Sharon Horgan on Catastrophe ending: 'I'd be sadder if we kept going and ran out of ideas'
- Brian Donaldson
- 1 February 2019
As Channel 4's brilliantly cringe-inducing comedy is winds up its fourth and final series Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan talk endings, love and neck braces
Previously on Catastrophe: Rob has driven while over-the-limit and crashed his car. He's now set to wander about for the best part of six episodes in a neck brace. Meanwhile, Sharon has gained a promotion due to a colleague's suicide and mourns a parent. But can it actually be true that we're at the end of the road for one of the best-loved comedies on Channel 4 in recent times?
For co-creator and co-star Sharon Horgan, it's a bittersweet moment. 'I think I'd be sadder if we did keep going and ran out of ideas for those characters,' she admits. 'I'd feel worse seeing them onscreen not being at their tip-top best. But it was emotional filming the last scene, and I found myself getting a bit maudlin. But at the same time, I don't think it's going to hit me until I'm half a year down the road and I suddenly realise there's a really big thing missing from my life that made me really happy.'
While no doubt Horgan (who has penned the successful likes of BBC Three's Pulling and HBO's Divorce) will find plenty of other writing and acting opportunities before she knows it, Delaney has a number of irons in other fires while keeping the door very much open to working with Horgan again. 'We have nothing in the hopper at the moment, but of course I have undying respect for her creativity, and we've had an amazing time doing this. I'm going to be doing some stand-up and I've acted in a bunch of other people's movies that will be coming out in the coming 12 months or so. And I'm going to be doing some more writing as well.'
Presumably whatever he writes won't involve putting himself in a neck brace for any great length of time. 'Oh, I hated that, it was awful!' he admits. 'Sometimes I'd be in it for the whole day. And then suddenly you get used to it, and then you start depending on it. By the end of the day, my neck would hurt and feel weak. So if you're going to write your own sitcom, don't put a neck brace scene in for yourself. Or, at least, don't put 37 neck brace scenes in for yourself.'
When Horgan says she can't quite remember who first suggested that Delaney should wear a neck brace in some episodes, that makes it reasonably clear it was her idea. 'These things come out of conversations, and a lot of it comes out of our weird hive-brain. We wanted to have it on for a few episodes, so there is a physical reminder of the bad thing he'd done. But also, you could have some fun with it, and it's hard to take someone seriously when they're wearing a contraption like that.'
As the show reaches its final act, and the characters try to keep their worst instincts at arms' length, can they possibly wind up happy at the end of all this Catastrophe?
'They've both been boxed about by life a bit,' states Horgan. 'There's less idealism there from Rob, and more resignation from Sharon. And certainly over the course of this series, shit does happen to them. But I really hope that by the time people get to episode six – which is one of the worst ones in terms of what we do to them – I really hope that when we see them at the end, that's the big take away: that they came through it all and still love each other.'
Catastrophe is on Channel 4, Tuesdays, 10pm