You play John Murphy, a new character for Season 2. Can you tell us about your character?
John Murphy is a man trying to hold his family together. He’s taken up a position in the community to right the moral wrongs and take care of the new arrivals… he’s sort of a moral compass in this small town.
What was it that appealed to you about the show?
The fact that it dealt with this universal sense of truth, and that after any huge event, trying to put your life back together is something that we can universally understand. It can be tough, and that’s what I think the conversations we were having was: how do you pick up the pieces after the event? It’s something we’re all going to have to deal with one way or another: something we see as catastrophic, and looking for a sense of completeness after a new event.
Thematically, how does this compare to Season 1?
It’s expanded the conversation in a way: it’s going to look and feel different, but the creative team are pretty great in that they hang on to some of the same things from the first season. We have more people and the episodes are going to look and feel different, because the nature of the move, bringing in the Garveys, who are trying to escape where we’re coming from, and we’re going to put them in a new setting. The nature of them making a move affects different people in different ways, and it’s still about adjusting, it’s still about picking up the pieces after this huge event. So there are similar themes, but the complexion of the show is different because of the move.
The Leftovers seems like one of the darkest shows on TV. Will it lighten up any time soon?
I don’t know that the intention of the show is to focus on being a dark show. I feel like we’re focusing on having a slice of life in this world. There are lighter moments in this, and they’re very human. There’s small nuances and characters that I find are funny and definitely lighter. It’s not going to turn into a comedy, but comparatively I think this season… I wouldn’t say lighter, but there’s a different tone to this season. It still has the tone of not getting ahead, twists and turns… it’s not going to have an all-out dark feel to it.
The first season had episodes directed by the likes of Michelle MacLaren and Peter Berg, and of course Damon Lindelof is the creator. What’s it like working with such big names?
The reasons are they are names is because they focus on the work. If you didn’t know who Damon was you’d just think he was just a passionate showrunner. His success never follows him to the set; he doesn’t throw his weight around. Everybody we have on this show has brought team spirit to the set, and an inclusive sense of the work. He’s made it very easy, it’s hard not to be aware that he’s around, but that’s not because he’s there trying to stand out. There are things you might want to talk about and question, because you know Damon’s around: big questions, small questions, nuance questions, thoughts he might have about this or that. He won’t always tell you the answers, but he will definitely collaborate. He’s a team player, for sure.
What’s it like being a new cast member among an established cast?
I was so lucky in that the cast members from last year completely welcomed us with open arms, and there seemed to be a nice, natural settling-in process. You’re still aware of being one of the new members of the cast, hoping things go well. As far as last year’s cast, I couldn’t ask for a better environment. Everyone from top to bottom has been great.
The Leftovers: Season Two will air on Sky Atlantic from 5 October. For more news on the biggest TV series, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.