Damon Lindelof: Why I Picked Gary Busey to Disappear With J. Lo on The Leftovers

Truth rating: 10

By Shari Weiss


(Getty Images)

HBO aired the much-anticipated pilot of the “The Leftovers” on Sunday, in which Justin Theroux is a small-town police chief grappling with the aftermath of a mysterious apocalyptic event that caused two percent of the Earth’s population to disappear.


Among the millions to suddenly vanish were some well-known celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Bourdain, Bonnie Raitt and even Pope Benedict XVI.

At the show’s red carpet premiere, Gossip Cop spoke with “Leftovers” co-creator Damon Lindelof about deciding which celebrities got to live another day — and which, like J.Lo, seemingly ceased to exist.

“A lot of them were from Tom’s book,” Lindelof shared, referring to Tom Perrotta’s 2011 novel of the same name.

The former “Lost” executive-producer went on to reveal, “The only celebrity I threw into the mix was Gary Busey.”

So, why was oddball Busey lumped together with beloved figures like the Pope?

One character on the show, watching a CNN-like channel paying tribute to the newly departed, even exclaims, “The Pope, I get the Pope, but Gary f*cking Busey?!”

Asked this very question, a cryptic Lindelof teased to us, “The Lord works in strange ways.”

“They weren’t killed,” the showrunner stressed. “They were just swept up in it.”

But what is”it”?

And will Lopez and Busy get to walk among us again?

Keep watching “The Leftovers” on HBO, Sundays at 10 p.m., to find out!





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