Editor's note: This week's column was so long that we split it half. Don't miss the second part, about actor Bryan Cranston's seriously green home.
“I recycle to a ridiculous degree. I’ve spent most of my adult life standing before the recycling bin and reading the packaging to see what I can put in,” says Dominic Monaghan, who plays the mysterious genius Simon Campos on "FlashForward," which returns to ABC after a winter hiatus on March 18. “I drive a Prius. I have desert plants in my garden that don’t use a huge amount of water. I recycle all my paper. I try as hard as I can to make the right choices. I don’t buy gas from certain big companies. I buy it from smaller companies. Ultimately, I’m going to buy an electric car,” he says. “I think I’m going to get a Tesla. I really like what they do and I want to support that company.”
Passionate about animals and natural history, endangered species in particular, Monaghan volunteers at the California Wildlife Center in Calabasas, CA and is currently pitching a series idea that would involve him writing, presenting, directing and producing shows about animals and areas of the world that are in trouble. “We’re breeding out of control and we’re one of the top ten damaging animals on the planet. If we disappeared I think things would get slightly better, but if some other animals disappeared things would start to degrade. I think we need to be a little more responsible,” opines Monaghan, who keeps pet snakes, lizards and spiders at home.
The new "FlashForward" episodes will answer some questions about Simon, he tells us. You’ll meet his family and find out where his motivation comes from, why he’s having such a hard time and why his behavior seems to be obnoxious, but he’s trying to push forward an agenda that no one knows about. He’s hiding a secret. A few things will be revealed relatively early.”
Would he want to get a glimpse into his future like the characters in the show? “I’d like to meet my kids and find out they’re all right and see if I’m doing a good job as a dad, but other than that not really. There’s a mystery to life that’s beautiful and you’d be losing that mystery,” he explains.
Thanks to the flash-sideward alternate universe depicted in the final season of "Lost," Monaghan has already returned once to that show, even though his character, Charlie, died in Season 3, but if he’ll make another appearance he’s not telling. Going back gave him the chance to visit his favorite Hawaiian haunts and hang out with friends from the cast. “I stay in touch with quite a few different people,” says the British actor, who took some souvenirs after he left the first time. “I took an ashtray from the crashed Oceanic plane and my necklace, and they gave me the hoodie. I have a few of Charlie’s things.”