucinations, only these take the form of the late Charlie, Mr. Eko, Ana Lucia, and other 815 survivors who ultimately didn't make it off the Island. At first, it's unclear whether Hurley is actually imagining these visitors, or if they originate from another plane of existence. But a closer look at the series reveals that the Island seems to grant some people the ability to connect with the spirit realm. Besides Hurley, Miles exhibits similar mediumship – which he turns into a career – potentially related to his infancy on the Island. Locke, Michael, and the Man in Black are just a few more examples of people who connect with the ghostly realm in some way while living on the island.

The Hurley bird is a Dharma creation

The survivors don't have to spend much time on the Island before they notice it has some unusual fauna. In addition to potentially supernatural animals like Kate's black horse, there are animals that were used in research by the Dharma Initiative like polar bears, sharks (as seen in Season 2, Episode 2, "Adrift"), and dolphins once housed around the Hydra Station (according to Juliet in Season 3, Episode 1, "A Tale of Two Cities"). One of the more oft-debated creatures inhabiting the island is a bird known to fans as "the Hurley bird" because of its connection to Hurley.

The enigmatic bird first appears to the survivors in the Season 1 finale episode "Exodus, Part 2" as the group is walking through the jungle. After observing the bird's 16-foot wingspan, the survivors seem stunned, with Hurley remarking, "Whoever named this place 'Dark Territory' — genius." During a later encounter, Hurley believes it calls his name — a belief supported by the subtitles, despite Sawyer's snide remark that the bird also "crapped gold." Like many things in the world of "Lost," it is difficult to discern where the bird came from or whether it is even real at all. After the somewhat divisive series finale of "Lost," left many fans scratching their heads, showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse later released a short film to help clear a few things up — including the Hurley bird. During the 11-minute epilogue "The New Man in Charge," Ben Linus plays a Hydra Station orientation video in which Pierre Chang introduces the "Hy-birds" — genetically altered birds created as a Dharma experiment.

Hurley is seriously into games

It's true that life on the Island can be pretty intense. But even with all of the drama, there's always time for a little fun and games, from Walt's backgammon board to Sawyer and Kate's campfire game of "I Never." But "Lost" fans who pay attention know that fun-loving Hurley is the biggest gamer on the Island, even beating out the Axis and Allies-loving, computer-chess-playing Locke.

Besides Hurley's eagerness to play Walt at backgammon — something he still owes the young man $83,000 for by the end of the series — he also plays a number of other popular games before and during his stay on the Island. Shortly after the crash, Hurley brings light to an otherwise grim experience by creating a golf course for the survivors to use, with series co-creator Damon Lindelof cheekily revealing in a New York Comic Con panel that Hurley is still on the Island hosting the annual Dharma Open Invitational. At various times during the series, Hurley also plays horseshoes, Connect 4, Horse, poker, ping-pong, Risk, blackjack, and tic-tac-toe.

Some folks really won the lottery with Hurley's numbers

Every survivor on the Island has their own share of baggage. But for Hurley, that baggage is worth more than $150 million as a result of winning the lottery with a set of allegedly cursed numbers. Across the Island and in the world at large, the numbers seem to pop up again and again, with Hurley first hearing them from Leonard at the mental institution, who in turn learned them from Sam Toomey. All three men would eventually come to believe the numbers are cursed, with Hurley arriving at this belief after a string of astonishingly bad luck that begins with his abuelo's sudden death at the family's post-lottery winning press conference. More specifically, Hurley came to believe that the numbers imparted bad luck to everyone around the person who used them.

But not everyone is afraid of the numerical curse. In 2011, thousands of folks used Hurley's numbers to play the lottery and wound up taking home winnings — although nothing on the scale of Hurley's jackpot. The lucky 9,000 or so winners snagged about $150 each in the Mega Millions lottery, according to CBS. Jorge Garcia took to his blog Further Dispatches to warn them all, playfully posting, "When Will You People Learn? The Numbers Are Bad! Enjoy your CURSED money."

Hurley fought fate to end up on the island

Most of the survivors who end up on the Island from "Lost" seem to have been driven there by forces beyond their control. Perhaps it was due to Hurley's extraordinary luck, but he is the one passenger fate seemed to be working to keep off the Island.

After traveling to Sydney to search for answers about the numbers, Hurley decides to head back home to LA in time for his mother's birthday. It seems like for the first time since winning, he's getting hit with as much bad luck as everyone else around him. On the morning of his flight, his alarm fails to go off thanks to a damaged power outlet in his hotel room. If that wasn't enough to keep him off the flight, his path to the airport is hindered by an automotive emergency. Once he finally arrives at the airport, Hurley ends up at the wrong terminal. He also has to stop and purchase an extra seat on the plane due to his weight. He barely manages to board in time after paying a senior $1600 to use his scooter, sliding into the gate just in time to end up crashing on the Island with everyone else.

Since Hurley ends up becoming a custodian of the Island, the fact that he has such a hard time boarding might seem a little puzzling. Since Jacob ends up convincing Hurley to return to the Island after he leaves, it seems like Jacob always knew Hurley would make his own fate.

Hurley and Locke have some unexpected work connections

From strange coincidences to odd magnetic properties, the survivors on "Lost" encounter all sorts of strange phenomena during their time on the Island, as well as before and after the crash of Oceanic 815. Before their time on the Island, many of the "Lost" survivors crossed paths with each other or had indirect contact with each other's lives in some way. For Hurley and Locke, who both share a very special connection to the Island, their pre-Island associations include a couple of professional connections. Observant fans will notice that Hurley's boss Randy Nations at the fast-food joint Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack goes on to become John Locke's terrible box factory manager. It's also worth noting that the box company John Locke works for is purchased by Hurley as an investment, although neither seems to be aware of the connection. The link becomes significant during the flash-sideways in Season 6. After Randy fires Locke from the box factory, Hurley promises to help Locke new employment, and tells Locke that he thinks Randy is a jerk. Although, Hurley doesn't actually use the word "jerk." He uses a harsher, more accurate word.

Fans have some interesting theories about his nickname

One of Sawyer's favorite pastimes on the island is handing out nicknames to everyone he meets. The targets of Sawyer's unstoppable nicknaming include survivors, Others, and everyone else he encounters. Hurley is one of Sawyer's favorite targets, racking up an impressive 27 nicknames from "Grape Ape" to "Snuffy" in their time together. The irony here is that the name "Hurley" is actually a nickname itself. Unfortunately for his fellow survivors as well as the audience, Hugo doesn't feel comfortable discussing his nickname's origins, leaving curious fans free to dream up their own theories. There are many fan-proposed explanations, from the all-too-obvious theory that he got the name from throwing up to the suggestion that his name is a combination of "Hugo" and "curly." Fans theorizing on the Lostpedia wiki even pitched theories about his name connecting to "Twin Peaks" or the Antarctic adventurer Frank Hurley.