If you were able to walk a mile in an ax murderer's shoes, would you? Perhaps it's an odd question; but for an adventurous actor, it's a dream come true. In Hulu's new true-crime miniseries Candy, producer and Emmy-nominated star Jessica Biel (The Sinner) fully embodies Candy Montgomery — a church-going Texan housewife and mother who brutally killed her "frenemy" and neighbor, Betty Gore, in 1980. Though she pleaded self-defense, Candy whacked Betty with an ax a staggering 41 times.
From co-creators Nick Antosca and showrunner Robin Veith — who helmed Hulu’s wild Munchausen-by-proxy-themed true-crime miniseries The Act — Candy gives viewers a look behind the closed doors of the messy Montgomery and Gore households. Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets) plays Betty with depth, while Timothy Simons (Veep) and Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black) fabulously portray Pat Montgomery and Allan Gore, respectively.
While it may be problematic to label any real-life murderer as "likable," Candy Montgomery is arrogant, selfish, and decidedly unlikable. This Southern belle is certainly lacking sweetness. And despite Jessica Biel being America's sweetheart, she's absolutely vile as the cheating ax murderer. Transforming into Candy gave Jessica Biel a sense of confidence, as truly embodying the physical essence of the character was an important part of the process. It's amazing what a curly wig and some '80s glasses can do for a performance.
Physically transforming into Candy Montgomery empowered Jessica Biel as an actress.
"I just find the ability to transform in that way — like really utilizing costumes and the makeup department and hair department to be such an important part of the process," Jessica Biel told Extra in an interview. "It's so fun when you don't recognize yourself, and I really didn't every morning [of filming]."
She called Candy's large-framed glasses "the last piece of the puzzle," and explained that she truly felt like she was seeing the world from someone else's perspective.
"It gives me the freedom and gives us actors the freedom to really be uninhibited. And I feel like I had to feel that confidence and that security to be uninhibited in a project like this," Jessica continued.
Aside from the physical aspect related to adopting Candy's mindset, Jessica told Melanie Lynskey during IMDb's "Ask Each Other Anything" segment that doing a ton of research also helped her embody the killer.
"What was she like as a child, and in college, and then after college?" Jessica wondered while delving into Candy's story. "I really wanted to understand how she got to the moment in time we were looking at [in Candy]," she explained.
It's easy to tell how into the part Jessica was, as her phony smile and campy approach to the character shine throughout the series' five episodes. One of the best and most quotable lines in the series comes from Candy after she does the deed. The twang in her voice is superb.
"I had to go to Target, y’all know I love my Target, but when I got there I realized my watch had stopped, I didn’t even go in!" Candy repeats to her family and peers over and over again (a telltale sign of guilt), regarding where she was when she was actually hacking up Betty's body.
As for what Jessica Biel thinks of the real-life verdict, she was cautious not to take sides. “I wasn't in the jury. I wasn't there. I don't know… It's fascinating. And we'll never know the answer. We'll never know the truth. We kind of offer up to the viewers to say what do you think, because we don’t know either," she told Extra.
Be sure to watch Hulu's Candy and form your own opinion on the trial's controversial conclusion.
The first two episodes of Candy are currently streaming on Hulu.