Amy Brenneman talks to AwardsDaily TV about The Leftovers’ Laurie Garvey.
Great acting comes from a few places through the creative process. An actor should first be matched with great writing (Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta. Check.). An actor should then be matched with a great director (Carl Franklin. Check.). An actor should finally be matched with the right material, something that truly resonates with that actor and gives them something to dig their teeth into (The Leftovers. Check.) Talking to 5-time Emmy nominee Amy Brenneman revealed a perfect collision of these events that resulted in her astonishing performance as Laurie Garvey, a survivor of the Guilty Remnants who uses her knowledge of their inner workings to successfully (and unsuccessfully) rehabilitate disillusioned members.
Laurie’s journey through The Leftovers season two – particularly her focus episode “Off Ramp” – provides an enormous range for the actress. She’s the vengeful spirit, resentful of the cult’s influence. She’s the proud and determined survivor, eager to share her remarkable story. She’s the concerned mother, realizing she’s pushing her son too far into her dangerous quest. She’s the former psychiatrist, helping her ex-husband Kevin (Justin Theroux) work through a psychotic break.
The amazing thing about Amy Brenneman’s performance is that it never once feels untrue. All of these wild circumstances, no matter how far-fetched they may be, feel remarkably grounded in the human experience. A lot of that is due to the fantastic writing, but you must recognize the extraordinary talent and commitment displayed by Amy Brenneman. As she says in our conversation, there’s nothing else quite like The Leftovers on television today. Logic would tell you that the Television Academy should flock to the series and reward its uniqueness. Yet, it’s a show that sadly struggles for recognition amidst the other great series on air. Should the Academy pay attention, they would be hard-pressed to bypass Amy Brenneman’s stunning work.