Just 4 more episodes of The Leftovers remain before fans stare down the conclusion for Kevin Garvey and the cluster of characters deeply affected by the “Sudden Departure” of Season One.
Based largely in Australia, Season Three is the culmination of Damon Lindelof’s vision for his acclaimed HBO series. It was Australia’s new wave of cinema, Wake in Fright, Walkabout, The Next Wave, Picnic at Hanging Rock that drew producers down under.
“I felt Melbourne was the place.”
Producer / Director Mimi Leder says, “I went on a scout all over Australia and landed on Melbourne. I went to Sydney, Broken Hill, Adelaide and to Melbourne with 2 of my other producers. Knowing what the story was going to be I felt Melbourne was the place.”
Filming took place in Melbourne, Broken Hill and the You Yangs south west of Melbourne.
“The first episode was exclusively in the outback and there’s another that is exclusively in the city. So it feels like a completely different show, from Walkabout to Bourne Identity.
“I’m not saying that’s the tone of the scripts. It’s all buildings as opposed to desert.”
Leder is full of praise for the Australian actors and crew who joined the series, notably Indigenous actors for scenes in Broken Hill.
“We always knew there was a great group of Australian actors who have come to the States but casting ‘day players’ in Australia has been great because there are so many good choices. There are so many seasoned people.
“Working with the Indigenous people was truly inspiring, and a really soul-searching, learning experience for an American,” she reflects.
“The Americans who come here don’t know too much about the Indigenous culture and what happened here, compared to what happened with the native Americans. We’ve seen it through your films and cinema, but it’s not something we learn in school.
“It was fantastic.”
“Every Australian director I approached was unavailable”
Yet while Aussie Robert Humphries is one of the show’s 2 Directors of Photography, Leder was unable to secure a local Director.
“Every Australian director I approached was unavailable,” she reveals.
“I went to so many, especially female directors, but it just didn’t happen.”
“It was Damon’s choice to say ‘This is where I want to end it.”
While she gives nothing away about the conclusion, Leder acknowledges it was a tough decision to wrap the series at just 3 seasons.
“It’s smart to end a show where you think it should end and not extend it for numerous reasons (such as) everyone likes it, or you want to make money. It was Damon’s choice to say ‘This is where I want to end it. This is the story I want to tell.’ Not many artists get to do that, or have the courage to do it,” she continues.
“I’m not thinking about the ending because I will start crying! It will be brutal. We’ll all be on our knees, but in a beautiful way.”
The Leftovers airs 8:30pm Thursdays on Showcase.