Tonight's cuppa: peppermint tea

Josh2 Today, I was thrilled to read that the witty and charming Josh Holloway, who plays grifter-turned-leader-of-men Sawyer on ABC's Wednesday-night drama "Lost," and wife Yessica Kumala became first-time parents on April 9 with the birth of a daughter, Java Kumala Holloway.

On April 3, I talked to Holloway by phone from the "Lost" location in Hawaii for a syndicated feature story to coincide with the show's 100th episode, airing on April 29 (click here for cast member Jorge Garcia's blog, which contains pictures of the celebratory cake, created by Charm City Cakes of Food Network's "Ace of Cakes").

As it turned out, the conversation took place only days before the blessed event, and luckily I had time to ask Holloway how he felt about being a dad.

Holloway said, "Well, I'm about to find out. We're getting close. It's beyond moving. I can't even describe it to you. I listen to country music and drive my car, and it makes me all teary. I'm like, 'God, I've got to listen to reggae or something, so I'll be happy.'

"It's powerful. Those emotions come up around a child. It's been a lot of fun. It's just been amazing. It's been a really wonderful experience so far. Few more weeks" — little did he know it would be a few more days — "I'll be with my sunglasses on, trying to change diapers and avoid getting pooed on."

On this particular Friday, Holloway said that he had one more day of work, which meant that filming would be wrapped up before the birth.

"Yes, that timed out really nicely," he said, "for the wife, for me, because I really want to be there. I don't want to miss that, because it's quite an amazing experience."

Asked if he and his wife were fully equipped at home, Holloway said, "Of course. We're all cocked and ready. We're so ready, it's ridiculous. So far, so good. We're just waiting for the day. She is very ready, and she's been great."

Some of Holloway's fellow cast members are parents, and as to whether they've been giving him advice, he said, "Oh, gosh, whether you seek it or not, you get it. I have heard every story there is from men, women — oh my goodness — read all the books and all that.

"Now I'm ready to just do it, and I think that's natural. It's the beauty of nature — you get that nine months to actually wrap your psyche and heart around what you're about to get into. You have to learn all these things, and then you just have to do it, go on instinct.

"But I'm looking forward to it."

I wondered aloud whether this new-daddy business might make Holloway all mellow.

"I might be," he said, "you never know. Good God knows I'm round at the moment. I'm definitely having a pregnancy with my wife. I'm like, 'Shirt off, I don't think so. No, no, we'll do that next year.' Right now, I'm being a soft Daddy-O."

Speaking of shirts coming off, although Holloway said he was glad that his big TV success came a little later Josh3 in life, there are advantages to youth when the script calls for several shirtless scenes, as Holloway had in this year's season premiere.

"Staying in shape would be a lot easier," he said on that subject. "Not so fun for me, because I'm like 38, 39 — that would have been better at 25. But, you know, you do what you gotta, and it keeps you in shape, whether you like it or not.

"So it's like, 'All right, I'll do it,' then I made the phone calls, 'Please, guys, don't do that to me anymore.' They broke the back of it this season, and I was like, 'Ya'll, I can't.'"

As for the tan, though, Holloway reveals that was the easy part.

"That's au naturel," he said. "I can get pretty dark. If I have to do a scene of that nature, I just go fishing, hang out on the boat all day. Four or five hours in the sun, you change four or five shades darker. I just did that, and I'm glad I did."

Posted by:Kate O'Hare