Being the leading man in a hit TV series has seen his career soar, but it’s come at a price for The Leftovers star Justin Theroux.
For each of the show’s three seasons, Justin has relocated to different filming destinations.
This has meant extended time away from his wife, A-list actress Jennifer Aniston.
Like any couple dealing with long distances and time apart, it’s proved to be a challenge for the actor.
“It’s tough, it’s a pain,” Justin, 45, tells TV WEEK during our chat.
“We have a two-week rule [to see each other]. But when you create those rules, they get blown out of the water pretty quickly."
“But when you are tired, you just make an extra effort to make trips back or have your partner come visit you.”
Justin admits having a wife who’s also in the industry means time apart “is expected”. However, it was worse than ever while filming the third and final season of The Leftovers, with the actor relocating to Australia for the shoot.
“It’s an insane flight!” Justin says of travelling down under.
“It’s not just that you’re in a different time zone, you’re in a different day altogether most of the time.”
Being based in Australia made catching up with Jen more difficult.
“You get on that flight and you feel like that’s going to be your home for a week – and then you fly,” he grins.
Country singer Keith Urban once said he flew from America to Sydney just to have dinner with wife Nicole Kidman before returning on tour.
So, did Justin do the same for Jen?
“You don’t want to do it [the flight] for just a dinner!” Justin laughs.
“He’s a better man than I am – I would never do that! Anything more than three days, I would make the flight.”
And with such a busy schedule – both in front of and behind the camera – Justin cherishes the moments he and Jen spend together.
“She [Jen] has an enormously good sense of humour,” Justin reveals.
“We make each other laugh a lot – we really do. There’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than watching her laugh hard and then getting her to laugh harder.”
It’s a good thing that Justin has that light in his life, as the subject matter for The Leftovers is dark.
Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, the drama deals with the aftermath of “The Sudden Departure”, in which two percent of the world’s population – 140 million people – suddenly disappear.
As we enter the final straight, will we be given answers about The Sudden Departure?
Justin’s lips are sealed on the topic. But whatever happens, the man behind sheriff Kevin Garvey has mixed feelings about saying goodbye.
“When you get such quality material, you miss it,” Justin says.
“But I won’t necessarily miss the character so much, because I feel we have put a nice ribbon around it by the end.”
Given Justin’s intense portrayal of Kevin, it’s hard to imagine he nearly didn’t get the role in the first place.
The producers had second thoughts about casting Justin because they thought he was too handsome!
“I’d like to think I got it [the role] because I can act,” Justin says. “But maybe that’s not the case.”