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The Leftovers: Is Kevin Really the Messiah?

The stars weigh in!

Sadie Gennis

After long dancing around the question, The Leftovers' third season premiere finally asked outright: Is Kevin (Justin Theroux) Jesus?

Well, not Jesus exactly... But a new messiah according to Matt's (Christopher Eccleston) new book, which is a sequel to the Bible featuring Kevin as the heroic leading man. The introduction of Matt's gospel has now forced all of the characters to confront head-on the question that has recently been plaguing Leftovers fans, and the residents of Jarden are about as split on the issue as we are.

"I think he's atheist when it comes to that subject," Theroux tells TVGuide.com. "I think he's more annoyed that people are putting that on him, because I think it's probably a chapter -- at least the mythology behind him being killed a million times -- it's a chapter that he would prefer to forget. So I think the fact that anyone is building it into any kind of folklore he finds highly annoying-ish."


However, Kevin's initial rejection of the importance projected onto him by Matt, John (Kevin Carroll) and Michael (Jovan Adepo) is challenged throughout the season, as reminders of the extraordinary things Kevin experienced and is capable of begin to break through his carefully constructed façade or normality.

This causes nothing but problems between Kevin and Nora (Carrie Coon), who is caught between her brother's near-worship of her boyfriend and fears that her boyfriend might literally have a God complex. "I think she's really dismissive of it," Coon explains. "I think very early you get that sense that it's just another ridiculous path her brother is on. She personally has gotten away from the church. It's not the way that she finds comfort in the world. She's just not even really engaged in that particular conversation."

"What's more concerning for her is how Kevin feels about it. That's the more important question for her," she continues. " 'Are you actually engaging in this conversation in a real way?' Because that doesn't feel honest to her. It feels like he's hiding something when he starts to embrace that belief."

The Leftovers airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.