Amy Talks Leftovers and More to



In our recent webcam chat (watch above), Emmy nominee Amy Brenneman (“NYPD Blue,” “Judging Amy”) reveals that “The Leftovers” co-creator and showrunner Damon Lindelof left her awestruck when he unveiled his vision for the upcoming third and final season. “I’m sitting there with Damon and an hour later I was just saying, “f***, that is so good! It’s just so good!”

Although understandably tight-lipped about particular details so as not to give anything away, Brenneman confirmed that fans will be amazed. “F***, it is so good! That is all I will say,” she laughs, explaining “there’s a freedom that showrunners have when they know it’s the end and when they have control over the end because you don’t always have that in television, often you don’t.”

“The Leftovers” is based on the acclaimed novel by Tom Perotta, who co-created the show along with Lindelof. Its premise revolves around the inexplicable and sudden disappearance of two percent of the world’s population (140 million people) in what is known as the “Sudden Departure.” Brenneman plays Laurie Garvey, the estranged wife of leading man Kevin (Justin Theroux), who joins the nefarious Guilty Remnant cult, which rose to prominence after the Sudden Departure. She takes on the cult’s oppressive vow of silence, and completely shuts down as a way of coping with the harrowing events that Laurie experiences on that fateful day.

While the show’s first season divided critics and fans alike, the second season was a revelation as it became lighter in tone and moved from upstate New York to the fictional “miracle” town of Jarden, Texas, a town that was seemingly spared from the Sudden Departure. The critics responded favorably, and the cast and crew enjoyed the show changing course. “The first season was trying to render Tom’s book, and for Damon, I think, it was excising the demons of ‘Lost.’ In season two, he was just really freed up,” the actress explains. “In the first season, all of the characters are literally paralyzed with grief and trauma. They’re stuck. In the second season, every character gets busy with what they think is going to make things better.” The second season saw Laurie break free from the shackles of the Guilty Remnant. “Laurie goes back to her pre-Departure self; she’s a helper, so she says I want to help; to alleviate suffering.”

For Brenneman, it is a joy to work with Lindelof in bringing this character to life. “It has been such an amazing experience to surrender, utterly, to a true artist, and be an instrument of his work,” Brenneman admits. “I’m a mom to two kids, and I’m used to running the show. And I realized really early on the great gift of this gig was I get to surrender and I get to be an actor and I get to really surrender to what Damon wants to do.”

“One of the absolute pleasures of my artistic life was the day of the first read-through. That afternoon, Damon said left’s go for a walk and so we walked around Central Park for a couple of hours, and we dreamed up Laurie. We just dreamed her right up. And that included her backstory,” she recalls. “We just made her up.”

11th Annual Global Women’s Rights Awards


Director Brad Silberling and actress Amy Brenneman attend the 11th Annual Global Women’s Rights Awards at the Directors Guild of America on May 09, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Amy Brenneman Hopes Trump’s “Bald-Faced Misogyny Will Be Galvanizing” at Global Women’s Rights Awards




by Maya Anderman

America Ferrera also was honored at the event co-chaired by Jay and Mavis Leno. Said Brenneman: “Abortion’s been a political football forever, but if everybody voted who Donald Trump has marginalized and pissed off, it would be the vast majority of Americans.”

The 11th annual Global Women’s Rights Awards ceremony, presented by the Feminist Majority Foundation, took place Monday evening to honor The Leftovers star Amy Brenneman and Superstore actress America Ferrera for their involvement in women’s rights activism.

Both Ferrera and Brenneman opened the honoree speeches by saying, “This is what a feminist looks like.”

The ceremony also honored Dr. Karen Weaver, mayor of Flint, Mich., for her leadership during the Flint water crisis, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director for UN Women, for her fight towards gender equality around the globe. The event was co-chaired by Jay and Mavis Leno.

Those in attendance took the opportunity to comment on the importance of fighting for women’s rights given the current political climate. Brenneman in particular commented on this importance in relation to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and his stance on abortion.

“Abortion’s been a political football forever, but I think even beyond that, the bald-faced misogyny, the bald-faced racism, the bald-faced anti-immigrant stuff — it’s so shocking and so ugly, but hopefully it will be galvanizing because honestly, if everybody voted who Donald Trump has marginalized and pissed off, it would be the vast majority of Americans,” Brenneman told The Hollywood Reporter. “This guy is going to deliver on what he promises as any candidate would. So know your issues, know your candidate.”

Most recently, the actress has been involved with the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Texas abortion case put forth before the Supreme Court, wherein she and a group of eight other women shared personal stories on how abortion has allowed them to take control of their own lives.

Also in attendance at the ceremony, which took place at the Directors Guild of America headquarters in Los Angeles and contained a theater full of people wearing ‘I’m a Feminist’ name tags, were Brenneman’s Private Practice co-star Kate Walsh and Parks and Recreation’s Retta.

The event also saw Weaver receive a standing ovation from the audience while being awarded a check for $50,000 from the Feminist Majority Group Board members to continue to support Flint and its progress towards clean and healthy water.

Former Feminist Majority Group honoree and human rights activist Dolores Huerta also was at the ceremony, and presented Ferrera with her award.

“It makes it all the more surreal to be awarded this, by one of the only role models I had growing up who looked like me,” said the actress. “The power of seeing ourselves, being shown ourselves, being shown our own potential, as women … it was life-changing to know that what I loved to do had the potential to be a tool for helping other people find their voices.”

America Ferrera, Amy Brenneman Saluted for Community Empowerment at Global Women’s Rights Awards


Lamarco McClendon
Staff Writer @MarcoMcClendon
The Feminist Majority Foundation held its 11th annual Global Women’s Rights Awards ceremony to honor America Ferrera, Amy Brenneman, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on Monday at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.

“When I started acting I was just a kid with a talent and a dream. I never set out to represent people,” said Ferrera, who received an award for empowering the Latino Community.

The actress told the room that she was thrust into the role of an activist early in her career. She remembered when she received a positive response from women in her community after her first film role in “Real Women Have Curves.”

“I realized the power of seeing ourselves, being shown our own potential as women, as people of color and as people of disadvantaged backgrounds,” Ferrera added.

The actress, who wrote a manifesto defending the Latino community against presidential hopeful Donald Trump last year, said that “it was life changing to know what I love to do had the potential to be a tool for helping other people find their voices.”

Kate Walsh presented Brenneman with her award, which saluted her fight for abortion rights. While accepting the honor, “The Leftovers” actress encouraged others to speak up about the issue.

“The vast majority of Americans who believe in women’s right to choose need to get noisier,” said Brenneman.

The Feminist Majority Foundation also honored Mayor Weaver for her work solving the water crisis in Flint. The foundation additionally gifted her with $50,000 to assist with water restoration in the City of Flint. Mlambo-Ngcuka received her award for leading the fight for gender equality across the globe in her role at the UN.

Jay Leno opened the ceremony with jokes in his old late-night flair. He made wise cracks at a vast array of pop culture figures, including former presidential candidate Marco Rubio and Caitlyn Jenner.

“They said Marco Rubio is the smartest in the Republican race. That’s like being the smartest Kardashian,” Leno quipped.

The award ceremony included a dinner, panel discussion and guest speakers, such as Curtis Armstrong and Jason George.

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