Tai Freligh interviews Jasmin Savoy Brown…
Actress Jasmin Savoy Brown is perhaps best known for her role on HBO’s The Leftovers and will be next seen in season 3. Later in the year she will be seen as a lead in TNT’s new drama Will. Jasmin’s additional credits include: Freeform’s Stitchers, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and NBC’s Grimm. She recently appeared in the film Lane 1974, which premiered at SXSW on March 11th, 2017. She also played a supporting role in the Sundance hit film Laggies. I chatted with her about The Leftovers, Will and other projects.
Having heard the buzz about The Leftovers, but not having HBO or watching an episode yet, how would you describe it to the uninitiated?
It’s deeply disturbing and addicting. It focuses on our current world as we know it. The only difference is two percent of the world’s population evaporated into thin air, and everyone is left to process that. Can you imagine that? You’re sitting with your mom at lunch and suddenly she disappears before your eyes. Did Jesus take her back? Did the government put something in her water? Are you insane? Did you actually die? Aliens? The core of the show is really about family and love, but it explores humanity on a minute scale. It makes you feel understood, revealed, ashamed, and you want to call everyone you love and make sure they know so.
Tell me about your character on The Leftovers and how she fits into the ensemble cast.
I play Evie, a spirited teenager with a secret. Season two opens on Evie’s family The Murphy’s, and spends a few days with them as The Garvey’s, played by Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Margarett Qualley (and Chris Zylka), make their way into town to move in next door. When we first meet Evie, she seems like your normal, vibrant teenage – she sings in the choir, kills at softball, sneaks out and swims in the woods with her friends. But by the end of the episode, her and her friends go missing in the middle of an earthquake. The town is led to believe there was another Sudden Departure – the event where all of those people simultaneously vanished – and the entire season is focused around finding the girls.
The Leftovers is now in its third season. What do you think the lasting appeal is and how do they keep it fresh?
I think they keep it fresh because they are helmed creatively by Mimi Leder, Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrota, aka character and narrative geniuses. I think the appeal is the humanity. This show is so grossly human, it can be uncomfortable to watch but that’s also the draw. We aren’t seeing robots or superheroes, which are both wonderful and enjoyable to watch, but sometimes we just want to see ourselves.
Watching the trailer for Will reminds me of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet movie in terms of giving Shakespeare a modern-day look and feel. Do you think this show took inspiration from Baz and if not, what do you think it is about this character and period of time in history that lends itself to such a hyper-visual rock star aesthetic?
Funny you say that! Craig Pearce (the creator / show runner of Will) also wrote Romeo and Juliet (the film) and has been a long time friend and artistic collaborator with Baz.
Give me the lowdown on your “Dark Lady” on Will- who is she and how much fun was it to play her?
Emilia Bassano was, historically, the first female English poet who published her work under her own name instead of a man’s. She was a proto feminist, and one of the first documented female literary badasses. She was a good friend of Shakespeare, perhaps one of his mistresses, and inspired some of his most famous works.
How different is it working on a cable television drama series as compared to working on a premium channel drama series or a network television show?
In general, I’d say the biggest difference is time. Working on a premium channel drama series, time isn’t as much of an issue as it is on a network television show or a cable drama series. In that order, premium, cable, network, you have the most time, less time, and least amount of time. For example on The Leftovers, if something wasn’t working, we could pause and reassess and take the time to make it better. On a network show, you generally are on a tighter schedule and will have to just make do. All have their own magic. There is something exciting about a hard deadline. It lights a fire and ensures that you do your best work immediately. On the other hand, I love not fighting against time, because sometimes brilliance comes when you’re tired and overworked and when you least expect it.
Do you find time to play music on either a professional level or just jamming with friends?
I haven’t played much music for the past four years and it has taken quite a toll on my soul. I’ve actually just rearranged my scheduled for the rest of the year to accommodate this exact thing. I bought a piano, fixed my guitar, and am dedicating much more time back to music. I miss it deeply.
You’ve had parts in a few films. Do you see more movies in your future or are you finding your groove with television?
Both! I’ve always wanted to do films. As a child I never actually imagined myself on TV, probably because I seldom saw anyone on TV who looked like me, but that’s a rant for another time! I would very much love to do more films, in conjunction with TV because I’m obviously crossing my fingers for Will to be renewed for a second season.
Are you active on social media? If so, what’s your favorite platform and why?
I am! My favorite platform is Twitter because the interaction is so direct. I love that I can fan girl over artists I admire, stay current moment to moment with unfolding news, share my political views and interact with friends and fans. It’s so cool!
What other upcoming projects do you have?
Lane 1974 is currently playing at Seattle International Film Festival. It was directed by S.J. Chiro and it is a feature film based on the memoir “The Hypocrisy of Disco” by Clane Hayward. It follows a 13-year-old Lane growing up in the 1970s as her mother moves her and her siblings from a northern California commune down south. It’s a coming of age story focused on a little girl. It is heartbreaking and beautiful. I also just wrapped season three of Judd Apatow’s Love on Netflix and it should be released sometime early 2018. It was a lot of fun to do!
How do you survive the zombie apocalypse?
Staying hydrated, and avoiding processed sugar.
Which music scene wins in a cage match – LA or NY?
Current television actor you’d most like to work with?
Song that best describes your current mood?
Ludacris’ “Move B***H (Get Out The Way)”.
Favorite female superhero?
Jesse Quick, played by Violett Beane.
We thank Jasmin for talking to us here at Flickering Myth. You can find her on social media at the handles below:
Instagram – @miss_jasmin_savoy
Twitter – @jasminsavoy
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jasminsavoybrown/
Photo credit: Matt Darlington
Tai Freligh is a Los Angeles-based writer and can be found on Twitter.