The first time Doug Hutchison appeared on the hit ABC television series "Lost,” his character died. That hasn’t stopped Horace Goodspeed, as portrayed by Hutchison, from being one of this season’s key characters. "It doesn’t matter if you die, you’re going to come back, potentially,” Hutchison said in a recent phone interview. "Or they’re going to flash back, and you’re going to revisit your character.” Horace is the long-haired leader of the Dharma Initiative in 1977, where the core "Lost” characters now reside after a time-shift. Hutchison was first cast in the series in the season three episode "The Man Behind the Curtain.” "It seemed intriguing, mostly because it wasn’t a villain,” said Hutchison, known for his villainous role in "The Green Mile,” especially. "I thought, OK, I’ll play this cool hippie dude, the leader of the Dharma Initiative.” Reading the script on the way to Hawaii to film the episode, Hutchison read that his character died at the end of the script. At the time, he believed that put an end to this "possibly recurring” role. "You sometimes get that in Hollywood; they say, ‘Oh, it’s a possible recurring,’ and they want to entice you with that bait,” he said. "So, I did the episode. I had a blast. I died, and a year passes and I get a call from my agent.” It was "Lost,” asking for Hutchison to return for another episode. In that episode, Hutchison’s Horace is a phantom-like character giving direction to John Locke (Terry O’Quinn). Prior to this season, Hutchison again got a call, that "Lost” would like him to come back, for about five more episodes. "I said, ‘As a ghost?’ And (my agent) says, ‘I don’t know.’” When Hutchison got his first script, he realized that the characters have gone back in time, to the era of the Dharma Initiative; now Hutchison plays an "integral part” in this season’s story line — but he still can’t tell fans what’s coming next. "I can’t tell you a lot about (the future of) ‘Lost,’ not because I’m vowed to secrecy so much as I just don’t have a clue,” he said. Another recent role for Hutchison was as "Looney Bin Jim” in "Punisher War Zone,” now out on DVD. In that film, his appearance couldn’t be much further from his Horace Goodspeed character. "I’m kind of a chameleon — especially in ‘Lost,’ when they put that wig on me and I’m wearing those John Lennon glasses; and conversely in ‘Punisher’ I’m this skinheaded psycho,” he said. LBJ is a violent killer who is the brother of the film’s main antagonist, Jigsaw. He agreed to take the part after talking to the director, Lexi Alexander. "Lexi pitched the character as a Hannibal Lecter-ish kind of role,” Hutchison said. "She loves Anthony Hopkins, and I’ve been dabbling with the concept of stillness in acting performances. I was just really turned on by her take of where we could take LBJ.” Hutchison said Alexander allowed the actors to go with their instincts, which allowed Hutchison to bring a lot of his own ideas to the table. "It was just a really exciting, fun adventure with her because she was so open to all the possibilities,” he said. "I’ve played a plethora of villains in my career, as you know, so every time I’m faced with another antagonist, it’s a little daunting. Because I’m always thinking, ‘OK, how can I play another bad guy and make him interesting and different from any of the bad guys I’ve played in the past?’ So, that was a fun exploration to go over the top with LBJ and dive in with this psycho.” Hutchison also has stepped behind the camera recently, with his Web series, "Vampire Killers.” The racy, violent series about a group of vampires and those who hunt them can be found online at www.vampirekillers.tv. "The Internet is the new frontier. It’s the Wild, Wild West,” Hutchison said. "You don’t have to wait around for your phone to ring, for somebody to give you a project. You don’t have to go in and audition and pound the pavement. If you have a great idea and a good team, you can do something fairly inexpensively.” For more about Hutchison’s Web series "Vampire Killers,” go online to blog.newsok.com/nerdage.