“The series has been criticized for the kind of depressing tone to it, but I have quite the opposite view on these characters,” says Christopher Eccleston about the HBO drama “The Leftovers” (listen to our podcast below). “Everybody has lost so much, but they carry on and they try and live, so I do find that optimistic and heroic.”
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“The Leftovers” imagines the aftermath of the Sudden Departure, in which two-percent of the world’s population disappears without explanation. That disappearance, which some might interpret as the Biblical Rapture, creates a spiritual crisis for Eccleston’s character, Reverend Matt Jamison, a man of God who has been left behind.
“I met [showrunner Damon Lindelof], and I think he was surprised I was interested in that role because it was a small role, but I felt there was a great deal of mileage in it,” Eccleston explains about what initially attracted him to the character. He adds that it’s a “fantastically written role; complex, contradictory man; both good and bad. He operates in a very gray area as I believe most human beings do.” And through all of Matt’s frustration and grief, Eccleston feels that he’s a “fundamentally decent man.”
“The Leftovers” could be a contender for Golden Globes, and though Eccleston has never been nominated at that event, the actor does have prior experience with industry kudos, including a pair of BAFTA nominations, and an International Emmy win for “Accused” in 2011. But he thinks “comparing two actors’ performances is like comparing an orange and a thermometer really.” He would be much more enthusiastic to see his colleagues nominated, and for the series as a whole to succeed: “It’s a real ensemble piece, and we want the show to be recognized because it’s somewhat controversial, it’s somewhat unusual, and we worked our asses off on it.”
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