HomeInterviewsJesse Plemons on the 'American Tragedy' That is HBO Max's Love &...

Jesse Plemons on the ‘American Tragedy’ That is HBO Max’s Love & Death

Photograph by Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max

Last year, Hulu released its miniseries about the infamous Candy Montgomery axe-murder in 1980. While that Jessica Biel vehicle focused on the days leading up to Montgomery murdering her lover’s wife, Betty Gore, HBO Max’s new series Love & Death created by David E. Kelley focuses on the years leading up to the murder, investigating Montgomery’s small town Texas life and her affair that leads to her crime.

We had the chance to catch up with Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog) ahead of the world premiere at SXSW back in March to discuss his role as Candy’s lover Allan, and how he connected with the story about two people that got caught in a disastrous affair.

Pop Break: Did you have any misconceptions about what the story was? And when you ended, did you have a different view of your character or the story as a whole?

Jesse Plemons: Well, the character specifically. There’s something about him that was really hard to kind of penetrate and crack. And we had all this source material to draw from. I mean, even just hearing his perspective and some quotes about the murder, there was something that was just really intriguing and so it took a while to kind of gain understanding- which I enjoy playing characters that don’t, you know, reveal themselves immediately. But one of the other things I found really compelling about this story was that as it went on, as we shot, became more and more obvious that there’s really not an easy villain in this story, you know? You can really kind of understand by the end, what led to this and it’s really hard to figure out who to blame and I found that really interesting.

PB: Do you find this whole situation to be more tragic? Or sympathetic, maybe?

Jesse Plemons: [Our director] Lesli calls it an “American tragedy” and that’s about as I could say.PB: Where do you see this paralleling, or what do you think the relevance of the story is today?

Jesse Plemons:I think there’s something universal and just kind of the human struggle, you know? There are these sort of these roadmaps that you can either sort of follow or not, but I think as, as people in general, whatever that Americans is, like, there are certain steps that you’re supposed to take that that I was supposed to I guess equal you have in your shit together thing you know, you’re successful human in the world. But that is only part of it. It doesn’t guarantee anything. It was also a time where mental health counseling wasn’t really an option. So I think if anything, that’s kind of what this affair provided for them was just like a space to talk openly and honestly about how they’re feeling which was sure. Yeah, not all that common back then.

Catch Jesse Plemons on HBO Max’s Love & Death which airs Thursdays.



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