There’s nothing like an ax murder to bring the family together.
Hulu true-crime miniseries “Candy” stars Jessica Biel as accused killer Candy Montgomery, who was behind the slaughtering of best friend Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey) after having an affair with Gore’s husband. Montgomery claimed the killing was in self-defense. Both Biel and Lynskey’s real-life spouses, Justin Timberlake and Jason Ritter, appear in the series as police officers investigating the 1980 murder.
Executive producer and lead star Biel revealed that Timberlake was reading the scripts for the series and inquired about the role.
“We always share material and get notes from each other and stuff like that,” Biel told Entertainment Weekly. “And he was reading it, and he asked about that particular character, Steve Deffibaugh, [and said] ‘Who’s playing this guy?’ I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know. Probably like a local amazing actor from Atlanta.'”
She continued, “‘We don’t have any money left’ was basically the conversation. And he said, ‘I want to play this part.’ And I said, ‘Yeah. Okay.’ He goes, ‘No, no. I want to play this part.'”
And Timberlake was just fine with saying no to a salary, so long as production footed the bill for his transformation into a Texan cop.
“We told him, ‘We can’t pay you,’ and he goes, ‘I don’t care about getting paid. I just want you to pay for my wig and I want my prosthetic belly,'” Biel added. “We were like, ‘That we can do.'”
Lynskey’s husband Ritter was later cast as Timberlake’s onscreen police officer partner.
“They had this bromance,” Biel said. “You see their chemistry. It’s popping off the screen. There was a lot of improv going on, which gave me the freedom to improv.”
Biel told IndieWire that “Candy” captures “one of the most complicated, intriguing female relationships I’ve ever read on paper before” by unraveling the real-life murderous friendship between Montgomery and Gore.
“It was really fun to find the path through, especially because we’re going in these non-linear storytelling formats,” Biel explained.
Critic Steve Greene called the series a “stellar overview” of a not-so-sweet story. “In textual and meta-textual ways, ‘Candy’ roots around in the uncomfortable idea that, on some level, everything from friendship to marriage is an elaborate performance that requires multiple participants,” Greene wrote in his review. “Biel’s Candy is a fascinating core figure who isn’t just driven by jealousy or ego or entitlement or beneficence, but a thorny cocktail of all of the above.”
“Candy” is now streaming on Hulu.