Interview with : Novelist Tom Perrotta, Creator of The Leftovers, reflects on his show's second season
Updated on: 14 Dec 2015
Tom Perrotta is a novelist The New York Times has called "an American Chekhov." In his downtime from writing satirical classics like Election and Little Children, Perrotta is also a TV show creator and an Oscar nominated screenwriter. His most recent project is the critically acclaimed HBO drama The Leftovers, which he writes, creates, and produces with Damon Lindelof.
Perrotta spoke with Inverse about the evolution of fall's most captivating show and balancing the mystical with the mundane when you're working with Damon Lindelof.
The Leftovers has an interesting interplay between the mundane and the supernatural. Your work usually strays more towards realism, whereas the supernatural is more Damon Lindelof's realm. What is that balance like in the writer's room?
I think that's a fair way to describe the general dynamic. Damon is coming at the story from a really exciting tradition. He's a comic book guy, he's a sci fi guy, he's a supernatural guy — and he's also a great character writer. So he is definitely a very bold proponent of getting the story as far as it can go, and sometimes I played the role of the skeptic or the reader. That's the kind of interesting tension. I will say that this season, we seemed to have internalized each other's perspectives and sometimes we reverse. That can be fun and a little disorienting for both of us.
Is there an example where you leaned more towards the supernatural side?