Interview with Damon Lindelof

HBO

Each season of this series feels like its own testament in this story. How has it been watching the series’ evolution?

Damon Lindelof

Like watching a baby take its first steps, gaining confidence slowly but surely, and then becoming a pole vaulter by age three. The show has grown up so fast!

HBO

Was it challenging to keep track of the various symbolism? The deer, David Burton — in this season, for example, we saw a lot of ladders.

Damon Lindelof

We're pretty careful about how much symbolism we deploy and that it always mean something. At least to us. If we're not discriminating, everything becomes symbolic and then you stop watching the show for the characters and start watching it for the goats. That said, the goats are awesome.

HBO

Which character do you relate to most?

Damon Lindelof

This is like asking someone who their favorite child is, but I think it should be obvious by now — the goat. His name is Rupert, by the way.

HBO

Why root each of these last episodes in a specific character? And pair them with a director they’ve worked with previously?

Damon Lindelof

The final two episodes were all about bringing Kevin and Nora together. It felt like the best way to do this was through their own unique points of view, so we'd understand what they had to do in order to overcome what was keeping them apart.

[Director] Craig Zobel helped create the world of [Season 2, Episode 8] “International Assassin,” so it would've been sacrilege not to let him destroy it. As for the finale, no director on Earth could do it better than [executive producer] Mimi Leder, who is not just a director, but the pounding, loving heart of our show.

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. If she can be okay, so can everyone else.

HBO

How did the final scene of the show came to fruition? Whose idea was it to end with Nora’s monologue?

Damon Lindelof

The writers convened at the beginning of the season and worked for two weeks just trying to figure out what the final scene would be. This is the one we landed on. As with all the best ideas on The Leftovers, it was a group effort and by time we wrote it, it felt like ALL of ours.

HBO

Why did you have her explain -- rather than show -- her journey to the other side?

Damon Lindelof

Because the show has always been about the stories we tell to make ourselves feel better.

HBO

Do you believe Nora is being truthful? Can we trust she “went through?”

Damon Lindelof

Hm. Well... We did revisit our old theme song for a reason.

HBO

As The Leftovers ages, what do you hope viewers will continue to take away?

Damon Lindelof

I hope it makes people think and feel and laugh and cry and forgive and last but not least — to quote the Guilty Remnant — I hope it makes them remember.

Watch every episode of The Leftovers on HBO.

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