Hulu’s new true-crime drama examines brutal Texas murder

The Fight
Jessica Biel stars as Candy Montgomery in ‘Candy.’

By María Estévez, MWN 

Jessica Biel leads the new true-crime drama as Candy Montgomery, a Texas woman who in 1980 killed her friend Betty Gore with an ax. Now streaming on Hulu, ‘Candy’ delves into the question of why Candy – who had a loving husband with a good job, a daughter and a son, a nice house in the suburbs of Dallas – would kill her friend.

Alongside Biel, the series will star Melanie Lynskey as Betty Gore, Timothy Simons as Pat Montgomery and Pablo Schreiber as Alan Gore. 

 Metro recently sat down with Biel to learn more. 

Did you become a producer of the show in order to have freedom with the character you play?

Yes. It always helps to have a bigger voice in the making of it. The casting, the development of the characters with the writers, all of that is helpful when you have a voice that people actually listen to. But thankfully, we had incredible collaborators as Robin and Nick and the directors, so there was no need to fire anybody as normally I feel I have to. Everyone was on the same page, everyone was as ambitious as I was. 

Melanie Lynskey plays Betty Gore and Jessica Biel plays Candy Montgomery in ‘Candy.’Tina Rowden/Hulu

Tell us about the evolution of the friendship you play on screen. How do you get into the mindset of constant hiding and manipulating situations, as well as the repression?  

The best part of the work is when you have the opportunity to collaborate with someone that you respect and trust and like so much. It would have been difficult if we did have some kind of antagonistic relationship in real life. We felt a connection with each other, a communication. If you don’t have that trust with your fellow actor or actress you are lost because you don’t feel safe to be free at all. I think Melan and I were reading the same material, investigating the same kind of path together and that was really helpful and amazing being able to do it with another amazing woman. I love working with men, of course, but I just loved working with women and this was a special project for me.

What did the story say, in your point of view, about repression and embarrassment?

I think it is, obviously, much healthier talking about your feelings. Get things out to talk about it in the moment and not hold it inside, because going out at some point is something that is hurdling for me in life. I had a very hard time allowing myself to feel angry and let the emotions out. It is something I always struggled with and this story explains the importance of dealing with your anger and rage on a daily basis. I struggle with the need to know to be angry as I am seen as not feminine. Or not being angry means that I’m not nice and that nice is above it all. I struggle with that and I don’t want to do that anymore.

Why did you decide to tell this story?

I want to find out who I am and be confident and truthful about that. I want to tell this story for many reasons as there are many layers to it but the foundation to it is that women need to be confident and not feel they need to hide their feelings of anger.

What’s your opinion on the love triangle we see in the series?

I think you have to stay away from this kind of situation. Stay far away.

Are you a very competitive person? 

I probably like the competition. I like to be pushed. Someone is inspiring you to work harder, be better, be faster. When you’re a kid in sports we are constantly being asked to push against what you think is possible, so that’s exciting to me. That thrill is exciting to me. I’m interested in that, I like that feeling.

Can you use that competitiveness in your acting?

Definitely. There are times in your day when you come upon a moment and you think, ‘I can’t actually emote anymore. I’m too tired. I’ve exhausted everything. I can’t cry again. I’m done.’ And then if someone continues to nudge you along it’s like you were back in football and you had to run for another 30 minutes or score that goal.

Has there ever been a moment in your life when you’ve said, ‘This is so good, it can’t be real’?

I felt this way on some days on this show actually. But it was so fun.

Would we ever see you on-screen with your husband, Justin Timberlake?

If it was the right thing, we would consider working together. He’s excellent in every genre! It would have to be the right thing. You have to be delicate if you’re working with your partner and sometimes it’s just too close. I think it would be really cool to play characters that are against each other.

‘Candy’ is now streaming on Hulu.