Justin Theroux told PEOPLE about returning to the set of his dark HBO drama The Leftovers just days after his tropical honeymoon with wife Jennifer Aniston

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated August 26, 2015 09:00 AM
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Fresh off of his idyllic honeymoon with new wife Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux is already hard at work again.

The actor returned to the set of the dark HBO drama The Leftovers in Austin, Texas, last week. He got a “big cheer,” shifting quickly from tropical yoga to his character Kevin Garvey.

Season two of the popular series, which follows the aftermath of a global cataclysm that results in the unexplained disappearance of 140 million people, finds Kevin, a police officer and father, relocated to a small Texas town from Mapleton, New York.

“It’s a town that’s literally bordered by a fence. For my character and his insta-family, it’s a fresh start. But it boxes them in – in a weird and wonderful way,” Theroux told PEOPLE. The star says Kevin’s new home is the site of something “miraculous” – it had zero “departures,” the show’s word for the thousands of mysterious vanishing acts.

Theroux, is close with his costars, who include Amy Brenneman, Liv Tyler and new addition Regina King.

“It’s like a family. You have to keep it light,” the star, 44, told PEOPLE. “When the work has to be done, the work has to be done, but if you don’t keep it a little light at times, everyone’s going to be miserable.”

The series’ post-apocolyptic vibe is not lost on Theroux.

“It’s not a space you want to live in when a camera isn’t rolling,” he said, later adding that Kevin is a “tough character.”

“Every time you get a new script, it’s like, ‘Oh boy, it’s going to go here.’ The walls to his struggles are high, but I enjoy it,” Theroux said of his role, which is in stark contrast to his recent personal life.

Why Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux Decided to Tie the Knot: ‘The Timing Was Finally Right’

Season 2 of The Leftovers premieres Oct. 4 on HBO.

For more about The Leftovers and this season’s new and returning series, pick up the Fall TV Preview in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday