Melanie Lynskey Shares Why She Compares To Her Character In Candy – Exclusive
New Zealand-born actress Melanie Lynskey doesn’t shy away from a professional challenge – in fact, she’s known for her memorable portrayals of complicated, multifaceted characters. But in her latest role, in Hulu’s true crime miniseries “Candy,” she faces a unique challenge: playing a character who is basically dead (and alluded to off-screen) for much of the story. In “Candy,” Lynskey plays Betty Gore, a lonely, hapless housewife in a Texas suburb, whose grisly real-life murder in 1980 rocked the seemingly safe and drama-free community she lived in.
In many true crime stories, the spotlight is often on the killer, rather than whoever was killed (most of us can name at least one serial killer, but coming up with a victim’s name can be a little more difficult). But “Candy” paints both the accused and the victim in great detail, and by interweaving the story’s timelines, we can see not only the aftermath of her murder, but what Betty Gore was like as a living person. – a very vulnerable woman with very real emotional needs. Something about Betty Gore resonated deeply with Lynskey, and as she shared in this exclusive interview with The List, she shared what she and her latest character have in common.
The more Melanie Lynskey learned about her character, the more she loved her
Melanie Lynskey was first drawn to “Candy” by its compelling writing. “The scripts were so detailed at all times,” Lynskey said. And while “Candy” changes some historical details for dramatic purposes, Lynskey and many of the other cast members took the time to educate themselves about the real thing and the characters they would portray, and even arranged a Zoom meeting with Jim Atkinson, who had written a book about the murder of Gore.
In doing so, Lynskey discovered some recognizable surprises in her research. During the time frame depicted in ‘Candy’, Betty Gore is seen as deeply lonely – insecure about her appearance and her marriage and desperate to be accepted by the women in her church, who were apparently her only social group – but she was not always like this. “Something that was a little surprising to me in the book, and Jim talked about it, was that she was quite popular in college,” Lynskey told me. “She was always a bit of a shy person, but she had a lot of boyfriends, a lot of male attention. She could really choose from anyone. And I loved that.”
Melanie Lynskey found Betty Gore personally recognizable
When you think of actors, they may think they are outgoing. Seeing a child who can’t stop talking or making faces will likely make adults smile and say, “He/she will be an actor someday!” And this makes sense – it takes serious social confidence to get on stage in front of hundreds of people (or in front of a camera for a team of finicky directors and producers), and make yourself the center of their attention.
From all the rave reviews she’s gotten in her career, it’s clear that Melanie Lynskey is really good at this too. But surprisingly, she doesn’t see herself as outgoing. Instead, she had a lot to do with Betty Gore’s shyness and vulnerability. “I was very moved by many aspects of her personality,” she said. “She was a very shy person who felt kind of awkward in a lot of situations, and that’s how I feel about myself. And I just felt like I knew her, kind of on a cellular level. I just thought, ‘I understand this person .'”
“Candy” premiered on Hulu Monday, May 9, which kicked off a five-day event leading up to the finale on Friday, May 13.
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