Jessica Biel Goes Dark & Grim in Hulu’s Candy
When Melanie Lynskey booked a role in Hulu’s true-crime series Candy, she thought she and her character Betty Gore were one and the same.
“Betty unfortunately is a lot easier for me to act because I’m a person who has tended towards depression at times and I am very, very shy,” she told Variety, “I’m not sure of myself at all. I’m filled with self-doubt a lot of the time.”
The character, who was killed in self-defense by Candy Montgomery (Jessica Biel) in 1980, struggled with insecurity and anxiety throughout the series. And in portraying these emotions, Lynskey felt a sense of healing, explaining, “I needed to get into that aspect of Betty to really be like, ‘Is this as big a part of me as I still think it is? The self-doubt and the shyness?'”
The answer was no. Instead, she realized, “‘I think I’m a little bit stronger than this.”
This gratifying experience is what Lynskey hopes for when she agrees to roles. She likened her decision process to trying on a dress, saying, “You know if it’s comfortable or not. You’re like, ‘Oh, God, I’m not gonna want to wear this,’ or ‘OK, this feels good.’ Something kind of happens when I feel like I’m in it.”
While playing Betty Gore felt like a spiritual experience, Lynskey said that her role in Showtime’s Yellowjackets is more aspirational. She said that the character is who “I hope I become one day,” adding, “The confidence and the toughness, I don’t think I have.”
That being said, the New Zealand born actress understands Shauna isn’t without her faults. She joked that in addition to the “murdery bits,” her character could “really use therapy.”
“There’s so much that she has been terrified to discuss, that she’s never talked about with anybody, that she’s holding very close that fills her with shame, fills her with regret, and she’s just not processing anything ever,” Lynskey said. “She’s just kind of pushing forward and moving on and then things will crop up and she’ll push them back down.”
But even this role has been comforting for Lynskey in that it affirms how she deals with her emotions. She explained that she is all about processing feelings, saying that she cries “all the time” and she can “never make small talk” with others. As she said, “All I want to talk about is people’s trauma and terrible things that happen.”
In all fairness, it’s not hard to see why Shauna doesn’t talk about her trauma—surviving a plane crash and being stranded in the woods with a bunch of possibly cannibalistic teenage girls doesn’t seem fun.
The first season of Yellowjackets is streaming on Showtime Now and Candy is on Hulu.
For more true crime updates on your need-to-know cases, head to Oxygen.com.