[Editor's Note: The following contains spoilers for Love and Death.]ScriptDavid E Kelley, Max Original limited seriestells the true story of Candy Montgomery (elizabeth olsen), a small-town Texas church-going housewife whose extramarital affair with Allan Gore (Jessego Plemonsa) ultimately had fatal consequences. Candy is as charismatic as Allan is passive, which makes them a very different couple, but their mutual need for intimacy and connection, which leads them to look beyond their marriages and to each other, causes them to become embroiled in a murder investigation beginning. to unravel all the lies and deceit.
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During this interview with Collider, executive producers Kelley andLesli Linka Glatter(who also directed episodes of the series) talked about why they found the story so intriguing, how you can't have all the answers with just one side of the story, which made Olsen andlilia rabe(who plays Betty Gore, Allan's wife) rock stars how they approached showing the brutality of what happened and what made Olsen the perfect actress to play Candy Montgomery.
Collider: It's such a compelling story with such incredibly compelling characters at the center. What made you want to do this? Was it the story itself? Was it a period? Was it this particular woman? All together?
DAVID E. KELLEY: He actually led the way with the answer. It was a fascination with the character. Candy, Alan and others really surprised us. It was an opportunity to explore these really complex and conflicted characters that we both played.
LESLI LINKA GLATTER: For me, the complex, intricate, multi-layered female characters made me say hello.
As an audience, we always seem to want to know why, for things that may not have an explanation.
GLATTER: Exactly what you're saying is certainly what prompted me. I think we both are, but I know I'm more interested in the why than the how, which means not only the true crime drama of it all, but also the human condition behind it. Everything you say about time and everything is an integral part of it. There are so many facts in this story that if it were not true, it would not be possible to make it up. We tried to stay true to these facts and delve into the psychology of the characters. I am especially interested in women, but also in men who have a deep hole in their psyche. No matter how good it looks on the surface and how satisfying your surface life is, there is something deep inside that is deeply dissatisfied.
As storytellers, do you feel like you have to answer the why question yourself, or do you just enjoy exploring?
KELLEY: As to why it happened, no, because I don't think we've answered that question. We are still wondering. Before the project, during the project, and one of the last questions I asked after the project to one of our consultants, who was a lawyer, was "why." I said, "Why do you think this happened?" And his response was consistent with what we presented, but we don't know for sure.
GLATTER: We only know what happened in that laundromat from Candy's point of view because she was the one who survived. We don't have a great Kurosawa movie.Rashomonwhere you have six different points of view until you finally see the ghost of a murdered woman. We only know what happened from Candy's point of view, which was the worst scene I had to shoot in my entire career. It was so emotional and heartbreaking and Lizzie Olsen and Lily Rabe are rock stars.
How did you come up with how to display it? When something so horrible happens and it's so hard to watch as a bystander, how did you decide how much to show and when to show it, how to show respect and how to have the biggest impact?
KELLEY: As for the writing part, it was very well researched in terms of the choreography of the scene, who first grabbed the ax and hit the head first. It's all detailed in the book, so my focus going in was just to be disciplined. Where I am ambushed is another matter when you write a real event. In fictional worlds, I've had bad murder scenes and you write characters hitting other characters over the head with blunt instruments and then the work day is over and you go home and go back to your life. When you extract an actual event, it resonates in a much more intuitive way. While much of this work existed on the page, and I felt like I was just trying to capture what was already on the page of the book, just going into this cave to inhabit the event and the people that were there was dark and resonated with instinct. a way that wobbles you a bit. When I saw the records, the first thing I did was pick up the phone and contact Lesli, everything was fine, Lizzie and Lily were fine. It was clear that they also inhabited this world, in a very real way, and you can't just do that and walk away blindly.
GLATTER: I've done a lot of action in my career. I dropped a lot of shit. I have killed people in a very bad way. But this was something else entirely. We chose to show bits before hearing Lizzie testify in the courtroom from her point of view about what happened. It was a very clear choice to tell it that way and show it that way. As a director, I want to protect everyone and make them feel as safe as possible by doing a very risky scene. Of course, I wrote the script, we did the choreography, and we had rehearsals, but these two actors agreed to go to this place. It seemed risky. It was terrifying.
KELLEY: As storytellers, we could easily say, "Okay, we get the point. We don't have to stay here. Let's move on." But the party went on and on and Candy kept rocking and rocking and rocking. The horror intensified. I remember feeling it when I read it in a book and we wanted to be able to convey it to the audience. it was just looking and saying, "Okay, I understand what's going on" and moving on. The real horror was how prolonged the event was.
GLATTER: And picking up the axe. I couldn't pick the ax up and swing once, so something must have happened to it. We do not know. Something must have broken at that moment to unleash this rage that we call a dissociative reaction. We will never really know. But something must have happened because she was a petite woman, and that's not something you can do.
Usually I don't care about movies and TV shows because I know they're fake so I don't care. But while I was doing it, I had to look away several times because it's so hard to see.
GLATTER: It's up close and personal. I can tell you that at the end of the day, Lizzie, Lily and I stayed together. These two actors are something else.
Of course, the story centers on Candy Montgomery, which means that the actress who plays her is also important. What is always Elizabeth Olsen? She is just spectacular at it. What do you think she would bring?
GLATTER: It's spectacular. She has always been our first choice. Here's who we saw. This is what we wanted. Luckily, David's amazing scripts were sent to him and we called Zoom due to COVID, and that was it. For me, he has incredible comfort. First of all, she is an amazing person. But as an actress, she is very generous spiritually. She allows him to see something about how we humans work and about the human condition. Going into that deep place with such a complicated character and not judging that character, but being that character that was full of joy and yet full of sadness and emptiness was an incredible gift.
There is so much going on with Candy that it seems that if she had taken a moment to calmly assess the situation, she might have handled her emotions differently.
GLATTER: People, both men and women, didn't go to therapy when they needed something. You didn't talk about it like that. The marriage reunion was a place where couples could go and talk about their relationship, but it really took place in this motel that looked like something from medieval times. As a director, he would never have made the decision to put it there if it wasn't true.
Love and deathis available for transmission at max.