A large, archaic cathedral lies in the background of countless white tour buses, vans, and trailers. It’s a serene day in the small, rural city of Lockhart, TX. The town has a homely atmosphere, and there’s a certain calmness in the air, almost silent. Bright yellow signs are located around the large parking lot populated by all the white vehicles, pointing the directions for catering, crew, wardrobe, and base camp. I make my way to the catering area for extras check-in and am greeted by a friendly, eccentric PA, busily checking her texts and responding to calls on her walkie-talkie. I sign in under my respective extra name: “High School Student.” Four others in the room share the same roll as me, and the room is littered with crew and other extras—firefighters, park rangers, stand-ins, and certain individuals with very specific roles, such as “barefoot man” and “woman in wedding dress.”
I strike up a conversation with members of the camera crew, sitting at a large table having breakfast. I ask if this is their only day filming in Lockhart, and all of them let out a huge laugh before explaining they’ve spent 90% of filming for season two of The Leftovers in Lockhart, which began four weeks prior. Some of them readily leave under orders of the director while others bicker about the incompetence of certain electricians. The room is buzzing with energy, and it is not long before the “high school students” are called over and explained the role we are to play in our shoot. This having been my first time on an actual film set, it was quite fascinating learning the expectations for shooting certain scenes. For example, nothing in black or white can be worn; extras must pantomime during the shoot (pretending to speak to each other by moving our mouths silently); and you’ll be waiting for a long, long time for a shoot that can take under ten minutes, as was the case for me.
Before heading over to our set location—a large, worn high school—we’re given a few tidbits of information about season two of the series. As many fans of The Leftovers know, the second season has been deemed a “soft reboot,” though no real explanation to the term has been given. Fear not, The Leftovers isn’t going to rehash The Sudden Departure again as if the first season didn’t occur. The series will continue to follow the Garvey family after the events that occurred in season one, though much of season one’s cast has departed (no pun intended) and many new faces will be introduced. Not much information was given about the new season, but what I was told was highly intriguing and has made me incredibly excited for the new season.
Season two of The Leftovers will follow the Garvey family after the events of season one as they leave Mapleton, NY and head to a fictional town in Texas named Harden. Harden becomes a highly important location in the series for reasons unclear as of yet. However, not all is as it seems in Harden, TX. The town has a strangeness about it and the townspeople are, as described to me, “a little off.” For the particular scene I was in, Michael, one of the new characters, is riding his bike down a street in Harden as he notices some of the bizarreness of the town, such as a large, pyramid-shaped crack on the side of the road and a woman in a wedding dress raking leaves.
My particular scene was fairly uneventful—Michael, played by Jovan Adepo, rides his bike past a high school as I walk across the lawn carrying a few books while talking to another student flinging a football in the air. This particular shoot was for episode one of the new season, so if you see a short guy in a blue plaid shirt on a high school lawn during the premiere, that’s me! The shoot took less than ten minutes overall and was only reshot twice, so it was a fairly easy day for me. Pantomiming, I must say, was one of the strangest things I’ve ever had to do. Hopefully you won’t see my mouth moving spastically during the episode.
Overall, being an extra on The Leftovers was a smooth and refreshing experience. Though my hopes of meeting Justin Theroux and Liv Tyler were shattered, it was great getting a genuine feel for the new location of the series and meeting other fans and crew that have been working on the show this season. Since season two is only about one month into filming, the premiere date is still up in the air, but here’s to hoping The Leftovers is back on our TV screens this fall as the Garvey family settles into the eerie town of Harden, TX.
There is no hard premiere date yet for The Leftovers season two but we assume we’ll be seeing it in 2015 since it’s filming now.