HOMETOWN: San Clemente, Calif.
LATEST GIG: Lost‘s big kahuna, the superstitious lottery winner Hurley
JACK OF ALL TRADES
Hurley hit the jackpot while working at a fast food joint; Garcia got his big break with a Jack in the Box commercial. Quitting his job at a Borders bookstore, the UCLA grad moved on to small but memorable comic roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Becker.
FOUND: ONE GIRLFRIEND
Garcia didn’t have to go far to find love in Hawaii: Girlfriend Malia Hansen, 28, a former sales rep, “rented the cottage and I rented the main house on the same property. That’s how we met,” he says. “I think initially the proximity scared her. But I guess I wore her down.” A couple since last Easter, they have formed “our little family unit” with a dog, Nunu, and cat, Lil’ Nin.
LOST: 30 POUNDS
During last summer’s hiatus, the actor went on a diet and hired a trainer in L.A. But Lost producers didn’t have to worry about suddenly writing in a hunger strike for Hurley. “You know, I didn’t do anything drastic that would shock anyone,” says Garcia, who is still keeping up his workouts in Hawaii. “I just wanted to feel better, and I do.”
“Hurley is not the obvious choice to build a romance around,” he says of his character’s flirtation with Libby, played by Cynthia Watros. “I think it’s cool that Hurley is the one that gets the girl.” And the kissing scene? “We had a lot of fun with it,” says Garcia, “and so did the PAs. They brought the breath mints over to us and I was like, ‘Are you for real?’ But I took them anyway.”