Fans and the show's exec producer disagree over the recent casting

By Jeff Jensen
Updated January 11, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

When word recently leaked that Lost had cast actress Bai Ling for a three-episode stint starting in February, even loyalists began to wonder whether Lost had finally lost it. It seems that Ling — known for her work in Red Corner — doesn’t exactly command much respect. Wrote one poster at ”I kind of view [her] casting as a jump the shark situation. I hope I’m wrong.” Well…you are! At least partially. Contrary to reports, the actress will appear in just one episode of the ABC drama — flashbacks in which the secret of Jack’s (Matthew Fox) made-in-Thailand tattoos will be revealed. Moreover, Lost thinks Bai Ling is awesome! ”She’s off-the-charts sexy and a damn good actress,” says exec producer Carlton Cuse. On the other hand, Losties seemed rather high (and then very, very hungry) about another bit of quirky casting: Cheech Marin, who is somewhat short, has been tapped to play father to Hurley, who is somewhat…not short. ”He’s quite a good actor,” says Cuse, who used to be Marin’s boss on Nash Bridges. ”People only think of him as the doobie-smoking ’70s dude. But he played Tyne Daly’s love interest in Judging Amy. C’mon!” While we’re being wacky: How about asking Don Johnson to match stubbled cheeks and drawls with Sawyer? ”No,” says Cuse. See? Those Lost guys do know what they’re doing.