Jasmin Savoy Brown looks back at her two seasons on “The Leftovers” and how the show has forever changed her as an actress and a person.
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
For two seasons, Jasmin Savoy Brown played one of the most integral characters on ‘The Leftovers’ as troubled teenager Evie Murphy, who seemed like the ideal kid any parent would want but ultimately she ended up revolting in a very dark and grim way.
In total, she appeared in eight episodes over the two seasons before ‘The Leftovers’ came to an end recently but the 23-year old California native will never forget her time on the set where she not only flourished as an actress but also found a second family with her fellow cast mates.
Ahead of ‘The Leftovers’ series finale, Brown spoke to Nerdcore Movement about her time on the show, figuring out what kind of person Evie Murphy really was and how ‘The Leftovers’ changed her entire life.
What are your thoughts on working on ‘The Leftovers’ and how did you get involved with that show?
It’s a dream come true. I have nothing but great things to say about the entire cast and crew and team. It’s really sometimes an out of body experience talking about it or watching it because I think all of the actors on the show are just so phenomenal. The writing and everything, it’s such a high caliber show, just to be associated with it, sometimes it makes me emotional just because I’m so proud.
There was so much mystery and mythology wrapped up in ‘The Leftovers’ so how much do you know about your character and the story that you’re telling when you go in?
It’s completely script by script. They never tell us anything ahead of time at all. The first episode that I got of season two, I didn’t know that I’d be coming back or in that fashion. They didn’t tell us a thing.
How was it coming back during the final season after your character had such a dramatic end at the start of the season? Your character still played a major role even after Evie was already gone.
I did know I was going back but I didn’t know in what capacity and I didn’t know that I’d be blown up. That was the first time on screen. I was just so excited and it was just beautiful. When the show got renewed we all got emails from the show runners and they were saying who they wanted to bring back so I knew I was coming back but I just didn’t know how. I was so emotional. I couldn’t stop crying. I owe this so much to this show. It’s so much more than just given me a job. It’s given me love and friends and travel and I’m in love with Evie and the world so getting to do it again and go to Australia, too, was such an emotional experience.
You didn’t appear in as many episodes during season 3 but your character — by name — played such an important part during those final episodes. How much did you pay attention to the show during that time when you’d pop in and film certain parts?
Absolutely, I’ve learned so much about Evie from watching the show and reading fan theories, it’s like even as an actor I miss stuff that I gain as a viewer. So it’s really interesting to watch. I do watch it and I always learn something new.
What kind of a relationship have you built with your cast mates, but in particular with Kevin Carroll, who plays your dad, because he has so many emotional ties to Evie and that relationship was so crucial to season 2 and into season 3. Did it become like a father/daughter relationship for you?
100-percent. He has become a mentor and a father figure in my life and a dear friend. That’s so funny, I didn’t think about it that way that our relationship kind of mirrors our relationship on the show and maybe that’s why we got so close so fast. But yeah, on set, he often would hang out with me when we weren’t shooting and I would ask him for help if I was stuck. He coached me in terms of acting and taught me so much. That just bled over into our lives and just the other day he called me just to check up and we have a real fondness and respect for each other. He does feel like a father figure in my life. That’s what I mean by the show has given me so much more than just a job. Kevin has become a dear part of my life and that’s because of this show.
In a show as intricate as ‘The Leftovers’ you have to know so much about your character that you sort of become them in a way. What would you say you learned about yourself playing Evie over the past two seasons?
The first thing what I learned about myself playing her and that’s such a great question because I learned a lot. The biggest thing that I learned that mirrors her is how much I was faking it in my life. Just going along with things and saying I believed in things I didn’t actually believe. I never questioned myself or ask myself on a deep level the things I had to ask myself. To play Evie, I had to ask myself the same questions and that really shook me up in a great way.
I know myself so much better now. I didn’t realize how much I was faking it for everyone around me just like she was.
What did you learn about her because you have to become that character in a way?
I learned that she hates lies more than anything. That was part of the reason she got so angry and left and did this to her town because it was all based on lies. She found out there were lies in her city and lies in her family and lies next door and just all of these lies made her so angry and sick and livid and that’s why she behaved that way.
You’re young so you still have a big career in front of you but do you feel like ‘The Leftovers’ will always hold a special place in your heart?
Without a doubt. It will. I’m in the process of designing a tattoo slightly inspired by ‘The Leftovers’.
One of your cast mates, Amy Brenneman, talked recently about making her own way in Hollywood by creating her own shows, producing her work, writing her own scripts. I know you’re working on a couple of scripts right now so is that something you envision for yourself?
Oh yeah. All of the things. I very much look up to Angelina Jolie. She’s something that I want to emulate. She’s an actress and a director and I want to do all of those things. I want to act, direct, write, and produce and also she has her family and she’s a world ambassador. She goes to other countries and she speaks on behalf of other people. I really feel like I can do it all and I look up for her to that.