Out of LEFT field

Justin Th­er­oux wishes his per­sonal life wasn’t why The Left­overs got extra at­ten­tion, writes SARAH BLAKE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV GUIDE -

JUSTIN Th­er­oux isn’t one to make a fuss. So while shoot­ing the up­com­ing fi­nal sea­son of cult mystery drama

The Left­overs in Aus­tralia, he reg­u­larly apol­o­gised to his fel­low cast­mates.

The prob­lem? The swarm of pa­parazzi who fol­lowed him be­cause of his other role, as the hus­band of Jen­nifer Anis­ton.

While Th­er­oux has be­come ac­cus­tomed to this side of the celebrity circus since fall­ing in love with the for­mer

Friends star five years ago, his co-stars in the HBO se­ries ad­mit they found the extra scru­tiny un­nerv­ing.

So much so, Car­rie Coon – who plays the love in­ter­est of Th­er­oux’s ex­is­ten­tially chal­lenged po­lice chief Kevin Gar­vey – says she hopes she never be­comes a “real celebrity”.

“Justin has them (pa­parazzi) all over the world … and some­times they spoil things be­cause they will take photos of him on set and peo­ple will see plot points,” she says. “He is so grace­ful about all of it, [but] it’s so much pres­sure.”

Such a level of recog­ni­tion for its male lead could be ex­pected to de­liver the kind of pub­lic­ity most pro­duc­ers would rel­ish for this crit­i­cally lauded but not widely known fan­tasy from Lost co-cre­ator Da­mon Lin­de­lof.

But Coon and Th­er­oux ar­gue the opposite is true.

“They just want to see pic­tures of Justin’s abs – so I don’t know that it helps, nec­es­sar­ily,” Coon says.

Th­er­oux is not con­vinced there is a con­nec­tion be­tween the fans who buy into the “bulls---” writ­ten about his re­la­tion­ship and true fans, dubbed “Left-ies”, who love his show.

“The pic­tures are just tit­tle tat­tle, you know, it’s all bulls---,” he says. “I have got­ten more used to it [pa­parazzi] but when peo­ple who aren’t used to it have to act [dur­ing film­ing] and they might be do­ing some­thing emo­tional … it can be an­noy­ing.”

His at­ti­tude is im­pres­sive, treat­ing the in­ter­est “like weather”, ex­plain­ing: “You can’t fight it so if it’s go­ing to rain that day it’s go­ing to rain that day. I usu­ally apol­o­gise [to cast and crew] and they say, ‘Don’t worry about it’.” The third sea­son of

The Left­overs sees the ac­tion move from Texas and New York to Aus­tralia, de­liv­er­ing about $20 mil­lion to the econ­omy and cre­at­ing more than 250 lo­cal jobs in the three months of shoot­ing last year in Mel­bourne, country Vic­to­ria and Bro­ken Hill.

Lin­de­lof says he wanted to film the sign-off here be­cause “Aus­tralia is the end of the world ge­o­graph­i­cally and our show is about the end

of the world emo­tion­ally”. “There’s also some­thing about Aus­tralian cin­ema – it’s pri­mal, an­cient and spir­i­tual – that felt like it fit The Left­overs, whether it’s Mad Max movies, Walkabout, Wake in Fright, [or]

Peter Weir’s Pic­nic at Hang­ing

Rock,” he says. The fi­nale is set four years af­ter sea­son two ended and seven years af­ter the se­ries be­gan with “the de­par­ture,” (the sud­den dis­ap­pear­ance of two per cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion).

Th­er­oux says he hopes the show’s fans will be happy with how it ends, de­spite the fact many mys­ter­ies will re­main un­ex­plained.

“You have to see it to un­der­stand what I mean, but it was one of those mo­ments where you think they are go­ing to zig and they zag,” he says. “It was just an amaz­ing piece of writ­ing.”

THE LEFT­OVERS

THURS­DAY, 8.30PM, FOX­TEL’S SHOWCASE

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