November 14, 2005 12:00 PM

Shakespeare in Love: O’Quinn was turned on to acting at age 15 when he saw Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet. “I fell in love with Olivia Hussey,” he says. “I remember learning the speeches and mooning over whatever girl I was in love with that week. I played basketball in college and the guys nicknamed me Shakespeare because I would spout those things.”

Mr. Handy Man: Before relocating, with wife Lori, from Baltimore to Hawaii (where Lost films), O’Quinn sold most of their belongings. Not to worry, the father of sons Hunter, 22, and Oliver, 24, is helping refurnish. “I dabble in carpentry,” he says. “I’ve got a little shop and I’m making tables and chairs, a vanity for Lori. My stuff is kind of rudimentary, but I like it. It’s therapeutic.”

Cutting edge: Like Locke, “I’m fairly efficient at knife throwing,” says O’Quinn. “When I’m on the set, I’ll go find a place and practice.” But unlike his character, “I don’t kill.”

Perks of the Job: “I’ve lost about 20 lbs. since we started the show,” he says. “You do a lot more walking and swimming here and you eat more fruit.” As for newfound fans, “If somebody wants to take a picture with me, I say, ‘God bless them,’ ” he admits. “I’m 53, and that’s never happened before.”

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