Our last scene together was the bathtub (in the previous episode). Looking back on the experience, were those knockdown brutal moments like that hotel fight the hardest things to play, or was it something that people wouldn’t necessarily expect? Get our newsletter in your inbox twice a week. How did the transition from Hastings-on-Hudson to Austin to Australia each season change the experience of making the show for you? I love that he worked that into our show. We had Biblical show up in Hastings. Even the meticulously naturalistic Chekhov would have characters deliver news of unseen deaths in the final act; when Tuzenbach is shot dead at the end of The Three Sisters, it leads the siblings gather as the eldest delivers a collectivized self-help type monologue: “The music is playing so happily, so cheerfully, that it seems, in just a little time, we will know why we live, and why there is all this suffering… If only we could know! And we always had Biblical conditions. If you haven’t, help us keep our journalism free for everyone by making a financial contribution today, from as little as $3. I loved Kevin — poor, misguided Kevin — trying to erase everything that happened after the Departure to try and sweep Nora off her feet the old fashioned way. The summary for this final Leftovers' episode promised that "Nothing is answered. There wasn’t a lot of talk in between takes, they just reset the lights and waited. Religion is, for many, a way of clinging to something: an afterlife becomes a way to cling to the idea of self — we don’t disappear, we continue, we must. Nora Durst is not very present in the book, and I left the book wanting more of her and being interested in her. Lindelof is, on some level, an optimist, and I think one of the things that made this show work so well is that his gooey self collided with Tom Perrotta's slightly more prickly artistic sensibility and made something beautiful (once they worked out some early kinks). 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That was a very rainy, muddy night — they were having biblical rain in this small town it hadn’t rained that much in 30 years — and there was a question of whether or not I would do my own stunt because I had knee surgery earlier that year. Seriously. All of the film stuff, when you’re a certain age, is the stoic wife character who’s supportive of her husband. Whose idea was it to end with Nora’s monologue? Dave Chappelle’s SNL monologue was shrewd and political — but more chill than expected. And I don’t want to invalidate someone’s point of view. Flavorwire is taking the final week of 2017 off, because God knows we need it. The Leftovers first showed it could exquisitely execute the storytelling device in an atypical medium in Episode 3, when it put all of its faith in Lindsay Duncan to keep our attention for a monologue about how her (just introduced) character assumed her children had “departed,” never realizing that they’d actually gone looking for her; she never tried to find them, because she was so certain of their departure, and they died in the wilderness. After four years of Trump spoofs, the show tackled Biden’s victory without much inspiration. How do you find yourself playing that? Twin Peaks is the ultimate defeat of recap culture. I think we all recognized the delicacy of it. He was delightful. Who am I to judge that coping mechanism? I was aware of them, as I was aware of all genres of music. One centimeter and she’s dead. Justin and I are great scene partners, and we love working together and are good friends. I thought that Nora felt she might be dangerous, whereas Damon figured she walked away from that scene figuring, “This is not my fault; I’m completely in the right.” So I had a completely different idea in my head from what Damon intended, but he edits it and the scene became something else. Watch every episode of The Leftovers on HBO. Clearly, there is something about you that invites this. I'm so sad this show is over, but I'm so glad to have watched it. They omit proof of anything either way, but thematically, Nora lying and Kevin believing her despite knowing its a lie so they can both be happy together and move on is a poignant conclusion to the entire thesis of the show and their respective character arcs. But I was an athlete, I’m pretty reckless, and I take great pride in trying to do my own stunts. That’s more about editing and camerawork. The Leftovers finale: “The Book of Nora” answers everything. It was my first TV job. HBO: Why start the season with “The Book of Kevin” and close with “The Book of Nora?” Damon Lindelof: Nora Durst has suffered the most profound loss of anyone on the show. The beautiful part about doing that scene [in “The Book of Nora”] is Chris Eccleston [who plays Matt Jamison] and I were saying goodbye to each other. You can’t get worried, because then you get in your own way. But the two things came out in reverse order, so when I look at the first season and Gone Girl, I can see my development, but it looks to everyone else like I got worse. I think that at the core of things, Nora was lying, but they gave everyone watching the opportunity to believe her. The same goes for Matt in episode five. Nude scenes, it’s not easy, but it’s also part of the job, in a way. So then The Leftovers did just that but in a way where you can never be 100 percent sure that the "answers" are answers at all. Even after the economy recovers, advertising alone will never be enough to support it. I’m a character actor. That pretty quickly fell apart when she called Laurie, but I spent a long time thinking about it. I’m the age that I am. So to have Nora be the one to offer the show’s final word on the biggest, simplest question about the Departure — where the hell did those people go? Before Nora decided to tell Kevin about her experience, I couldn’t begin to guess what had happened in the years since we’d last seen her in that cold, metal tank. Well, from both the time the show started, and then from this spring when you’ve had two shows on at once, how has the material you’ve been getting changed? It was great fun. Living is harder than dying. Whether she was interviewing people for the Department of Sudden Departures, rolling her eyes at her believer brother, or packing up her things once Kevin told her about seeing Patti, Nora has always been the one Leftovers character who’s remained aggressively allergic to bullshit. Sometimes, caring about someone means believing in them even if you think they might be bullshitting you (as Nora did with Kevin for so many years, and even as she does in this episode with the nun who’s clearly lying about her gentleman caller). When you’re weeping on the floor, it’s very clear. It was really hard, and I hurt myself a little bit, but to have real circumstances was really satisfying to me. They had the music playing for us, and it was a lot of fun. If you have already made a contribution to Vox, thank you. I had to do that Holy Wayne scene from Season 1 [Episode 6, “Guest”] probably 12 times, and it’s really hard to hit the reset button. She described it as “Kubrick-esque” — it’s the sci-fi shot of our episode. The water was up to the bridge. So I was so grateful to have a place to put that energy. Yes, I did. And he helped me make sense of how to deliver that monologue, because it’s an odd anecdote. There was really a 50/50 split on if Nora had made this story up to justify being there and living the way she was living. We were lucky to have those things dovetailing to make it feel real. And then we did another medium shot with full water, and that tight shot was the last one we got. Well, usually I hit the camera a few times first, and we have to start over because I’ve knocked the guy. (Which does not include you, Caroline.). Silicon Valley leaders celebrate the Biden win — and send a message to Trump. For me, I felt that no matter what I chose, it wouldn’t matter. Laurie comes to closure in episode six and drops away from the story. To see two masculine men sharing that kind of vulnerability and fear was very powerful. She is not afraid to die. How long did it take Dan Sackheim to get that shot of you in this year’s fourth episode with the water pouring off your brow? The deer, David Burton — in this season, for example, we saw a lot of ladders. And Fincher taught me so much about being on camera. Absolutely. And they couldn’t warm the water up, because it was cold water, and you can only do it a few times because the room gets wet. He’s such an artist. Aging in HD is very humbling, I’ll say that much. Finally, Nora, alone, needs closure — or, perhaps, more accurately, to move on. But this vision is challenged with various other people’s own odd new spiritual absolutes: a cult devoted to a particularly horny lion named Frasier; another man with a business card declaring himself God; an organization of Dutch scientists that claims it can zap people into the land of the Departed. It was my first TV job. The world didn’t end on October 14, 2011, nor did Nora Durst’s life, even if it must have felt to her like both did for a very long time. In one speech, she builds a world; if you want to believe it, you’ll color it in. Or were there times where the energy of the material made it a hard set to be on? HBO. 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