The star feared how his role as dominant husband Jin-Soo Kwon to his submissive onscreen wife Sun, played by Yunjin Kim, would be perceived by viewers if their characters didn't evolve beyond the pilot episode in 2004 and took his complaints directly to creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, who assured Kim the parts would be fully developed.
He said, "My greatest fear was that the pilot of Lost would air, but the series would not - because if you were to see the pilot as the totality of my character, you would have been left with that stereotype."
"While we were shooting, I remember sitting down with Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams and saying, 'Guys, this character cannot progress in the same way.' They basically said, 'Trust us.' I did, and it turned out for the best."
Despite his initial reservations, Daniel admitted he signed on for the show with the intention of "working within the system" to make positive changes.
He continued, "As an Asian actor, you're just looking to get hired. It's about working within the system to try and change it when you have the opportunity. The character grew to a place where I don't think you'd call him a stereotype by the end."
The "Hawaii Five-0" star also opened up about the steps "Lost" bosses took to make sure the Korean dialogue, along with Kim's accent, was perfect in the show.
Kim told Vulture, "The way the dialogue was put together was they would write it in English and then I would go to someone in Hawaii and translate it together with that person. Then I would learn it in Korean."
"So it was the work of going through the translation process and then thinking about the Korean of it, the pronunciation, and then going back and thinking about the character and his mannerisms as a Korean person as opposed to an American person, which, obviously, I am. I think it would be obvious to most Koreans watching if I didn't do that work."
"I don't think you can question the positive effect Lost had on representation," he added.
"Lost" aired for six seasons until 2010.