How did not knowing what was going to happen shape your experience on set?
It was such a funny experience because we all wanted to put little pieces of the puzzle together. We were like little detectives. We knew the stunt guys always had info before anybody else -- even if the episode wasn’t written, they would be briefed about their upcoming stunt -- so if you asked them lots of questions, you could get bits of information. It was always fun trying to gather all the bits. There were rumors of Australia when we first got to Austin [where Jarden, Texas was filmed], but it’s so interesting how it all played out.
Did you know what would happen in the beginning of Season 3?
I was so surprised by that. I was like 7 months pregnant when they shot that scene so they had to airbrush my tummy out. Deep down I was quite sad Meg died in that kind of way. But I started reading some of the [Season 3] scripts and they were absolutely brilliant, and then I was super surprised I came back later on.
Did you approach Meg in a different way for the Episode 7 since it was “another world”?
Basically, the Meg I knew wasn’t in any part of the Meg that I was playing in that episode because it was Kevin’s weird dream-land, and it’s his interpretation. I assumed anything happening in that scene was his subconscious, and I was a vessel conveying that information.
What do you think attracts Meg to “false stunts” like blowing up the bus and the fake bomb in the trailer on the bridge?
I think she’s trying to get people’s attention; she’s always been the one asking, “why?” I don’t think she had a master plan, she was just trying to figure it out as she went along. But I always saw those acts as really trying to open people’s eyes and get them to stop sleepwalking and pay attention.
Now that you can look back at all 3 seasons, what’s been the most rewarding thing about playing this character?
I was always trying to understand her and get to know her. I’m quite a free person, but I think things through, and Meg is the opposite of that. If that impulsive, passionate, fiery character was something I had it inside of me, it was completely dormant. Letting it out it opened up a whole can of worms in a way. Doing all of those angry scenes was terrifying, but so liberating and fun, it expanded me in some kind of way. I liked playing someone who was not always making the right decisions, and living with those consequences.
Watch the series finale of The Leftovers June 4 at 9 PM on HBO.