'The Leftovers': Carrie Coon Said Leaving the Show Felt Like a 'Funeral Ritual'

An HBO series that debuted in 2014 and ran for three seasons has been gaining new attention lately. The Leftovers told the story of people struggling to come to terms with a worldwide event that mysteriously took 2% of the world’s population, leaving the rest behind to deal with their losses. 

Fans of the show were sad to see it go, but they weren’t the only ones. The cast and crew also felt intensely connected to what they created, and they needed to say goodbye in meaningful ways. 

Who is Carrie Coon?

According to Variety, Coon’s first love as an actor was in the theater. She started her career on the stage, and she even met her husband when they appeared in a Tony Award-winning revival of the famous play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Her first TV role came in 2011, when she appeared in the series The Playboy Club. She played a reporter who was working undercover in an attempt to get the inside scoop on Hugh Hefner and his secretive clubs. Since then, she’s also worked in movies such as Ghostbusters: Afterlife and the recent Sundance Film Festival movie The Nest

One of her most acclaimed projects was a TV series called The Leftovers. Although it ended in 2017, many people have returned to watch it during the pandemic, and for good reason. 

The post-apocalyptic story of ‘The Leftovers’

As Vox explains, The Leftovers ran on HBO for three seasons, from 2014 to 2017. The storyline takes place three years after a bewildering event known as Sudden Departure. Two percent of the world’s population has simply vanished, and no one knows why. 

The show won viewers’ hearts with its powerful portrayal of the survivors as they grapple with grief and unanswered questions. Rather than just telling a disturbing horror story about a baffling event, it was an emotional journey of them figuring out how to go on and find hope again. 

Given all the upheaval of the last year, it’s not surprising that the series is finding new fans today. For some viewers, the characters’ struggles resonate with them even more now, as the world copes with the pandemic and its impacts. 

How the actors said goodbye to the show

Viewers weren’t the only ones who felt a powerful connection to The Leftovers. As Coon said in an interview with Deadline, the cast also grew to have an intense bond with the storyline and the characters. During the final season of the series, each actor experienced letting go of their character in their own way. 

“It felt very ritualistic all season, the way we were saying goodbye, and moving forward to the next thing,” Coon explained. “It felt like a funereal ritual that I was going through the whole time.”

For Coon, her character was the final person shown in the series. That meant that she was the only cast member still on set in Australia to film the final scene. To mark the ending, she went out with the crew, and they partied all night. 

It’s often hard for actors to leave meaningful roles behind when a project ends. The reactions of the people who appeared in The Leftovers show that the viewers weren’t the only ones who got attached to the story. 

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